Debate’s Crucial Moment
One word exposed everything
Most Americans may have missed the most crucial moment in the October 7 debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. Moderator Tom Brokaw asked a question that was submitted by a citizen: “Is health care in America a privilege, a right, or a responsibility?”
“I think it’s a responsibility, in this respect, in that we should have available and affordable health care to every American citizen, to every family member. And with the plan that — that I have, that will do that.
“But government mandates I — I’m always a little nervous about. But it is certainly my responsibility. It is certainly small-business people and others, and they understand that responsibility. American citizens understand that. Employers understand that. In his response, Obama dropped the neutron bomb of American politics:
“Well, I think it should be a right for every American. In a country as wealthy as ours, for us to have people who are going bankrupt because they can’t pay their medical bills — for my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”
Notice Obama’s wording: “I think it should be *a right *for every American.”
This was the most chilling statement of this entire presidential election because it was slipped in so casually, which is the stock tactic of socialism. And because this is a total corruption of what it means to have “rights” in the first place.
The word “right” is at the heart of the historical debate about what freedom means. Our Founding Fathers decided that in order to create the underpinnings of a truly free nation, they needed to define what our “rights” are. And although most people think they are written in our Constitution, they originate in what is called Natural Law or God’s Law as espoused in various forms by the Ancient Greeks, Cicero, John Locke and the Founders of America.
And while many Americans believe that the Bill of Rights – in which our “rights” of free speech, assembly, religion, self-defense (to own a firearm) and others are delineated – is the core of our Constitution, that is untrue. The Bill of Rights was added afterward.
The original 1787 Constitution was simply a workaday description of how a three-part government, defined by John Adams, was to function, with checks and balances built into it in order to create a constitutional republic with freely-elected representatives doing the work of the free people.
The freedom of speech, assembly, worship etc. was added as a restatement of what the Founders knew to be the true basis for our freedoms. Those rights are rare in the world, and the reason they are referred to as “God given” is because it is known that only a benevolent and loving God grants such rights to man, because man himself historically has mistreated his fellow man.
The Founders knew that once a people have been guaranteed those real “rights” – whether written or assumed – that they then can proceed in an orderly fashion to provide themselves with their material “needs” – housing, gasoline, food, cars and even health care.
Housing, gasoline, food, cars and health care are not rights! They are needs!And for Obama to substitute the word “right” for “need” marks the beginning of the end of freedom.
Because once “needs” become “rights”, then the converse also begins to happen – “rights” are reduced to mere “needs” or, worse, they become less significant than “needs”. And this is the heart of worldwide socialism: The destruction of individual rights and the empowerment of the government to provide “needs”.
When you allow your right to free speech and assembly to be subsumed by your need for housing and health care, then tyranny ensues. And this type of socialism appeals to weak and inattentive people who will trade away their rights for needs, while freedom is maintained only by those vigilant enough to fight for genuine rights above all else.
But then the naïve among us ask: Will not the benevolent government at least provide our needs like health care?
And even the answer to that is clearly no. After your “rights” are lost, then you have no freedom even to provide for your own needs, but instead become dependent on a dictatorial government. And that same government can never provide for the citizens’ “needs” because history has shown that absolute governments are absolutely corrupt, and they always allow their people to slide into starvation and misery.
Notice how Brokaw’s question was framed: “Is health care in America a privilege, a right, or a responsibility?”
This was very carefully worded by a partisan. Because when the questioner wondered if health care is a “privilege”, that word was intended to arouse the indignation of most people who would huff disdainfully, “Of course it is not a privilege! Health care is for all! Anyone can get sick!”
Asked if it is a “responsibility”, McCain fell right into that trap, responding, “But it is certainly my responsibility. It is certainly small-business people and others, and they understand that responsibility. American citizens understand that. Employers understand that.”
So one might ask Senator McCain: Since when is one person’s needs another person’s responsibility?
And the answer is that under socialism, it always is, through mandatory taxation and government programs. In a free society, however, it may become another person’s responsibility if that other person so decides, like an employer providing a job; a private or religious charity offering aid; or a citizen freely donating to that charity. That is what freedom means.
Notice that the question never asked whether health care is a “need”.
Liberals wish to socialize our nation beginning with health care because health care focuses on the physical well-being of people who become sick. So Obama was quick to use the emotional anecdote about his mother. Look at what he said:
“In a country as wealthy as ours, for us to have people who are going bankrupt because they can’t pay their medical bills — for my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”
Of course, all American sympathize with that case. But Obama was using it to imply that America is wealthy enough to give everything to everybody, starting with health care. And the story about his mother was intended to put people off guard with its gut appeal. The media are full of these stories. And they certainly are true.
The liberal prescription will never work, however. State socialism never provides for one group without taking from another group. And ultimately, socialist “solutions” disempower and impoverish many more people than they help. Go to any communist nation and see the truth.
Our health care system certainly is imperfect. But even according to the most dire statistics from the liberal left, 46 million people are uninsured. That means that 85% of Americans have health care. And of the 15% who don’t have health care, many millions are ignorant and lazy and deserve nothing. Many of the rest are made poor by state socialism as overzealous taxation, regulation, bureaucracy, corruption, labor unions and environmental rules kill jobs and wealth.
Under the bureaucracy of a government-run system – which is Obama’s real goal – the majority 85% will be forced into an inferior system, while those 46 million will become part of the same bad system. And that is the greatest travesty of all.
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