This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.
Sutherland Institute recently released a statement in support of the state Legislature’s refusal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare and how it’s choosing instead to pay for expansion itself. Among the many criticisms we’ve heard, one stands out. On Twitter, one critic wrote to us, “Your group really hates Americans who aren’t perfect in the way you approve.”
For many years I’ve wondered how it’s possible that liberals and progressives can’t tell the difference between private lives and public policy. Hardly a day goes by when some personal dysfunction or tragedy isn’t followed by “there ought to be a law” to memorialize someone’s personal problem – usually in the name of tolerance or compassion.
Traditionally, public policy has been limited to matters of procedural justice, negotiating conflicts among competing rights and certain economic externalities such as pollution. But the rise of selfish individualism has changed public policy forever. The rise of selfish individualism to the level of a civil right in the forms of feminism and sexual politics, family breakdown, divorce, single parenthood, fatherless homes, cohabitation, children’s rights and a simple lack of fertility among married couples has changed the focus of public policy away from protecting the common good to championing a multitude of personal dysfunctions.