October 3, 2013

Letter: Citizens acting on their own are not political operatives

— My response to Rep. Tom Graves’ communications director, John Donnelly, and his recent comments concerning the protest that I organized on Wednesday, Sept. 25:

First of all, what “truth” has Rep. Graves spoken about the Affordable Care Act that my group was supposedly “attacking”? Graves continues to claim that Obamacare is something that Americans must be protected from. Yet many feel that he has not fully outlined any truly negative aspects. It is possible that I have misunderstood his position. Does Graves not subscribe to the concept of individual mandates? Though I would disagree, I would definitely not fault him solely for having an opinion. Why, then, has he not been working furiously at the federal level for a law banning auto insurance mandates?

Also, I continue to hear from Graves that Obamacare will force businesses to lay off employees. Those comments make me wonder if the person speaking them has ever heard of supply and demand. Businesses do not arbitrarily lay off employees: They hire or fire them because there is or is not a demand for their product. Unless the demand for a product goes away, businesses will continue to hold on to their employees.

Second, you referenced Georgia’s insurance commissioner, Ralph Hudgens. A secondhand reference of misinformation does not create a truth. Please allow me to remind you that our insurance commissioner, recently filmed pledging to do everything that he could to obstruct the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, is not exactly renowned for his bipartisan practices and probably should not be quoted as a neutral/complete source of information. Why did you not mention that our Republican governor, Nathan Deal, refused to accept the free, multibillion dollar Medicaid expansion that the federal government was offering? (The expansion that would have covered 650,000 low-income Georgians.) It seems disingenuous to only reference half of a fact. All that I have heard thus far are a collection of ad hominems and half-truths.

Finally, in what way am I a “political operative”? I am an 18-year-old college student. I organized the event completely on my own. I do not understand how I, or any other attendee, could possibly be labeled a “political operative.” It seems odd to me that a campaign officer, who is literally paid to repeat what his boss tells him to, would strike out against average citizens who took time off to come protest in the rain by titling them “political operatives.”

Austin Wade