Minnesota Officials Use Paul Bunyan To Strong-Arm Public Opinion On Obamacare
August 20, 2013 by Sam Rolley
According to legend, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Big Blue Ox cleared North Dakota of its forests and dug Lake Superior with nothing but willpower and sweat. But now, Mr. Bunyan has the even more arduous task of convincing Americans that Obamacare isn’t a scam on his hands.
Of course, this time his will have $9 million in taxpayer money to help.
Minnesota officials have launched a massive awareness campaign to get people to sign up for its new Obamacare insurance program, using the likenesses of Bunyan and Babe to encourage people to sign up.
The ads feature the folklore legends enduring a number of injury-riddled mishaps for which they’ll need medical care and insurance, but never actually mention Obamacare.
Critics of the ad campaign say the effort is both a massive waste of money and damaging to Bunyan’s image.
“The biggest travesty here is that $9 million of taxpayer money has been spent coming up with Paul Bunyan and Babe,” Minnesota GOP Representative Peggy Scott said.
Of course, the roots of the Bunyan legend may make him a better fit for convicting Americans to embrace Obamacare than you might think.
Via the Wisconsin Historical Society:
[B]efore they were printed, the Bunyan tales had a long oral tradition. From the 1880s through 1910 they were often improvised aloud in logging camps by groups of veteran lumberjacks to test the gullibility of new recruits. Some of the stories were also intended to intimidate the novice loggers, most of whom were teenagers fresh from the farm or the city, by exaggerating the dangers of extreme winter conditions or mythical forest beasts.
Still, Scott thinks there is a better Wisconsin legend for the job.
“I’m thinking go back to Bob Dylan. He’s a folklore guy, right? And he has a song called ‘Everything Is Broken.’ I think that might be more appropriate,” Scott said.