A mandate is a mandate is a mandate
And a free people shouldn’t have a government that mandates much of anything.
By mandate, in this sense, I mean requiring the mandatory purchase or provision of anything as dictated and then enforced by government. Such as contraception. Or health insurance.
Many people want to make this contraception controversy about religious freedom. I understand the argument, but in reality it is about basic freedom. Free people don’t do government mandates. It is because free people don’t see mandating much of anything as a function of government.
As to how screwy this contraception mandate is, let’s go with the religious argument and use a mandated product that we know would definitely be prohibited by a religion but, for whatever reason, the government feels a need to mandate its use (yeah, it’s a sarcastic example that uses absurdity to demonstrate the absurdity of the contraception mandate). Provided by Instapundit:
It’s as if we passed a law requiring mosques to sell bacon and then, when people objected, responded by saying ‘What’s wrong with bacon? You’re trying to ban bacon!!!!’”
Mandate firearms for all houses for public safety. No exception for Quakers. Oh, OK, we won’t make the Quakers pay for the guns, just have the homeowner’s insurance provide them for free.
We know how Muslims would react to example one (and, of course the administration would never try something that would offend Muslims) and we certainly know how the left would react to the second mandate if, for instance, a Republican administration issued such a mandate. Both would create a firestorm of protest and call each mandate “unconstitutional” and “government overreach”. Since it is just a bunch of “fundy”, mouth-breathing Christians, meh.
Given the examples, though, I assume we can dispense with all the posturing that mandates by government, in general (or in principle) are something acceptable to either side? They’re not. Except, of course, if each side has a favorite agenda item they’d like to see accomplished. Then, mandates are fine, huh?
What we need is a government mandate! We need to mandate that all cars sold in the United States, starting with the 2010 model year, be “flex-fuel vehicles” – that is, they should be able to run on a blend that is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline (the so-called E85 blend), or even a coal-derived methanol/gas mixture. This mandate would cost a fraction of the new fuel economy standard with the added benefit of saving barrels more oil.
Author of that quote? Rick Santorum.
I agree with the no mandate principle. Mandating citizens buy much of anything is not the function of government in a free society.
So, why do both sides continue to try to use them? And why does each claim the other side is the only side to believe them to be a function of government?
Especially the smaller, less intrusive and less costly government side?
Freedom’s hard. And messy. Totalitarianism is so much neater and besides, our elites know so much better than we what is good for us.