Pictures of tee shirts with the above title (or some variant) on them have been circulating on the Internet since last summer. I saw one at the 9/12 event in Washington. Yet the defiant complaint still has legs—I saw a fresh posting last week. I think its popularity and longevity signal two important points.
1. It expresses the widespread sentiment—as much as 60-65% in some polls—that a strong majority of the American people is vigorously opposed to Obamacare. Americans have a very clear view of the issue and the conclusion they have arrived at is overwhelmingly at odds with the content of the two monstrosities that have passed the houses of Congress. People recall that whenever truly major changes to American society were enacted by Congress, the changes were supported by substantial majorities of the people. One can call into question the wisdom of the opinion of those majorities, but there is no denying that Social Security and Medicare were passed with the support of the people. One is hard pressed to think of an instance in which Congress voted and the President approved a major society-changing law that did not enjoy the support of a significant majority. Even the illegal immigrant amnesty of the 1980s was widely popular. Not this time. Despite the clear and vocal opposition of most segments of the population, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid gang is intent on ramming their budget-busting, pork-laden, guaranteed to diminish the quality of health care version of socialized medicine down our throats. Which brings me to the second point.
2. The less than polite tone of the message reflects the increasing dismay and frustration the American people feel about a federal government that they see as totally out of control. History is catching up with the liberal philosophy that has steered our government for most of the last century. Outraged by the perceived excesses of ‘robber barons’ during the Industrial Revolution; seduced by progressive ideas imported from Europe; assaulted by a Depression whose magnitude and length were exacerbated by the progressive methods deployed to combat it; wary of Nazi and Soviet thrusts toward world domination; and further seduced by a 1960s movement, which preached that tradition is stultifying and progressive change is liberating and equitable; the American people succumbed to leftist propaganda and went along with radical changes to our society. But the failures of the radical philosophy are now too glaring to ignore. They are legion, but the one that the people seem to care most about is the profligate and irresponsible manner in which the federal government is bankrupting our country. At a time when the budget deficit, national debt and unsustainable financial obligations have us speeding toward a brick wall, Barack Obama has stepped on the accelerator. It is no wonder that people are angry.