By Rabbi D.B. Ganz, Special for USDR
Senator Ted Cruz from Texas seems to be a rising political star that deserves to be much admired. Very refreshingly, unlike the “Old Pro” Republicans, he speaks out forthrightly, unabashedly, and persuasively against such things as the Federal Government’s runaway spending and encroachment on personal freedom. Perhaps he hasn’t been in Washington long enough. Hopefully this is not the case, and Mr. Cruz will stay the way he is.
Nevertheless, I take issue with something Mr. Cruz said in a recent interview. He mentioned that the despite being almost categorically critical of President Obama, the man deserves to be praised for continuing to promote Obamacare, despite its increasing unpopularity with the public and the resultant danger to Democratic candidates everywhere.
Mr Cruz opined that had Bill Clinton been president, he would have dropped his support for Obamacare out of political expediency, notwithstanding whatever he believed in personally. Mr. Obama, though, is more of an idealist who sincerely wishes to transform the country into a Socialist state. Hence, he continues to promote the bill, despite its negative fallout.
There is a very interesting idea I gleaned from ancient Jewish texts that has bearing on this compliment.
When people set out to do something improper, for some unknown (possibly spiritual) reason, they will be infused with an extra measure of almost unnatural vigor that enables pursuing the wrongdoing with great energy. However, it will tend to be far more difficult to undertake truly worthwhile endeavors.
To illustrate, a couple conducting an adulterous affair will have boundless energy to pursue the wrongdoing at all times of the day and night. However, a traditional married couple who set out to improve the quality of their relationship will have to constantly struggle with themselves to see their noble undertaking through to completion.
Similarly, one sometimes observes young people who have almost limitless storehouses of enthusiasm and energy for such purposeless time wasting pursuits as video entertainment. But doing very well in school or learning to master a classical instrument typically requires a great deal of self-discipline and concerted effort that rarely comes naturally. The activities of both types require sustained focus and exertion. Yet, it is altogether easier to work at something that is dissolute.
The goal of providing medical coverage to all Americans is a worthwhile one, and Mr. Obama deserves credit for promoting this high-minded objective. I nonetheless feel that Obamacare is positively immoral. In essence, to secure medical coverage for others, it disrespects the private property of working people by abrogating their democratic right to spend their own hard-earned money on the health care of their choosing.
Traditionally, charity is something that people give to causes they see as important. For one person it is a university, for another an orchestra, for a third medical research, and so forth. Another time-honored freedom is the option to not give charity at all. Using police powers of the state to seize money from private citizens against their will in order to fund a charity of politicians’ choosing (in this case aiding the medically uninsured) makes “theft by government” the law of the land
Also consider that in brutal dictatorships, people often acquire property and political power through corruption, stealing, and brutality. Judeo-Christian ethics, however, do not recognize ownership or status that was attained through coercion and fraud. If someone paid $5,000 for a car and was delivered a bicycle instead, the deal is cancelled, and the seller must refund the money.
Obamacare was passed into law because the president repeatedly assured the country that people would be able to retain their health care plans and physicians. It has since become apparent that this was a deliberate deception and lie. Accordingly, morally speaking, retaining Obamacare as law is akin to saying that the seller who delivered the bicycle should keep the $5,000 since he succeeded in fooling the buyer into paying the money. The whole darned Obamacare bill simply shouldn’t be – in religious terms, it could be called sinful.
Returning to Mr. Cruz’s compliment, it is indeed true that the President continues to promote his signature bill despite the fact that doing so is self-destructive. However, this may not be a function of admirable stick-to-itiveness.
Based on the idea advanced herein, the powerful “fuel” energizing these efforts may be that, in essence, Obamacare is unethical government sanctioned theft from tens of millions of people. Very possibly, because the bill is so supremely immoral, there is some unseen force driving the President and his people to almost superhuman dedication to keep it afloat.
This moral/religious principle can also serve as a personal guideline in many of life’s other undertakings. When one notices that pursuing a goal with great energy comes easily and almost automatically, it could be a bellwether of an objective that is somehow improper. Conversely, when people have to almost force themselves into undertaking something, it may be the sign of a truly noble endeavor.
To the Conservatives this therefore says: Amazingly, the glib Liberal “spend the country into ruination” agenda is extremely popular. Do not be disheartened. This does not necessarily indicate that the Liberals are in the right and the Conservatives in the wrong. If anything, it may be proof of the very opposite.