Friday, January 21, 2011

Rights, Health Care, and Demagogues

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)
by John Russell Turner

The following is an excerpt from Michelle Malkin's blog:

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) believes the Constitution justifies Obamacare’s mandate that people must buy health insurance. According to him, the Constitution’s reference to the “pursuit of happiness” specifically justifies that mandate. There’s just one problem, the pursuit of happiness isn’t in the Constitution.
“Well, when you start off with the Preamble of the Constitution, you talk about the pursuit of happiness,” Lewis told CNS News regarding the mandate’s justification. ”You go to the 14th Amendment–it’s equal protection under the law and we have not repealed the 14th Amendment. People have a right to have health care. It’s not a privilege but a right.”

Aside from the shall we say inaccuracy about the Preamble, this statement from an American congressman is revealing. Either Rep. Lewis is an uneducated, ignorant man, or he is a cynical demagogue. To illustrate, let's look at the words he used: "people have a right to health care." So where in the Preamble to the Constitution-or anywhere-is it written that "people" have the "right" to health care? Lewis seems to be saying that "the pursuit of happiness", which is in the Declaration of Independence, not the Preamble, implies a right to health care. Then how about a right to affordable housing? A decent job? A new car? A mansion in Bel Air? A brand new Spandex jump suit? Does the pursuit of happiness require that I have the right to those things? Right? By what right?

Let's look at the "right" to health care. Where did this right come from?  Are we born with the right to health care? If so, then what exactly does this mean in practical terms? That I have the right to receive medical care from a doctor? Well, what if the doctor refuses to give me medical care? Where is my right, then? What if I can't afford to pay the doctor, what good does my "right" do if the doctor wants his fee? Doesn't the doctor have the right to his life and property? So the government comes into the picture and in effect says: "we declare that all our citizens have the right to health care. We will require doctors to comply. You have a right, but they don't-they're just greedy, selfish bastards anyway. But we'll steal more money from the productive to pay the doctors, since you can't pay."

You see, "rights" really are an invention of politicians, and all of them (except two, which I will explain momentarily) are cleverly disguised justifications, either for theft, or for forcing doctors to work. Usually both. If I want to collect on my right to health care, and if no doctor acknowledges (gives me) that right, then the government can help-they can tax (theft) or they can force doctors to work (or else go to jail). The "right" to affordable housing, a decent job, et al, have the same nature; at the root, these are merely false justifications for demanding and expecting to receive something of value from another human being, and it's usually without having to pay out of pocket. But someone has to pay, and so we see that an immoral means is used to justify a moral end-again, as is so typical of Leftist schemes. Yes, someone has to pay, and that means taxing the productive of our society to raise the revenue to pay for these "rights". This is a fundamentally evil procedure, for all it takes to illustrate why is to imagine what happens if anyone would rather not have to make such a payment. Perhaps they have other things in mind. After all, they earned their money. It's their property-and this brings me quite nicely into what are objectively valid rights: the right to life, and the right to hold property. These two rights are the only ones we are really born with. No one can ever rationally justify taking away another person's life, with the exception of self-defense. No man grants or otherwise gives us the right to life, as is the case with all the other alleged rights. For me to have a right to medical care, there must be somebody there to provide it for me. But for me to have the right to life (and not the means!), I only need to be born. Yes, the very fact that I was born gives me the right to live just the same as you, comrade, and if I am to live, I must be able to earn, and keep, what belongs to me. And please, before you go on about  The State (or the Fatherland, or Holy Russia, or whatever), you need to accept the fact that government is nothing more than a group of individual men and women, all like yourself. We owe nothing to them, nor to each other, except mutual respect of our lives and our stuff.

So Congressman Lewis is wrong, and I am willing to bet that he knows it, too.

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