Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Question Authority

Some recent poll results:


A larger majority (60 percent) say major reform isn’t possible without a tax increase. Indeed 79 percent think their own tax bill will go up if ObamaCare passes.

Most Americans have, it seems, learned not to trust what people in Washington are saying. Often a wise thing. Now if we could just start connecting that idea with the idea that it’s not wise to give people you don’t trust so much power.

Discussions - 8 Comments

According to that same Fox News poll, 51% of Americans think the federal government is responsible for making sure all Americans have health care. I guess they want the oversight but just not the current particular overseers . . . or polls like this are silly. Or both.

People are truly concerned about paying for health care and hope the government can do something about that. They are not sure what, they just know there is nothing any person can do to change (or sometimes even cope with)the "system" as it stands. Modern medicine really is wonderful, given that one hundred years ago and for all time, an infected scratch or a toothache could kill you, not to mention heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, even ulcers or any of the other many afflictions man is given to. Access to such wonderful medicine is highly desirable, but paying for it is not, because, yes, it can be ruinous to stay alive and healthy in some circumstances.

People do not really want major health care reform, they want major health insurance reform and maybe politicians would need to understand more about economics to be able to cope with that. People do not want the government managing their health care, but they sure would like government to manage their medical bills.

I am not saying that is reasonable. Who said it? This might be as impossible to repair politically as Social Security.

The people cowering in terror-fear over terrorists for these past 8 years would seem to me to want expansion of health care coverage. In other words, the fear of suicide bombers that was so crafted and cultivated in them would seem to translated into a fear of being harmed, and thus wanted protection from that, rather than fear of government bureaucrats telling you what procedures to have. Media-constructed Fear (like its cousin, media-constructed outrage) is strange in that it spills out over its assigned borders and attaches to contrary media-constructed themes.But when the field is then saturated it is then easier to be sold fear of media constructed fear and be outraged at all the media constructed outrage, in the little pink houses for you and me.

Here we see how Progressives and classical liberals see the world differently. If a group or a country hates America and had the ability to kill me and my family, that is a threat to my life, and therefore also to my liberty. If the government takes charge of health care, and does so with the same efficiency with which it runs the DMV or the Post office, then I quite possibly won't be able to get the health care I need when I get sick. In particular, it will probably be much harder to get a true second opinion should the government regulate and/ or pay for health care more than it currently does. Similarly it will proably be much harder to get many particular treatments because the government will deem them too costly, or, because they only are for a minority of cases, not worth training doctors to do. Finally, when we the people are all responsible for health care, it becomes my neighbors business if I smoke, how I eat, if I go skiing, etc., because we're all on the hook. The common thread is liberty.


As I understand Progressive thought, it regards such concern with individual liberty and responsibility as an outmoded idea in the world of modern science and large corporations. Better to have the securty of having a government that makes sure your health care gets paid for, rather than risk not being able to have it, even if such a system would, in theory, give me greater choice.

@ ren:

Right, because the difference between the two is only equated with security and well-being in the public mind. There are no longer those oppressive (and passe) things like honor, duty, and country to worry about. Government healthcare, after all, doesn't do anything like redefine a citizen's relationship to the state, and of course the executive was by no means established with foreign policy in mind.

In short, this response is so disingenuous that it is laughable. It reveals such a lack in confidence in the people who make up this republic, as it nearly explicitly says that everyone is swayed by a mindless media, which is simply not true.

Those who speaks of partisanship as if it were unquestionably evil seem to have some ideological agenda in mind and don't think for themselves anyways. They forget that reasonable people can differ over issues, and that this freedom of expression is one of the keystones of our institutions. After all, if every big newsplace delivered disinterested news, none of them would differ and presumably every single outlet would be saying the same exact thing. That to me seems a blasphemy, and at the earliest times in our national history nobody worried about how 'neutral' news was.

To take a foreign policy issue (which no citizen can prevent or predict) and size it up with healthcare (which we have barometers for) and reduce politics to simple well-being seems a banality in my mind. It takes politics and places it on the same plane with science (which claims to make predictions) and acts as if everyone who followed those predictions were only taking a value-neutral stance, when in fact it is often informed by ideology, and is anything but neutral. Science could never explain what was just, to the degree that it actually mattered.

And, those same people who "cowered" in fear of terrorists might also believe that a state-run healthcare system actually decreases their potential well-being. Did that thought ever cross your mind?

We need to just go out to our congressional town halls and laugh the sorry saps of the stage like this

Those who were "cowering" in fear from foreign attacks simply did not read Abraham Lincoln, who, in a speech in 1838, stated

"At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."

Though it is unfortunate it is not surprising that some people reacted the way they did after September 11th. Some may have over-reacted and some may have cowered in fear, as ren believes, but one might infer that Americans simply desired that their government fend off the attacks of a foreign enemy so as to allow for internal security. From this one would obviously see the necessity of a stronger foreign policy stance, given our circumstances in the past decade

Now, however, those Americans who clamored for defense against a foreign foe must deal with the internal tumults inevitable in a free society. Clearly, the "suicide" Lincoln discusses in the speech comes from an abandonment of a true understanding of liberty and the American institutions that were established to protect it. Thankfully, the numbers in the poll seem to indicate that there is still reason to believe that the American people will seek to confine the American government to its proper sphere, and in particular the defense of her citizens, and allow citizens ample liberty to provide for themselves. It seems, therefore, that ren's supposition that Americans who "cower" will cower in all matters, but with a little thought it is simply not so.

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