Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tyranny and Liberty

From Prof. Bainbridge:
Democratic pollsters Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen reflect on polling data about Obamacare and the broader issue of government intrusion into the private sphere:
[A] solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan. Four-fifths of those who oppose the plan strongly oppose it, according to Rasmussen polling this week, while only half of those who support the plan do so strongly. Many more Americans believe the legislation will worsen their health care, cost them more personally and add significantly to the national deficit. Never in our experience as pollsters can we recall such self-deluding misconstruction of survey data.
Yet, the Democrats seem bound and determined to ram Obamacare down our throats no matter what the cost.
And yet, Jefferson's supposed political descendants celebrate because they think we're going to continue down the road towards a Bismarkian nanny state that runs our lives from cradle to grave (at best):
When people look back from 2060 on the creation of the American welfare state, they’ll say that FDR, LBJ, and BHO were its main architects, with Roosevelt enshrining the principle of universal social insurance into law and Obama completing the initial promise of the New Deal.
I'm afraid Yglesias might be right, except for one thing. Obamcare isn't a completion. It's a camel's nose. Or should I say, Leviathan's nose?

I vehemently disagree with the methods of V, from whom I've taken the titular quote. But the quote is a paraphrase of a much older one from none other than Thomas Jefferson himself:
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
It's time to make the statists in Washington fear for their jobs. Scott Brown's win was a good start. Now we need to double down in November.(links in original omitted)
Interestingly, I had a short discussion about health care with a couple of clients today. I am not sure there are the votes for the bill and the popular reaction doesn't seem to be sinking in amongst the leadership.

Ours is a government that derives its powers from the consent of the governed. Almost without significant exception, our laws to date have been premised on the notion of denying someone the ability to do a thing because it either a). violates some moral principal that the country holds dear (i.e. theft) or b). violates another person's rights (think trespass).

If this monstrosity is passed into law, the health care bill will in essence be the first federal law that mandates, backed by the force of law and penalty of law, persons act in a specific way. If you don't buy health insurance that is qualified and certified by the government, you will be fined.

See the difference? Previously government said "you CANNOT do x,y, or z because your freedom impinges on others." The health care bill says, "you MUST do x,y, or z otherwise you are violating a law your freedom be damned." The general mindset is very different, one is a prohibition, the other is a compulsion.

It is important to understand the difference and I fear that too many Congressional Democrats don't but I think a growing majority of Americans do. But before the Democrats can pay the price, we have to pay the price.

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