The Affordable Care Act is law and someday, sooner than later, I’ll bet we will have a single payer health care system in this country. A man whom I respect very much, wrote this recently in his Bevridge Approach post:
So, inevitably, the public has moved forward down the only track it’s been given, and Obama care will become law—and the odds are that it will remain the law of the land for decades to come and lead us toward a European-style single-payer system.
So let’s make it sooner and begin to heal the bloody gash that is politics in America today. The Republicans will probably lose this fight; and if you agree, will you travel a little further and also agree, that the current attempt by Senator Cruz to destroy Obama care was described by Miguel de Cervantes four hundred years ago?
Alonso Quijano, the protagonist of the novel, is a retired country gentleman nearing fifty years of age, living in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and housekeeper. While mostly a rational man of sound reason, his reading of books of chivalry in excess has had a profound effect on him, leading to the distortion of his perception and the wavering of his mental faculties. In essence, he believes every word of these books of chivalry to be true though, for the most part, the content of these books is clearly fiction. Otherwise, his wits are intact. He decides to go out as a knight-errant in search of adventure. He dons an old suit of armour, renames himself “Don Quixote de la Mancha,” and names his skinny horse “Rocinante“. He designates Aldonza Lorenzo, a neighboring farm girl as his lady love, renaming her Dulcinea del Toboso, while she knows nothing about this.
He sets out in the early morning and ends up at an inn, which he believes to be a castle. He asks the innkeeper, whom he thinks to be the lord of the castle, to dub him a knight. He spends the night holding vigil over his armor, where he becomes involved in a fight with muleteers who try to remove his armor from the horse trough so that they can water their mules. The innkeeper then dubs him a knight to be rid of him, and sends him on his way. Don Quixote next “frees” a young boy who is tied to a tree and beaten by his master by making his master swear on the chivalric code to treat the boy fairly. The boy’s beating is continued as soon as Quixote leaves. Don Quixote has a run-in with traders from Toledo, who “insult” the imaginary Dulcinea, one of whom severely beats Don Quixote and leaves him on the side of the road. Don Quixote is found and returned to his home by a neighboring peasant.
While Don Quixote is unconscious in his bed, his niece, the housekeeper, the parish curate, and the local barber secretly burn most of the books of chivalry, and seal up his library pretending that a magician has carried it off. After a short period of feigning health, Don Quixote approaches his neighbor, Sancho Panza, and asks him to be his squire, promising him governorship of an island. The uneducated Sancho agrees, and the pair sneak off in the early dawn. It is here that their series of famous adventures begin, starting with Don Quixote’s attack on windmills that he believes to be ferocious giants. The two next encounter a group of friars accompanying a lady in a carriage. They are heavily cloaked, as is the lady, to protect themselves from the hot climate and dust on the road. Don Quixote takes the friars to be enchanters who hold the lady captive. He knocks a friar from his horse, and is immediately challenged by an armed Basque traveling with the company. As he has no shield, the Basque uses a pillow to protect himself, which saves him when Don Quixote strikes him. The combat ends with the lady leaving her carriage and commanding those traveling with her to “surrender” to Don Quixote.
Indeed, Senator C going after the ACA is like Don Q tilting at windmills. I’m not saying the Senator is stupid; exactly the opposite. Senator C is certainly well read:
Ted Cruz attended high school at Faith West Academy in Katy, Texas, and later graduated from Second Baptist High School in Houston as valedictorian in 1988. During high school, Cruz participated in a Houston-based group called the Free Market Education Foundation where Cruz learned about free-market economic philosophers such as Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Frédéric Bastiat and Ludwig von Mises. The program was run by Rolland Storey and Cruz entered the program at the age of 13.
Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1992. While at Princeton, he competed for the American Whig-Cliosophic Society‘s Debate Panel and won the top speaker award at both the 1992 U.S. National Debating Championship and the 1992 North American Debating Championship. In 1992, he was named U.S. National Speaker of the Year and Team of the Year (with his debate partner, David Panton). Cruz was also a semi-finalist at the 1995 World Universities Debating Championship.
Cruz’s senior thesis on the separation of powers, titled “Clipping the Wings of Angels,” draws its inspiration from a passage attributed to President James Madison: “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” Cruz argued that the drafters of the Constitution intended to protect the rights of their constituents, and the last two items in the Bill of Rights offered an explicit stop against an all-powerful state. Cruz wrote: “They simply do so from different directions. The Tenth stops new powers, and the Ninth fortifies all other rights, or non-powers.”
Don Q was also well read. Don Q did not, however, have access to the incredible amounts of silver that the good Senator does; however, he is likely to come to the same place at the end of his story. Here’s one more similarity; Don Q had his convenient fool, Sancho Panza. Ted C has John Boehner, the weepy eyed leader of the House.
Someday, this country will have Medicare for everyone; single payer, national healthcare, socialized medicine, call it what you will, it’s all close to the same thing, and Obama care is a big step in that direction. But don’t become lachrymose, there is a choice: a dragged out bitter, cousin against cousin incredibly expensive trench fight which ends in Obama care, or an acquiescence to the ACA? A rereading of Occam’s razor might be useful. Senator C has become the point man; however, on his current adventure, he is tilting at windmills.