I had a moment over lunch to witness some of the health care debate televised live on C-SPAN. It was an intriguing display of political grandstanding and powerful adversaries trading petty and sly insults.
At one point Vice President Biden attempted to corner a Republican House member by drawing the philosophic boundary and showing them they were both on the same side. He was clear when he said, in effect, “You either believe the government has the right to regulate and make decisions for the people, or you don’t.” Though the Republicans are reluctant to admit it explicitly, the results of their efforts over the years have indicated they are in philosophic agreement.
When will people realize they have themselves to blame by not growing wise to these antics? And what exactly do you call it when one day your taxes are 50 percent and the next day 60 percent because a portion of the population decides what they will force you to do is “for your own good”? The choice is pay up or go to jail. If you concede, just as Biden urged the House member to, then the debate is not about if, but how much the control will displace our individual freedom.
I wonder what these sessions would have produced with the likes of George Washington or Patrick Henry — people who, perhaps after calmly listening to all the different speakers, stand up and remind us why America is America.
Someone who would compel you to take a look around at the man-made evidence and realize it isn’t an accident and it isn’t created by government mandate. It was created by enlightened, freedom-loving individuals fresh from the jails of self-implosed serfdom in Europe.
But in spite of all this, we still have our intellectual freedom. We aren’t being censored or persecuted by those wielding power. And though I watch in amazement how all of this is being conducted in broad daylight, perhaps while the majority of Americans tune in to soap operas or “American Idol” instead, these people in D.C. are representatives of the ideas held by their constituents.
This is why some say we get what we deserve. If we don’t examine our ideas closely and understand them fully, we will wonder how things got so far out of whack, when really there is no contradiction here. This is still a democracy. There is nobody forcing us to put up with all of this — we are allowing them to get away with it.
– Mark Holton, Sophomore in architecture