This is a piece originally published on August 29th of last year, but it seems appropriate to publish it again in light of recent events (especially since I’m up against a publishing deadline and don’t have much time to blog right now).
Conservatives are up-in-arms over the Democratic healthcare scheme. From town hall meetings, to talk radio, to the internet, the voice of the people is being heard. However, I am not at all convinced that the voice of the people will ultimately make a difference in the long run. My pessimism has less to do with the sinister motives of those seeking to take over the healthcare system. On the contrary, my pessimism stems from the hypocrisy of those shouting down their representatives and claiming to be “fed up”.
While I’m sure these folks mean well, I wonder about the sincerity of their opposition in light of the fact that the overwhelming majority of them (between eighty and eighty-five percent) have already accepted everything they claim to abhor about the healthcare plan. Some have already exposed this irony as it relates to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security (full disclosure: I’ve opted out of Social Security and am proud to say that I am not anticipating one thin dime from the American government in my old age). However, I’m not talking about these long existing socialist programs, I’m talking about the #1 socialist welfare program in America, the public school system!
There are striking similarities between government-run education and the government-run healthcare bill currently under consideration in Congress. And it is precisely these similarities that will eventually cause the American people to lay down and take whatever the government gives them, and eventually be willing to fight and die for them. Remember, there was public outrage over government education (and Social Security) as well when it was first proposed (see the quotes here). However, nearly one hundred and fifty years later the overwhelming majority of Americans gladly put their children on the yellow prison bus every day (yes, they are the same type of busses used to transport prisoners).
JUST SAY NO TO SOCIALISM
One of the mantras we hear repeatedly these days is, “we don’t want socialism.” While that sounds good (and conservative, and constitutional, and patriotic, etc.), it rings hollow when you consider the overwhelming majority of the people leading the charge have their children in what amounts to socialized education. What’s the difference? If you’re really against government-run, socialized programs, yank your kid off the yellow prison bus and just say no.
READ THE TENTH AMENDMENT
Another catchphrase I’ve heard a lot lately is, “this is a violation of the Tenth Amendment.” Again, this is wonderful rhetoric. I love the Constitution of the United States; especially the Tenth Amendment which protects the rights of States and individuals from overreaches by the Federal Government. The amendment reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Ironically, one of the “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States” is education! That’s right, the Federal Government has absolutely no Constitutional right to involve itself in education. The Department of Education is as unconstitutional as government-run healthcare. However, few of the people shouting at these town hall meetings (or reporting on it on conservative talk radio and the internet) would stand up and call for the immediate abolishment of the D.O.E. (or any of the other federal departments that exist in clear violation of the tenth amendment).
I HAVE A RIGHT TO PICK MY OWN DOCTOR
Perhaps the most ironic aspect of the current uproar is the fact that people who put their children on the yellow prison bus and send them to the school designated by the State (at an age chosen by the State, on a date determined by the State, for a term mandated by the State) have the audacity to point their fingers and say, “I don’t want the government picking my doctor!” This is absolute folly. If we were serious about the moral and constitutional authority of this claim there would not be a single congressman or senator in Washington who opposed school choice as none of them would be able to win an election. However, Americans are glad to elect officials who continue to rob them of their freedom in this most basic, fundamental aspect of their lives; the education of their children.
DON’T TRUST THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THE POST OFFICE
How many times have we heard someone retort, “do you want the people who run the Post Office to run your healthcare?” The answer of course is a resounding no! Whether you call it “the public option,” or something else, conservatives do not want the government to run their healthcare (see here). However, how is it that we trust those same people to run our child’s education? How is this any different? And this is not just a liberal democrat thing; George Bush was the one who gave us “No Child Left Behind.” This was a monument to socialistic, government-run, unconstitutional mis-education. This was a massive overreach by the Federal Government that met little or no opposition (see one rare example here). Where were the town hall protests? Where were the flag-waving, gun-toting protestors? Where was the political right? Instead, all we heard was, “accountability is a good thing.” Never mind the Constitution.
NOT WITH MY TAX DOLLARS
Then there are the people who “don’t want their money to pay for abortions or sex change operations.” This one has president Obama on the defensive. Conservative Christians are especially animated over this aspect of the bill. Suddenly, the silent Christian majority is offended at the prospect of the federal government taking their money and using it for immoral purposes. This coming from people who send their children to government schools with Gay/Straight Alliance clubs, semi-pornographic sex-ed classes, and Gramscian, neo-Marxist, neo-Darwinian curriculum. How can we complain about our tax dollars going to fund abortions and sex change operations if we gladly offer up our children to taxpayer-funded dens of iniquity one hundred and eighty days a year? This is the height of hypocrisy.
THE PAST IS PROLOGUE
We will have taxpayer funded healthcare. The Democrats have offered the full monty, now the Republicans will “dial it back” a bit and claim victory (i.e., we can come up with something just for for those people who don’t have healthcare, make sure illegal immigrants don’t have access, and save Billions, if not Trillions of dollars). The result will be a slightly less socialistic system (for now) that the American people will accept gladly after seeing the beast in it’s full fury. And eventually, the furor will die down and the town hall meetings a generation from now will treat socialistic government healthcare the same way we treat socialistic programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and government education today.
If you want to know what type of government-run healthcare system Americans will be willing to settle for in the next generation, just walk outside tomorrow morning and watch the yellow prison busses take the next generation of Americans to the taxpayer-funded, government-run, indoctrination center to which they are assigned and ask yourself this question: Are they learning anything today that will give them an aversion to a government takeover of healthcare? Then ask yourself another question: If their parents do teach them to oppose socialism, read and follow the Constitution, cherish freedom of choice, shun government intervention and hold government accountable for ethical use of their tax dollars, how long will it be before they’re standing at the corner waiting on the yellow prison bus and think to themselves, “Hey, if mom and dad really believe these things... why am I standing here?”