Health Care Fight Defines Parties, Ideologies
by R. Dozier Gray (bio)
It's no longer time to be dancing on the head of a needle. That's what talk radio host Mark Levin said in the wake of the passage of Obamacare.
If there's one thing clear from the fight to stop a government takeover of health care, it's that the differences between the left and right have never been clearer. Also, the differences between our nation's political parties have never been clearer.
In particular, the Obamacare fight proved there is no such thing as a pro-life Democrat. Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) confirmed this in spades.
Undoubtedly, Stupak will deny this claim. As a key player in the Obamacare debate, whose switched vote paved the way for the House bill's victory, he obviously thinks he fought for both the unborn and the uninsured. He believes he preserved pro-life protections as the liberal bureaucracy begins to engulf our nation's health care system.
Stupak isn't stupid, but Obama outfoxed him. The Senate bill Stupak eventually voted for — bringing other members with him — will allow taxpayer money to pay for abortions. Stupak traded his vote for an executive order from Obama that would impose restrictions, limiting taxpayer-financed abortions to cases of rape, incest and saving the life of the mother.
But this executive order can be overturned by a successive president. Obama could get rid of it. A judicial ruling could throw it out. It's nowhere near the protections Stupak had in the original House version of Obamacare or exist in the endangered pro-life Hyde Amendment.
Stupak must realize this. What he and Obama are likely counting on is the average American not paying attention.
Remember the age-old condemnation that liberals are for big government controls, cradle-to-grave welfare and high taxes? Is it clear now that this is true?
Unabashed liberals help conservatives when they take to the microphone. The sly ones are to be feared. When Al Sharpton says “the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama,” the good reverend is letting loose with what the elected liberals want to contain — at least until after the midterm elections.
There are stark differences. Al Sharpton knows it. We all should know it now.
And it isn't just the ideology. The parties have also shown their true colors. That is a good thing. No one says it better than Ronald Reagan at the 1984 Republican National Convention:
[W]e raised a banner of bold colors — no pale pastels. We proclaimed a dream of an America that would be "a shining city on a hill."
We promised that we'd reduce the growth of the federal government, and we have. We said we intended to reduce interest rates and inflation, and we have. We said we would reduce taxes to provide incentives for individuals and business to get our economy moving again, and we have. We said there must be jobs with a future for our people, not government make-work programs… and we are.
Conservatives should let the left continue to paint themselves in the boldest and truest colors.
As our nation is lurched toward the left, let it be done in front of a public with eyes wide open. Allow them to fully understand what is being done — like it or not.
And, if our nation is to be that shining city on a hill Ronald Reagan spoke about, conservatives must make it clear who wants to preserve it and who is bent on its destruction.
There is no more time for dancing on the head of a needle. Be true in convictions. No pale pastels. Instead of politicians reaching out, they should reach inward to grab hold of their core values and core convictions.
For the good of the nation, let those convictions shine — and shine brightly.
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R. Dozier Gray is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network. His Twitter handle is rdoziergray. Comments may be sent to [email protected].
Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints
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