Anyone who reads my columns has heard me say before that what unites the left is a vision of an ideal society, and what unites the right is a vision of an ideal state. The left will take or use any state necessary to get to that ideal society. At times it will argue for freedom in the language of the libertarian right; at others, it will defend Big Government outright. It thinks that this incoherence makes it composed of centrists and pragmatists, and it pats itself on the back for it.
It is this ideology, this willingness to do absolutely anything to bring about their ideal society — a society, by the way, that would be nothing like any society ever actually achieved, one with gay marriage, abortion on demand, and safety net handouts for all who want them — that drives their vision of the state. They see no inconsistency in arguing for small government one minute and big government the next.
That is why we are not on a road to serfdom but an escalator down to it — that is, if we do nothing at all, we will find ourselves there.
The left is not only attacking behavior it doesn’t like, but attacking omissions, attacking nonactivity. The most famous example of this is Obamacare, which forces people to buy something or else pay a tax.
It raises your taxes, and then, when you try to put your money offshore, it tries to find a way to tax it there, too.
First, leftists got you to pay for the elderly to retire. Then they got you to pay for their health care. Then they got you to pay for the poor. Then they got you to pay for people who were just slightly above poverty.
They got you to give food stamps to the poor. Then free health care. Then free cellphones. Then free apartments.
First they got the freedom to have as much sex as they possibly could with as many people as they desired when they got the freedom to contracept and kill their own children. Then they got you to pay for it voluntarily, through Medicaid and Title X. Now, they’ll get you to pay for it involuntarily, taxing you if you don’t.
They got the government to take over the almsgiving business, and next year, the Catholic Church will be kicked out of the hospital and education industries, at which it has been the greatest force for good for two millennia. The Catholic Church has done more charity work than any government bureaucracy, and we have just chosen the bureaucracy over it.
First, leftists got the freedom to marry people of the same gender. They even got the freedom to adopt defenseless, innocent children with their gay lovers. Then they got the Catholic Church out of the adoption industry. Now they sue you if you don’t want to photograph their gay wedding.
Any disparity is against their ideal society, no matter how evanescent or specious it may be. To them, it is not just evidence but automatic, compelling proof of discrimination.
Any disagreement with them and they label you. And how do they label you? What form does their bigotry take? They call you a bigot. It’s a clever tactic of bigots to try to make all labels as meaningless as possible.
It’s also a form of poisoning the well: If they call you a bigot first, then when you say it back, it has less force, since you’ve already been labeled.
You don’t want to pay for their contraception? You’re waging a war on women. You want to enforce the drug laws? They are victims of your war on drugs.
Does anybody think this totalitarian, monstrous pattern of behavior will end? Is there a limiting principle? Don’t ask the solicitor general. The chief justice of the Supreme Court doesn’t think so. They will never stop because their ideal is not about the state, it is about society, it is about an illusory utopia.
There will always be a next step for them. It will never stop. Thirty years ago, people would have laughed at the idea of gay marriage. Now it is forced upon us.
I will make a few predictions about Obamacare. It will be implemented, jobs will be destroyed, the economy will tank, which means that more and more people will qualify for free stuff and fewer and fewer people will be able to pay for free stuff.
According to the Doctor Patient Medical Association, 83 percent of American doctors have considered retiring because of Obamacare.
Thousands of doctors will retire rather than worry about the new laws, taxes and legal liabilities. Eventually, there won’t be enough doctors to take care of all these people qualifying for free stuff. The money for free stuff will run out.
The next step everyone already knows from looking at Canada and Europe. Waiting for a doctor will be like waiting for bread behind the Iron Curtain. The problem will worsen and worsen.
Unless the whole system simply collapses, we all know the final step: compulsion. When you run out of money and they can’t tax you anymore, they will simply compel you to do it. After the individual mandate, there can only be a doctor retirement ban.
Anyone with a background in early modern political thought can see this coming: All rights have corresponding duties. If you add rights, you add duties. The government has added the right to health care, so someone has to have the duty to give health care. As that pool of people shrinks, there is only one way to fix it: by force. God save this country.
• Armstrong Williams, author of the 2010 book “Reawakening Virtues,” is on Sirius Power 128, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/arightside. Read his content on RightSideWire.com.