I often comment on the obtuseness of society and nothing illustrates that obtuseness more thoroughly than the proposals and arguments for single payer healthcare.
I have yet to encounter – and I ask nearly everyone I meet who supports single payer about this – an advocate of single payer healthcare who is currently voluntarily picking up the tab for the health insurance of someone who cannot afford it. In fact the proponents of single payer almost unanimously are offended by the mere suggestion that if they truly cared about the uninsured they would be voluntarily writing checks every month in order to purchase health insurance for these people they claim to care so deeply for. That I have yet to encounter a single advocate of single payer willing to voluntarily live what they preach puts the lie to the entire scheme.
It is difficult to find another example of groupthink being as vapid and immoral as the single payer delusion. People who refuse to voluntarily carry the burdens of another are all for using force to require others to carry that burden for them. Think about it – there is nothing in the world preventing these people from sitting down each month and voluntarily writing a check in order to help their neighbor – yet they not only refuse to do that but they are almost to a man (or woman) offended by the very suggestion!
At the same time these very same people are willing to use force – government force at the point of a gun – to require you to involuntarily write that check each and every month.
Of such hypocrisy are civil wars made – yet the proponents are so inexplicably obtuse and consumed with their own self-righteousness that they are oblivious to both alternatives and consequences. All they apparently care about is that the groupthink makes them feel good about themselves.
I occasionally mention that I suspect the future of the United States is divorce – I further suspect that single payer is the moment that divorce is filed.
“A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.” – William F Buckley, Jr, 1955
62 years down the road and still true.
That is incredibly sad to have to say.
“Probably it is true enough that the great majority are rarely capable of thinking independently, that on most questions they accept views which they find ready-made, and that they will be equally content if born or coaxed into one set of beliefs or another. In any society freedom of thought will probably be of direct significance only for a small minority. But this does not mean that anyone is competent, or ought to have power, to select those to whom this freedom is to be reserved. It certainly does not justify the presumption of any group of people to claim the right to determine what people ought to think or believe.” – Friedrich A. Hayek, 1943
“The Road To Serfdom” was published by Friedrich A. Hayek 74 years ago.
The United States was intended to be a constitutional republic. The United States was not intended to be a democracy.
In a democracy the majority rules. It is quite simple, 50%+1 and you are required to do what ever the 50%+1 decides.
In a constitutional republic each individual possesses inalienable rights, rights provided by their creator and not by government. The United States constitution is a document intended to restrain government from transgressing against the rights provided to the individual by their creator. These rights shall not be infringed. These rights are not up for a vote, they are inherent to your humanity. Each individual decides what they will do, whom they will do it with, what they will own, what they will say and what they will buy and sell and at what price without interference from others. The only caveat is that in doing this they may not transgress against the inherent rights of others.
There is but one reason to prefer a constitutional republic over a democracy – and that reason is that a constitutional republic is the only form of government ever devised that recognizes and defends minority rights. That is it. Each transgression of minority rights is a betrayal of our constitution and republic. Truth is that we have so shredded minority rights in this country that the constitution and the concept of a republic are all but dead.
I am not diminishing the efforts of those, including myself, who work feverishly to restore the constitution and the republic. It is an uphill battle – not the least reason is the education system is profoundly anti-constitution and anti-republic (and why shouldn’t they be? They get to vote themselves raises if the republic is abolished!). The historical reality is that democracies never last but republics do. Democracies never last due to human nature. The temptation to vote yourself wealth and property from the minority, the temptation to use the power of government to insist that the minority live their lives the way the majority wishes, the temptation to be King via coalition has proven irresistible.
“A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.” – Joseph Goebbels
“We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.” – Vladimir Lenin
“The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.” – Leon Trotsky
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” – Saint Augustine
Humility was once a sought after virtue in American culture, now it is scorned as weakness. As Trump might say, “For losers.”
The very last words that it would seem anyone wishes to utter in American culture are the words, “I am sorry, I was wrong.” As a society we will repeat the lie a thousand times, even when we indisputably know it is a lie, rather than say the words “I am sorry, I was wrong.” Part of this is the culture of academia permeating outward, i.e. ‘one narrative is as good as another.’ The relativism and nihilism of academia, the abandonment of not just a journey to the truth but the denial of truth itself, has indeed taken us down the path to where objective evaluation of true or false – or even better or worse – is as quant an idea as the curtsey.
We have reached the point where any political/cultural/societal lie is acceptable if we can rationalize that the end justifies the means. The end is always ‘we are right and the other fellow is wrong’ and in order to validate that any means, including lying, is socially acceptable. In order to acquire that moral plateau where lying about the other fellow is good and justified we must demonize the other fellow – “hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.”
Even if we do not lie about others – we have a societal tolerance for those who do. No penalty will be paid for the political/cultural/societal lie. We have normalized it.
In addition we have also reached the point where the other fellow being in error is utilized to justify the argument that there is no truth. In other words, people who do still believe in that quant notion of true and false must be able to ascertain what is true 100% of the time or face the public attack that their being in error on some matter, no matter how trivial, justifies there being no truth what so ever. Trump mastered this technique, Bill and Hillary Clinton mastered it decades ago and Bernie Sanders (and his wife as well if you believe the Justice Department) have built an entire life on this technique.
We that declined to vote for Bernie, Hillary or The Donald in this last election are by and large disgusted – but it is the path that society has decided to journey. The demons of pride will rule until humility returns us to the *relative* status of angels.
Humility will come back into style, it always does.