Yesterday I posted an essay on how rights become rights. First there is the declaration, then comes the ability to exercise your “right” either by force or via the absence of, or ineffectual, pushback. Over the past decade we have seen an increasingly aggressive push by those on the Left to nudge us (more of a shove, really) into accepting their claim (more of a demand, actually) to healthcare as a right. It’s been very dismaying to me to observe the almost complete lack of pushback by the Right when it comes to this issue and the Left’s attempt (success, to be more accurate) to unilaterally establish a new right/entitlement that heretofore did not exist. No one, it seems, wanted to look like the meanie who denied “access to healthcare,” as the Left so slyly phrases it, so let me be one of the first (as far as I can tell) to pronounce unequivocally that healthcare is not a right (although in truth I’ve said it for many years). Let me also point out that, contrary to the myth hysterically cultivated by the Left that refusal to recognize healthcare as a right is tantamount to denying access, the refusal to agree that healthcare is a right only means that people have to provide their own means of obtaining it. What a concept, eh? But let’s get back to the subject of rights for a moment.
The wise men credited with the founding of our great nation saw fit to include a Bill of Rights with our Constitution. If liberals would ever bother to read it they might take note that healthcare is not included on that list. Not that it would matter much to the bullies on the Left who believe that the way you get what you want in life is to lie, cheat, march, shout and force others to provide it for you. More importantly, though, thoughtful readers will note that the “rights” protected under the Bill of Rights all have one critical thing in common: No right guaranteed in the B.O.R. comes at the expense of any other individual. The same certainly cannot be said about the “right” to healthcare and the multitude of other freebies the Left continually proclaims itself entitled to. If you have the right to healthcare, then logically it must follow that other citizens have the obligation to provide it for you. Those citizens become, in essence, your indentured servants, and we become, in essence, the very antithesis of the country that our founders sacrificed to create.
There’s an old joke about a man who asks a woman if she will sleep with him for a million dollars. The woman thinks it over carefully and, after much agonizing, ultimately decides she will. When she gives the man her answer, he responds by saying, “Okay. How about you sleep with me for 50 bucks?” The outraged woman cries, “What kind of woman do you think I am?!” to which the man says, “We’ve already established what kind of woman you are. Now we’re just arguing over the price.”
Any time you fail to stand for the Constitution and you allow people to successfully grant themselves rights at the expense of their fellow citizens, you significantly change the nature of your relationship with those people. From that point forward the question is not whether they can proclaim their own rights and take from their fellow citizens. The question is only, “How much?”
Freedom, alas, is never free. The price for preserving liberty, as the Founders defined it and as we so often tout in our posts and comments, is that we must do what’s right even when it’s tempting to give in. Healthcare as a right sounds nice, I know, particularly when each and every one of us as well as our loved ones will need it at some point. But the American spirit has a way of finding the path to provide what we need the right way when we are not enticed by the devil’s shortcuts that require indenturing our souls. A true free market that normalizes costs (rather than the ludicrous pricing that artificial constraints have led to) coupled with the renowned generosity of Americans is the best way to provide everyone, including the truly disadvantaged, with what they need. More on that in a future post.