In a recent editorial by John McClaughry, vice president of the conservative Ethan Allen Institute, titled “A Naked Grab for Power,” Obama and the Democrats are quite correctly pilloried without apology for the Obamanation known as “health care reform.” After listing in bullet point fashion most everything wrong with a government-based “solution” to the alleged health-care “problem” – making health-care coverage mandatory, the cration of a government-run insurance plan that will assuredly undercut private enterprise, and government-issued health care ID cards that specify just what services government bureaucrats decide one is eligible to receive – to name just a few, McClaughry, in part, concludes on this note:
“Above everything else, liberals believe in the wonder-working power of government –
regulatory, coercive, punitive, monopolistic – in the service of their approved ends. They cannot tolerate economic and political power widely distributed among free citizens pursuing their own diverse preferences and interests, instead of conforming to the liberal vision of the Greater Good.
“For zealous liberals, power must always be drawn upwards to the center. There it must be wielded – ruthlessly, if necessary – to irreversibly push America leftward.”
I find little here to literally argue about with John McClaughry. This seems as solid a description of statist-left, social-democratic ideology as could ever be written. Trouble is, it’s being put forward by a person who is seriously in need of a mirror. “Conservatives” and “rightward” could just as easily be substituted in the passage above and the rest of the statement would not need to change one jot to describe the mindset and approach of right-wingers.
Perhaps conservatives do oppose governmentalized health care. They utterly fail, however, to renounce and repudiate the very underlying mechanism which makes such madness possible in the first place and which distorts the current market to provide the false rationale for it. If conservatives were truly in favor of free markets, they would not be conservatives. They would be market anarchists. By failing to hew consistently to anti-statist principles, they call their own sincerity severely into question.
You see, it was Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) who first expounded upon the idea that “services” provided exclusively by governments and funded by compulsory taxation, should be transformed into true services provided by enterprise rather than politics — voluntarily paid for by willing customers without the element of violent coercion. This core libertarian principle, so vital to the existence of an actual free-market economy, is not even paid lip service to by conservatives, all while they parade around as heroes of free enterprise. Observe also that in practice, with the partial exception of perhaps Congressman Ron Paul, there is no serious effort by establishment conservatives to rid the world of the Federal Reserve, abolish the tax code and the IRS outright, do away with the BATFE and all laws restricting ownership of defensive weapons or walk away from the wannabe global supra-government known as the United Nations. There is much posturing and posing and dancing, but little real action. There’s plenty of fluff, but nothing tough. And when you look at the whole charade through the lens of rational analysis, none of this is the least bit surprising. You’re dealing with political government after all. There’s no way it could be any different. What you see is all you’re ever going to get.
A message for John McClaughry if he’s reading this, and my apologies to David Bowie: John, you’re only dancing.