If the Republicans lose the election, save this article for reference and insight at that time.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan keep trying to argue that they are the better ones qualified to “save Medicare.”
Here’s the problem with this approach. It implies that you love and support the Medicare program. But Medicare is, literally speaking, socialized medicine. It’s socialized medicine for the elderly only, but it’s socialized medicine. “Socialized” refers to the fact that government entitles everyone to the benefit, and that those who pay taxes will finance it (combined with government debt, since the program can clearly not support itself over the long-run.)
Now Paul Ryan, at least until his recent vote for funding Obamacare, has been one of the staunchest opponents of Obamacare since its passage. But the only reason to oppose Obamacare is because it’s socialized medicine–for everyone, not just the elderly.
It’s true that Obamacare pays for itself by sacrificing subsidies for Medicare. Ryan is right to point this out. However, advocates of socialized medicine still have the overriding argument: “We’ll take care of you. Before, we only guaranteed health insurance to the elderly. Now we guarantee it to everyone–forever.”
Ryan has no answer to this, other than the one he will not argue. His Catholicism, which teaches that self-sacrificial service to others is the essence of virtue, will not allow him to do so. His senior running mate, Mitt Romney, will not allow him to do so. But the only argument he could plausibly make is: “Socialized medicine is wrong, in all its forms. Government has no business forcing some to provide health care to others. We should restore a private market, maximizing choices for all, and leave private charity to do the rest.” Romney and Ryan cannot and will not argue this. But it’s the only argument against the socialist Democrats which is logically plausible.
Even some opponents of socialism will reply to this by saying, “Yes, you’re right. But that can’t win elections.” So how well is Romney doing with his current strategy? He’s either behind or tied in every national poll. For the most part, he’s behind. And he has not yet been ahead in the Electoral College. In fact, since the conventions ended the Republicans are increasingly less likely to win the Senate, and are losing seats in the House. On this course, they may lose Congress altogether. Just think: In a few short months, we could be back to where we started, with Obama as President, Democrats still in charge of the Senate and Nancy Pelosi back as Speaker of the House. If this doesn’t spell the complete end of the American Republic, I don’t know what would.
Romney’s and Ryan’s current strategy of arguing they “will save Medicare” is not doing much for them, nor for the cause of what’s left of economic freedom in the United States.
You cannot fight socialism with modified socialism. If socialism is the best economic policy, then why choose watered down socialism over the real thing, as Obama and the Democrats promise? Granted, they don’t call it “socialism” because that’s not an especially popular term with most voting Americans. But it sure is popular to say, “We’ll take care of you. And the economy will prosper even more. And nobody will suffer, other than the ultra-rich who will only pay a tiny bit more in taxes. What’s the big deal?”
Is it all a lie? Of course. But people will choose the more soothing of the two lies. If Republicans keep engaging in the same kind of lying that embodies Democrats and socialism, they’re going to lose. If they keep trying to fight or defend their entitlement to political power on the terms of the Democrats, the Democrats will win.
Americans must grow up and yearn for a restoration of freedom and private property, including the self-responsibility that gives rise to these things. But their leaders must give them an actual and decisive alternative, as well. Otherwise, what’s the point of even having an election?
Romney and Ryan should not be fighting to “save Medicare.” They should be fighting to save America from the depressing stagnation and impoverishment — moral and financial — that collective ownership of major industries (health care included) inevitably brings. They should champion the causes of the individual over the collective, and of private markets over government control. That’s a debate that even today could possibly be won. Fighting this election on the terms of the socialists and Democrats will lead to certain defeat, and possibly even a devastating pro-Obama landslide from which the United States will never recover.
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