In their public statements on health insurance reform, Democratic spokesmen have consistently dismissed those with objections to government health care as liars. In emails from the Democratic National Committee (which I have been receiving regularly ever since I asked a question) Republicans such as Reps. John Boehner of Ohio and Michelle Bachman of Minnesota and others have been singled out for this charge. Yes, I know that Republican congressman Joe Wilson from South Carolina shouted "liar" at President Barack Obama in a speech to Congress when he denied that illegal aliens would receive medical care under the Democrats’ health reform bill. But several times during his speech Obama repeated the line that he and other members of his party have put forth that critics are lying.
This has gone so far as government agencies ordering health insurance companies to cease informing their clients that costs will go up under government health care, congressional committees demanding access to records of companies who are critical, and most recently Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi chastising those firms for their bad "behavior" that points up the need for a "public option."
So seldom do liberal Democrats make the case for their policies on the merits, I have concluded that they believe that no legitimate reason can justify opposition. Their longest-standing device has been to denounce their critics as "special interests" who are utterly indifferent or downright hostile to the common good or the rights of others.
Insurance and drug companies, doctors and hospitals may not be public office holders, but they have as much right to express their opinion on legislation as anyone else. They are involved in commerce, which is hardly a crime, and they represent thousands of employees and millions of consumers who depend on them for their efforts. All ad hominem attacks on opposing arguments are not only fallacious but a bad reflection on the perpetrators of them.
There is a fundamental reason why so-called progressives habitually dismiss their critics so summarily. It is, I believe, because the now one-century old progressive movement, led by such stalwarts and Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow, concluded that the U.S. Constitution was an antiquated document that stood in the way of regulation of the modern corporation and of the alleged ideal of equality of condition.
Neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution can be honestly interpreted to support equality of condition. The former declares that we all possess the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by nature, and the latter only secures those rights. In the marketplace in which millions of Americans participate every day, government’s role is to make uniform rules to ensure fair treatment, not to redistribute income from one person or entity to another.
Roosevelt, Wilson and their followers over the years in both political parties believed that something they call an historical process or evolution is moving mankind toward greater and greater equality of condition, and their role as statesmen is to lead their fellow citizens (who don’t always share their enthusiasm) toward the "glorious future" awaiting them.
Not our human nature but history unbound by nature is the basis for human progress, a position with which Obama and his fellow Democrats are in full agreement. As avatars of benefits yet to come, progressives have little patience with those of a different mind.
If this weren’t enough, those who have attended colleges and universities have been taught by professors in the social sciences and humanities that human beings are not governed by reason but entirely by passions such as greed (economic) and lust (sexual). Of course, routinely teachers of this doctrine exempt themselves from it as they claim to possess "value free" objectivity. The practical effect of this teaching is to stigmatize those who disagree with it and to license "enlightened" people to indulge any desires they wish.
Republicans, businessmen, middle class homeowners, Caucasians, males and heterosexuals have all been stigmatized for years, and they are expected meekly to accept their reduction to second-class citizenship. That so many Americans have spoken up at tea parties, town hall meetings, in letters to the editor, on talk radio and the internet is extremely inconvenient for those who believe that growing government to seize incomes and manage our daily lives is inevitable.
As ever, we are free to chart our own future which, for a growing number of us, does not include unconstitutional government. That is the truth that progressives must continue to deny.