At the New York Daily News, Michael Cohen presents the strongest form of a talking point liberals have thus far been cautious about deploying: Obama had to lie to us, for our own good, to bring us the wonder and glory of ObamaCare.
In selling the health-care plan that bears his name, President Obama has, according to the fact-checking website Politifact, said at least 34 times that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” That statement was not completely true, and it’s a lie that is today causing the President no end of political headaches.
Still, before we fully castigate the President for his rhetorical flights of fancy, it’s important to keep in mind that Obama was — to a large degree — telling Americans what they wanted to hear. In fact, he was giving them the type of comforting assurances they insist upon getting before backing any major policy change from Washington.
Americans regularly express dissatisfaction with the status quo and demand political change. But at the same time, they recoil at any reform that affects them directly.
"Not completely true" is left-wing code for "lied through his teeth over 30 times, on video." But the rest of the argument is easy enough to understand, especially once Cohen gets down to the brass tacks of "benevolent" tyranny, explaining that Obama couldn't be honest about how many people would lose their insurance plans because stupid, selfish, short-sighted Americans would never have voluntarily submitted to his scheme:
Acknowledging that reality would have been the honest thing to do. So would asking healthier and wealthier Americans to sacrifice for the greater good of ensuring every American have health-care coverage.
But doing so would have opened Obama and his democratic allies up to the charge that Obamacare would lead to widespread dislocations — and made the path to reform that much politically harder to traverse.
That's totalitarianism, straight up with no chaser. The brilliant geniuses who brought you ObamaCare are so much greater and wiser than the peons! Foolish little people cannot appreciate the majestic power of central planning, which by definition is created by the very smartest people ever... so they cannot be given a chance to vote on it. They must be ruled, for their own good, by an elite with the moral license to tell any lies necessary to get the next Great Leap Forward underway.
The pitiful failure of the ObamaCare circus makes this all sound like a joke, but rest assured these people are deadly serious, and completely unmoved by the festival of sheer incompetence that has horrified the rest of us. At worst, in the extreme, they might make the sort of concession that freeze-dried faculty-lounge radicals make about communism, and say a few of the wrong people somehow found their way into the highest reaches of power this time. But next time it will work, or maybe the one after that. Their religious faith in the power of benevolent tyranny, engineered by compassionate elites, cannot be shaken. One of these centuries, it will work, just you wait and see.
In truth, freedom requires honesty. Fraud is a form of theft, different only in degree from the stick-up artist who jams a gun in your back and demands your wallet. It is a form of tyranny, because those who make decisions based on lies are not exercising free choice. Free will can be subverted with violent force... or with false information. Either way, the result is tyranny, as every red pill awakening from the Matrix could tell you.
This notion of a Ruling Class morally authorized to lie to the populace for its own good is incredibly dangerous. We're talking about organized fraud designed to victimize millions, not just the greasy dishonesty of politicians trying to cadge a few votes. Among other things, liberals constantly inform us that each chunk of liberty they take from us is gone forever. There can be no "going back" to a state of higher freedom. Ground claimed by the State is never ceded. ObamaCare is the "settled law of the land." And now they want us to accept that it had to be sold to us on false premises? How can any thinking person fail to recognize that as tyranny... just because the tyrants insist they're super-nice people who really, really care about us?
This kind of con artistry is one reason Americans should insist on a very small, limited central government. At least you can move away from a state that goes out of control. But the federal government is a collapsing house of razor-edged cards that none of us can escape. The Ruling Class will always have a powerful incentive to lie to us "for our own good." We'll always be told that the decisions we made while drunk on their lies are irrevocable - nothing left but to "move forward," and help the statists "fix" their latest disaster... a process that inevitably leaves them with even more money and power.
We should never give the Left another shot at our wallets, because they'll always tell us they had to rob us for our own good. They've reached the point where they're willing to sacrifice the very principle of self-government to push the latest upgrades to benevolent tyranny. It's not "self-government" if the Ruling Class has a license to deceive us into compulsive schemes they openly admit we would never have adopted voluntarily. The last-ditch arguments deployed to save Barack Obama from the consequences of his Big Lie are evidence that his philosophy of government is fundamentally incompatible with freedom.