"Government Health Care is not about health care; It's about Government." So reads the last line of Mark Steyn's latest brilliant article, which I strongly suggest that everyone read. He's right, of course, but I'd go even a step further. It's not just about government, it's about a mindset and a freedom-squashed way of life. Once the government becomes more than just a safety net, becomes instead a catch-all stifling protective bubble, it kills freedom and the individual. At it's core, freedom is meant to be risky. It isn't safe; it's just free.
Health care control is how the left intends to achieve their ultimate goals. They looked to Britain, for example, and saw that government health care was the key to total control. Make everything "for the common good". Protect people from everything, even from themselves and you make them so dependent upon you that they will bend to your every will and you can further your agenda with little resistance. This is difficult, if not impossible, to change once the mindset is ingrained. Elections alone won't do it. Steyn points that out here:
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. The short history of the post-war welfare state is that you don't need a president-for-life if you've got a bureaucracy-for-life: The people can elect "conservatives," as the Germans have done and the British are about to do, and the Left is mostly relaxed about it because, in all but exceptional cases (Thatcher), they fulfill the same function in the system as the first-year boys at wintry English boarding schools who, for tuppence-ha'penny or some such, would agree to go and warm the seat in the unheated lavatories until the prefects strolled in and took their rightful place.
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.
OK, 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?
This is why Erick Erickson is correct when he calls Democrats, willing to throw themselves on the proverbial grenade by voting for the health care bill, "health care suicide bombers." It's accurate because, to them, it isn't about health care itself; it's about ideology and statist utopian dreams. Hopeandchange (tm) sounded pretty and all, but it was really about fundamental change of our entire Country and the principles upon which it was founded. Once socialized medicine is in place, the fundamental change will occur and, as Steyn pointed out above, it will be next to impossible to roll-back. Remember, it took decades to merely reform welfare a tiny bit and even that didn't really stick. The entitlement mentality was already starting to reign King. Add health care to that mix, and it becomes despotic.
Steyn explains that further here:
Look at it from the Dems' point of view. You pass Obamacare. You lose the 2010 election, which gives the GOP co-ownership of an awkward couple of years. And you come back in 2012 to find your health care apparatus is still in place, a fetid behemoth of toxic pustules oozing all over the basement, and, simply through the natural processes of government, already bigger and more expensive and more bureaucratic than it was when you passed it two years earlier. That's a huge prize, and well worth a midterm timeout.
I've been bandying comparisons with Britain and France, but that hardly begins to convey the scale of it. Obamacare represents the government annexation of "one-sixth of the U.S. economy" – i.e., the equivalent of the entire British or French economy, or the entire Indian economy twice over. Nobody has ever attempted this level of centralized planning for an advanced society of 300 million people. Even the control-freaks of the European Union have never tried to impose a unitary "comprehensive" health care system from Galway to Greece. The Soviet Union did, of course, and we know how that worked out.
It's worth it to them. And we need only look to Britain to see the dire consequences if it occurs. It wasn't even so much the Socialized medicine itself, but rather the way it insidiously set in place a total mindset. Health care was the cornerstone in changing an entire way of life; of making people completely and utterly dependent, even for their lives, upon Big Daddy Government. It is pervasive and takes over every aspect of life; a life that is no longer truly free. It's that actual mindset that we *must* beat and socialized medicine is the way they are seeking to cement it. For them, in order to seal the statist deal, they need to squash the individual and control behavior. Health care is the means to that end; it's for "the common good."
While it's hard to repeal or change laws, as we well know, it is near impossible to change such a pervasive mindset. This is made harder by the fact that the entitlement mentality mindset has been working it's way into our culture for decades, aided by the Press and our education system. Right now, we are at the precipice, but have been maintaining our footing somewhat. But, socialized medicine, I fear, would push us off that edge. I've seen it first-hand, or, rather second-hand. My entire family on my Mom's side lives in Scotland. They all now honestly believe that the government is meant to provide all and take care of everything. For the common good and all. Notice, it's never for the individual's good, but only for the "collective" good. An important distinction if there ever was one.
What has happened here in America is something that De Tocqueville foresaw when he said "Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom." You see, people have forgotten or they choose to forget, that equal opportunity does not magically guarantee effortless equal results. Nor is it meant to. Our republic was built as a testament to the human condition of free will. It allows for unlimited success and, with that, sometimes comes failure. That, taking risks, is the mother of invention and what has made us what we are today.
The modern day Progressive seeks to inhibit that. While they claim to be oh-so-tolerant and open-minded and while they profess the freedom of individuality mantra, they are actually the ones who seek to silence any thought and opinions that differ from their own tunnel-visioned view of the World. With all their talk of enlightenment and evolution, they are literally De-volving and are actually moving against basic, innate human nature and what used to be a penchant to strive for success. They symbolize the antithesis of that. In diametric opposition to natural instinct, they seek to turn individual success and enterprise into a punishment. Into a failure. They seek to turn the individual into a part of a mediocre pack. They hope to turn us into their Useful Idiots by seizing final control in a way that will not just be a slippery slope, but a patch of black ice leading to the curtailing of almost all of our individual liberties.
The health care bill must die now. We can't chance that anyone will have the fortitude or the ability to repeal it once it is in place. It will be too late. If we don't, the once Shining City on the Hill will, tragically, lose its luster when it becomes the "Government approved Shine" only. We must ensure that The Shining City on the Hill will remain full of luster and not be irrevocably tarnished by a Government willing to suppress the rights of its people.