Luke Skywalker: You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father.
Ben 'Obi-Wan' Kenobi: Your father... was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and *became* Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view.
Luke Skywalker: A certain point of view?
Ben 'Obi-Wan' Kenobi: Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.
I was reminded of the Kenobi Axiom this past week, hearing defenders of Obamacare deflect criticism of the Act. Recent incidents of people losing their existing insurance policies and/or having their premiums massively increased and/or being dropped by their doctors have caused many to accuse the president of lying when he – repeatedly – said, in promoting the Affordable Care Act, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan. Period. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.” Tape of him saying this over and over and over has been played over and over and over on television news programs, and not just in the so-called “conservative media” like Fox News. And I can see why he is being accused of lying.
But I would suggest that the president was not, in fact, lying… and that the fact that he was telling the truth, from his perspective, makes the situation even worse… and not just with Obamacare, but with his entire presidency and with the Left in general. You see, to him, and his defenders, he is not lying, because the actual text of the Affordable Care Act does not tell insurance companies or employers that they have to drop people from their plans, or increase their premiums, or that doctors have to stop taking anyone as patients. And most of the changes haven’t even taken place yet, so they can’t be affecting anything! No, these are all decisions being made by the insurance companies, employers, and doctors in question – in the view of these Obamacare supporters, because of their greed – and thus the blame cannot be laid upon the law. This is absolutely true… from a certain point of view.
That view – the view that government intervention into the economy on behalf of those in need is entirely positive and has no ill effects in and of itself – and their absolute belief in it, is the true danger. If they were merely lying to get a bill passed, that would be better. It would mean that they had some grasp of the notion that government intervention can (and usually does) have unexpected and dangerous negative consequences, because people have to adjust their lives and business practices to make up for it. But it seems that they truly believe that they and their policy ideas are absolute forces for good, and that anything bad that happens subsequent to it is simply the result of what Communists call “counter-revolutionary forces.”
This changes the entire debate. If you watch Fox News Channel’s show THE FIVE, you will see that liberal panelist Bob Beckel and the other panelists are usually just arguing past each other on this subject, because they are looking at the world through fundamentally different paradigms, and as such there are no logical grounds for a debate. If you cannot even agree that such regulation can cause negative consequences and force people to make choices counter to what you want, then there cannot be a debate about the effects of such regulation.
This is what makes modern liberals so dangerous when they’re in power. They function from a naïve perspective that does not take into account the realities of the market and human behavior. The very fact that the excuse “it works on paper” becomes an argument is indicative of why this is a serious problem. If it was truly a case of a liberal cabal withholding the truth and falsifying data to make their arguments look good, then at some point you could convince enough of them that this is a bad idea and change their minds to be able to work together to bring about positive outcomes. But when a person’s basic worldview is so set in a direction that doesn’t believe that unintended outcomes could possibly be the result of their policies, then civil discussion and compromise becomes impossible. This, then, is why Obama and the Dems refused to negotiate during the government shutdown. Such a perspective leaves no room for negotiation, because true compromise means (to them) to invite evil into a situation where it did not exist and could not exist in the first place.
I am not saying all Democrats or all liberals have such a worldview. The problem is that the ones in power all seem to. And we can trace it all the way back beyond Obamacare to the establishment’s response to the recession. Even when the massive government interventions failed to make matters better – and in fact seemed to those not of that worldview to be making matters worse – the answer was always, “More intervention!” The schools continue to fail, despite pouring billions of dollars into them? The answer isn’t a total re-evaluation of how our education system works and trying a different tack, it’s “more money!” War on Poverty not only doesn’t decrease poverty but we’re seeing poverty increase? We’re not trying hard enough; more welfare!
The Kenobi Axiom shows us why our country is falling apart. Too many people are clinging to “truths” that are proven untrue by events because their point of view does not allow them to see the lightsaber of reality slashing us all in the gut.