Not Everything is About “Rights”

It seems the recent trend in American political debates is to point out that the status quo or the proposed policy will “ruin” someone or is currently creating multiple victims. For instance, Michelle Obama pointed out that under the current health care system, women suffer. There have been multiple people who have shown that the current system isn’t fair for the poor, doesn’t help the elderly (as there are already “death panels” in the status quo, under private insurance companies), or so on and so forth.

Certainly, some issues come down to someone or some people group being oppressed. Segregation is a good example of this. But not every issue facing America is an issue of oppression. An expensive health care system doesn’t necessarily oppress people (at least not by design); it may just be expensive. Certainly, even the poor can find ways to enjoy our health care system in some situations, showing that “oppression” is hardly the right view of the issue.

Or similarly, not all higher taxes oppress people. If someone makes seven figures a year and his taxes are raised, but they are raised to pay for a justifiable war or to help pay off the national debt (for a plan that works), that is hardly oppressive.

The problem is that people on both sides want to moralize every issue they support; if you don’t support me, then you are immoral and for oppression. It’s a way to vilify and demonize the opposition while pushing yourself toward sainthood. In some instances, this is justifiable. But in most cases, it’s not. In most cases, it’s simply two opposing points of view on how to fix an issue.