Health care is a culture issue
This issue indeed lays bare the great divide between two cultures in the contemporary United States: a European-style, “progressive” rule by elites, versus a consumer-oriented, reformist coalition based on the premise of natural rights embedded in the Declaration of Independence. Like the Tea Party movement, the “unprecedented level of activism and engagement among Americans” in opposition to Obamacare is evidence of a long-delayed recognition by much of the public that what’s wrong with progressivism is not the particular policies it espouses but its assumption that rule by elites is better than freedom of choice.
The passage of this health care bill is a great triumph of progressivism. Under the spell of progressive ideology, for the last few decades public schools across the country have increasingly refused to educate children in the founding values of the nation and in fact have often openly taught contempt for them. In turn, a public without a strong understanding of what individual freedom really means and the reasons why it is precious has little defense against the ever-increasing encroachments of government—until something as obviously grotesque, wrongheaded, and overweening as this health care bill comes along.
That’s what makes this fundamentally an issue of culture, and it’s why those stubborn souls who persist in believing in individual rights must engage the culture, especially by wresting control of the public schools from the hands of the progressive myrmidons who have debauched it.
Certainly the particulars of the health care bill energized many people, both for and against, insofar as they actually were spelled out and became known to the public. Nonetheless, it’s clear that the real concern was that the option of personal choice was being taken away from individual citizens in this vital area of life. The power to control people’s health care, in addition to the hegemony over the one-sixth of the economy which it represents, conveys to the government an enormous amount of control over individual lives, a level of control surely unprecedented in this nation.
This is not regulation; it is rule. And the public finally realized that the current government does not intend to be gentle in its rule.
The revolt against the Tyranny of the Majority has begun. Whether it will succeed over the long term will be decided in and through the culture.
Source: The American Culture
S. T. Karnick edits The American Culture