With January 1 looming on the horizon, Republicans and conservative talking heads in the media have heated up the debate over Obamacare. On the surface, it would be appear to be a debate between good and evil — between compassionate Democrats, who want to alleviate human suffering, and evil Republicans, who want to push granny’s pain-ridden body over the edge of the Grand Canyon.
But hysteria notwithstanding, let’s back up a step and take a closer look at this good-guys-versus-bad-guys debate. It’s a feather in the cap of Americans that we have reached a stage in our development where a majority of people cannot bear to see others suffer. From a moral and civilized point of view, this is most definitely a good thing. But it brings to the fore the great question of our time: What is the best way to alleviate human suffering?
Is it for self-anointed morally superior people — consisting of politicians, bureaucrats, race hustlers, and other assorted riff-raff — to decide how to alleviate human suffering? It would appear that a majority of people think so, though it’s hard to imagine, based on the historical evidence, how anyone could seriously believe that such people are morally superior.
But regardless of who’s in charge of eliminating human suffering, the question that is never addressed is: Who has the wisdom or moral authority to decide who is suffering — and how much? Or the wisdom or moral authority to decide how much of whose wealth should be taken and given to the people who are deemed by the morally superior to be suffering?
The people whose pockets are being picked at a rapidly accelerating rate for the purported purpose of alleviating human suffering are the “forgotten men” whom William Graham Sumner wrote about in his 1883 essay “The Forgotten Man,” wherein he explained the moral problem with progressivism as follows:
“As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine … what A, B, and C shall do for X.” C is the forgotten man, the guy who was minding his own business, but will now be forced to help X.”
This succinctly sums up the dilemma involved in trying to make the world a better place through the use of force. When so-called liberals and so-called conservatives argue over the best solution to human suffering, what is never mentioned is the issue of human freedom. Isn’t a lack of human freedom just another form of human suffering? The answer is self-evident, yet it is all but totally ignored by the high-profile types who publicly debate this issue.
Apologists on the right don’t get it, but putting government in charge of alleviating human suffering doesn’t work if individual freedom is sacrificed in the process. The problem we have today is that not only do liberals/progressives/Marxists not believe that liberty should be given a higher priority than all other objectives, most professed conservatives agree with them!
The result is that liberty — the main goal of our Founding Fathers — is no longer even part of the debate. Once one is willing to stipulate that government has the right to redistribute wealth — not just to alleviate suffering, but for any purpose — liberty is removed by default from all discussions. And with good reason: Government is in direct opposition to individual freedom. Government, by its very nature, is all about the “collective good.”
I say by its very nature because the true purpose of today’s government is to provide a vehicle for politicians to accumulate wealth and power. It cares nothing about individual rights, and scoffs at the concept of Natural Law. Could the Founders have imagined, in their wildest dreams, that the United States government would someday be providing healthcare for every citizen — not to mention non-citizens?
As Republicans frantically scurry about trying to figure out how to stop Obamacare, notice how many of them say things like, “We need to replace it with something that works.” In other words, the premise is that government has to do something, even if most people would be far better off if the free market distributed all goods and services — including healthcare — according to the law of supply and demand. No, sir, government has to be involved in some way. After all, you can’t just leave government out in the cold.
It doesn’t take a village to alleviate human suffering; it takes individual initiative and creativity. The objective of those who employ the we strategy is to stop this truth in its tracks. The next time you watch a political topic being debated on television, notice how many times members of both branches of the Demopublican Party use the pronoun we.
The purpose of using this innocuous-sounding little two-letter word is to reinforce the false premise that everyone agrees with whatever point the speaker is trying to make. That’s right, the person who uses the term we is not speaking for himself, but, rather, for everyone. It’s a way of ginning up the collective spirit in those who might otherwise stray off the collective reservation — especially when it comes to Obamacare.
There are a handful of guys out there in the political arena who are making a sincere effort to slay the Marxist dragon affectionately referred to as Obamacare before it destroys America’s healthcare system and gives politicians absolute control over the lives of all citizens. But if they hope to succeed, they have to pull up their big-boy pants and be willing to expose the we scam to the public and make it clear that replacing Obamacare with any kind of government involvement is not acceptable.
Say it loud, and say it clear: A laissez faire marketplace is the only acceptable “replacement” for Obamacare.
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Copyright © 2019 Robert Ringer
ROBERT RINGER is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, The Tonight Show, Today, The Dennis Miller Show, Good Morning America, The Lars Larson Show, ABC Nightline, and The Charlie Rose Show, and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron's, and The New York Times.