Reich noted that recently he heard a young man express that he would rather pay a penalty than be forced by law to purchase health insurance. According to Reich, the young man asked “why should I pay for the sick and the old?” Reich’s answer is telling: “The answer is he has a responsibility to do so, as a member the same society they inhabit.”
When explaining why “richer people” have to pay higher taxes to finance health insurance for lower income Americans, Reich concludes “It’s only just that those with higher incomes bear some responsibility for maintaining the health of Americans who are less fortunate.” Did you catch that? A liberal exclaiming that “it’s only just” when explaining his plans for wealth redistribution.
Reich complains that Democrats have not properly made the argument in favor of redistribution. “This is a profoundly moral argument about who we are and what we owe each other as Americans,” he declares. Reich even goes so far as to lament that redistribution has become so “unfashionable” that it’s just easier to say “everyone comes out ahead.”
So redistribution of wealth by our benevolent federal government is not only moral but “profoundly moral.” So much so, that it’s okay to deceive the public at large about what is really happening. (Democrats are getting quite good at that.) Because, you see, as Reich puts it, “there would be no reason to reform and extend health insurance to begin with if we did not have moral obligations to one another as members of the same society.”
As you see, multiple times Reich makes a moral (almost desperate it seems) appeal in favor of Obamacare and the redistribution of wealth that it requires. I love it when liberals attempt to make moral arguments to support their Big Government programs. It opens up so many possibilities. To begin with, to what moral code is Reich appealing?
As is typical with so many liberals and their similar arguments, he never does say. I suppose it’s just assumed that everyone thinks that providing health care for those in need is the “just” or “responsible” thing to do as “members of the same society.” However, not so long ago the “responsible” thing to do was for men and women to get married before they decided to make babies.
Not so long ago, to kill a child in the womb was considered a terrible act of injustice. Now the “responsible” thing is to allow people to end the lives of all those unwanted children.
Not so long ago, no sane person would have thought that marriage was anything but a union of one man and one woman. And for that matter, not so long ago, homosexual behavior was considered immoral and something that needed to be cured. Today the “just” thing to do is to allow people to live their lives any way they choose, no matter the old moral standards or the consequences, because “love is love.”
Whether Reich, or Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid, or Jim Wallis, or Obama himself; and whether the issue is health care, marriage, abortion, climate change, education, and the like, time and again liberals attempt to make moral arguments in favor of their Big Government liberal worldview.
Yet, if conservatives attempt the same, we are “forcing our morality” on others, or we are attempting to “legislate morality.” In fact, such accusation has been leveled so often that even some conservatives have started to believe it. Speaking to young libertarians earlier this year, GOP representative Justin Amash said, “We can’t legislate morality and force everyone to agree with us.”
Bill O’Reilly called those of us who oppose same-sex marriage on biblical grounds Bible thumpers. He went so far as to say, “If you’re going to stand up for heterosexual marriage, and exclude gay marriage if you’re going to do that, you’ve gotta do it outside the Bible. You can’t cite the Bible, because you’ll lose if you do.” Yet, as I have noted before (see the links above), liberals will often cite the Bible to further their Big Government agenda, and the media barely bats an eye.
It’s time for the moral double standard to stop. It’s time for the media and pundits across the political spectrum to see that both sides—liberal and conservative—are making moral arguments when pushing their respective agendas. All that needs to be decided is by whose morality we want to be governed: a morality that is rooted and grounded in absolute truth or one that is guided by whatever political winds seem to be prevalent at the time.
Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.