This essay was published at AmericanThinker.com on April 3rd, 2012.
I am very encouraged by the current debate in the Supreme Court over Obamacare. Ordinary citizens, all over the nation, are beginning to feel comfortable discussing the Constitution of the United States, and that strikes me as a remarkable step backward.
Now stop laughing. That was neither a joke nor a typo. When I say a step backward, I mean American citizens today are following in the footsteps of other Americans who, during the debate over the then radically new idea of a national constitution in 1788, drafted scores of essays and letters to newspapers to give vent to their opinions on the matter. Many of the concerns of these earliest Americans were addressed in the Bill of Rights.
Forty years later, Alexis de Tocqueville, in his book Democracy in America, noted:
The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.
The current argument over Obamacare before the Supreme Court is the 21st Century version of those earlier debates. It is also an illustration of America working to heal her faults.
At this time, regardless of all the political handicapping being done in both the mainstream media and the alternative media outlets, no one knows just how the nine justices will vote. But the assertions made by both those in favor of Obamacare and those who vehemently oppose it are being discussed on the web, in letters to the editor, and even over a beer, by ordinary citizens. Thanks to the alternative media, such as American Thinker and others, John Q. Public has more, and more balanced, data to use in these conversations than ever before in our history.
The New York Times and the Washington Post no longer hold exclusive sway over the “facts” of the matter. There is no longer a William Randolph Hearst dictating not merely opinions that he favored, but creating “facts” used to support those opinions. The classic example of this sort of “fact” creation occurred when Hearst told his employee, the artist Frederic Remington, who was in Havana at the time of the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine,
You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.
Hearst then used those pictures to incite the government to start the Spanish-American War in 1898, which resulted in the United States become a world power, gaining Cuba and the Philippines from Spain. Evidence from historians and technical experts many decades later (in 1976) indicate that the sinking of the Maine was the result of spontaneous combustion of coal in the fuel bunker next to the gunpowder magazine.
Of course, by then, it was just a little late.
But the Spanish-American war seems to have been the poisoned fruit that comes from the arrogance of the elitist mindset. It appears that the same mind-set is at work today. It is embodied by Obamacare, the actions of the Environmental Protection Agency and the administration’s drive to “wean the nation off fossil fuels.”
The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is a massive over-reach of government power over the individual citizen. Thanks to the alternative media, millions of Americans are realizing that the Constitution says:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
It certainly does NOT say:
The Elected officials of the Government of the United States, in order to form a Union that reflects only our elitist views, establish Justice for a select few, suppress any form of protest against it, provide some form of Welfare to as many voters as possible, reducing Defense to fund such Welfare, have created this Constitution for the United States which we will interpret to reflect what we desire it to say whenever we choose.
The reawakening of ordinary citizens to the concept of limitations placed on the Federal government by the Constitution and the controversy over whether Obamacare is constitutional is the healthy flexing of America’s civic muscles.