Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Scott Brown: A Mere Speed Bump on the Conservatives' Road to Serfdom

The January 20, 2010 Capitalism Magazine has a terrific essay by Richard Salsman entitled, "Scott Brown: A Mere Speed Bump on the Conservatives' Road to Serfdom".

Here is the opening:
Yesterday's allegedly "surprising" election of Republican populist Scott Brown to the Massachusetts Senate seat occupied by the late Ted Kennedy since 1962 -- a win which removes the 60-seat, filibuster-proof "super-majority" for Democrats in the U.S. Senate -- seems to worry the illiberal-regressive Democrats who've control Washington since 2006, while it heartens the religious-conservative Republicans who are now itching to regain control. Yet neither reaction is justified. America still treads a road to serfdom, with Democrats and Republicans alike paving the way. Brown is a mere speed-bump on this road, which will only slightly decelerate the speed of the journey.

Like Brown, today's religious-conservative Republicans don't in the least oppose socialized medicine -- only the speed, manner and cost by which it's ultimately adopted -- because they share with the illiberal-regressive Democrats a whole-hearted (and irrational) belief in altruism, the notion that it's moral and noble to sacrifice oneself and to serve. Emotional commitment to this virtue' of service necessarily leads -- however long it takes -- to serfdom in politics.
(Read the full text of "Scott Brown: A Mere Speed Bump on the Conservatives' Road to Serfdom")

Salsman is correct. Brown's election has bought supporters of free-market health reforms some valuable time to continue to make our case. But until conservatives embrace the concept that pursuit of rational self-interest is moral (and thus should be legally protected as a right), they will eventually cede the moral high ground to those who would impose serfdom on this country, and eventually lose the political battle.

The good news is that these core issues are being discussed and debated right now.

The question will be whether the right ideas will take hold in our culture.