The Secessionist laid out a legal opposition to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in his book, calling them unconstitutional. And yesterday, his soon-to-be running mate Marco Rubio (R-FL) presented a moral argument against them. (UPDATED BELOW)
These programs weakened us as a people. You see, almost forever, it was institutions in society that assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and your future because you had to. We took these things upon ourselves in our communities, our families, and our homes, and our churches and our synagogues. But all that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities. All of a sudden, for an increasing number of people in our nation, it was no longer necessary to worry about saving for security because that was the government’s job.
For those who met misfortune, that wasn’t our job to take care of them. That was the government’s job. And as government crowded out the institutions in our society that did these things traditionally, it weakened our people.
It’s more than a little bizarre to view the period between 1933-1981 as the Great Weakening of America. But that’s the preferred narrative of today’s Republicans, who want to repeal pretty much the entire 20th century. (As an aside, I would love to hear how, specifically, the government has hobbled religious and charitable organizations.)
Anyway, since these programs are immensely popular, it would seem that a Democratic President, so inclined, could use this to his advantage, and campaign to vigorously defend them.
Just a thought.
Rubio’s speech sounds a lot like something Franklin Graham said a few months ago.