Ever heard of Dahlia Lithwick? No? Don’t feel bad. I hadn’t either until I read her piece of … something or other … on Slate about the Supreme Court hearing this week on Obamacare.
A quick Google search turned up her Wikipedia entry, which tells me she’s a Canadian and contributing editor at Newsweek and senior editor at Slate. In other words, a committed leftist.
This morning in America’s highest court, freedom seems to be less about the absence of constraint than about the absence of shared responsibility, community, or real concern for those who don’t want anything so much as healthy children, or to be cared for when they are old.
It’s difficult to tell whether Ms. Lithwick is simply making this up or just dumb. The end result is the same either way. She wants cradle-to-grave government care for everyone. It makes you wonder why she no longer lives in Canada, where they have it, or why so many ungrateful cancer and critical care patients leave the utopia north of the border to come to the United States to receive life-saving treatment.
I’ll address the “shared responsibility” insanity in minute, but first let’s think about the rest of what’s there.
Community. To progressives, “community” means whatever they need it to mean that day. The “black community,” the “Hispanic community,” the “gay community,” the “white community,” the “Italian community,” the “whatever sub-set they need to highlight for victimization or demonization community.” You’d think they were all math majors with all the division they foist on us so they can play various groups against one another to advance their agenda.
Backers of the multi-cultural agenda seek to remove the melting pot that made this country great from the heat that fueled it. Instead, they want to create a coagulated mess that they can mold how they see fit. They don’t want us thinking of ourselves as Americans. All kinds of craziness, such as patriotism and true community spirit, could break out. Instead, they need to foster division to keep people in various Lego-shaped blocks they can stick together and snap apart when it suits them. Look how they’ve pitted the “black community” against the “Hispanic community” in the Trayvon Martin case before any investigation is concluded.
Actually, they’ve gone further than that, they’ve created a new race, the “white Hispanic.” I would say the “white Hispanic community” but there is only one member of that group, George Zimmerman, so it’s not a community, it’s just sick.
As for people wanting healthy children and to be cared for when they’re old, we have that covered.
First and foremost is family. Progressives never admit this, but children raised in two-parent homes are much, much better off than children who are not. That’s simply not possible for all children, but it makes no sense – none – to celebrate single-parent homes.
For children from single-parent homes or two-parent homes who have a difficult time making ends meet, we have Medicaid. The problem with Medicaid, the major reason it is breaking state budgets, is progressives have turned this safety net program for the poor into a hammock for the middle class. There’s no reason a family of four making $80,000 should be enrolled in Medicaid, but that is the standard now in many states. What incentive does a person have to purchase something they can leech from the government?
For the elderly, we have Medicare and Social Security. They’re driving the entire country into financial ruin, which progressives strangely seem to enjoy – but no one talks about changing those programs for anyone within 10 years of retirement. Yet, even here progressives lie. They find one elderly woman who is “forced to eat cat food so she can afford her prescriptions” and present her as the norm. They tell our parents and grandparents this could be them if things go wrong. They do this, by the way, while claiming Republicans use scare tactics to sway voters.
They trot out this cat-food person out for a press conference, pretend there are millions like her, then trot her off stage and – like a prop from cancelled Broadway show – throw her back in the closet and move on. Inevitably, the good people of this country hear about this woman and step up to help her – for real, not for show.
That’s the greatness of the American people – all you have to do is point out someone truly in need, and we step up to help. We do so without a government program, without raising taxes, without progressive “solutions.” That’s why you never hear of them after they’ve been helped – the assistance actually helps them achieve independence, which means they become useless to progressives.
Until today, I couldn’t really understand why this case was framed as a discussion of “liberty.” This case isn’t so much about freedom from government-mandated broccoli or gyms. It’s about freedom from our obligations to one another, freedom from the modern world in which we live.
Shared responsibility? Freedom from our obligations to one another?
Having done my taxes recently, I can assure Ms. Lithwick I take care of my “obligations,” just as I assume she does. But I’d be willing to bet she lives comfortably and that she availed herself of every deduction her accountant could find. There’s nothing wrong with that, aside from the hypocrisy of refusing to live the life she would impose on others.
But what about the 49 percent of American who pay no income tax? According the Ms. Lithwick we have “obligations to one another.” What is their obligation?
What is the obligation of the heroin addict I routinely see outside the 7-Eleven near where I live to me? To society? If society needs junkies begging and passing out on the sidewalks, he’s holding up his end of the bargain. But I’m pretty sure we don’t. Where is Ms. Lithwick’s “shared responsibility” for him?
I buy him a hotdog now and then, when he’s awake and coherent. Should I send half the bill for that to Slate?
When I was a porter at a Lincoln-Mercury dealership, a fellow porter had five children from three women and a pregnant new girlfriend – all at the ripe age of 22. I paid my taxes, so I took care of my end. He wasn’t paying child support (we were making $8 an hour), so I’m pretty sure he wasn’t taking care of his end. Where is his responsibility? I hope he’s changed but somehow doubt it.
The fact is we have no government-imposed “obligation to one another,” no “shared responsibility.” Nor should we. We’re responsible for ourselves. We care for others through charity. But that’s charity with our own money – given of our own volition. Progressives are quite good at giving away other people’s money. But as the anemic, embarrassingly low charitable giving numbers of the last few Democrat nominees for president show, they suck at helping others when it involves reaching into their own pockets.
So, Ms. Lithwick, we don’t want government reaching into our pockets to pay for what progressives deem moral. We’re quite capable of doing that on our own, thank you very much.
Our Constitution limits what government can do to or for us for a reason – because we’re supposed to do things for ourselves. A government powerful enough to make us engage in commerce so it can regulate it is a government that can make us buy broccoli or join a gym. And while broccoli and gym memberships are good things, we have the freedom to not buy them. And that is a great thing.
If Ms. Lithwick and her fellow progressives don’t like it, the Constitution was made to be amended. But that is the road progressives always refuse to take, because that is the road down which they find out just how unpopular their agenda truly is.