The free world is cringing at the liberty-killing health care mandate that is President Obama’s signature piece of legislation. There are many aspects of ObamaCare that are distasteful to the American people but the purpose of this short article is not to discuss those details of this law. I’d like to discuss what I believe may be one of the motivating forces which moved Obama, and liberal Democrats in general, to craft such an onerous piece of legislation.
One of the motivating factors of the liberal agenda, especially as manifest in ObamaCare, is a fundamental lack of trust in the American people. The liberal agenda assumes that a few elite elected officials in their offices in Washington know better what is good for the American people than the American people do. This assumption fundamentally means that our government doesn’t trust us to solve our own problems but assumes that they have all the answers.
ObamaCare claims to address many problems that do exist in the health insurance system. It claims to “make insurance more affordable,” to “set up a new competitive health insurance market,” and to “bring greater accountability to health care” (whitehouse.gov). Most of the American people would agree that these are worthy goals and that these ends should indeed be achieved to fix our current health care system. The trouble isn’t that the goals are wrong but that they are being addressed by government! The liberal establishment in government asks us to trust them that they know what is right. The goals of health care reform, however, can be much more efficiently achieved by leaving these problems and their solutions to the people. Leave the money in the hands of the people and allow them to address their own problems.
Ronald Reagan addressed this lack of trust when he said, “‘Trust me’ government asks that we concentrate our hopes and dreams on one man; that we trust him to do what’s best for us. But my view of government places trust not in one person or one party, but in those values that transcend persons and parties. The trust is where it belongs-in the people. The responsibility to live up to that trust is where it belongs, in their elected leaders. That kind of relationship, between the people and their elected leaders, is a special kind of compact” (July 17, 1980).
As Reagan stated, our government today needs to return the trust to the people. The values that Reagan spoke of that “transcend persons and parties” are the values that were fundamental to the founding of our country. These values are those of Life, Liberty, and Property. We trust our elected leaders to preserve these values — we also trust them to never encroach on these values. In this election year candidates for office should remember that the American people trust them only to the extent that they trust the American people. The role of government is not to increase itself, but to protect the liberties of those who are its creators — the people.
I welcome your comments and discussion.
Some interesting side notes. . . This graphic represents the bureaucracy created by ObamaCare! I look at graphs like this a lot in my work and this is one of the most confusing ones I’ve seen. It makes a good children’s game to follow all the lines and see where they go!