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.
Republicans need to fight and fight to win. To be honest, the odds are against us. To have any chance, we need to begin with a reality check.
We always lose. Conservatism has a pristine losing streak for the last hundred years. Pristine. This must be understood. One of the biggest and most repeated lies about politics is that Democrats capitulate to Republicans. In the past three months, every late-night host has joked about Obama and his progressives caving into their GOP masters. That has never happened. Not once. For two reasons, Democrats always win: 1) because elected Republicans are wimps, cowards and/or idiots — usually all three; and 2) because the Democrats have a secret trick.
Here’s how it works.
Sally the Democrat wants to teach sign language to baby seals. She asks Bob the Republican for $8 billion to fund a pilot program. Before he can answer, Sally calls Bob a heartless baby seal-hating Nazi sympathizer. Bob publicly denies the charges. He then praises Sally’s program as a worthy cause and asks if she can get by with $2 billion. Sally settles begrudgingly with Bob for $4 billion.
And we let the Democrats call this compromise.
The government always grows. New programs crop up. Old programs get bigger. Inch by inch, billion by billion, Washington Republicans have been capitulating forever. In the battle for limited government, the GOP is filled with weak stewards. The road ends in serfdom unless Republican voters demand something different from their elected leaders.
Many Republicans were counting on Obamacare being struck down. It seemed a sure thing. The law was immensely unpopular. Its mandate was repellant, foreign and an obvious assault on individual liberty. In oral arguments, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli revealed himself to be a double agent, coughing and stammering his way to catastrophe in a pitiful defense of the law. And to put a cherry on top, Justice Kennedy asked all the right questions.
Many were certain of the outcome. Nearly everything else this president has attempted has failed in dramatic fashion. Over the past three years, Barack Obama’s Change Leviathan has been so clumsy, faltering and poorly managed — the signature of big government — that another failure seemed a sure thing. Most conservatives were shocked by the ruling. All were horrified. But as odious as the Supreme Court’s decision is, it will be providential if it reignites American passion for individual liberty.
Nothing is cresting over the horizon. The point of no return is not approaching. It’s here. It’s now. It’s victory or death time. Ronald Reagan said that freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. Like it or not, if you’re reading this, you’re that generation. The duty is yours and if you fail, your children’s America will be a faint and doddering shadow of the land of opportunity you once knew.
Sound the trumpets. Load for bear.
Yates Walker is a conservative activist and writer. Before becoming involved in politics, he served honorably as a paratrooper and a medic in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. He can be reached at email@example.com.