Once upon a time a young boy came home and gave his mother his report card. The mother opened the card and was disturbed to see that the boy had received bad grades in every subject. She asked him, “Why did you get such bad grades in everything?” to which he replied, “Because I didn’t have access to the homework assignments.” The mother told the boy not to worry. Tomorrow she would call the school principal and demand that the child’s grades be adjusted upward due to his lack of access to the homework assignments. When the boy’s father came home from work, the boy showed him the report card and once again explained that he didn’t have access to the homework assignments, which explained his poor grades. The father looked at the boy carefully and asked, “Why didn’t you have access to the homework assignments? Aren’t they written on the chalkboard?” The boy replied, “Yes, they are, but I usually skip school.”
The moral to the story is this: the dad is a conservative, the mom is a liberal.
Since approximately, um, January of 2009 we in the U.S. are increasingly being told that people all over the country are suddenly suffering from a lack of access to things. People have “no access” to healthcare, “no access” to higher education, “no access” to contraception, “no access” to healthy food, “no access” to upward mobility, etc., etc., etc. And this strange phenomenon is spreading to other parts of the world, as we learned from a recent post on this site about Muslim rioting in Sweden where the AP said, “’… youths in the southern and western Stockholm suburbs… see little future for themselves or access to Sweden’s prosperity.’”
What’s strange about the growing phenomenon of people having “no access” to things in today’s modern world is the nearly universal lack of curiosity about why people are suddenly so helpless in their lives, or why the pathways that used to lead to “access” are now blocked. Instead, like the mother in the story above, they simply accept the claims of “no access” at face value and immediately set to work trying to solve a problem they don’t understand with solutions that are predictably wrong.
Just for the record, I understand what this game is all about and I know you do too. Those who hail from the Left are uninterested in the reasons for people’s sudden lack of “access” to everything because these claims provide the ideal trigger for socialist schemes masquerading as “reforms,” like Obamacare. Any time we hear the words “lack of access” the implication is that the private sector has erected some impenetrable wall which only the government can transcend by forcibly redistributing wealth. But also, delving too deeply into the reasons that people now “lack access” to ordinary things is to expose the failures of liberalism, because in each and every case the “lack of access” can be directly traced to liberal government policies and individual behaviors that liberalism encourages. Let’s look at just one example: the lie about access to contraception.
In a publication titled “Quick Sheet: Barriers to Contraceptive Access for Low-Income Women,”1 The National Institute for Reproductive Health tells us, “Unfortunately, many women face substantial barriers to accessing contraception. Barriers include lack of insurance, high cost, and pharmacy refusal. Low-income women disproportionately face barriers to accessing contraception…” (Emphasis mine).
Well in the first place, the “high cost” myth was dispelled soon after Sandra Fluke’s testimony to an all-democrat congressional panel last year when it was learned that women without insurance could get birth control pills from Target for a whopping nine bucks per month (and then of course there was the shocking revelation that abstinence is FREE). And pharmacy refusal, that’s probably about denying birth control to eleven-year-olds which, to the Left, is interfering with their “reproductive rights.” But let’s skip forward to the larger issue here. Poverty is only a barrier to access to birth control products or any other ordinary item to the extent that someone has NO control over their own poverty. Otherwise, it’s like saying you had no access to your house because you lost your key to the front door, yet the back door is wide open. What evil presence is dooming these women to eternal and inextricable poverty, pray tell? If the failure to improve your financial situation in life through work experience, education and the accumulation of valuable skills is limiting your access to basic things, or if your poverty is the result of making poor decisions in life, then those limits are self-imposed and there’s no “lack of access,” just a lack of action, ambition or common sense.
I can go through every claim the Left makes about “lack of access” to things and dissect it, demonstrating that access is only limited by people’s own behaviors or by government meddling, trust me on this. The “lack of access” campaign is an orchestrated plan by the Left to turn irresponsibility into victimhood, and to unilaterally establish “rights” which are not part of the Constitution: the right to healthcare, the right to contraception, the right to free food, the right to a job, the right to higher education, etc., etc., etc., those “rights” being fulfilled by legislative coup d'états that force taxpayers to provide these things. Because if there’s one thing – and only one thing – that the Left understands from the Constitution, it’s that when you have the right to something, others are obligated to honor that right. That’s why we’re hearing more and more about “lack of access,” and that’s why conservatives must push back hard, Adam Corolla style (I beg you to watch. It’s less than three minutes.):
In true conservative fashion, Corolla refuses to accept the “no access” lie and calls the liar’s bluff. This should be a “How To” video for all republican talking heads, most of whom have been letting this “no access” business sail right over their heads without ever challenging the premise.
In the meantime, always remember that two can play this game. Next time your taxes are due send the IRS a note saying you didn’t have access to a stamp.