It is nearly impossible to imagine any American who does not appreciate the concept of freedom, and without a doubt, Americans are as free as any society within the constraints of an ordered society governed by laws. One simple way to enrage Americans, and incite them to violence, is to threaten their freedom, and an escalating trend among Republicans is instigating outrage in the population with overt assertions that President Obama threatens Americans’ freedom. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the President, and declared constitutional by the nation’s highest court, an increasing number of Republicans and conservative pundits are parroting the notion that health insurance reform is an “intrusion on freedom,” and now Republicans are attempting to deny funding for the health law by targeting the Internal Revenue Service claiming it is the “new Gestapo” that is “headed in the direction of killing a lot of people.”
First, Republicans know the ACA is not an assault on freedom because they proposed a similar set of reforms in the 1990s with the Heritage Foundation devising the individual mandate that Willard Romney signed into Massachusetts’ law while he was governor. The GOP is having relative success using provocative language to play on the unfounded fears of a Socialist takeover of healthcare among Americans mortified a Black man is sitting in the Oval Office. The incendiary language is not subtle, or lost on a segment of the population that began reacting negatively to President Obama before his administration was under way. The ACA is the main impetus of Republican’s fear-mongering campaign that is as potent today as when healthcare reform first came to the nation’s attention.