Virtually everyone who posts something online wants it to go viral. I’ll be the first to admit it. It has happened to me in the past, and it’s exhilarating. Watching your hit counter skyrocket, seeing the Facebook likes and Twitter retweets pile in, hearing that something you write is ranked #1 on Reddit… it can make a person forgo a night’s sleep, just to keep hitting “refresh” and watch the numbers climb. A few days ago, a Republican Congresswoman from Washington state, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, went viral.
She posted a graphic on her Facebook page to commemorate the 5-year anniversary of the signing of Obamacare, more appropriately named the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The image was representative of GOP Obamacare rhetoric, suggesting the law resulted in increased insurance premiums, reduction of work hours, tax-filing nightmares, etc. To add to the misrepresentation, Rep. McMorris Rodgers, who happens to be the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress, asked her Facebook followers to share their stories of how Obamacare has had such a negative effect on their lives.
The result was amazing. Thousands of visitors left their stories, and are still adding them. But those stories consisted of testimonials describing how the ACA improved lives, allowing those with pre-existing conditions to finally be able to afford, or in many cases obtain, insurance and medical care. There were also comments from the Congresswoman’s constituents, lambasting her for contributing to “politics as usual,” attempting to tear down an act that has done so much for so many, rather than work to improve its shortcomings.
Rather than go on and on about what comments were left, I encourage you to read and share: Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ Obamacare Post.
And just in case she feels the pressure her own viral post has placed on her and takes it down, here are a couple screen shots of comments:
Will this reaction change her mind on the Affordable Care Act? Maybe, but since the stances politicians take on issues are molded primarily by donors and lobbyists, I doubt she’ll let on. Will she learn something? I hope so.
Rep. McMorris Rodgers has an opportunity to be courageous and honorable. She could recognize the reaction to her antagonistically-spirited post and be an example for her Republican colleagues who have wasted so much time and taxpayer money on the useless exercise of voting for the repeal of a law that has helped so many. She could leverage her position of authority in Congress to show others that it’s ok to admit the truth and be united as a nation, rather than be more divided than ever. She could change the rhetoric from “Repeal at all costs” to “Enhance in order to serve the nation.” She could help our broken government move from gridlock to progress by blazing a trail of cooperation and honesty.
I’m hopeful but pessimistic, and I’ll be watching.