Step Back And Look At The Big Picture
by Larry Perrault on September 29, 2009 at 11:18 AM
I’m glad a post was put up to focus specifically on Democratic actions to deny the possibility of Americans to review a health care bill before it is voted on. Frankly, as has become the standard of late, even the legislators themselves don’t want to get bogged down in the messy details of what they are voting on, EVEN IF IT IS THE LARGEST DOMESTIC RESTRUCTURING IN THE COUNTRY’S HISTORY, DEALING WITH THE MOST PERSONAL OF ISSUES: LITERALLY LIFE AND DEATH!
Democrats have also voted down Republican amendments to guarantee exactly those things that like transparency, Barack Obama has assured us of, such as, “if you like your current plan, you can keep it,” or prohibiting coverage for non-citizens. But, let’s look at these actions in the larger context of Congressional actions of the last year, suggesting a hubris and detachment from the American people (their bosses, remember) and the US Constitution. Assuming the actions are unconstitutional, immoral, and destructive of American society (we’re clear on that, right? I am), why are Democrats behaving this way?
As with most liberal policy efforts, there are two possible explanations of their motivations. To assert either one of them assertively is truthfully beyond what I can personally know and unconstructive to pursue. But logically, one or the other is true if the actions are wrong. Either it’s about the accumulation of power and stature or it reflects an ideological removal from the hard facts of reality. No doubt to some extent both are true, and I’m confident that the latter is more common among voters and the former more common among politicians and strategists (maybe the divide is closer to the middle among writers and commenters?)
Anyway, I’ve long said that we should focus much less on the motivations and much more on the flaws of statist proposals. Whatever the motivation, these ideas will not work. They will only multiply the problems for a self-perpetuating government to tackle. And the restraint on industry will actually reduce revenue, which will demand higher taxes to pay the bills accrued. We’ve watched the perfect experiment in liberalism. Our largest state is flat broke. Evidently that is no warning to a federal government that can print currency. But, they can chase all wealth production from the country. This is no problem for a liberalism that is an ideological abstraction from reality. The Soviet Union collapsed for a reason.
Yes, American government has flouted The Constitution before, in fact to some degree with regularity in the decades of my lifetime, and frankly not only Democratic office-holders. But today it does so with breathtaking speed and to an unprecedented degree. And, it is done with the urgency repeatedly justified by scares of dire consequences and with dramatically little of the transparency promised in Obama’s campaign. There’s supposedly no time for studying or even reading the legislation: the sky is falling! And politicians, especially presidents, always take credit for the creation of jobs that are created by free people investing resources, planning, and effort.
When moving his agenda, Ronald Reagan rightly said that government does best by staying out of the way of the people. But besides Joe Biden’s comical claims of the remarkable success of an over 800 billion dollar supposed “stimulus” bill and a nearly incomprehensible canyon of deficit, Obama has established a new baseless brag to which there is no factual response beyond, “Oh, please!” After the nation has lost 2.5 million jobs since the stimulus package was passed, Obama looks into the camera and brassily asserts into the microphone that the government’s work has “saved or created” millions of jobs. Wow. Disprove that one! If we’ve lost 2.5 million jobs, obviously we would have lost a lot more without “our work.” It’s a nice test: if you buy that one, you are entranced. Had thrills up your leg, lately?
The question we must ask is, “What will Americans do?" "Who will revere American liberty and the marvels it can produce?" Already America has been freighted with an unprecedented and barely comprehensible debt that will burden and constrain the potential of the unknown generations of our posterity. Private legal contracts are rewritten with government taking up substantial and even controlling interest in large commercial companies. We have now passed months in discussion of the degree to which the federal government will impose upon the provision and delivery of medical care to our families and assumedly generations to come which are the most important services we seek: literally up to life and death.
And, we are also in discussion of massive taxation of energy consumption, the cost of which will bear heavily on everything we do and consume, which of course will be quite less. I think we discuss this as a response to a fabricated scare of what I call a secular apocalypse, for the sake of a new government revenue stream. To me, it seems quite reasonable to ask if such straying from principle is not at all unexpected from a country that has now for 35 years, stewed in the presumption of a “constitutional right” to destroy the life of its own conception. But, even if you believe in impending environmental disaster and/or believe as I do not that all of these things were good or necessary, it is certain that there is one thing that they are not: they are not descriptive of or consistent with America’s original and core values that have produced the greatest prosperity and innovation that the world has ever seen. For those of us who believe none of that, is it our highest aspiration to for example, turn away federal government intrusion into health care, only to return some years hence to argue the matter once again?
What will America do? Were the impositions relatively severe for America’s founders who declared their independence and pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred Honor? Are you sure? What do you think they would have thought of the British crown demanding 30, 40 or 50% of their income or more, just to look after…you know… "necessities?" Are we today so bathed in our iPhones, television programs, games, and drive-through food that we cannot gather the courage to stop lying down and arrest our decline? There is mention of states declaring their sovereignty and deference under the 10th Amendment and refusing to submit to some of these things. And at what point do we recognize that America’s greatness is not in geography or ethnicity but in an ideal, and in today’s political domain, that ideal is being euthanized? Is there fortitude to be found to stand up for it? One way or another, haven’t we an obligation to lift up an ideal for a time when circumstances are insufferable? Doesn’t that ideal that is, at this point, all but forgotten merit a fresh statement and potential seed? Doesn’t humanity deserve that?
If all of the esteemed experts on social administration are correct in their prescriptions and actions, then surely such an experiment would be doomed to failure among the societies of the world, right? Ask yourself this: how many thinkers and powers of the world in the 18th century would have predicted that that group of English rebels in The New World would in less than 150 years rise to the top among the world’s powers? Was it their pedigree? Was it their land? Was it their connections? No. It was their liberty and their form of constitutional government. I ask again: Don’t we owe to our progeny, to humanity, and even to God (in the old patriotic song “America,” the “author of liberty,”) to assert and revere that standard afresh?