Obamacare and Liberal Cruelty
No one has the right to sacrifice your life to save someone else's life. No one has the right to harm your family to help someone else's family. That's a bedrock principle in America.
Until Obamacare. The Democrats want a different America. In the new America, you are expendable. Your life, your health, your family's financial well-being, can be taken away if the government decides that other people's lives, health and finances will benefit. You do not get to know about the law in advance, so you do not have the option of using your vote to stop it. This is the basic meaning of the transformational change to America that Obama and his Democrat supporters dreamed of. They are upset it hasn't worked, but they are unrepentant about their vision, their values and their tactics.
In a standard academic test of moral reasoning, people are asked to imagine a scenario: you see that a runaway trolley is bearing down on five strangers. The only action you can take to save those people is to push the stranger standing next to you onto the tracks, to be killed by the trolley. Ninety percent of Americans say they would not kill one person to save five. The numbers don't change the morality. We do not have the right to choose who lives and who dies. It would not matter if one is old and one is young, one is male and one is female, one is rich and one is poor. We do not have the right to play God by actively sacrificing another's life.
Until Obamacare. Obamacare privileges the poor over the rich, the middle aged over the young, women over men, and everyone else over the elderly on Medicare. In order to extend more government control over private insurers, doctors and hospitals, Democrats have chosen to sacrifice the financial well- being and even the lives of other Americans. They justify it because they want to offer government subsidized insurance to those they deem needier.
People who watch Fox News or read the Wall St. Journal have seen the faces and heard the voices of cancer patients who have lost the doctors and hospitals who are keeping them alive. Families working as hard as they can to maintain themselves find their insurance bills jumping to calamitous rates. We have heard from quietly desperate mothers saying their family cannot afford these rate hikes and that they don't know what they are going to do.
The government has taken the power to divert the train. It is morally wrong.
Until this generation, Americans understood we do not want to give government that kind of power over us. We know it from deep in our Jewish cultural roots, starting with Genesis, that we are not averages to God, we are individuals. We are all equally created, every single life precious. Each one of us is held morally responsible by God, which requires individual freedom. The Bible is full of individuals, flawed and struggling. We are not taught morality by utopian ideals but by stories about unique people.
Americans until this generation were raised from childhood to celebrate Columbus, the Pilgrims, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The Biblical primacy of the individual was learned through our Pilgrim and Founding generations. Our precious gifts of limited constitutional government and free enterprise were understood as a living legacy, protected by our Constitution, sacrosanct. Even small children in America understood that our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of our own individual happiness is unalienable, and not to be encroached upon by other individuals or by the collective government. They were taught to understand and to celebrate America. Until now.
The generation that voted in Barack Obama as president is new in American history. They were raised to mistake support of grievance-mongering for caring, special treatment for justice, and self-indulgence for sacred rights. They were taught to reject and be ashamed of our national values of freedom and responsibility. Freedom makes those who are irresponsible look bad, because they fail. Millennials mistake conservatives' love of freedom and responsibility for cruelty and racism. They have been taught people's problems are always society's fault, not that people learn from mistakes and grow strong by solving their own problems. They've bought the Big Lie that government can and should solve people's problems.
So we have the Obamacare Democratic Party that earned the respect and loyalty of most people under thirty, most unmarried women, and most minorities. They want the government to help them and everyone with everything -- jobs, school, health care, food, arts, science, what you are allowed to drive and wear and eat and do, even what light bulb to buy. They think government is capable of doing these things. Worse, they think government can be trusted to do a capable and a fair job. And they are willing to pay for it with their freedom.
They want the government to take over more and more of our lives, in order to take care of more and more able-bodied adults. They want the government to have the power to throw people off the bridge, because it will be for the greater good.
Even as the liberal train wreck bears down this month on as many as 25 million Americans who have individual insurance, 30-40% of the population -- loyal Democrats -- still believe in Obamacare. They don't care that very sick people have been deprived of their doctors and top notch hospitals and are going to die. They don't care they are financially sinking other people's families.
These liberals believe that helping some sick and some poor makes it okay to harm other people. The needs of the masses trump individual rights, so they keep talking about 30 million uninsured (never mind that the same number will remain uninsured after Obamacare). The ones who have lost their insurance or can no longer afford it are dismissed as, on average, healthier and middle class. If you were able to afford insurance before out of your own pocket, it's your turn to suffer now.
Democrats are even willing to have government lie to us for our own good. Without the lies, they wouldn't have gotten Obamacare passed, and once passed, they would have been voted out of office in 2012. They didn't want the voters to have the option to say no, because they know better what people should want. They are the good people who care. Those who oppose them are the bad people, who should be vilified and driven from the public arena.
Democrats love to think they're taking care of the needy. Integrity? Democracy? Clearly not very important. The lying was okay, because once the subsidies kick in, think of all the people the government is helping. And if Obamacare destroys the entire private insurance system, so much the better; they really wanted socialized medicine, so the government can be in charge of everybody's health care.
Democrats believe that the benefit of government subsidies justify the lies and the sacrifice of strangers.
These liberals have indeed rejected American values, although they do not admit it to themselves. They are the 10% in those experiments on moral reasoning who say you should push a stranger in front of a train. They are proud to assert that groups of people they select should be sacrificed for the poorer and sicker. They think these are superior morals.
For conservatives who love and treasure America's core values, morality does not go by numbers, by salary levels, by race or by age. Our right to life and liberty and our own pursuit of happiness is not on government sufferance. It cannot be abridged by progressive policies. We are all equal. And we are all protected from tyranny. That is what the Tea Party is talking about when we say we want to take back our country. The government has no more right than an individual to choose who will be hit by the train.
Obamacare has exposed the ugly reality of government running our lives. People are upset and angry. How deep will the lesson go? Will single women, millennials and minorities stop selling their birthright for government potage? It is too soon to tell. After pulling down Obamacare, conservatives need to demonstrate that smaller government and larger free enterprise are the best and only way to increase fairness and excellence. Then we will have won our country back. Things seem more hopeful than they have in a long time.
The author is a retired psychotherapist, clinical social worker, Peace Corps volunteer and author of a series of mystery novels set in Kenya.