The Discerning Texan
All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
-- Edmund Burke
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Whittle on Obama and the "Right" to Health Care
The best news about Bill Whittle's new gig with NRO is that it forces him to write at least once a week! Here is his latest effort What is a Right and How do we Know? (emphasis mine) :
During the presidential debate Tuesday night, Barack Obama was asked if he thought health care was a “right.”We are closer to the precipice than they would have you believe. This is by far the most consequential (and dangerous...) election in my lifetime, maybe in the entire history of the US.
He said he thought it was a right. Well, if you accept that premise, I think you can ask some logical follow-up questions: Food is more important than health care. You die pretty quickly without food. Do we have a “right” to food in America? What about shelter? Do we have a “right” to housing? And if we do have a right to housing, what standard of housing do we have a right to? And if it is a right, due to all Americans, wouldn’t that mean that no one should have to accept any housing, or health care, which is inferior to anyone else’s… since it’s a right?
Do we have a right to be safe? Do we have a right to be comfortable? Do we have a right to wide-screen televisions? Where does this end?
See, by taking something to a ridiculous extreme, we can illuminate the problem here… what is a right? How do we know? What’s the difference between the right to free speech — which is enshrined in the Constitution — versus the “right” to health care, which is not?
Well, back in the day, we would simply say that a right has legal authority — it’s in the Constitution and therefore it’s a not just a right, it’s a birthright. So why shouldn’t we amend the Constitution to include the rights to health care, food, housing, education — all the rest? What’s the difference between the rights we have and the “rights” Obama wants to give us?
Simply this: Constitutional rights protect us from things: intimidation, illegal search and seizure, self-incrimination, and so on. The revolutionary idea of our Founding Fathers was that people had a God-given right to live as they saw fit. Our constitutional rights protect us from the power of government.
But these new so-called “rights” are about the government — who the Founders saw as the enemy — giving us things: food, health care, education... And when we have a right to be given stuff that previously we had to work for, then there is no reason — none — to go and work for them. The goody bag has no bottom, except bankruptcy and ruin.
Does that ring a little familiar these days? Because isn’t the danger here that if you’re offered something for nothing… you’ll take it?
Only it’s not something for nothing. “Free” health-care costs us something precious, and no less precious for being invisible. Because there’s a word for someone who has their food, housing and care provided for them… for people who owe their existence to someone else.
And that word is “slaves.”