Last Week’s Clarion Call to Liberty

Last Thursday brought unwelcome news to most of us – the Supreme Court, in a split decision, made a decision that will be debated, discussed and ultimately, we believe, lamented for years to come.

If you, like us, believed that at least the individual mandate would be rightly ruled unconstitutional, you may have been thunderstruck by the decision.  The decision was shocking and now, overnight, a new national dialogue has been created.  What do we do now?  What must we do to plan for the implementation of this law?  Will each state willingly comply?

In Ohio, the impact will be devastating.  The hundreds of millions of dollars required to comply with Obamacare will blow a gaping hole in the Ohio budget.  This doesn’t begin to speak to the impact the decision will have on Ohio businesses and families – resulting in the largest tax increase on America’s middle class families.

Upon implementation, people of faith will be required to fund procedures they would object to, and the patient, doctor relationship will be challenged like we have never seen.

These are the consequences of our political leaders’ lack of concern for our Constitution.

Much has been made about the “silver lining” of this decision and, indeed, there may be a few.  The possible reopening of a discussion around Medicaid reimbursement policies and, notably, the new precedent set around the applicability of the controversial and historically over-applied “commerce clause” are both examples of such possible positives.  Perhaps most notable is the new outrage the Nation is feeling as a result of this unpopular law and the unpopular decision of the Supreme Court.

But nothing is as devastating, silver lining or not, as the unparalleled opening this decision has given the government in their power to tax.  Taxation is now not necessarily a function of your earnings, or a user fee for certain government programs or amenities.   Taxation is now able to be used as a tool to compel or restrict certain behaviors.  And few subjects are as basic as one’s individual decisions regarding their health – it seems there is no obvious end in sight to the opportunity government now has to control you through taxation.

But upon further reflection, we have been on this path as a Country for some time.  In some cases we have stood idly by while government enacted intrusive policies that didn’t affect us – or maybe affected us positively.  Slowly, like the proverbial frog in the kettle, we have watched our freedoms erode through tax policies or government decisions that pleased us individually or the interest groups with which we affiliate.

Thursday’s ruling is the example of what a government can do when it is not restrained to its strictly defined duties through the Constitution.

Whether you emphasize moral values, economic freedoms, personal liberty, or any other set of policies – each of them are held together under the assertion that the government is limited in its power, thus allowing for liberty.

Moral values are of not much value if the government is to be trusted as the arbitrator of those values.  Liberty is necessary for true morality to succeed.

Economic prosperity requires a government limited in its power to take from one and give to another, and any violation of this principle erodes the economic opportunities for us all – even if the violation happens to favor our personal economic prosperity.  Liberty is necessary for prosperity to succeed.

In the case of healthcare, energy, and all other public policies, our founders were wise in understanding that an institution given absolute power is an institution that will ultimately abuse that power.  Liberty is a must for a nation to succeed.

Our hearts beat for it.  The majority of the world wants it.  What will you now do with liberty?

There is no real silver lining to Thursday’s decision… yet.  Those mentioned above are merely outcomes from a flawed decision and flawed system.  The only real silver lining will be if we as Americans quit engaging in an academic debate of what makes sense for us, our family, our businesses, our communities and realize there is one issue at hand that is the glue to all the others – the preservation of liberty.

It has always been under attack and it always will be… it is now our generation’s turn to defend it.

Vote. Act. Engage. But never be impressed with anything but the “real McCoy.”  Humanly, our hope cannot be in any single person or group of humans.  It cannot be that we elect “good guys.”  It can only be in the preservation of Liberty.

Let’s learn to love it like we never have.