Did you hear that? Just now. It was barely audible, no more than a gasp, not even a faint cry. If you really strained your ears and listened you might just have heard it. It was the dying breath of America as we knew her. She passed tonight but you could hardly hear above all the din and commotion. You would hardly know amid the spectacle of paunchy legislators, smiling fatuously, and the Queen of all legislators, grinning like Skeletor himself. Amid talk of evil insurance companies and unfinished business, of reform, fairness and social justice, America quietly died tonight and barely anyone noticed. She went out, not with a bang, but a whimper …
But, you say, the sun will still rise tomorrow. Yes, it will. And life must go on. Yes, it must, but with a difference. Even if this imminent law does not result in all the wild things we crazy right wingers have been saying — to wit: rationing of healthcare services to cover thirty million uninsured; cuts in Medicare resulting in tens of thousands of doctors, hospitals and outpatient clinics refusing to treat Medicare patients, having disastrous consequences for the elderly; virtual God-like control by government healthcare planners (i.e., bureaucrats) who will deny treatments and limit drug availability; all while adding hundreds of billions to the deficit when it becomes clear that the Democrats’ gerrymandering of the numbers to achieve so-called cost-containment is exposed for the fraud that it is — even if by some fantastic fairy-tale magic none of these things ever come to pass and we are all holding hands and skipping down the flower-strewn path to good health, this soon-to-be tragedy called universal healthcare will have ripped the very heart and soul out of this country.
And why is that, you ask? Because we have just entered the Age of Dependence: a time when we no longer possess our individual rights independent of the government, but instead beholden to the government. Government has gone from protector to provider, from neutral referee to biased participant. The government, it must be allowed, has now given us something, for a price. The price is liberty. We owe them now. And that which is given, can always be taken away. A passage of uncertain origin, but generally attributed to Scottish-born writer and lawyer Alexander Tytler, is of relevance here:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years… Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.
If Mr. Tytler is anywhere near as prescient as he seems, we have only one more age to go, and tonight we’ve just paved the way there very nicely.
America died tonight. And if you still haven’t an inkling as to what I am talking about, then I’ll never be able to explain it to you. You’ll just have to listen better.
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