Applying conflict analysis to the Health Care Debate

From DJ, on his blog Asymptotic Life. These are the highlights. Read the whole thing.

Neither side cares to understand where the other is coming from. They dismiss each other as nutcases.

So what gives? How are we to make sense out of a seemingly nonsensical debate? Here’s an effort to apply the rules of conflict analysis that I developed in Sri Lanka:

1. It’s Never About What They Say It’s About.

2. Someone Always Benefits from Increasing Conflict.

3. Identifying an outside enemy gives leaders the ability to control inside events.

4. The goal of conflict is not to win, but to control.

5. The effect of these efforts by leaders at control is a fundamental shift in national thinking and the acceptance of “the other” as enemy.

In short, we’re being manipulated for short-term gain by our political leaders. But the cost of that manipulation will outlast any gains.

Does health care need fixing? You bet. Does either side have a proposal that will do that? They do not. Among voters, neither opponents nor supporters of the health care reform proposals even know what’s in the proposals, but we passionately support or oppose them anyway and blame the other side for our ills.