Karl Marx famously stated that religion was the "opiate of the masses". But Marx (unsurprisingly) had it wrong: the government nanny state is the real opiate of the masses. It is injected into our lives by the Leftist drug pushers who wish to control us, hook us on their DC-manufactured "progressivism", and depend upon them for all of our needs. They know that once we're hooked, we like it. We may not want to like it, because we know it's really wrong to have such a dependency upon government. But we can't help ourselves. There's all that free stuff, just waiting for us to swallow it and make us feel good.
Today, many are rightfully up in arms about the looming disaster that is health care socialization. During the run-up to this catastrophe, many focused on the so-called "public option" and how evil it would be to have a single-payer or government health care provider (a'la the British NHS) system. But the "public option" was not the real problem - it is a government takeover of a vast swath of the American economy and the theft of freedom to choose whether we wish to be under the thumb of Big Brother. The Democrat drug lords are trying to get us to sample yet a stronger dope. What happens if this legislation passes? Will we have the will-power to resist? Or will we take a hit and find that we like it...and beg for more and more?
This past week, Mark Steyn made a critical point about the motivation of the Democrats in passing this healthcare bill. It has little to do with healthcare and much to do with government intrusion in our lives. As Steyn states, the Democrats are out to establish a "permanent left-of-center political culture." Since 2008, we have made much of how the USA is still a "center-right" nation. The Left knows that. They don't like it. They know that we are not hooked enough on their political philosophy. While entitlements drive over half of the United States budget, those entitlements are largely focused on senior citizens, with Social Security and Medicare. That population, while hugely influential in elections, is not the majority. Once health care is socialized, the rest of us very well could fall under the drug-induced intoxication of entitlement.
Steyn cites the example of Canada:
A year or two back, when the Canadian Islamic Congress attempted to criminalize my writing north of the border by taking me to the Canadian “human rights” commission, a number of outraged American readers wrote to me saying, “You need to start kicking up a fuss about this, Steyn, and then maybe Canadians will get mad and elect a conservative government that will end this nonsense.”
Makes perfect sense. Except that Canada already has a Conservative government under a Conservative prime minister, and the very head of the “human rights” commission investigating me was herself the Conservative appointee of a Conservative minister of justice. Makes no difference. Once the state swells to a certain size, the people available to fill the ever expanding number of government jobs will be statists — sometimes hard-core Marxist statists, sometimes social-engineering multiculti statists, sometimes fluffily “compassionate” statists, but always statists. ...
But you say "Bill, we're going to have this thing repealed if they pass it!!" Really? When has the GOP ever repealed a single government program...especially with a Democrat POTUS? If you think the "Health Care Summit" was a Democrat sob-story-fest, just wait until the Democrats start accusing the GOP of trying to remove life support from defenseless children. Repeal will not be easy. It will require the Republicans to a) get the majority, and b) have the guts to pass legislation that forces Obama to accept elimination of funding for the ReidPeloBamaCare package.
On the repeal topic, Steyn says:
Republicans are good at keeping the seat warm. A bigtime GOP consultant was on TV crowing that Republicans wanted the Dems to pass Obamacare because it’s so unpopular it will guarantee a GOP sweep in November. Okay, then what? You’ll roll it back — like you’ve rolled back all those other unsustainable entitlements premised on cobwebbed actuarial tables from 80 years ago? Like you’ve undone the federal Department of Education and of Energy and all the other nickel ’n’ dime novelties of even a universally reviled one-term loser like Jimmy Carter? Andrew McCarthy concluded a shrewd analysis of the political realities thus: “Health care is a loser for the Left only if the Right has the steel to undo it. The Left is banking on an absence of steel. Why is that a bad bet?”
It's not a bad bet, especially given the utterly spineless GOP leadership that is in place today. This is why numerous diaries on Redstate have excoriated GOP leaders such as Sen. Mitch McConnell for their lack of testicular fortitude.
And it is not just the GOP leadership at fault. It is also the American people themselves. We have allowed ourselves to become addicted to governmental freebies. We suck down rebates on home loans and "cash for clunkers." We send our kids to government schools. And there is nary a single politician in the post-GWB GOP who appears willing to put their neck on the chopping block to try to remedy the real problem - the out-of-control spending on Medicare and Social Security. Why? Because the aforementioned senior citizens - the most faithful voting bloc, and who are highly dependent on the entitlement crack - would crucify them. But who can blame them? They are in a tight spot - the nanny state promised to take care of them, give them a nice monthly check and cheap/free health care in return for their dependency. It would be tough to pull the rug out now. But we must explore ways to fix this, or the economy will implode beneath the weight of this entitlement drug.
The Dems are apparently willing to take huge losses in order to promote their ideology. They are simply expanding the scope of this self-interest, nanny-state-hooked attitude. It's quite possible that once healthcare socialization passes, the remainder of the nation may be well on the way to addiction.
Several Redstate diarists and commenters have riffed on Steyn's main point:
...government health care is not about health care, it’s about government. Once you look at it that way, what the Dems are doing makes perfect sense. For them.
This is about Democrat ideology. It's about gaining permanent control over the thinking and attitudes of Americans. It's about pushing an addiction to the crack cocaine of government handouts and a government nanny state. They want Americans to want to be coddled and babied and taken care of.
We see a similar scenario in the Bible. In 1 Samuel 8, Israel approaches Samuel and tells him that they want a king.
19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."
God was not fond of that idea, but like when the Israelites demanded meat, he decided to give them what they asked, so they would learn their lesson.
Many of us have already learned our lessons. Conservatives know that the drug that the Democrats are peddling is dangerous. This likely explains the significant opposition to ReidPeloBamaCare - there are more Americans who are conservatives than liberals or moderates, and those Conservatives oppose this further shift towards turning the United States into an oversized crack house. Yet the Democrats carry on, because they are convinced that their way is the right way.
It is incumbent upon us to fight. It is not inevitable that the Democrats will win this. It is apparent from the polls that Americans have not yet succumbed to their addiction - a clear majority opposes the nanny-state-takeover of health care. Conservatives know what is good for them and what will be beneficial for them and for the nation in the long run. We must continue to battle the Democrat drug lords in Congress and in the Oval Office.
So: take action! READ THIS, find your Congressperson's phone number, pick up the phone and call their office to voice your opposition to this abomination.
Just say "no" to Barack Obama's nanny-state healthcare crack.