Nowadays in America, statists win even when they lose. More specifically, under our dominant cultural assumptions the failure of any left-liberal policy leads, inexorably, to its entrenchment and expansion.
For the Left, this is a feature not a bug.
The most striking example is public education, where a nationwide left-liberal apparatus directs a producer-centric system that delivers an objectively awful product at absurd cost. Our exquisite political sensitivities limit the mainstream debate to the input function: more resources, smaller class sizes, additional teachers’ aides. When education funding is increased, dues skimmed from union paychecks entrench leftist politicians responsible for the failing status quo. Win-win.
As they say on late night television, “But wait, there’s more.” Sustaining an incompetent educational system yields a multiplier effect: the formation of poorly educated citizens ill-equipped to challenge misinformation and outright lies from their rulers. This is how, only 30 years after the Reagan Renaissance, Barack Obama could claim financial crisis and recession resulted from laissez-faire government circa 2007. He was confident that a majority of voters would be ignorant of the facts. And he was correct.
Energy presents another example. Abundant, inexpensive energy increases personal mobility, which fuels an independent spirit in average citizens—not exactly a goal for the Alinskyite left. Therefore, energy must be scarce and expensive. Selling higher costs and reduced personal freedom is a tough proposition, so our betters assert that affordable automobiles powered by cheap gasoline will literally destroy the world by means of climate change. Therefore, leftist policies dictate car design and hinder oil supply to the detriment of the all-important middle class. But not to fret: Higher energy prices justify government policies aimed at forcing the advent of inexpensive wind power and green jobs of the future. You just have to believe.
Forward, always forward.
Which brings us to health care, the big enchilada of hope and change. Obamacare will fail. But here is the kicker: Obamacare is intended to fail. Why else would leftists enact a 2,700-page bill restructuring 1/6th of the domestic economy without bothering to first read the document?
The only remaining requirement for a fail forward in health care is deflecting the blame at the time of collapse. A few remaining private health insurers will do nicely. But if they go under too early in the fundamental transformation, the Left can always fall back on that old standby: Republican intransigence.
Expect the president and his allies to reluctantly conclude that the private market cannot cope with the complex demands of modern healthcare — greed being incompatible with the minimum requirements of social justice — so, sadly, we will need to embrace a Medicare-for-all single-payer healthcare system, just like other advanced democracies.
As working conditions decline in our increasingly one-size-fits-all healthcare system, employees will unionize. Millions of nurses, doctors, technicians, and administrators, all newly minted SEIU members, will then contribute mandatory dues into the coffers of the leftist politicians responsible for their economic distress.
The only way out is by educating our fellow citizens. This is why conservatives need to make the argument, the conservative case, at each and every opportunity, not reach across the aisle as many pundits are advocating.
Failure should mean defeat, not advancement.