|Fear rules the day, not liberty.|
Oh my God.
The Supreme Court today made a decision that will reverberate for a century. I'm not overstating it when I say that this was a fundamentally bad decision, a terrible precedent and a truly shameful day in American history. Before I delve into the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, let me add a glimmer of good that may come out of this decision to uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare (PPACA). There are two ways to look at this; the glass is half empty and the glass is half full.
Glass half full: This should really motivate the conservative base. Get out and vote for Senators and Congressmen and even Romney. It may also help ensure that there are more conservative justices on the Supreme Court, since even thoughs deemed dependable, are clearly not. Getting out the conservative vote has taken on new importance.
A plus is that it remains the duty of every generation to protect the freedoms enumerated in the Constitution. That's not a bad thing, those who take freedom for granted are doomed to lose it so demanding that each generation defend it is healthy. That this generation may fold up on that responsibility however, is truly astonishing and fundamentally disgraceful.
Glass half empty: Forget the economic implications for a moment. I know I've always said economics underpins everything in a country, but what underpins economics? Core values. One such core value that has ensured the United States has stayed on the path to prosperity is liberty. Liberty today has been dealt a potentially fatal blow, though the fatal moment may still lie much further in the future. This sets a scary precedent in terms of the Commerce Clause and what is allowable. Remember the broccoli argument - health care isn't broccoli and can't be treated the same way, so mandates are allowable? Well, broccoli is healthy. How long before the government starts to mandate broccoli consumption? You must eat broccoli for the collective good of the nation.
Is it overstating it to say that America is no longer a free nation? Is this a tipping point? Is America destined to become another socialist welfare state? Short answers - Maybe, Somewhat and quite possibly.
I've always dreamed of coming to America. This decision has not destroyed but has seriously shaken my conviction that America is the place to be. With this precedent, the United States has reached a tipping point but this was likely the very edge of a progression that has been a century in the making. The PPACA is not really a fundamental change, it is the logical extension of a series of changes that began a long, long time ago. Progressives have been around for a long time and they are not doing something new, they have simply managed to push further than they were before.
The real danger is the precedent that has been set. That is not the fault of progressives, but of Chief Justice Roberts, for allowing this to happen. Disappointment is not a strong enough word. Yes, the mandate can be overturned with a successful 2012 election. But with the precedent, it WILL come back again and again until it successfully sticks. Progressives have been fundamentally empowered to ensure that they keep pushing, no matter where the country is on the erosion of freedom spectrum.
Socialism may indeed be the natural end point for nations. The last bastion of freedom has had it's light dimmed, not a little, but a lot today.
Do I still want to come to America, to be an American? It is no longer a simple answer for me. It will require further analysis, and at this point, I'm not ready to say unequivocally yes or no. But that something that I've envisioned and wanted my entire life is now in question is very troubling.
Where I go from here won't change. My conservative principles have been steeled. My resolve to help contribute to the defeat of Democrats and Obama, and progressive liberalism has been steeled. How I choose to make a difference both now and in the future isn't changing. But as to which horse to back, I may have no choices left.
The glass half full scenario I mentioned above I'm sure will apply to millions in the Tea Party - people should make every effort to undo the PPACA, and reverse the course of the nation. I don't doubt that considerable success can be achieved. Nevertheless what has been done today cannot be undone. A very bad precedent has been set, and the implications of that can spread out beyond the next century. The wound may heal, but the scar will not, and the wound re-opened down the road, will be that much harder to heal. The damage will not be undone.
It is a bad day for liberty.