Monday, July 2, 2012

Even Bill Whittle Can't Cheer Me Up

"I'm not saying don't let this get you down.  I am saying don't let this keep you down."

Well, I'm down.  But thanks for trying.

We once were a free nation, as Mr. Whittle reminds us.  But neither he nor I ever lived in that free nation.

We didn't lose our freedom with this single, astonishing decision from the Supreme Court on Obamacare. We just lost the last of it.

And we ain't getting it back.

Repeal?  Of course we must try.  But will repeal of this law also overturn the court's interpretation that the government now has the power to tax you for NOT doing something, because that horrifying new power was invented with this decision. And what I don't know is if this new interpretation can stand even if the law is repealed.  Someone help me out on that.

UPDATE:   Mark Levin just answered my question.  Yes, the new interpretation of the power to tax will remain in place even if we overturn Obamacare.  It will give the government virtually unlimited power to tax us for anything or for nothing.  Fun times.

So we will repeal the law, if we can.  The left will come back with another gambit.  And another.  And another.  Only perhaps now they can actually argue that they can tax you for activity AND inactivity.  Worse than that, they can legally say whatever they want in crafting a bill, call it a penalty or a tax or both or neither, and it no longer matters.  Whatever they want to do is constitutional now.  Period.  And Roberts pounded our coffin shut with this pithy observation:
"It's not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices."
How does one repeal that?

How does one regain freedom that no one really wants?  It is my increasing conviction that freedom is a fleeting and nebulous idea for most people, centered more on the freedom to act stupidly and not suffer the consequences.  Rarely is it understood as freedom from government's power.  In fact, most often we see people arguing that it is only with an INCREASE in government's power that we can be truly free.  An increase like Obamacare so that we can be "free" from healthcare worries...or decisions...or responsibilities.

How does one repeal that?

We lost our freedom generations ago with the creation of the Federal Reserve, with the adoption of the personal income tax, with Social Security and farm aid and the New Deal and the Great Society, with welfare and Medicare and Medicaid.  We traded our freedom for baubles and trinkets and promises and goodies. Goodies begged for sometimes for ourselves, sometimes for our neighbors, but always in exchange for just a little freedom.  We were awfully free once.  We just didn't need that much freedom.  So much better to trade it away -- here and there -- for a little something nice.  We have been slowly, inexorably losing our freedom since the early 1900's.  A little here...a little there...always for a good cause...don't you want to help people?

It is just that now, with so egregious, dishonest and cowardly a decision as the court handed down, we can no longer pretend that we live in a free nation.

And I can no longer pretend that we want to.


  1. ‘Rarely is it understood as freedom from government's power.’

    Freedom is the freedom from interference by other people. There is no other possible meaning of it.

    1. Yes, you are correct, but I would suggest that your argument takes it too far; it's too specific. We are only able to "interfere" with other people in any significant way, and remain protected from the consequences of the interference, through the force of government. Even the most totalitarian system recognizes that the individual is not allowed to just murder or steal or defraud others on his own. Only through GOVERNMENT can we interfere with others without consequence.

  2. Well if a criminal murders or robs me, he certainly limits my freedom although as you say, he ends up paying consequences for that act. My argument was meant to be general, to emphasize that other men whatever their means, rather than natural causes are the only force which can limit our freedom. A government is, after all, just an organization formed by many people.

    A hungry man is not free? If he is left free of interference and allowed to take actions to eliminate his hunger (restricted only by the rule that he is not allowed to violate the rights of other men), then he is without doubt free. How could he be otherwise?

    ‘And we ain't getting it back.’

    I agree. Historically, freedom is almost never given back, in any quantity or for any extended length of time. From what I see, the only way to get it back is to take it back. I’m sure that may happen someday but probably not for a long time.

    1. I think we are both saying the same thing, I just used the example of government as the instrument by which most men interfere with others because it is the only organization recognized in any society that can utilize FORCE without negative consequences. In fact, it is often the best way to interfere with others and PROFIT by that interference (ie protection, privilege, power).

      You are right, men can never be free from reality (hunger, etc.) only from others. But men always DESIRE to be free of reality, and that takes force because you can never really avoid it. You can only avoid it for as along as you can make others pay the price of that avoidance. Eventually it all comes tumbling down, but until then, governments can to unimaginable damage - as men organizing to take advantage of other men.