Brown’s victory another blow to an ever-encroaching state

The Following was originally published and is the sole property of The Daily Caller.

Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race last night greatly complicates the House-Senate discussions on the health care bill. However, if the House passes the bill and President Obama signs the $871 billion Senate health care overhaul into law it will be the largest expansion of federal health entitlements since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid more than four decades ago. It is expected to extend coverage to more than 30 million previously uninsured Americans.

Such a massive expansion of government’s role in our everyday lives and the adding to our already unsustainable federal entitlement programs, begs the question, do we Americans have a right to health care? It is certainly not in our political and philosophical tradition to argue yes.

Progressives and modern liberals have long argued that in the words of Barack Obama, health care “should be a right for every American.” In FDR’s 1944 State of the Union he declared that health care was on the list of economic provisions that should form a second bill of rights that would serve as a supplement to the first 10 amendments of the Constitution. Many liberals such as Roosevelt, Johnson, and now President Obama have attempted to link the right to health care, like other positive economic “rights,” to the American political tradition: a natural right of some sort, or a civil right necessary to put into effect the natural right to life or the pursuit of happiness.

Health care is certainly not a natural right in the Lockean, and thus, American political tradition. In the view of our founders who followed the philosophical thought of John Locke and his ideas of natural right and the social contract, natural rights exist prior to the formation of government. Therefore, since there is no government in the original state of nature, there cannot be a right to government supplied health care in the state of nature. Then maybe perhaps, guaranteed government health care could be regarded as necessary because of its relation to the natural right to life or the pursuit of happiness. This is problematic as well. Even if the right to life led to a government obligation to provide health care, that right would “logically be restricted to medical actions essential to preserve life, especially emergency measures.” However, doctors and other medical professionals already provide emergency treatment without any “grand declaration of rights.” In terms of the pursuit of happiness, there is no evidence that government guaranteed health care is positively correlated with happiness. For instance, 85% of Americans say they are personally happy, which ranks in at about 15th in the world in a survey of 90 countries. Countries with universal health care such as England, France, and Germany lag considerably behind the U.S. in happiness. The founders named in the Bill of Rights among other documents, the civil rights they thought necessary for the execution of natural rights. There is no way possible to establish a right to health care based on the American political tradition.

The late historian and political scientist Samuel P. Huntington once asked, “Who are We?” as he thought America is in the midst of a national identity crisis. His solution was a return to our first principles. In other words, America needs to be reminded that we still hold our founding principles to be self-evident truths. To insist upon universal government health care for every living person in America, is an attempt to change our Lockean philosophical tradition into a Rousseauian utopia. It is an attempt to supplant our republic’s key political principles. If America accepts a positive government obligation to fund health care it would lead indefinitely to a Leviathan without limits. Last night’s victory in Massachusetts will certainly help the conservative effort in the fight against an ever-encroaching state.

-Sam K. Theodosopoulos is an undergraduate at The George Washington University where he is a member of the College Republicans and the editor of the GW Young Americas Foundation blog.

Reid’s Bill Could be the End of Private Insurance

The following was originally published and is the sole property of FrumForum.com

The left blogosphere is denouncing Obamacare as a triumph for private insurers. But Robert Book of the Heritage Foundation argues that it is much more plausible the operations of the plan will extinguish the private insurance industry.

The Senate bill would force private plans to spend a minimum amount on paying medical claims and tax excessive premiums.? The tax on those premiums however would not count towards the limits.

As Robert Book explains:

It would be very easy for regulators to become to develop a plan ?with a minimum benefit package that is high enough (say, above $8972 in average claims) that makes it literally impossible for health plans to break even, let alone make a profit.

Sam K. Theodosopoulos is the Editor of the GW YAF Blog.

Fort Hood: An Islamic Act of Terror

November 5, 2009 was a sad day for America as Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire in the Soldier Readiness Center of Fort Hood, the most populous United States Military base in the world, killing 13 people and wounding 30 others.

President Obama when delivering the eulogy told the crowd ?no faith justifies these acts, and no god looks upon them with favor.? A few days ago, New York City Michael Bloomberg told us, ?I want to make sure that everybody in New York understands that the terrible tragedy at Fort Hood was an individual who snapped but it has nothing to do with religion.? The media, motivated by political correctness, has failed to call a spade a spade; they have failed to report the truth that ?sometimes an extremist is really an extremist.? Rather, Major Hasan was shown as a disturbed individual who was under a lot of stress. David Brooks writes in The New York Times, ?Hasan was portrayed as a victim of society, a poor soul who was pushed over the edge by prejudice and unhappiness.?

While it is certainly true that the majority of Muslims are peaceful people, the cloud of political correctness that has hung over this tragedy is both absurd and detrimental. The fact of the matter is, Hasan is a radical Muslim, and this was a religiously motivated act of evil. Why else would Hasan yell, ?Allahu Akbar!? as he opened fire? The London Telegraph reports that, in what was supposed to be a medical lecture, Hasan instead gave an hour-long briefing on the Koran, explaining to colleagues at Walter Reed Army Medical Center that nonbelievers should be beheaded, have boiling oil poured down their throats, and be set on fire. Moreover, According to ABC News, intelligence agencies were aware for months that Hasan had tried to contact al-Qaeda. His colleagues reportedly knew he sympathized with suicide bombings and attacks on U.S. troops abroad, and one colleague said Hasan was pleased by an attack on an Army recruiting office and suggested more of the same might be desirable.

This massacre is yet another battle on another front in our continued struggle with an Islamic radicalism waging war on America?s very existence. Let?s raise awareness and forget about the political correctness.

Sam K. Theodosopoulos is an undergraduate at The George Washington University and the Editor-at-Large of the GW Young America’s Foundation Blog.

“And the Wall Came Tumbling Down”

Today, November 9, 2009 is the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a symbol of an era of German history that was plagued with repression and tremendous tragedy.

Dinesh Dsouza importantly reminds us in a recent National Review Online article:

?The West?s victory in the Cold War was not one that would have occurred if the policies of liberal Democrats had been in place. For this reason, the fall of the Berlin Wall is a reminder that liberalism was proven wrong in perhaps the greatest foreign-policy challenge since World War II.?

The policies proposed by the liberals in and out of government called for tolerance, which is to say, a policy of equal existence with the communists. Reagan on the other hand, recognized that the U.S.S.R. was an ?evil empire.?

Reagan was largely responsible for today?s celebratory anniversary. Obviously, Reagan had some crucial allies: Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa. Gorbachev too played an important role, although it was largely a role that he didn?t intend to play, one that was scripted for him by Reagan.

Reagan proved correct not only in his moral condemnation of communism but also in his analysis of the Soviet threat and the policies he devised to counter it. Even some who were previously skeptical of Reagan were forced to admit that his policies had been thoroughly vindicated. The arch ideological enemy of the Reagan Doctrine, Henry Kissinger and his policy of d?tente, observed that while it was Bush who presided over the final disintegration of the Soviet Empire, ?it was Ronald Reagan?s presidency which marked the turning point.?

The Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu wrote in his seminal work, The Art of War, ?to subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.? Margaret Thatcher echoed this maxim years later when she proclaimed; ?Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without even firing a shot.?

Moreover, today is not only a celebration of the end of a repressive era in German history, but a reminder of the failures and evils of Communism, and the triumph of democracy and freedom.

- Sam K. Theodosopoulos is the Editor-at-Large of the GW Young Americas Foundation Blog.

Jeb Bush to GOP: “Stop Being the Party of No”

The following was originally published and is the sole property of NewMajority.com

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush pushed for the Republican Party to transform itself into a party of ?21st century reformers? in a speech to students last night at George Washington University.

Bush criticized Republicans for giving the impression that the GOP is the ?party of no.? He told the group that Republicans are often ?too nostalgic? and that the party needs to be more ?forward looking? in order to regain national success. Bush reminded the audience that voter demographics are changing and called for the party to become more ?youthful? and to abandon their image as ?the old white guy party.? ?Tone matters,? Bush said, ?in twenty or so years our country will have a minority majority.?

But this doesn?t necessarily mean that the party must move towards the center. When asked by a student if the party platform needed to become more moderate on social issues, Bush replied, ?no.? Rather, he stressed that Republicans ?need to apply conservative principles to 21st century problems.? Emphasizing ?economic prosperity? is an issue which he believes can both unite conservatives from all wings of the party and attract new voters. Bush told the crowd that President Obama was turning the country into a European socialist state and killing innovation.

The former governor went on to say that the GOP must be the ?limited but effective government party,? and stressed, there is no such thing as ?big government conservatism.? Bush pointed to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels as an accomplished fiscally responsible politician, and urged Republicans to follow his example.

When asked for actual policies Republicans should be pushing, Bush called for ?simpler and lower taxes,? and suggested a committee similar to Reagan?s Grace Commission to investigate and reduce government waste.

The students NewMajority spoke with were impressed with Governor Bush. One student wished that, ?he would run for President in 2012.? A College Republican asserted that ?Bush is a great leader for the Republican Party, he is a good ideas man, and he?s like Newt Gingrich, a powerful man behind the scenes.? Another student told New Majority that ?Jeb seems a lot smarter than W., much more poised and articulate, I wish he was the Bush that achieved the presidency.?

Sam K. Theodosopoulos is an undergraduate at The George Washington University and the Editor-at-Large of the GW Young America’s Foundation Blog.

Tom Tancredo at The George Washington University

The following was originally published by and is the sole property of NewMajority.com

Former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo spoke Thursday night to students on the George Washington University campus at an event sponsored by the Young America?s Foundation. Tancredo played some of his oldest hits for the crowd, repeating remarks he first made about nuclear retaliation in a July 2005 radio interview. Tancredo proposed that if an Islamic terrorist attack was launched on the United States, the best policy for the U.S. would be to use nuclear weapons on Mecca and Medina, because you have ?to go for the jugular.?

?Well, what if you said something like ? if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites,? Tancredo argued. The former congressman told students that mutually assured destruction was the best policy for preventing attacks from ?Islamo-Facists.? Tancredo insisted that Islamic terrorists would be greatly deterred from launching an attack on U.S. soil if they believe we are ?crazy enough? to ?take out? Mecca and Medina.

During the course of the event, New Majority also asked Tancredo his thoughts on the current state of the Republican Party. He replied, ?Bipartisanship is overrated, we don?t need moderates in the party, we need principled conservatives.?Tancredo is looking for another Reagan, ?a politician, who can inspire.? However, he does not see anyone who currently fits that mold.

During the speech, Tancredo also played a new tune for the audience, addressing fears about global warming. When asked if the G.O.P. needs to adopt a platform on climate change and current environmental issues his response was quite eloquent in its brevity: ?We have a position, its bull****.?

Tancredo?s old hits about bombing Mecca were not well received. Those statements were met with mixed reactions from the crowd. Many students? jaws dropped in amazement after he made the comments. Some looked around in awe and asked ?Is he serious?? Others defended the need for such crazed action by saying ?there is no other option.?

Distressingly though the students in attendance seemed quite happy with Tancredo?s new remarks on climate change and his statement that the GOP needs to move farther to the right, purging itself of moderates and RINOS.

Sam K. Theodosopoulos is an undergraduate at The George Washington University.

Joe Wilson at the George Washington University

Last Tuesday evening, The George Washington University College Republicans invited Congressmen Joe Wilson (SC-2), Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1), and Tom Price (GA-6) to speak on current affairs and politics on the GW Mount Vernon campus as part of the CR?s Congressional Dinner Series.

The room was filled with over fifty young conservatives eager to hear the three congressmen discuss their respective positions on why intensive counterinsurgency operations is the only way to success in Afghanistan, and why a public option would be detrimental to our health care system. Congressman?s Wilson and Price also encouraged the group of ambitious young politicos to further their involvement in the conservative movement by volunteering on campaigns and by pursuing internships on Capitol Hill.

After the panel, students were able to speak with the congressmen individually, pose for pictures, get autographs, and make small talk. It was quite clear that Congressman Wilson was the ?rock star? of the event, as students lined up and waited for over 45 minutes for a quick handshake and a picture. While waiting in line, I overheard many of the attendees praise Wilson for his outburst on the Senate floor, as they referred to him as a ?conservative crusader? and a ?true patriotic American.? But is being disrespectful to the President truly patriotic? Moreover, many of those who met him confessed that it would be their ?dream? to intern in his office and Wilson quickly deferred them to his staff assistant who was standing by handing out business cards and contact information. I couldn?t help but wonder are these young conservatives looking up to the wrong role model? The Congressman?s recent actions are symbolic of everything that?s wrong with the current state of the GOP, his outburst is the embodiment of angry politics, but that?s just what the GW College Republicans seemed to want.

Just as the event was coming to a close, I had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Joe Wilson and asked him the following:

?Congressman Wilson, you’re scheduled to speak at a Young America?s Foundation conference on leadership at the Reagan Ranch in November. Given the recent incident during the joint session of congress, how do you think President Ronald Reagan might have reacted to your outburst??

Here is Congressman Wilson?s response:

?I made a mistake, I acted inappropriately. It was a moment when emotion got the better of me. I am a gentlemen, I immediately made a phone call to the Rahm Emanuel at the White House and offered an apology. President Obama graciously accepted my apology and said he wanted to move on from the incident. However, some on the far-left are trying to use this as a way to keep me quiet as they want to keep me from talking about the real issues. I apologized once, I am not going to apologize again, I think it?s time to move on and get on to serious debate. I believe President Reagan would have reacted the same way that is to say, accept my apology and move on.? If this had happened when Reagan was President, I would have done the same thing and immediately phoned his chief of staff to offer an apology.?

To Congressman Wilson?s credit he did not appear to be the Glenn Beck of the United States Congress as he has been portrayed. He was very humble, soft-spoken, and honest when acknowledging his egregious error. His actions were admittedly inappropriate, but apparently many of CR?s did not get that memo.

What is even more disturbing, the event was promoted on the GW College Republican?s website with a picture of Wilson infamously yelling at the President during his address to the joint session of Congress earlier this month. Wilson?s positive accomplishments in congress, rather than his disrespectful comments, should have been what motivated the GW Republicans to invite him to campus.

Sam K. Theodosopoulos is an undergraduate at The George Washington University and the Editor-at-Large of the GW Young America’s Foundation Blog.

A Numbers Game

In a September 28 post on the American Enterprise Institute blog, scholar and author Charles Murray lamented about the loss of intellectualism in conservative politics. While, Murray is specifically disgruntled about the void left by three ?giants? of the Right: Milton Friedman, William F. Buckley, and Irving Kristol, one can conclude that he is referring to the conservative world in general. He begrudgingly contrasts the positive attributes of the ?giants? with the ?angry, mean-spirited, and often embarrassingly ignorant? voices of the Right today, naming Glenn Beck and implying others.

On a similar note, two days ago, David Brooks opined that the ?talk jocks? have no real power only ?illusionary power? yet Republican politicians fall for this ?media mythology? and ?preemptively surrender to armies that don?t exist.? Whether Brooks is correct with that assessment or not, is beside the point. These ?talk jocks? obviously do carry substantial weight or the issue of whether or not they are good for conservatism and the Republican Party wouldn?t be discussed everywhere from the opinion pages of The New York Times, to right here at thelobbyist.net

For a moment, Murray?s nostalgia for the intellectual ?apogee? of conservatism can?t help but make a young conservative, such as myself, wonder if men like this walk among us today especially when you listen to what?s being said on the airwaves. While seminal figures such as the three ?giants? are nearly impossible to replicate, there are certainly a number of intellectual conservatives today who are influential in their own right, yet they are often overshadowed by the loud and angry ?populist? style pundits. The problem today is not that there aren?t intellectuals to take up the standard left by the likes of Buckley, Friedman, and Kristol, it is that their predecessors are often slandered as ?elitists? and are not as well known and unfortunately, not as influential as the ?populist? wing of conservatism who rant and rave on the airwaves and on television. More high-brow outlets for conservative opinion such as Commentary, The Weekly Standard, the now defunct The Public Interest, and the newly minted National Affairs have circulations of 35,000-60,000, compared to the over 3 million Americans who tune in to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh every day. Though I share David Brook?s critique of the ?talk-jocks,? Rush Limbaugh did pose a valid question in response, ?how many Americans know who David Brooks is?? Unfortunately, not enough.

Intellectualism in the conservative movement is not dead, but it is overshadowed by the boorish, rude, and angry voices of ?populist? red-meat style pundits. For people who so regularly and fondly quote and cite President Reagan, they certainly don?t share his cheery disposition and optimistic attitude. Unfortunately, even if the ?talk jocks? yield only ?illusionary power,? they still influence the thinking of millions of conservatives and are counterproductive to those on the Right who are interested in the future success of the conservative movement and the Republican Party.

Sam K.? Theodosopoulos is an undergraduate at the George Washington University and is the Editor-at-Large of the GW Young Americas Foundation Blog.

Can’t I Dissent on Anything?

The following was originally published and is the sole property of NewMajority.com

Like thousands of other undergraduates, I flocked to Washington, D.C. this summer to intern and build up my political resume. As summer is coming to a close and I will shortly be trading long days at the office for long nights at the library, an interesting event occurred during my final week at my internship at Brent Bozell?s Media Research Center.

I was chatting with one of my fellow interns when I noticed she had a stack of Pro-Life stickers, T-shirts, and pamphlets piled up on her desk. She apparently was given the material at one of Grover Norquist?s ?Wednesday Meetings,? by someone who asked her if she would be interested in starting up a Pro-Life group on her college campus. Like a good young conservative activist eager to fight the liberal establishment, without hesitation she precipitously agreed.

My intern friend proceeded to ask me if I would like to have a sticker for my car. When I replied with a solemn ?no,? she proceeded to Socratically question my position on abortion. When I told her that I do not consider myself ?pro-life? or an evangelize for the movement, my friend was quite taken aback and looked almost insulted. My young colleague ardently disagreed with me, to no surprise as she is Catholic and a strong social conservative. But what?s notable was her initial response to my view of the issue, ?Maybe you are working in the wrong place.?

Now of course the MRC is a conservative organization, and leans to the right on abortion. I chose to intern there because I am a conservative on foreign policy, immigration, economics, and basically every social issue, I don?t even consider myself ?pro-choice.?

This kind of seclusion regarding social issues seems to be an overwhelming theme of the conservative movement and Republican party politics lately. More than once, I have been labeled a ?squishy moderate? by my College Republican counterparts because of my view on abortion.

Apparently, gone are the days of Frank S. Meyer?s and William F. Buckley?s ?fusionism.? While maybe supply-side economics won?t fix the financial problems of today, and SDI won?t help win the Cold War, a return to Reagan?s ?big tent? philosophy would be a positive for conservatism. How can we rebuild a party when we practice seclusion rather than inclusion? Does one need to check every box on the conservative ideological checklist in order to be a Republican or a conservative?

‘Fox and Friends’ Expose Obama Hypocrisy

The following was originally published and is the sole property of NewsBusters.org and the Media Research Center.

President Obama and other liberals have frequently criticized the previous administration for a lack of transparency. But now it seems the Obama White House is practicing the same things liberals criticized President Bush and Vice President Cheney for.

So on the July 22 edition of ?Fox and Friends,? anchor Brian Kilmeade brought to viewer?s attention the Obama administration?s hypocrisy on their usage of the ?Presidential Communication Privilege.?

Kilmeade recalled the ?outrage? that erupted during the two terms of President Bush when energy executives met in secret with Vice President Dick Cheney and the public questioned their influence on the President?s energy plan. The administration claimed ?Presidential Communication Privilege,? and never released the names. Subsequently, ?Bush was vilified because of that.?

Hypocritically, President Obama has done the exact same thing with his health care plan. Fourteen different executives involved with the drug, medical, and hospital industries, have gone to the White House to advise the President on the health care reform bill.

The left-leaning watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, is suing the White House today over their refusal to release the names. Is it not a legitimate request to ask how much influence these captains of industry are yielding over a piece of landmark legislation that will assuredly ?revolutionize our lives? So far it appears that among the mainstream media, only Fox News thinks so.

-sam

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