Potential Victories for Individual Rights in 2012

June 5, 2012 08:15


Best case, we could look back on the Great Recession as the era when Americans finally wised up and got the government OUT of the private economy. The Obama era might come to be known as America’s “hitting bottom,” kind of like a drug addict on his final binge of self-destruction before stopping for good.

 

by Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D.

 

There are three opportunities for the advancement of individual rights this year.

One is the upcoming recall election of Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin. He stood up to the entrenched labor unions of state employees last year, and won.

If Gov. Walker wins the recall election, it won’t result in a miracle of growth for Wisconsin. But it could be utilized as a turning point: Standing up to the powers of Big Government. For once in their lives, the tyrants who run these labor unions (and their henchmen in the legislatures) will have to be at least a LITTLE bit afraid. Most of these state employees go through the motions of working and then expect benefits that a risk-taking CEO would envy. And then we’re supposed to feel sorry for them when their benefits are cut. I’m tired of hearing about “policemen and teachers.” Privatize the schools and, yes, treat the police well—I’m all for the latter. And either eliminate or privatize the rest of the state government.

The second opportunity is the forthcoming Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare. The ruling will do one of three things: Uphold ObamaCare, strike it down, or issue a wishy-washy and mixed ruling. Only the unequivocal striking down of ObamaCare will be meaningful. If you ask me, there’s no guarantee, quite frankly, that the Obama Administration will even listen to a ruling they don’t like. But if we must have a Constitutional crisis over something, this battle is worth it. And we’ll need the backing of the Supreme Court if Obama manages to bully his way back into office.

Socialized medicine did not originate with Obama’s health care law. That began with government regulation of medical insurance going back at least to World War II, and then the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s. What ObamaCare does is complete the process. It does so by essentially declaring medical care—the private practices of doctors and the personal health business of patients—government property. It does so not on the premises of open dictatorship, but on the reasoning that, “We’re going to pay for your health care—so we get to call the shots.”

ObamaCare includes a Britain-style National Health Care Board and all manner of government controls never before seen in the United States, not even under Medicare. Americans who claim, “Health coverage for all—yay!!” have no idea what life under government medical care will be like. We’re a consumer culture, and a government monopoly over medicine will make the old days of the post office monopoly look like a day at the beach.

The upcoming Supreme Court ruling is an opportunity to crush all of these new anti-individual, anti-private property intrusions in their infancy. That does not solve the problems created by the previously existing controls. It does not solve the problem of Medicare, a program which by itself will ultimately bankrupt the entire U.S. economy, unless it’s privatized. But deleting ObamaCare represents an important and principled beginning.

The third opportunity to uphold freedom and individual rights is the upcoming presidential election in November. This election is not about Mitt Romney. Speaking for myself, I couldn’t care less about Mitt Romney. I have read news reports likening Romney to the proverbial “man on the wedding cake,” the groom decoration on the icing. While intended to be a joke about his appearance, this metaphor better depicts Romney’s overall attitude of philosophical indifference. His elevation to the nomination of the Republican Party says nothing whatsoever about his principles, because he has no known principles. The purpose he serves is to repudiate Obama.

Repudiating Obama is important. Obama is associated with an unprecedented expansion of Big Government in the United States. He represents an out-of-control national debt in the tens of trillions of dollars. Government is spending faster than the “debt clock” can count. He represents rising unemployment. He stands for nationalization of health care as well as other sectors of the economy. He represents unrelenting burdens on the private economy, one reason businesses have stopped expanding and hiring. The frowning, surly Obama represents the shameful face of a nation whose government has gone bankrupt, in every sense of the term.

Who’s to say Mitt Romney, who has been all over the map throughout his political career, would be any better? I make no assumption that he will be. But that isn’t the point. By reelecting Obama, the American people will be telling the government, “You’re on the right path. What you’re doing is OK.” Electing Romney would send the opposite message. Electing Romney tells the government, “Change course. Reverse direction. NOW!” None of this means Romney will actually do it. But so long as the right message is sent, there’s still hope—even if the more relevant hope must be placed into the elections of 2014 and 2016.

It’s not a pretty picture in America. Economically and psychologically, the country is depressed. It’s twilight in America. Nobody can debate this. Party-line liberals who try to defend Obama, through their hostility and defensiveness, painfully exhibit their efforts NOT to know the obvious. The only debate appears to be how fast America’s decline is going.

Decline is not, and never was, inevitable. If we completely reverse course, massively reduce the size of government and stop enabling the government to do relentless damage to our economy on a daily basis, we’d be on our way. Best case, we could look back on the Great Recession as the era when Americans finally wised up and got the government OUT of the private economy. The Obama era might come to be known as America’s “hitting bottom,” kind of like a drug addict on his final binge of self-destruction before stopping for good.

If Obama is given a “thumbs up,” this positively will not happen. Romney may be a marshmallow, but Obama is an unrelenting, unblinking and unyielding big spending socialist. If ObamaCare is not decisively overturned by the 5-4 vote on the Supreme Court we’re all counting on, then socialized medicine is here to stay—at least for a long, long time, surely all of our lifetimes. If Governor Walker loses in Wisconsin, it will be just another uplifting moment for those who use the force of government to live off the talents, energies and hard work of others.
It’s not too late for a turning point. But it’s hard to see how we get there without these three victories, for a start.

 

Dr. Hurd has a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Psychology, Saybrook Institute, San Francisco, CA, November 1991. Degree awarded With Distinction. Master’s of Social Work (M.S.W.), Clinical, The University of Maryland at Baltimore, May 1988. Bachelor’s of Arts (B.A.), Psychology, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, May 1985. Distinguished Psychology Student Award, Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude. Dr. Hurd blogs at DrHurd.com



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