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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, October 15, 2009, 9:00 AM ET


    Right-wing Response to Alex Kuzma's View of Health Care Debate is Anecdotal
    By Boris Danik

    Alex Kuzma, as a new columnist in The Ukrainian Weekly, recently wrote about staged protests against President Barack Obama's health care insurance reform plan (September 6, 2009, p. 7), and drew some strong comments from several letters (September 27, 2009, p. 6).

    If Mr. Kuzma's column survives in that newspaper, it would be an indication of the slackening of the conservative monopoly in The Ukrainian Weekly.

    This could also mean that Ukrainian-Americans are inching out of a collective conservative stagnation. Perhaps there is a growing recognition that, besides the concern for Ukrainian heritage, nationalism, and the abortion debate, the predominantly middle-class working and professional composition of the Ukrainian-American community suggests a commonality of its socioeconomic interests.

    This community really is not a wannabee financial aristocracy (never mind its "poor man's debutante balls").

    The reality needs to be made clear in order to avoid the colossal blunders, such as voting for the Bush/Cheney ticket in the year 2000 and 2004 elections, thus voting against Social Security and against Medicare, which were marked for privatization on the Republican agenda.

    Our community at almost all levels had shown an abysmal lack of awareness of the Republican Party's plans, and swallowed the soundbites about "the family values" (as did most of America).

    Privatization of Social Security and Medicare remain key to the Republican agenda, despite the recent lessons of financial wipeouts of private funds and pensions, and the rush to government bailouts. Ideology destroys logic.

    The 8-year long conservative experiment of the Bush regime pushed the country into a financial meltdown and to the brink of economic collapse. That's when the same administration was forced to abandon theory and launch a government bailout of the banking industry. The paradox became known as "Socialism for Capitalists." The overall conservative theory in action can be explained as "Privatization of Assets, Nationalization of Debt."

    Rush Limbaugh and a gaggle of other right-wing talk-show hosts are now reorganizing the Republican rank and file. They also fire up the rebellion against President Obama's health care insurance reform plan, while the conservative think-tanks are scripting the soundbites. Sample: don't use words like "government intrusion;" say "government takeover of health care."

    Similarly, some of the responses to Alex Kuzma's column in The Ukrainian Weekly appear to be prepackaged and laced with anecdotes and detraction.

    Dr. Boris Danik
    North Caldwell, NJ
    October 5, 2009

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