The waiting is over. By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court has upheld the Obamacare “individual mandate” requiring citizens to purchase healthcare coverage. In failing to defend the constitutional system of limited federal government, the Supreme Court has become a colossal failure.
Students of American history will look back to this moment as a turning point in the history of the United States of America. That much is certain. What remains unknown is whether the US by then will have returned to the limited form of federal government mandated by its Constitution or if it will have moved into the nightmare world of utopian activism guided by whichever “feel-good ideology” happens to be popular between our time and theirs. Where they happen to find themselves in the future will be decided by how we decide to respond today.
The only constitutionally valid response was that of Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing on behalf of the minority: “The entire act before us in invalid in its entirety.”
Whether you call it Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act and whether you see more good or more danger in its nearly 3000 pages of legal dictates, one deeply disturbing question remains: if the federal government, supposedly for our own good, can force every citizen to purchase health insurance or otherwise to face fines and penalties, what else can it force us to buy?
How did the “Infamous Five” decide this? By referring to the penalty placed upon those who refuse to purchase mandated healthcare as a tax. That’s right–it’s the tax that wasn’t a tax that was a tax before it wasn’t. In other words, the Supreme Court has perpetrated a bizarre twist of damnable magic upon the nation’s citizenry by waving the same magician’s wand used by the Obama administration in arguing its case before the Court.
Essentially, the healthcare mandate is whatever powerful people want it to be–simply because they have authority over us and they want to see that authority upheld. Their agenda is said to be good for us all, no matter how much it costs and no matter whose liberties are curtailed to obtain that agenda.
While writing this post, I overhead a member of the clergy remark that “we’re going to have a healthier country.” I’m willing to bet not, though it’s a sure bet that we’re going to have a poorer one.
As the patriot Thomas Paine once wrote of his own revolutionary travails, “these are the times that try men’s souls.” What will our reply be? What will our labors be from this point onward? Will we be silent … or will we act? Most will cower and do as they are told. Some will act. Even if our political activism should bring about the repeal of this mandate, the Supreme Court has done us a profound injustice by setting a dangerous precedent.
If the motto of the first American Revolution can rightly be described as “Give me liberty of give me death,” perhaps a fitting motto for a second American Revolution can be “We will not reply.” I’m already practicing.