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The penman who would not sign

"The penman who would not sign" Continued...

Issue: "Getting paid not aid," Feb. 22, 2014

As I read your book, I was thinking about both Obamacare and the Tea Party opposition to it. Dickinson in 2009, when Obamacare was first vetted as a possible “solution” for our nation’s health exigencies, would have insisted on a thorough discussion of what ought to be done with liberty in mind. John Dickinson’s fundamental concern was for liberty. Obamacare violates many historic American conceptions of liberty by taking a government program and forcing it down the throats of the American people. It violates precepts of what is the right of American citizens in terms of making decisions about their own lives. 

‘We need more people like Dickinson, instead  of fewer.  The lack of forethought and caution almost makes inevitable the rise of hotheads.’ —Murchison
Kim Leeson/Genesis
‘We need more people like Dickinson, instead of fewer. The lack of forethought and caution almost makes inevitable the rise of hotheads.’ —Murchison
And in 2013 and 2014? If policies concerning healthcare for Americans had been adjusted carefully, in terms of being realistic about what could be done, and what would best preserve American liberties, the level of anger would not have risen. We need more people like Dickinson, instead of fewer. The lack of forethought and caution almost makes inevitable the rise of hotheads.

What do you do when the situation’s gotten to a point that it seems only radical solutions can work? What is the role for a prudential statesman when alternatives that could have been seized have not been, and we’re at a point of crisis? The prudential approach is to elect people who understand what has to be done. And that is doable through exertions of people who might not have come to the polls but for the inflammatory comments of people like our 21st-century Tom Paines. Unless people become angry, then we become a subject people, which was something Dickinson objected to very strongly. 

Sometimes we’re left without good choices. Dickinson wrote eloquently about the alternatives in Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania. One would be to do nothing, to accept, and to become slaves. The other was to take prudent action. He did not consider burning down the barn to exterminate the vermin to be prudent action, but rather an action with more dire consequences than not.

Watch Marvin Olasky’s complete interview with William Murchison:

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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