(Right-wing) U.S. History 101: Health care reform just like Kansas-Nebraska Act
Research ››› ››› BROOKE OBIE
In the wake of the Democrats' passage of historic health care reform legislation, the right-wing media have compared the law to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which threatened to expand slavery and was "a prelude to the Civil War." Previously, the right-wing media have compared the legislation to the Black Plague, the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bloody Sunday, and the Stamp Act.
Kansas-Nebraska Act threatened to expand slavery into the North, led to violence between slavery's advocates and opponents
As the Library of Congress notes:
The Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise, allowing slavery in the territory north of the 36° 30´ latitude. Introduced by Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, the Kansas-Nebraska Act stipulated that the issue of slavery would be decided by the residents of each territory, a concept known as popular sovereignty. After the bill passed on May 30, 1854, violence erupted in Kansas between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers, a prelude to the Civil War.
Right-wing media equate health care reform to the Kansas-Nebraska Act
Wash. Times' Blankley: "[J]ust as the free states could not tolerate the spread of slavery into their midst, so too, free, middle-class America... will not tolerate the yoke of socialism put upon our necks." In a March 24 Washington Times column headlined "A house divided, again," Tony Blankley stated that following the passage of health care reform law, "We are beginning to enter the Kansas-Nebraska Act stage of socialist crisis of the republic." He further commented:
Now we enter our history's second stage in the struggle against the abomination of socialism. Just as slavery had been contained in the South, so entitlement socialism has, until this week, been more or less contained in service to only the poor and the elderly. And even those programs - Medicare and Social Security - rested on the principle of beneficiaries paying monthly premiums for the benefits they will get later. Only the poor under Medicaid received benefit without premium payment.
But now, just as the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 broke through the slave-state limitation to the South, the Democratic Party's 2010 health care law has broken socialism's boundary of being so limited. Now, the chains of socialism are to be clamped onto the able-bodied middle class - not merely the already-presumed-helpless poor and old who have paid their insurance premiums.
Big Government: "ObamaCare is the Democrats' new Kansas-Nebraska Act." In a March 23 post, Big Government's Michael Zak declared that "ObamaCare is the Democrats' New Kansas-Nebraska Act," commenting that health care reform was just "as atrocious" and as "unpopular." Zak described stated of the Kansas-Nebraska Act's passage:
Every American was forced to choose sides. One was either for the free market system or against it; there was no middle ground.
As Alexis De Tocqueville observed: "Socialism is a new form of slavery." Today's congressional Democrats who voted to impose socialized medicine on the nation while exempting themselves should bear in mind Abraham Lincoln's words: "Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."
American Spectator's John Guardiano: "healthcare fiasco may be modern-day Kansas-Nebraska Act." American Spectator John Guardiano's March 21 Twitter post:
Conservative radio host Simon: "There are some similarities of circumstance...The Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Dems did that too." Conservative radio host Steve Simon linked to Zak's Big Government post in this March 25 tweet:
Conservative media channel history to portray health care bill as great tragedy
Right wing media figures have compared the passage of landmark health care reform legislation to historical events including the Black Plague, the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bloody Sunday, the passage of the Stamp Act, the federal government's refusal to bail out New York City in the 1970's, the Jonestown massacre, and The Day The Music Died.