That’s the title of a great article at Townhall by Michael Barone. Here’s an excerpt:
You are victims. You are helpless against the wiles of big corporations and insurance companies, and you need protection. You need the government to take over and do things you cannot do for yourself.
That is the thinking of what David Brooks calls “the educated class” that favors the Democrats’ health care bills. Members of this elite spout tales of woe of people denied coverage or care with the implication that there but for the grace of government go you. So sign on, and the government will take care of everything.
He then goes on to point out that Americans have traditionally rejected big government programs that provided no link between work and reward, because Americans see themselves as active agents, not dependent victims:
Bill Clinton recognized this when he signed welfare reform in 1996. Clinton worked his way up in Arkansas, a state with a highly unequal income distribution, with a few very rich families — the Waltons, Tysons, Stephenses — and many people with modest incomes. But polling shows that the Democrats’ health care plans are overwhelmingly unpopular in Arkansas, even more than nationally.
Barack Obama, who has chosen to live his adult life in university precincts, sees Arkansans and Americans generally as victims who need his help, people who would be better off dependent on government than on their own. Most American voters don’t want to see themselves that way and resent this condescension.
And that’s why this health care reform has been stalled: not because of Republican obstructionism, but because a vast and growing majority of Americans reject nationalized health care and don’t want the government as their caretaker.
Well-worth reading in full.