Free Will: On Health Care and Individualism

There are those who think that life
Has nothing left to chance
With a host of holy horrors
To direct our aimless dance

A planet of playthings
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive
The stars aren’t aligned —
Or the gods are malign
Blame is better to give than receive

You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice

You can choose from phantom fears
And kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that’s clear
I will choose free will

From the song “Freewill” by Rush from the album Permanent Waves

Tonight the president gives his game changing, successful, historic, astronomic, atmospheric speech on health care reform. But aside from the questions being asked by the beltway talking heads, I have a question that is quite straight forward and simple to answer: “Why is the president trying to reform health care, and since when was it the duty as some say of the president to take on such a personal task?”

The constitution doesn’t grant such power to the president, but something more concerning is going on here: The very fact that Americans expect the government, much less the president of the United States to somehow swoop in and save us from the big bad health care monster is not only insane but it’s extremely dangerous when government is given such a large majority of power by the people. This is what happens when you overstep the boundaries laid out by the constitution. This is also the result of those who no longer believed in that document and instead sought to create what Jon Edwards talked about: “Two Americans”. Yes, I believe there are two Americans, one where freedom and individualism is valued above dependency and collectivism, and then you have the other America, where government keeps us and provides for us all that our hearts may desire, sort of like the Bizzaro to my version of America’s Clark Kent. But perhaps, my version of America is the Bizzaro world because in America for decades the people have been conditioned to believe and expect of government that which government cannot and should not do, like get involved with the health care system, bailout banks, the income tax, and so on.

So while the president talks to the tamed masses out there I’m going to be reading a book called Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville. You see I still believe in that America where I have a choice over my own health care, after all it’s my body not the government’s. I’m not some stagnant organism connected to many others whilst we feed off a larger central body controlling us. I’m not one who believes in the steady push toward Utopia, nor do I believe in perfection, for the grace of god through my unalienable rights and liberty are far more perfect in my own failures and growth and the freedom to do so, than that of a society where no single person shall succeed nor fail. Color me old fashioned, a loony right winger, or perhaps an individual who understands the true meaning of the word.

All I know is the president won’t reach me with his speech to Congress because I won’t be listening. Maybe that’s where the rebirth of liberty and independence lie, within a person’s singular choice to just tune out government handlers, after all government needs to be wanted by the people in order for it to matter in society.

Now’s not the time to expand government, but to scale back government and programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Like Barry Goldwater I oppose both programs and wish to see them eliminated, but I know that we can’t just simply swipe the rug out from under the elderly who depend on those programs, so in the spirit of incrementalism, perhaps libertarians and conservatives should take a page out of the progressive playbook and slowly but surely ween people off Medicare and Medicaid.