To the editor:
“Yankee Doodle,” was sung by the Redcoats in the late 1700s to deride New England colonists who sought independence from England, but the “Yanks” embraced the song, and the term “Yankee” became positive rather than negative for Americans. Decades later, when the U.S. entered World War I to help the Allies, our troops went overseas singing: “The Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming.”
In our day, opponents of the Affordable Health Care Act seized on the term “Obamacare” to denounce and deride the program. On Thursday, the Republican candidate for president declared that if elected he would repeal “Obamacare.”
Opponents could have called the health reform law “Tax-Us Care” or “Cheat-Us Care” or some other derisive term. But, in their anger and frustrations, opponents chose to connect health care reform personally and inextricably to the president.
In my opinion that was serious marketing and branding blunder.
Years from now, the term “Obamacare,” like the term “Yankee” may have a very positive connotation for most people. It may become a term of approbation for much-needed 21st century health care reform.
Barack Obama’s opponents, in derision, stuck his name to health care reform. They wanted it to be an epithet. Years from now people may well be warning politicians “keep your hands off my Obamacare.”