I’ve been exposed to a few blogs and articles lately critical of Conservatives for perceived inaction regarding the health care debate or any debate for that matter. I would like to discuss some of these and offer some constructive critique of my own. (Can’t let everyone else have all the fun.) *disclaimer* I don’t speak for all conservatives obviously but I think I can make a few observations. Hey, I gotta get this stuff out now or someone in a beer joint somewhere is going to hear it. We wouldn’t want that to happen now would we?
“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” â€” G.K. Chesterton”
Now I’ve never read G.K. Chesterton (adding to reading list), but, I’m inclined to disagree with a portion of this generality. While I detect a bit of a sarcastic barb in there (ala Dilbert), I think that a person who has conservative leanings may take more time than Progressives and J.Q. Public would like to absorb the information, form an opinion, make a decision and provide an alternative. (I left out “discover” the problem – IS there a problem? WHAT is the problem? WHERE did the problem originate?) It is the very nature of the conservative to not be rash, but rather, be methodical. (I wanted to say stoic, but that would imply a lack of passion and anyone that knows me, knows better. This is about me, isn’t it? Oh.)
Dictionary.com defines conservative as: “disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.”
Pretty accurate I’d say, Who am I to argue with Webster? Although it doesn’t say anything about policy, it does describe what I imagine a conservative person to be.
The Progressives count on this slow methodical approach. They paint it as either in-decisive or downright evil, turning it on Conservatives and using it like a bullhorn, driving through the streets of cities and towns with the mantra of “Conservatives aren’t doing anything about -topic de jour- They must want all people to die because of it.” blaring from the roof speakers. Once the argument has reached this stage, the debate has been transformed from a debate to a schoolyard name calling contest with the Conservative on the perpetual defense, trying to prove that they really do care about the problem enough to think about it thoroughly. Oh YEAH!? OH YEAH!?
More from SBS:
“This turns into the prototypical conservative/liberal argument:L: At least I care about the problem!C: But your solution is wrong!L: But at least I care!C: But you’re wrong!L: But I care!”
This is the perception of Conservative Thought. It has to change.
I think the engine of debate has been hijacked by Progressives. Our schools and institutions have indoctrinated J.Q. Public for a hundred+ years on the virtues of communal society (Socialism) . Never mind that it goes against the very fabric of our form of government (Democratic Republic) as it was first formed and intended. Progressives love a good crisis. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste” ~ Rahm Emanuel – Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff
and former US Representative for Illinois. If there isn’t a crisis, they will invent one to force a discussion which they can immediately turn on any person (Racist!) (You don’t care!)who tries grab the reins and cries “Whoa there! Let’s not rush into anything!” (How’s that stimulus working out for ya?)
â€œWe have to do something about health care.â€
The scariest word in that sentence is not something. Itâ€™s we. The first-person plural form is not merely a convenience, as in â€œWeâ€™re in for a cold winter.â€ It indicates that decisions about â€œthe healthcare systemâ€ should be made collectively, with one decision binding everyone.Thatâ€™s collectivism.So why is virtually everyone a collectivist when it comes to health care? I do not exaggerate. Every prominent participant in the current debate over how to “reform” the medical industry approaches the issue in collectivist terms. They have differences at the margin-tax increases versus tax credits, a government-run “public option” versus subsidized nonprofit cooperatives-but there is no disagreement that “we” must have a policy.But why must we do anything about health care? Why canâ€™t you do what you want, I do what I want, and he and she do what they want? Isnâ€™t that whatâ€™s supposed to happen in a free society? Reformers would say that costs are rising too much and some people canâ€™t afford insurance. But that is no answer. It tells us only that possibly ameliorable conditions exist, not that collectivism is a good approach.When we see problems in other important markets, most of us donâ€™t expect televised presidential town-hall meetings, congressional committees, and omnibus legislation to give us the answer. We individually adjust our behavior in the marketplace and anticipate that entrepreneurs will cater to us. Solutions, with inevitable tradeoffs, are micro, marginal, and tailored to individual needs, not macro, holistic, and procrustean. Out of this arises an orderly marketplaceâ€“without a conscious overall plan. No one has found a better way to make masses of people better off.Why is health care different? Must we collectively reinvent the industry? The social knowledge problem that F. A. Hayek spelled out should make us wary of any collective response.The reformersâ€™ stock answer is that this is something only we, acting through the “democratic process,” can handle. Thatâ€™s an assertion. Whereâ€™s the proof? What if earlier collectivist decisions gave us rising medical and insurance costs?In fact they did. Nearly every aspect of medicine and health insurance that the politicians say needs fixing is the result of â€œourâ€â€“that is, politiciansâ€™â€“previous attempts to fix something.”
read the rest at The Freeman
At the founding of our country, there were a myriad of problems to be faced by the new republic. It would be wise to reflect on what a couple of old geezers had to say about the federal government in that day.
Madison wrote: “The powers delegated by the proposed constitution to the federal government are few and defined.”(If only that were still true Mr. Madison.)
I think Thomas Jefferson was the ultimate conservative voice. As President, he said: “The path we have to pursue is so quiet that we have nothing scarcely to propose [to Congress]. A noiseless course, not meddling with the affairs of others, unattractive of notice, is the mark that society is going on in happiness.” ~ both quotes taken from W. Cleon Skousenâ€™s, The Making of America, p. 247
I think that as conservatives, we should take the lead when we regain control of the House and Senate. I’m working on my wish list of agenda items. I will post those later. But for now the point is that we should be the ones pushing debate. We should be thoughtfully educating J.Q. Public that big government IS the problem and we need less of it. Repeal the laws that don’t work. Enforce the ones that do. Stress self reliance as the only path to personal pride and liberty. We need to be true conservatives instead of trying to appease the left.
If we allow this country to be “fundamentally transformed”(Obama) into a socialist society, we won’t be able to change it back. “Liberties lost are rarely found again.” ~ me
To the Socialists/Liberals/Communists:
This is a Democratic Republic and if you people want to live in a Socialist or Communist country, you are free to leave. Just keep in mind, that the country you defect to may not let you come back, comrade.
That’s it. I’m done for the day.
Time for lunch and a beer. Cheers!