Jon Sanders

People sincere in the belief that health care isn't available to enough Americans are also highly unlikely to have hoped for a board of government bureaucrats deciding at what point in a person's life or illness to deny any further health care. Nor are they likely to have hoped for that board to be so powerful as to regulate options available even for those people who choose, despite the government's fist on the scales, to retain private health insurance.

They're also unlikely to have been hoping that the same man who promised tax cuts for 95 percent of Americans would change into the president whose administration would, in less than a year, start beating the drums for middle-class tax hikes for pay for his health care deform.

Whatever hope and change different individuals envisioned when they entered the voting booths last November, it's highly unlikely that they foresaw all this. Townhall events pushing the president's plan have become markedly fractious. From Philadelphia to Bristol, Virginia and elsewhere, they're letting the administration have it.

In general, appeals to hope and change speak to the optimism that is ever-present in the American spirit. Importantly, it is an optimism rooted in the unqualified success of the American Experiment, which is no less than the liberation of individuals from the unnecessary interference of government — as revolutionary a concept 233 years ago as it is today. A nebulous call for hope that is later revealed as just another attempt to return free men to the nursery of a nanny state is one that will still fall flat in America.

Jon Sanders

Jon Sanders is associate director of research at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, N.C.