Donald Trump’s Health Care Socialism- For Good or Ill?
One of the things I most abhorred about Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House was his penchant for disparaging America’s performance as a nation, even during some of his visits abroad. It came into play to give credence to his groveling apologies for our nation’s supposed offenses. His behavior was what one would expect from someone who felt the resentful shame Mrs. Obama expressed when she said that she had never felt pride in her country until Obama won the Presidential election.
This fundamentally derogatory attitude toward the United States has been characteristic of the people President Reagan’s UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick described as Blame America First “San Francisco Democrats” in her speech to the 1984 GOP convention in San Diego. They are left-wing socialists. They understand History, as the dialectical rendering of exclusively material power. For them, the United States is an incidental accretion of force, antithetical to the rising power of the historical vanguard that will inevitably supersede the self-contradicted conglomerate of diverse peoples it represents. From their perspective, there is no point in feeling pride for that which is, in principle, already extinguished.
Now comes the report of President Trump’s apparent effort to salve Australia’s wounded feelings with a balm of praise, at the expense of disparaging health care in the United States. At their recent meeting in New York City, Mr. Trump praised Australia’s healthcare system. Speaking of the U.S., he told Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull that “We have a failing health care…You have better health care than we do.” Later Trump amplified this observation in a tweet that read “Of course the Australians have better healthcare than we do – everybody does.”
Let’s leave aside the silly implication that people in Sierra Leone or Myanmar have better health care than Americans. Let’s assume that President Trump meant to say that, among the most highly developed countries in the world, some rank the United States as the worst. Can we take that ranking at face value Or should we consider the character of the criteria used for judgment? These include notions of “efficiency, equity and healthy lives” skewed to favor the ideological agenda of socialists pushing, worldwide, for government control of the health sector? Or should we ponder the self-serving role government has played in distorting the cost-efficiency of U.S. health care expenditures? Or the fact that the negative assessment of American health care results, in part, from requiring features like mandatory access to morally challenged practices like abortion?
If they actually paid attention to his often-professed views, both before and during his late Presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s praise of Australia’s universal, government ruled healthcare approach should come as no surprise to his supporters. It may, however, shock and dismay GOP voters who took his promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare as a commitment to pursuing free enterprise, market driven approaches to healthcare, rooted in personal responsibility and informed individual choices.
Is this a straw-in-the-wind, proving that President Trump is prone to revert-to-type on matters where his campaign “sales puffery” was at odds with the attitudes and views he once appeared simply to share with most of the rest of America’s culturally leftist business and entertainment elite? If so, it points to a likely outcome re the healthcare issue that ultimately leaves government in a position to abuse control of access to healthcare as a key instrument for further dissolving the American people’s already waning capacity for truly independent political choice.
Despite all the talk of assuring access for all, the systems so admired by Mr. Trump seem actually to produce a result in which the vast majority of people are forced into a government run system that offers mediocre care and limited choice (occasionally relieved by the possibility of special treatment for the people who prove themselves most useful to the elitist powers that manipulate and control the politics of governmental distribution). It’s interesting to note that this paradigm for elitist dominance is foreshadowed in the de facto result of President Trump’s recent order purporting to safeguard religious liberty.
This order foreshadows a permanent situation in which, for example, Christians will generally be subject to coercion and persecution- deprived of job opportunities, businesses, professional discretion, parental authority, and even the right to associate to offer educational, medical and other services that accord with their faith. But for those who prove useful in this or that cliques successful pursuit of political office (as certain religious groups have proven useful to the Trump faction’s preeminence in the GOP), they may be exempted from the general persecution.
The Communist Party regime in China has used this approach to domesticate some religious institutions there. In the history of the Ottoman Empire, this approach was used to pacify what remained of the Christian fold after periodic bouts of unbridled religious persecution. Far from safeguarding religious liberty, it signifies that its destruction is complete. But since “the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free” is critical to the overall regime of liberty (self-government) in the United States, this strategy of domestication is here the paradigm for the general destruction of the liberty of the American people, individually and on the whole.
Ironically, the process of that destruction involves promoting individual freedom, as expressed in material, and more specifically, bodily form. The assault on Christian sexual mores is simply an aspect of the campaign to preoccupy people with their material needs and desires, confining the scope of envisioned choices to objects and activities readily curtailed or provisioned by material power. People with an abundance of such power may then purport to be as gods to those less well endowed. Their disposition of that power allows them to make themselves the standard of choice, due to the evident fact that no choice can have material effect without their aid.
Thus, they become the arbiters of a hierarchy of material possibilities distributed according to their will. In the society for which they thus serve as the standard or rule of worth, they and those they allow to subsist in the ambit of their power, are everything; those not so favored are of no account. This implies returning to the mentality of so-called ‘aristocratic” times, when those who named themselves “the gentry” thus blatantly denied the assumption of equal moral status to human persons outside the restricted purview of their division of society.
This is a far cry from a regime of life predicated on the view that “all men are created equal”, and under which the constitution of government is devised to assure liberty and justice to all. It is incompatible with law enforcement that aims to provide equal protection for the just pursuits of all offspring of humanity. Whether in the health sector, or any other, promise to sue government to provide some coveted material benefit to all individuals is more likely than not to be a mask for the exertion of decisive material power by a self-privileged few. Was this likely outcome the good reason why America’s Declaration of Independence confined government’s critical aim to securing the right to pursue our lives and contentment, not securing promises from those who govern that they will arrange and guarantee our success in that pursuit?
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