Most progressive pundits consider last week’s seven-hour summit on health care a waste of time. Conservatives were generally pleased with the performance of the participating Republicans. Everyone stayed true to character as expected. I watched the entire session and the only surprise for me was how prepared the Republicans were. A year of tea party protests and town hall meetings has at least taught the Republicans in Congress the language of conservatives and they use it well. However, in listening to the discussion it became apparent that being merely conservative is not enough to get the country back on track.
As expected, the objections of the Republicans were mostly political. Their primary objections were either about the process used to write the health care bills, or the astronomical cost of the Democratic proposals. These are important, but even if all the Republican proposals were accepted by the Democrats, the eventual transition from a lawfully constituted government to a progressive (American socialist) government would only be slowed, not stopped or reversed.
No serious objections were raised by any of the Republicans to a government attempt to deal with the problems of health care at the federal level. It is obvious, to any thinking individual, that we cannot afford the health care bill written by the Democrats. What no one is addressing is that we can no longer afford the constitution illiteracy that is rampant among our elected officials and the general public. Therein lays our main problem, not only with health care, but also with the economy in general.
The only constitutional question raised during the seven and a half hour discussion concerned the mandate for individual citizens to buy health insurance. No Democrat or Republican questioned the constitutionality of the federal government’s involvement in health care. The difference between Democrat proposals and Republican proposals exist only in the degree of government control not whether or not health care is a valid function of the federal government to begin with.
Of all the proposals made by the Republicans, only one can claim any Constitution support. That is the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines. The primary purpose of the commerce clause is to insure free trade between the states. If health insurance were considered to be a product and not a service, then the commerce clause would apply under Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce. Other than that, all the proposals proposed by either party would be covered under the Tenth Amendment and would be among those powers reserved to the states and to the people.
Unless a way can be devised to motivate public officials to honor their oath of office to support and defend the Constitution there is no prospect for reversing our plunge toward progressivism (American socialism). The Illinois Conservative website hosts a number of tools for improving one’s knowledge and understanding of our founding principles and the founding documents. Our blog “The Constitution Sentinel” is wholly devoted to an on-line tutorial on the Constitution. We also have a version on the main website and are currently in the process of expanding our reference edition of the Constitution. Unfortunately, these continue to be the least visited sections of our site.
It is important to make support for the Constitution a major issue in the 2010 and 2012 elections if we are to have any chance of stopping Obama’s progressive policies and starting to return to the Constitutional Republic left us by the Founders. No true conservative should vote for any candidate who does not exhibit an understanding of his or her proper role under the Constitution.