"People say politics is the art of the possible, but they are wrong. Politics is
the art of creating the possible. And what is possible is what people
believe is possible."
Isn't that a great quote?
This is the core mission of progressive advocates. We need to shift the sense of what is possible. Elected officials work to implement policies based on what is perceived to be possible. That's their job. Our job as advocates is to shift what is possible.
The way we do that is by relentlessly refining the way we discuss our proposals so they become more common-sense and less exotic or uncomfortable, as well as constantly earning more supporters for the benefits that our proposals will bring.
The quote came from Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), a great Chicago-based group (who cited a Boston-area nurse for it). I think the language of the proposal (now most commonly known as "Medicare for All" is getting much better than "single-payer health care"), but I think we should also start talking about health insurance reform instead of health care reform. Our health care is largely pretty good. Our health insurance with for-profit companies making billions and denying care to their customers is really bad. Health insurance should be non-profit. That idea resonates with most people, and it helps us politically to drive a language wedge between doctors, nurses, hospitals, patients on one side and for-profit insurance companies on the other. Of course, just saying the government should cover all health insurance instead of for-profit companies and keep all of health care private as it is now takes most of the sting out of "socialized medicine." Few people really care whether the for-profit insurance companies continue to exist, since most people suspect they add no value to our economy.