A shallow and ineffective argument against Obamacare
an e-mail I’ve sent to Dan Gerstein, who writes a weekly column for Forbes
Dear Mr. Gerstein:
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In your article, “Deaf To America: Why Democrats have lost the public’s trust,” you argue that the public does not oppose the federal takeover of the health care industry because they think it’s a bad idea in itself, but only because it goes against their temporary mood of this year, traumatized as they’ve been by the stimulus and other big spending and by the bad economy. You say that the Democrats are foolish to push against this public mood.
The argument is shallow and self-defeating. If the public’s opposition to Obamacare is only based on mood and context, and not on firm opposition to the contents of the bill, they will get over it in time. Why should the Democrats give up their dream of transforming America, simply because the public doesn’t happen to feel like having America transformed this year?
Again: the Democrats have a fixed, permanent, unchanging ambition to nationalize medicine in this country, while the public’s opposition to this idea is, according to you, only temporary. Why should the Democrats walk away from their best chance to fulfil their transcendent and permanent hope, in order to appease what according to you is only a temporary mood? Why would any true-believing Democrat be persuaded by your argument? In fact, you have given the strongest justification to the Democrats’ belief that if they ram the bill through, the people will get over their negative feelings about it and start liking it.
On a deeper level, the problem with your article is that you do not oppose Obamacare because it is bad in itself; you oppose it only for temporary and relativistic reasons—relative to how the public happens to feel at this moment, or, rather, relative to how you think they happen to feel about it. By failing to oppose Obamacare in and of itself, by failing to make any principled argument against it, and, most of all, by failing to see that the public opposition to the bill is principled and not merely moody, you tacitly surrender to its ultimate passage.
With weak opponents of socialism like you, who needs socialists?
New York City
Carol Iannone writes:
Good, that should give him pause.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 04, 2010 08:09 AM | Send