If Barack Obama does nothing else in his term in office, this will make him one of the most consequential presidents in history. It's a huge transformative event in Americans' view of themselves and of the role of government. You can say, oh, well, the polls show most people opposed to it, but, if that mattered, the Dems wouldn't be doing what they're doing. Their bet is that it can't be undone, and that over time, as I've been saying for years now, governmentalized health care not only changes the relationship of the citizen to the state but the very character of the people. As I wrote in NR recently, there's plenty of evidence to support that from Britain, Canada, and elsewhere.
More prosaically, it's also unaffordable. That's why one of the first things that middle-rank powers abandon once they go down this road is a global military capability. If you take the view that the U.S. is an imperialist aggressor, congratulations: You can cease worrying. But, if you think that America has been the ultimate guarantor of the post-war global order, it's less cheery. Five years from now, just as in Canada and Europe two generations ago, we'll be getting used to announcements of defense cuts to prop up the unsustainable costs of big government at home. And, as the superpower retrenches, America's enemies will be quick to scent opportunity.
Longer wait times, fewer doctors, more bureaucracy, massive IRS expansion, explosive debt, the end of the Pax Americana, and global Armageddon. Must try to look on the bright side . . .
But be not afraid! In a post in The Corner, Mark has directed us to this wonderful article written by Paul Rahe, Professor of History and Politics at Hillsdale College. Professor Rahe writes:
If the program passed in the House of Representatives on March 21st and signed into law thirty-six hours thereafter is fully implemented and left in place for any considerable length of time, it will complete the project begun by the Progressives when they first took control of the federal government in 1912. We will, as Mark argues, be indistinguishable from the Canadians and the Europeans; our character as a people will change; we will be transformed into subjects and wards of the state, and we will no longer be citizens; our economy will stagnate; and we will have neither the resolve nor the resources with which to defend our country and its way of life. If we acquiesce, we really are doomed.
This is what gives me hope. For we are not yet a people apt to acquiesce in dictates handed down by our lords and masters. When Britain and Canada drifted into socialism, there were no tea parties spontaneously formed by ordinary citizens to buck the trend. The British and the Canadians lacked the spirit of resistance – though, to be fair, it lived on in the likes of Margaret Thatcher.We Americans are made of sterner stuff . . .
. . . [W]e have not yet entirely lost the American spirit. What happened at the town halls in August, what took place in Virginia, in New Jersey, and, most dramatically, in Massachusetts proves the contrary. Barack Obama and his minions are indeed persuaded that public sentiment does not matter. They could not care less that the citizens do not consent, and they believe that what they have done cannot be undone. “Yes, we can,” they chant. But the truth is they can’t, for they are wrong.
Never, in the history of the United States, has a political party dared, in the face of public opinion fully formed and fiercely adverse, to carry so ambitious a bill without a modicum of cover from the opposition. What the Democrats have done is a breathtaking expression of contempt not just for public sentiment as revealed in the polling data but also for the verdict handed down by the people of Massachusetts at the polls in January. What they have done would never have been attempted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Lyndon Baines Johnson, who had a healthy respect for public opinion. What Barack Obama calls the audacity of hope is reckless in the extreme . . .
. . . Abraham Lincoln was right when he wrote, “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” What this means in the present circumstances cannot be overestimated. The Republicans, if they seize the occasion, will have the rapt attention of their compatriots. If they expose fully the tyrannical ambition at the heart of the healthcare bill, they not only can, they will prevail. All that they then have to do is to restate in contemporary terms what FDR said with an eye to Herbert Hoover and the business progressives of the 1920s and the early 1930s: that “a small group” of his fellow Americans was intent on concentrating “into their own hands an almost complete control over other people’s property, other people’s money, other people’s labor – other people’s lives,” for, as is perfectly obvious, that is precisely what Barack Obama and his minions are attempting to do.
Read the whole thing. Read the whole thing and be encouraged, and strengthen your resolve, and do not give up. We are Americans and we have never gone gently into that good night but have fought tooth and nail all the way. We can do it again--yes we can!