A few months ago, even after the Supreme Court ruled Constitutional the government’s force necessary for the implementation of Obamacare, the act’s fate was still not certain. There was still a chance the act would not come fully into practice as Governor Romney had vowed to repeal the act as his first order of business as President. That chance, being now gone, the Affordable Care Act, is poised to become the obligatory rule between every recipient of medical care and every doctor in the nation.
The author of this legislation has just won re-election denoting the majority’s overall support of this hallmark of Obama’s first term. The continued direction toward a centrally planned, single payer medical system seems, according to the election results, destined to be with the electorate evidently endorsing this direction.
Strangely though, polling data has found a consistent majority opposed to Obamacare.
For the past three years, disapproval of Obamacare has fluctuated from fifty to sixty three percent, at the same time, not once more than a peak of forty four percent of persons were ever in favor of it. So there has to be another explanation of why the majority would vote for something it has displayed a consistent three year Pattern of opposing.
Certainly, the lack of any kind of fundamental opposition to Obama’s policies from the Republican challenger figured into the election results, on top of his lack of distinct principles. But seeing as he at least boldly proclaimed his intention to repeal Obamacare, the majority who opposed Obamacare should have cast their votes for him. Yet they did not.
While the majority of Americans are opposed to Obamacare, the vast majority are strongly supportive of all of the government’s other forays into medicine. What coldhearted cad couldn’t support the Prescription drug benefit of Bush to help seniors? Who, but someone utterly cold and callous could possibly be against Medicare, desiring harm to those same, feeble senior citizens? And certainly, no one but Scrooge himself would dream of opposing the Medicaid act born out of a noble "war" on poverty.
This kind of emotional argument has a sting for almost anyone who dares oppose the government providing the medical care and many other things for said persons via the tax dollars of working people. And it stings because the vast, vast majority of Americans subscribe to the morality of altruism, the ethics of living for others as the ultimate value.
How many of us do not cringe at the appellation of selfish? It is an automatic, black mark on one’s character to be labeled as such, but why? Why is it considered universally immoral, indeed almost a heinous crime, to care about one's own self and loved ones primarily, and to desire the justice of reaping the fruits of one’s own labor? There is no answer other than the multi millennia long, ingrained tradition of altruism.
Throughout western history, altruism has had a monopoly on conventional morality largely via Christianity and Judaism. In the 18th and 19th centuries, philosophers such as Kant, Hegel, and Marx wrapped altruism in a cloak of a supposed rational philosophy, building political and economic ideologies around the morality of living for the collective.
While the religious altruist school deemed sacrifice a virtue for "God", the new political altruist school deemed it a virtue for the "people". While both sides differed on the fundamental reason sacrifice was a virtue, they both did indeed agree on altruism as a virtue. Both shared the unsupported claim that sacrifice for "others" was the cornerstone of morality.
Until the radical nation of the United States came into existence, the morality of individual rights had never been given political expression. For the first time, a country was founded on the notion that an individual had the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Yet the founders of the United States, while divorcing altruism from politics, had not rejected altruism in ethics, hence the dilemma of most Americans being "against" government infringements of individual rights while at the same time unable to oppose the altruistic, allegedly “just” motive of those infringements.
Flash forward to the 2012 Presidential election and we can see the culmination of two sides of the same coin: Obama who justifies government force and regulation and the violation of individual rights in medicine on a federal level, and Romney who justifies the exact same thing on a state level. Obama justifies his force for the good of the people, and Romney hears the call of a higher being telling him to do so. Once you acknowledge the minutiae of their differences, Obama and Romney are in fact, two sides of the same altruistic coin. Realizing that they differ not in principles but merely in a fraction of degrees, it is understandable as why the majority who opposed Obamacare did not vote for Romney based on upon their disapproval of Obamacare. Both candidates and most Americans fully accept the notion that is moral for the government to interject force in men’s dealings for the “good” of the whole. Most Americans and both candidates believe it is moral, at varying levels, to transfer wealth from the productive to the less productive. Most Americans and both candidates feel it is unarguably immoral to be concerned solely with one’s self, i.e. selfish. Most Americans and both candidates feel it is the proper role of government, to varying degrees, to “level” the playing field, create a “fair” environment, promote “equalization” of opportunity, or to drop the euphemisms, “from each according to his ability to each according to his need”.
Until Americans reject the sacrificial ethics of altruism and fully embrace the morality of individual rights, which recognizes and treats with man as what he is, an independent entity, no majority will be able to slow or reverse the century long unraveling of the only political system based upon individual rights. For those Americans opposed to the immorality and destructiveness of Obamacare, it is not simply enough to reject that law alone, but they must reject altruism in all its forms and guises. Americans must once again, stand proudly for our intellectual birthright as free individuals, subordinate to no king, church, majority or mob. The intellectual desendants of the Founders must reject the immoral notion of one man’s needs or wants as a claim on the life of another. And to be consistent and effective, they must reject not just the latest apex of government interference in medicine which is Obamacare, but the whole series of incremental steps to Obamacare such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Until and unless Americans are ready to reject the package deal of altruism and a political system based upon the alleged rights of some violating the actual rights of others, until and unless Americans understand that no thing can be a right which violates another’s rights, Obamacare and the logically ensuing nationalization and destruction of medicine is unavoidable and unstoppable.
If there are such things as individual rights, if they are inherent in each of us and in fact inalienable, a majority does not, and can never, a moral make.