Some pundits are drawing comparisons between our current political climate and that of America just before the civil war. They’re wrong.
This isn’t 1859. It’s 1775.
A government is a reflection of its people. At the founding, Americans saw freedom as a birthright. To protect that freedom, they designed an accountable government tethered by negative rights and constrained by competing powers. For the past century, Americans have been surrendering, little by little, their freedom for a little promised comfort. A century from now, the emergence of the tea party movement will be seen as one of two things: the death throes of liberty or the moment when Americans began to remember who they were.
If Obamacare is implemented in a second Obama administration, America will never recover. Once an entitlement is granted, it’s impossible to take away. By 2016, the word “repeal” will be considered politically toxic. Some insufferable moderate Republican of the future will label our current insufferable moderates as “right-wing.” Somehow the new normal is always to the left of where we were yesterday.
So what happens?
Two American versions of socialized medicine already exist. We can take a peek into our future by looking at the Veterans Administration and Indian reservations. Despite wonderful, faithful volunteers, the VA is forever undermanned and underfunded. Soldiers get worse waiting in long lines for essential surgery and treatment. Every few years, Americans are horrified by stories revealing how poorly we treat our vets. As for our Native American friends, they have a saying on the reservation that encapsulates their dilemma: Don’t get sick after June.
In brief, neither system can meet its patients’ needs, so they have to ration care. And with government-run anything, bigger is worse.
But that’s just health care. Independence is at stake. Half our citizens now receive some form of government assistance. And President Obama wants to help a whole lot more. His administration is advertising the dietary benefits of food stamps. He wants to pay off America’s mortgages. He wants to buy our cars, insulate our homes, pay for our educations. Barack Obama believes in what he’s doing. He thinks the dismal, pathetic Life of Julia is good enough for Americans. He wants more of our citizens on the government dole. Why? Because dependent people are easier to manage. If he’s re-elected, the mandates won’t end at health insurance.
As a nation with 50% of its citizens on the government dole, we’re about to make a decision. We have two options: one active, one passive. Without radical action, our current nanny-state inertia will choose our future for us. The active option is to kick the tea party into hyper-drive and elect Republicans. Once they’re in office, we have to hound them incessantly to cut spending, slash programs, balance the budget and reduce the deficit. There’s no coasting after a successful election. The mission lasts forever. As George Washington said, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
Sadly, this decision can’t be put off for another day. Once 55% of the country is dependent on the government, our trajectory is fixed. Majorities don’t vote away “free” money.
We’re at the tipping point of vast societal change. Another Obama term would tip the balance, and there’s no going back.