Obama’s adamantly un-American radicalism meets Romney’s self-cancelling conservative pose
By Alan Keyes
[A post a few days ago featured a comment that aptly described the situation of the GOP's conservative grassroots base as a political version of spousal abuse syndrome.
This morning, I read the following pithy comment from the same reader, freelance writer Virginia Rathbun, about one of the subjects in Tuesday night’s Obama/Romney exchange. I post it here, along with some thoughts of my own which it inspired.]
During the second debate, Barrack Obama issued a direct and accurate challenge to Romney on social issues: “In my health care bill, I said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who is insured…. Governor Romney not only opposed it; he suggested that in fact, employers should be able to make the decision as to whether or not a woman gets contraception through her insurance coverage….”
Obama also voiced his opposition to Romney’s promise to defund Planned Parenthood. Romney was not given the opportunity to retort. (Was this to signal there is really no difference between the two individuals’ viewpoints, or is “severely conservative” Romney not allowed to speak?) Romney, ever averse to being taken seriously at his word to the Republican base, immediately clarified that he is firmly on both sides of the issue.
“I don’t believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not [said to the base]. I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not [said to the left]. Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives [said to all].”
Of course, the issue isn’t whether any official or employer can tell a woman to use or not use contraceptives, but Romney’s verbal gymnastics help to muddy the waters and lead astray the inattentive. Perhaps the word choice is the deliberate obfuscation that lends itself to “clearer” (but still mutable) interpretation later. “Well, I was just assuring women I would defend their right to always have access to contraceptives,” or some such nonsense. Freudian slip Romney finished by saying: “The president’s statement of my policy is completely and totally wrong.” Magical Romney strikes again: Now you see the conscience clause, now you don’t…
The appearance of sharp disagreement between Romney and Obama on the issue of conscience-coercing health insurance mandates is a false pretense. This is clear from the fact that in dealing with it, they both speak the same language. Both use the term “right” as if it is simply a matter of individual choice, with no standard or rule to govern it. They use the term in this way because both embrace the elitist faction’s rejection of the first premise of American self-government — that there is a standard of right common to all human beings, which “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” oblige all to respect.
Absent this common and authoritative standard of choice, all that is left of respect for right is the demand that individual freedom be respected. In light of this demand, Obama says “insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody.” In light of it, Romney proclaims his personal beliefs about what bureaucrats and employers should not do and what every women in America should have.
When it comes to using the essential power of government, however, the notion that individual freedom, per se, should be respected is patently self-contradictory. This is true because no use of government power can simply be a matter of individual choice. By definition, government represents the action of a community, a combination of individuals united and actuated by the will or judgment they have in common. If with respect to any given action, each and every individual remains perfectly free to do as they choose, there can be no assurance of common action, and no secure expectation of any particular result. Where there is no reliable security for action, there is no government to speak of, only a beguiling and contemptible pretense of government, quickly dispelled by individual recalcitrance.
Of course, if one or a few individuals resist the common will of a larger number, the greater force may overcome the lesser. But in that case, what becomes of the notion that individual choice “needs to be” or “should be” respected? Such language suggests that there is some requirement or standard that forbids the individuals with the greater force from simply using that force to impose their will upon the others. But if individual choice “needs to be” or “should be” respected, why should the individual choices that comprise the greater force be thwarted by resistance from those who do not agree with them?
The answer to that question cannot be……..