|That Bush Strategery||Clintons, Baby Bonds, and Dropouts|
by Christopher Chantrill
September 23, 2007 at 1:46 pm
BACK WHEN I was on the board of Music Center of the Northwest here in Seattle, we once discussed whether to offer the faculty benefits. Good idea, said the men; we could set up a 401(k). Good idea, said the women; we could offer health insurance.
Health care is important to women. I recently listened to Ruth Messinger, CEO of American Jewish World Service, tell a fundraiser about a microloan program in the Third World. The women recipients immediately applied their earnings to the education and the health care of their children.
What kind of health care do women want? If you ask a woman, she will probably tell you about the individual health care needs of the people she knows and cares about. She wants health care that meets her needs and the needs of those she cares about.
Thats what sank HillaryCare 1.0. Women took a look at it and couldnt tell whether it met their particular needs.
Thats why Sen. Hillary Clintons (D-NY) HillaryCare 2.0 is called The American Health Choices Plan.
But Republican presidential candidates are ready with alternative plans. In case you werent sure what they are, Karl Rove has laid an eight-point plan in the Wall Street Journal. A good name for Karls plan would be Health Choices, Not Choices.
For a plan with choices in the title Sen. Clintons plan seems to involve an awful lot of additional government, including expansion of Medicare, the State Childrens Health Insurance Program, and the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program.
Ol Fred Thompson, chatting confidentially to us on Fred and HillaryCare from the back seat of a limo, wondered why a plan with all those choices would demand that you prove that you have insurance before you get a job.
Why is it that the liberal Hillary Clintons health plan is full of compulsion and mandates while Karl Roves plan is full of health consumers spending their own money to get the health care they want?
Margaret Thatcher explained it to Womans Own nearly twenty years ago.
Theres no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families.
There is no use in people expecting society to solve their problems, she pointed out. Society doesnt solve problems, people do. And the way that individual men and women solve their problems is through their families.
Even Hillary Clinton can see that. It takes a village, she once said. But the African village of which she spoke was a village of close blood relativesextended families that looked after each other through instinct, through the emotional bonds of love, shame, and guilt, and through unconscious tradition.
In the city the extended family breaks down, and the network of kin loyalty shrivels into the nuclear family. How did people build community in the impersonal society of the big city to replace the support of the kindred?
They invented new forms of community to replace the protection they had enjoyed as rural extended families. By the nineteenth century these new communities included self-governing Christian churches in which the emotional obligations of the extended family were instantiated in a church family. And they included labor unions and fraternal lodges in which the obligations of blood-brotherhood were instantiated in voluntary associations where men just called each other brother. It was an ingenious solution; the sort of thing that ordinary people do every day.
But some high-born men didnt like the nuclear family. In particular, the post-Napoleonic war baby-boomers, a generation that came to adulthood in the 1830s and 1840s, wanted to be liberated from the oppression of the bourgeois family. By the middle of the twentieth century high-born women like Simone de Beauvoir decided that they wanted to be liberated too.
There are individual men and women and there are families. When you have broken the emotional bonds of family, even the bare-bones nuclear family, then you are pretty well down to individuals.
But how do individuals survive in the impersonal society of the big city? They have sundered the emotional bonds of the extended family and scorned the bonds of the bourgeois family and church family that replaced it.
If you seek the answer it is all around you. It is the administrative state and its comprehensive and mandatory programs. Individuals who bowl alone need to force other people to help them meet their needs.
So it makes sense that the presidential candidates of the party of married religious people with children would propose a voluntary health care program based on people choosing the health care that was best for their families. It makes sense that the presidential candidates of the party of single secular childless people would propose a mandatory health care program that was based on force.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists
conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family.
Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is merely relative, is asking you not to believe him. So dont.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy
Paul Dirac: When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated
by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that
I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion.
However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and
inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he
suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.
John Farrell, The Creation Myth
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization