“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." — Benjamin Franklin
Former Senator and Democrat candidate for President John Edwards apparently thinks Benjamin Franklin was all wet when he spoke so passionately in defense of liberty. Franklin you see, believed in the wisdom of the individual rather than the government, and he spoke often about the need to guard against the growth of government and the inevitable intrusion on individual rights.
Believing he and government know best, Edwards has now announced more details about his plan for government to take over the healthcare decisions for every man, woman, and child in America.
According to the Associated Press, Edwards’s universal coverage plan “would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.” Blatantly announcing he would remove the freedom to make your own healthcare decisions and those of your children Edwards said, "If you are going to be in the system, you can’t choose not to go to the doctor…” So much for liberty, Mr. Franklin.
Now, I’m a big a fan of preventative healthcare. Like Ben Franklin also said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” But, do we really think government knows best, and even more disturbing do we believe a big government program can determine where, when, how, and by whom we and our families get medical treatment better than we can manage ourselves?
In a proclamation of his vision for the ultimate “Nanny State” Edwards said, "The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death.” That’s the cradle-to-grave, big government mantra of liberals who despise individual freedom and are drunk with the power they can exert when they take ownership of people’s lives.
Founding Father that he was, Franklin must have envisioned the threat to our freedoms by the likes of John Edwards as he responded to the question, “What kind of government have you given us, Mr. Franklin?” His reply was the ominous challenge to every generation of Americans: “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
There are nations where individual rights and freedom to choose does not exist, replaced obviously by dictates of government programs. Michael Moore recently focused on his and Edwards’ vision for healthcare in America with his movie “Sicko.” Moore idolized the one-way-fits-all system of Fidel Castro’s dictatorship in Cuba. He also praised the government-knows-best systems in place in France, Canada, and Great Britain that are essentially socialized medicine. Leftists like Edwards and Moore cannot comprehend that individuals know better than government how to run their own lives. They cannot imagine that cost containment, quality of care, and technological advancement are all better in a competitive, free-market system than a one-stop-only government program.
The most frightening part of Edwards’ plan to take over our lives is that he is not alone. All of the Democrat candidates for President essentially are touting their own plan to move the nation to “universal coverage.” In Colorado that move already is well underway by the Democrat controlled legislature and Governor, as well. A lot of people feeling understandably frustrated by their insurance company, access, costs or other healthcare issues assume there is no other choice but to just turn it over to the government. They are wrong. Once you sacrifice your freedom, you are not going to get it back. Buyer’s remorse has no options, and there is no “Customer Returns” counter at the Federal Government.
Thomas Jefferson was another Founding Father who feared the encroachment of big government on individual liberty. Often quoted throughout our history is his admonition, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is also big enough to take everything you’ve got.”
I hope Americans rely upon the sage advice of our Founding Fathers, as well as their own common sense, as they evaluate the candidates to be our next President. To recall again Franklin’s wisdom, exchanging our liberty for the false hope and “temporary safety” of government-controlled healthcare will likely cost us both our liberty and the safety of a system that is doomed to fail.