This country was founded and then fostered by people who valued liberty highly: immigrant generations and their immediate children. As time has passed, Americans have become more removed from that overwhelming concern. The majority of earlier generations (or their parents) had direct personal experience of what lack of liberty felt like, and therefore were willing to defend liberty at almost any cost.
Perhaps too many Americans today have grown accustomed to the blessings of liberty, and do not feel it to be threatened. Perhaps there is no way to transmit that original fierce love of liberty to succeeding generations who have not personally felt the pain of its absence. Such Americans appear very susceptible to the idea that a vast country such as ours has the moral responsibility to guarantee health care to all its citizens as an additional inalienable right — whether they can pay or not, whether the country as a whole can afford it or not, whether it will cause substandard care for the majority or not, and whether it will end our ability to make our own medical decisions or not — and that only government is equipped to do this, even if it means taking from each according to his ability, and giving to each according to his needs, and even if the entire endeavor is impossible to carry off.
Have Americans decided that liberty is passé, and that equality and fraternity — or the pretense of both — are far more important? To paraphrase Churchill’s famous statement about Munich, in which he is purported to have said that “the government had to choose between war and shame. They chose shame. They will get war, too.”
Our government has had to choose between liberty and social justice. They chose social justice. They will get neither.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Sober Thoughts for a New Year
This from Neo Neocom, a New England blogger who writes for the increasingly influential Pajamas Media: