Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The reason for the outrage

People get outraged when they think that you're trying to change things that are important to them without getting their input or thinking that doing so is in any way important. Such has been the case with the public's increasing anger and outrage over ObamaCare.
However uncivil some of the town-hall interruptions have been, the palpable irritation on the part of so many disgruntled citizens is not only an expression of political opposition to a particular policy but a bubbling over of resentment at the feeling of general powerlessness. At every turn, the Obama administration has attempted to fast-track an immensely complex piece of legislation, ensuring that a transparent national debate is impossible and that even our legislators remain ignorant of the details of any proposal. ... Obama has tried to create the illusion that debate is dangerous, given the exigency of the current crisis, and unnecessary, given the solid public consensus. ...

The conspicuous contradiction embedded within Obama’s political program is between his populist embrace of consent and his technocratic dismissal of it: The former presumes the prudence of common sense; the latter rejects it as radically untutored.
And the latter, in any regulatory state, always wins. It's one of the reasons why the Jeffersonian maxim that the government that governs best is the one that governs least is -- in a world full of fallen, sinful human beings -- so true.

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