Dan Popp
The first No
By Dan Popp
August 10, 2009

Democracy is the road to socialism. — Karl Marx

The final No is daunting to contemplate. "No, you cannot take my property." "I will not let you indoctrinate my children into the state religion." "This is where I draw the line." "I refuse."


But before we get all the way to the end of that road there will be other opportunities for No. They get progressively difficult, and even the first No isn't easy.

The last No is spoken when the government wants to take something from me that, for the sake of my soul or for the sake of others under my care, I must not give up. In contrast, the first No should come when the government tries to "give" something to me.

At town hall meetings all over the country, ordinary people are saying No to the menace of government health care. But Congressman Gene Green of Texas recently turned the tables on his exasperated constituents when he asked, "How many of you are on Medicare?" A lot of hands went up.


We have to give the bedeviled Dem his due: our current health care system is hardly a free market. It's difficult to pump my fist against socialism with my hand in the cookie jar.

But notice that, in order to expose this hypocrisy, the Left has admitted its own lie. Only recently the redistributionists would howl when someone dared use the "S" word for their programs — or for Presidents who promote them. Now the mask is off. In desperation they reverse tactics and allow — no, they insist — that Medicare is socialism, after all.

Like Madge the manicurist in the old TV commercial they smile and tell us, "You're soaking in it."

Republican leaders wisely don't ask me for advice, but if they did I would tell them to carpe diem. Don't merely say No to this latest unconstitutional attempt at grabbing health care. (There will be others, you know, if this one fails.) Use this "teachable moment" to turn back the tide of socialism. Lay out a plan to get the federal government out of medicine altogether, and permanently.

But there's something that you and I as individuals must do, too: spit out the government's bait. Let's show Washington that we can't be bought. The enticing offer of a government-backed student loan or business loan; that miraculous free cash to destroy a functional car; the monthly check (ironically) emblazoned with the image of Lady Liberty — maybe one of these should be the first No.

I'm not telling anyone what to do. The Left has been working for a long time at creating as many government dependants as possible, and by any means necessary. It may require superhuman effort to break free from the spider's web. I'm asking us to consider whether this is the time to summon our courage and faith, and to 'opt out' of as much socialism as we can.

In his Early History of Rome Livy invited his readers to,

    ...trace the process of our moral decline, to watch, first, the sinking of the foundations of morality as the old teaching was allowed to lapse, then the rapidly increasing disintegration, then the final collapse of the whole edifice, and the dark dawning of our modern day when we can neither endure our vices nor face the remedies needed to cure them.

Until a few short decades ago Americans lived their entire lives without the slightest notion that they had a "right" to health care at someone else's expense. That liberating word No is harder today than it was in the past. But it's easier than it will be. Pray. Talk to your family. Maybe we've missed the first No, and the second. But let's say it while we still can.

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© Dan Popp


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