Enslaved to Rand Paul

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Rand Paul Nekid
“With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies,” the senator said. “It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me.”

“It means you believe in slavery. “It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.” – Rand Paul

Rand Paul (R-Craters of the Loon) is a tough man to like, but I have to give him credit for being remarkably consistent, if not wholly, about his Libertarian beliefs. He believes that toilet regulations are an affront to capitalism that will destroy the vaunted American plumbing infrastructure. He similarly believes a human right to health care is slavery.

Pity the Poor Conscripts
It seems Rand is afraid that as a doctor he’ll be “conscripted” to give health care to a goldbricking, unemployed cancer victim living in an AMC Pacer currently parked in front of their foreclosed home at 1313 Mockingbird Ln. Rand doesn’t mention that he’ll likely be paid handsomely for his conscription. He also hasn’t given up his own health insurance in order to throw off the terrible shackles of slavery.

There are a number of arguments about whether the right to health care or free-flowing toilets are any business of government. There are still logical debates to have, as there should be. However, Rand’s penchant for ideological absolutism and absurd comparisons like health care = slavery cheapens an important debate and makes it impossible to get any work done.

It also makes him look like he has the IQ of a ham sandwich, but that’s a whole other post.

Excuse Me But the Cracks in Your Fidelity are Showing
Although Rand’s often off-the-chart comparisons may sound like total fidelity to his principles he often injects quirks and oddities that left unchecked would harm the country much more than help it. They also point out cracks in his passionate fidelity.

For example, slaves got food and water (two other items Rand thinks aren’t human rights). They got those services because slaves were too valuable to do otherwise. Providing services, even to those you hate, doesn’t make slavery. Slavery comes from the single pin that the enslaved have no choice. Which isn’t the case in Paul’s descriptions.

Paul is a Presbyterian. Can we automatically decide that if he complies with God’s every command that God has enslaved him? After all, God’s slavery is infinitely more total and absolute than a government decree (which isn’t the case, nor will it likely be) that health care is a human right.

I wish Rand would choose his battles, and especially his analogies, more carefully. All they do is muddy the water and keep the country in perpetual rancor and decay.

In other words, stop enslaving the rest of us with your silly, distracting speeches.

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10 thoughts on “Enslaved to Rand Paul

  1. If something is a human right then every human is, by virtue of being human, entitled to that thing. That means that some other human being(s) must provide you with that thing. This is the problem when society begins multiplying rights beyond life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness: it mandates that someone else must provide that right. If I have a right to health care, then someone else must provide it whether he will get paid or not. Think another Rand, Ayn Rand and her distopic novels where no one in society is entitled to anything until everyone else has it from those of ability to those moochers in society. That, I think, is the point Paul is making here. By making health care a universal right, we have enslaved ourselves as a society to providing health care, whatever the cost to everyone regardless of ability to pay if we are to remain a society that takes seriously human rights but if health care really is a human right, that, theoretically, means doctors must doctor whether society decides to compensate them or not. Someone must provide that to which all humans are entitled by right to have. Theoretically, that is. In actual fact, we do compensate health care providers because reality is not an Ayn Rand novel. In reality, it is society that enslaves itself to paying for those things society views as rights.

    On the other hand, it does not mean that patient A can conscript doctor B and all whom he employs to provide health care to patient A without recompense. It just means that we, as a society, voluntarily require of ourselves to provide some system of recompense to doctor B and his staff for providing health care. Otherwise we risk doctor B deciding to do something other than doctoring along with all of our other doctors. If this happens, we none of us get health care. We risk the same thing if we fail to provide doctors with a recompense large enough that they will put up the expense of going to med school and put up with going through all of the rigors of becoming a doctor. They must make their money beyond the overhead of providing healthcare.

    • I agree with you. That’s why I didn’t try to make the case whether health care is a right or a societal imperative. In my opinion it is more of an economic issue.

      At the end of the day, all rights are subjective, even the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Who can state an exact, all encompasing definition that eveyone can see and agree with? If we could, we wouldn’t even need to have the conversation because everyone would already agree. They are”rights” because our society has a more of less fuzzy idea of what they mean. I think Rand is operating in the gray area between where he thinks the line is and where many others think it is. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s how our system works.

      As for Rand’s comments, I took them as he made them. He said they weren’t an “abstraction”, so I took them “concretely”. Now, I acknowledge that he may have just been imprecise with his language and I also think he has some valid points. What I think made him look a little loopy in my eyes was his equation to actual slavery.

      Even if everything Obama proposed in his original health care plan was done, no one would be shackled. In fact, not even everyone would have been covered. The health cops wouldn’t suddenly grab Rand and conscript him against his will to practice medicine. The worst that will happen is that taxes will be higher, some more people would get health care, and Rand would get paid for his doctoring as he does now. In fact the opposite is true too. I don’t think the Republic lives or dies based on health care and while I think it’s a better idea to have it, those who oppose me think otherwise.

      As I said, I think his examples are the kinds of statements that cheapen the whole argument and make it easy for people to go off on tangents rather than face the issue.

      I don’t think any sane person disagrees there is a problem with health care. I don’t even think Rand thinks that. I also don’t think the answer to this issue is absolute, short of having 350 million indivdual sets of rights and that doesn’t make sense for anyone.

      Like it or not, everyone will have to compromise and compromises by their nature are never “one size fits all” they are “one size fits no one perfectly”.

      However, I have a funny feeling that Rand isn’t very open to any idea except his own — an “absolutist” position if you will. To me that’s counterproductive, irresponsible, and quite frankly, a little scary.

      But then, I could be wrong. I often am…at least in Rand’s eyes. 🙂

      • At the end of the day, all rights are subjective, even the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Who can state an exact, all encompasing definition that eveyone can see and agree with?

        Well, no one can give a definition of rights that everyone can agree with. We can’t even agree with the origin of rights: are they from God, are they defined as from nature, do rights predate the Constitution or even predate society itself? Are rights defined by a majority or super-majority of a society such that human rights are different depending upon the society in which one finds oneself? Does the Constitution give rights or merely defend rights that exist outside of itself. Probably we could find someone who would say yes to each of these propositions. These are mutually exclusive so how does a conversation get anywhere without defining all of these things and then allowing a defense of each and, in a society like ours, it can only come down to this: that definition of rights which makes the most sense to the most people is the definition that will prevail and, likely, that will mean a plurality, not a majority.

      • I notice that, by the end of his comments, Rand Paul is talking about “the right to free health care”, not just the right to health care although I’m not sure that it makes a difference worth mentioning. A right to health care, ultimately, means a right to health care whether one can pay for it or not and, therefore, free to the end user at the end. If the end user happens not to be a taxpayer, then health care is entirely free to the end user, not just free at the end.

        I also notice that Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) have introduced legislation requiring the states to institute what amounts to Medicare for all the people of each state, amounting to universal health care for all. It would not be free health care since Medicare is not free, even at the end of use — let alone to the tax-payer — indeed, Medicare is quite costly but it is, essentially talking about universal health care insurance, not just to health care.

  2. Personally, I can see many luibertarian points of view as good, but like any other ideology if you take it to illogical extremes you look like Ron Putz.

  3. Libertarians crack me up. They seem to pine for the days of the wild west, when a man was a man and he lived by his wits and his fists and the sweat of his brow (and his business degree from his state university, of course). But I would love for one person to show me a place where the anarchy that libertarians promote actually works, just one. Mexico? Somolia? Iraq, maybe? I cant think of anyplace where libertarians can live the lives they seem to think would be so terrific, and I dont think they can either. Perhaps we could get them to gather together in one state. Personally, I’d be willing to cede that state over to them for a little experimental cowboy governing. Then we can start the betting pool for how long it takes them to be begging to take them back.

    • But I would love for one person to show me a place where the anarchy that libertarians promote actually works, just one.

      Galt’s Gulch, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand. 😉