October 07, 2008

RIGHTS

8:20PM Obama makes me want a cigarette, and not in that nice afterglow way.

I thought tonight's debate was phenomenally boring. I couldn't tell you at all "which one" I thought won or lost. I think McCain did well in some areas but he didn't wow me, and since I can't stand anything that comes out of Obama's mouth, I am not able to objectively assess his performance.

I can tell you what I thought the most egregious moment of the night was. The candidates were asked whether health care is a "privilege, a right, or a responsibility." McCain said it was a responsibility; Obama said it is a right.

Health care is a right.

Do people have just a completely different understanding of what the word "right" means than I do?

You never have the right to someone else's labor or money. And that's what national health care is. If you cannot afford it, you will need to take money from someone else in society to apply it to your health care.

You have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have the right to free speech, to practice your religion, and to assemble.

As Leonard Peikoff says, you have a "right to action":

Observe that all legitimate rights have one thing in common: they are rights to action, not to rewards from other people. The American rights impose no obligations on other people, merely the negative obligation to leave you alone. The system guarantees you the chance to work for what you want -- not to be given it without effort by somebody else.

The right to life, e.g., does not mean that your neighbors have to feed and clothe you; it means you have the right to earn your food and clothes yourself, if necessary by a hard struggle, and that no one can forcibly stop your struggle for these things or steal them from you if and when you have achieved them. In other words: you have the right to act, and to keep the results of your actions, the products you make, to keep them or to trade them with others, if you wish. But you have no right to the actions or products of others, except on terms to which they voluntarily agree.

The scary thing to me is that Obama came right out and enumerated health care as a right, and that no one will call him on it or argue it. It made my jaw drop.

You know, in every debate, they repeat the same talking points. And we can discuss the nitty gritty of policies, and who will give tax cuts to whom, and whether we need a surge in Afghanistan, but I am far more interested in these little revealing statements. I was blown away when Obama said that we're "spending money on tax cuts," and I'm blown away again tonight to hear that he thinks health care is a right. These are the statements that expose a fundamental difference in worldview between Obama and me.

Obama thinks that Americans have the right to other people's earnings. He believes in redistribution of wealth. I find this remarkably frightening, and all of his policies stem from this worldview.

What I don't understand is how people are undecided. I have to imagine that the undecideds are people who just haven't been paying attention, because the difference in worldview between Republicans and Democrats is staggering.

Definitely read Peikoff's Health Care Is Not a Right.

MORE:

Vodkapundit quips:

7:52PM Obama says McCain’s health care plan will give with one hand and take from the other. Which might well be true. Obama’s plan, however, will give with one hand and… stuff will just appear in it. Really.

And:

7:58PM Obama: Health insurance “is a right.” We our endowed by our Creator with a really sweet no-co-pay plan from Aetna, and maybe some free speech. At least I think that’s what Jefferson wrote.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:22 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
Post contains 663 words, total size 4 kb.

1 You say that we don't have a right to other people's labor, but then how could we have the right to liberty? The labor of the men and women in our military provide for us this right.

Posted by: Kiki at October 07, 2008 07:29 PM (H9dTh)

2 Oh, it got me the way he said it, actually, too - "I believe health care _should be_ a right." In other words, "it isn't really, but um, I'd sure like to amass enough power to grant everyone rights I deem proper..." ARGH. Kiki - we pay our military; we don't confiscate their labor. It's (more or less) a free-market exchange. At least from where I sit... does that make sense? And I don't see the military as *providing* the right - they/we help ensure that we can all exercise it, but the rights don't come from military protection. They come from the Creator and are inherent in our being.

Posted by: kannie at October 07, 2008 07:50 PM (f+LJo)

3 I personally believe that healthcare is a human right. How can one pursue the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness if they aren't healthy? Again, just my personal opinion. Oh, but I will read "Healthcare is Not a Right".

Posted by: Tania at October 07, 2008 08:03 PM (ErkFh)

4 I don't understand the "undecideds" either. At the risk of sounding snooty, I'll say that I sometimes feel like many Americans don't have a clue what's going on...maybe that's how one arrives at being "undecided" because, in my view, if you're paying attention to what the candidates are saying (and often in Obama's case, not saying) than it's virutally impossible to be "undecided"...isn't it? Of course, I'm constantly irritated by how many people seemed to be bafooned by Obama's "95% of americans are getting a tax cut" malarkey.

Posted by: Nicole at October 07, 2008 10:06 PM (xPxyx)

5 That is my problem. I am just wondering how he is going to cut the taxes of the people that don't pay them. That is the one that frustrates me. Obama is playing class warfare. Why should the wealthy get to keep their 700,000 when they already have so much money? I think class warfare is a very dangerous game to play.

Posted by: Tressa at October 08, 2008 04:11 AM (yY6P+)

6 The debate was like watching two marshmallows slug it out! But I watched it all. A townhall NOT. Tom Brokaw as moderator was terrible. They were propped on stools, McCains was too tall for his battered body, but an actual townhall meeting format was missing. BORING.

Posted by: Ruth H at October 08, 2008 04:19 AM (wWMQq)

7 I give vodkapundit a thumbs up!

Posted by: awtm at October 08, 2008 03:27 PM (5wJH6)

8 No Nicole, it is not impossible to be informed and undecided. Personally I think both sides suck. I don't believe either of them because they are politicians.

Posted by: Mare at October 09, 2008 04:38 AM (APbbU)

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