(Guest post by Greg Forster)
Pardon me while I toot my horn that the editors of the Wall Street Journal have picked up on the story that federal student loans illustrate how a “public option” inevitably becomes a single-payer government monopoly. Remember, you read it here first! (Well, OK, not really. You read it on NRO first. But we had it before the Journal!)
And please please please do yourself a favor – read Andy McCarthy’s incisive NRO article today on the probability of, and implications of, an Obama victory on health care. It’s a sobering corrective to the undue optimism many of us (myself included) have begun to feel over the past few weeks.
The spectre of James Madison has been doing yeoman’s work in DC this summer. If you want to know why the Democrats had to neuter the early-year provisions of Cap and Trade and are now struggling so hard over health care, just read Federalist 10. Madison built the walls of the Constitution high and thick to repulse precisely this sort of assault. Thank God for that man!
But it’s all too easy to assume that justice must prevail when the facts and the rights are clear, and McCarthy’s analysis (though I don’t agree with every particular of it) has sobered me up.
People do, in fact, sell their freedom. It happens every day. And not just in far-flung corners of the globe but in your neighborhood, on your block. Why do you think the founders got so animated and hyperbolic about the monstrosity of selling your freedom every time the subject came up? Not because it couldn’t happen here, nor even because it could, but because it did. Repeatedly. To sell your freedom is the fundamental tendency of man’s fallen nature. (Read Federalist 8. Or Federalist 51. Or, for that matter, Federalist 4, 6, 10, 15…)
McCarthy is right: “We could still lose this thing.” And there is nothing to stop the consequences from being as dire as he foresees them being.