Friday, January 22, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff 41

The Brown Victory
Liberals seem to be in denial over the meaning of Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts. The Chronicle, for example, editorializes that Brown's upset win was not a referendum on ObamaCare:
Massachusetts residents already have their own version of a universal health care system. We know anecdotally that many Bay Staters voted for Scott Brown to send the specific message that they are happy with that plan and do not want it overridden by a “one-size-fits-all” national plan that many obviously believe would be a step down in quality.
It may be true that "many" voters are happy with Massachusetts' enslavement of doctors and prefer to keep the slave masters in their own state. But how many is "many"? Does this explain why a state that voted for Obama by a 26% margin in 2008 elected a Republican Senator for the first time in 38 years? And what of the polls that show Obama's approval rating falling faster than any American President?

Citing Tip O'Neil, the Chronicle argues that all politics is local, and it was local issues alone that led to Brown's victory. In a certain sense this is true. Individual voters cast ballots, and it doesn't get any more local than the individual. While I seriously doubt that voters were making a principled stand for individual rights--this is Massachusetts after all--they clearly rejected the candidate who would have sealed the deal for ObamaCare.

Not surprisingly, Nancy Pelosi hasn't pulled her head out of the sand either:
Massachusetts has health care and so the rest of the country would like to have that too. So we don't [think] a state that already has health care should determine whether the rest of the country should.
Apparently, the fact that citizens across the country have rejected ObamaCare doesn't count. The great unwashed masses don't know what is best for them, and we need the anointed to force health care "reform" down our throats, whether we want it or not.

While Brown's victory did send a message, I doubt that anyone is really hearing it. Despite their rhetoric, the Democrats could care less what the citizenry wants. And the Republicans will likely continue with their own assault on our rights.

Enlightening the Masses
Earlier this week I caught a portion of the Chris Baker show. While Baker can be entertaining at times, he is a typical conservative. However, on this particular day he did something that was quite good.

A caller was taking him to task (I didn't hear the beginning of the call, so I don't know the particular issue). Baker responded with a series of questions, each pertaining to a particular issue--such as taxes and education--and culminating with: Do you think that you should have that choice or have it forced upon you by government?

At first the caller agreed that he should have the choice to make decisions regarding his own life. However, at one point he began to backtrack and contradict himself. He wanted to have his cake and eat it too--he wanted the freedom to choose for himself, but when he realized that this meant extending that same right to others he was less certain.

While the caller's response was interesting, I found Baker's tactics more so. He concretized his position in a way that related to the caller. Rather than simply make statements, Baker's questions demonstrated how political policies actually effect the caller's life. He showed that ideas matter.

The Source and Nature of Rights
In October Craig Biddle delivered a series of talks at the Universidad Francisco MarroquĂ­n in Guatemala. Those talks are now available for free. I am only about half way through the 6 hours, but this is one of the best (if not the best) discussions of rights that I have heard.

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