As we march in lockstep toward a social and political cataclysm and prepare to surrender one-sixth of our economy to bureaucratic whimsy in one of history's largest wealth-redistribution rip-offs, do you ever wonder what happened to this nation?
When did we become so woefully compliant? So weak? So eager to lick the hands of our masters? So incredibly stupid? When did we forget how to resist?
While we fretted about who was doing what in Hollywood, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, fundamentally changed not only health care, but America - to its core. It is no wonder our betters, fearful of an awakening, scramble to disarm us.
Obamacare is an abomination, a constitutional affront visited on us by people like Mark Begich, people who should know better. We no longer are citizens, but serfs to do as ordered. Worse, the law - passed in the night and unread by most who voted for it - is a temporary compromise, a whistle stop on the way to a transformation even more insidious - nationalized, government-run health care; socialized medicine, with all that entails. Lousy care. Fewer doctors. Longer waits. Crushing expense.
We have allowed leftist political hacks to drive the world's best health care system toward the brink of sure and certain destruction - and eventual replacement, first by Obamacare and then by a lackadaisical system despised, even ridiculed, the world over. If you like waiting years for an operation or months for a doctor's appointment, you will adore socialized medicine.
The Left cannot bring itself to tell the truth, even whisper the words "socialized medicine" for fear Americans will catch on. Instead, to confuse, they sugar coat it as "single-payer" or "public option."
To get here, our so-called leaders lied. Repeatedly. Bold, rash lies. You can keep your health insurance, they said. You can keep your doctor, they said. Obamacare is not a first step toward government-run medicine, they said. Shameless, unblinking lies. Obamacare is only a symptom. Government has become a disease and leftists are carriers.
Americans were told their insurance did not measure up; that they must buy policies sanctioned by some faceless bureaucrat; that everybody must have insurance, even if they cannot pay; that they must use a government website that failed; that they must pay much more for new insurance they do not necessarily need or want because somebody, somewhere thinks it best. Do it, or else, they were told.
Obamacare's wreckage is yet untallied. So far, millions, perhaps three-quarters of private insurance policy holders, have lost their private health insurance due to cancellations forced by Obamacare regulations and they have been forced to buy new, shockingly more expensive policies. Soon, some 80 million more Americans will be in the same boat as employer-sponsored insurance restrictions go into effect.
Where could all those stripped of insurance turn? The Left's hope? They would opt for government-subsidized insurance underwritten by the young and new taxes.
Meanwhile, politicians - President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, come to mind - continue to hound insurance companies out of the health-care business while protecting friends and political cronies.
It should come as no surprise. Obama backed socialized medicine even as he was dodging votes in the Illinois Senate. He assured the American Medical Association the ACA was not a "Trojan Horse" for socialized medicine. Another lie.
Reid, who recently exempted part of his staff from the ACA, sees it as a first step. His neutering the minority in the Senate to pack the District of Columbia Court of Appeals should help. Pelosi, long a socialized medicine backer, told reporters that Obamacare falls short but is just swell; that it "does many of the things that we would've done under a public option...."
There will be no respite. Leftists will delay and obfuscate and lie until after next year's election - our last chance - hoping for Obamacare's ultimate demise and the birth of socialized medicine, itself only a step on the road to complete government control.
Historians someday will view the ACA as perhaps the defining moment in modern American history. It will mark the end of the United States as we know it today.
They surely will wonder: When did Americans become so woefully compliant? So weak? So eager to lick the hands of their masters? So incredibly stupid?
When did they forget how to resist?
Paul Jenkins is editor of the AnchorageDailyPlanet.com.
By PAUL JENKINS