“Congress has never before required citizens to purchase any good or service, but that is what both House and Senate health bills would mandate.” With these words, Donald Lambro of the Washington Times reports the unprecedented destruction of liberty that is the real aim of the Obama faction’s so-called health-care plan. Because most Americans have never thought much about the doctrine of unalienable rights that has until now been the presumed basis for America’s form of government, the politicians and the controlled media may get away with treating the central goal of the health sector takeover as a secondary issue. Such ignorance-induced nonchalance won’t change the devastating new reality that will emerge if the Obama faction’s totalitarian philosophy of government is allowed to stand.
To convince the public of the “urgent need” for a comprehensive reorganization of administration and finance in the health sector, the new totalitarians held up the plight of the 10 percent or so of Americans without health insurance. Though opponents of their totalitarian ideology frequently pointed out that as many as half of this 10 percent voluntarily forego health insurance, the Obama totalitarians went on acting as if such people didn’t exist, or their existence didn’t affect the urgent need for government action.
It now becomes apparent that depriving these people of their liberty was all along the real aim of the exercise. They become the precedent for the transformation of government prerogative that represents the decisive imposition of totalitarian control. What begins with the pretense of government doing good for people ends in the reality of government forcing them to do what those who happen to wield government power decide is good for them.
This suggests that the people who voted these totalitarians into office, and who still believe in their good intentions, need to consider the implications of some of the items included on their list of necessary goods. They might begin with the one that has become the sine qua non of their notion of “rights,” the right of women to have access to abortions. If in the overall scheme of things, access to health care translates into forcing people to buy health insurance against their will (after all, it’s good for them), what prevents the same logic from being applied to access to abortion? The Obama types argue strenuously that access to abortion is a positive good. Indeed, they contend that it must be considered a necessity for women in certain circumstances: women too poor to afford a child, too burdened already to care for an additional child, too young to do so or too distressed by emotional and other difficulties, and so forth. Because of their circumstances, such women can’t handle the responsibility the child represents. When they fail to do so, society must bear the cost in terms of bloated welfare rolls, crime and other liabilities.
Once we stretch the meaning of the General Welfare and Interstate Commerce clauses of the Constitution to include forcing people to buy health insurance, what will prevent the same logic from being used to force women in these circumstances to buy abortions? John Holdren, one of Obama’s key White House appointees, has already “argued in a college textbook that compulsory government-mandated ‘green abortions’ would be a constitutionally acceptable way to control population growth and prevent ecological disasters.” The supposedly compassionate pleas for access to health care were cover for the aim of forcing some people to buy health insurance they don’t want, and others to pay for providers of health insurance they have chosen not to patronize. (That’s the real effect of the language that allows states to “opt out” of the government-controlled health scheme. People in the states that do will be taxed to pay for it anyway.) By the same token, will the supposedly compassionate pleas for access to abortion services provide cover for the aim of forcing women in certain circumstances to murder their children, and forcing all of us to pay for the government institutions that coerce them into doing so?
Of course, the so-called “right” to murder our offspring is just the most controversial of the goods the new totalitarians mean to offer us. People have a right to a job so they can earn a living, which obviously implies the need for government institutions that coerce them to accept a job at whatever the government determines to be a living wage. People have the right to shelter, which obviously implies the need for government institutions that coerce them to accept shelter in what the government deems to be acceptable conditions. People have the right to nutrition, which obviously implies the need for government institutions that dictate a nutritional diet and enforce healthy eating habits. People have the right to live in a world free of pollution and the threat of catastrophic climate change, so government must control business and economic activity to curtail their harmful effects on the ecosystem.
People have the right to live in an emotional environment free of attitudes or words that imply disapproval of their sexual behavior, their rejection of God, their discomfort with outward displays of religious faith or worship, so the government must repress such thoughts, such behavior and such expressions of opinion.
Given all the goods they offer us with their new understanding of “rights,” I suppose the next clause of the Constitution these new totalitarians will use to justify their power grab will be the one that speaks of securing the blessings of liberty. What they will fail to add of course is that, at the price of securing them, our liberty will be replaced by total government control. It’s like that old saw about your cake. You can’t have the blessings of liberty and keep it too. Only Americans get to do that.