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Constitution doesn't condone socialist health care

Maybe it was the disappointment in drawing less than 100 people for the event held in support of government-run health care on Tuesday, while recent Bemidji tea parties promoting freedom drew as much as three times that many.

Or maybe it was a frustrated response to the overwhelming outrage which has swept across our nation against socialized medicine. But whatever the case, state Rep. John Persell just accused our founding fathers of being socialists whose writings support federally controlled health care.

I know, it sounds ridiculous, so here's the quote right from page 14 of the Oct. 14 Bemidji Pioneer:

"Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, took a shot at the several 'tea parties' held in Bemidji protesting Obama health care reform plans, calling them socialism. 'They cite 'We the people' from some document, the Declaration I believe,' Persell said. 'So what are the final 12 words of that document? 'We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.' That sounds like socialism to me, so let's get to it.'"

Besides the unfortunate miscount of the last 14 words (not 12) of the Declaration of Independence, there are two key observations to be made. First, Persell's admitted uncertainty regarding "some document" where the phrase "We the People" might be found explains a lot about his support for socialized health care.

No, John, that's not from the Declaration of Independence, as you stabbed a guess, but rather from a little-known document called the Constitution of the United States America. May I surmise this document perhaps is not required reading by your leftist party leaders down at the State Capitol?

Now that I think of it, the mystery is solved. It is crystal clear why John Persell might think that our nation's founders might be socialists: he is unfamiliar with our Constitution! This document strictly limits what Congress may do, followed by a Bill of Rights which guarantees us many freedoms.

Then the 10th Amendment slams the door on socialist schemes such as Obamacare by dictating that all powers not specifically granted to the federal government and not prohibited to the states are reserved for the states and for the people.

Search the Constitution as long as you like and you will not find one syllable granting any authority to Congress to seize control of our health care industry. Hence we understand why liberal politicians such as Mr. Persell may not chose to make the Constitution regular bedtime reading material.

Oh, but on to my second point. Mr. Persell seems a little confused about these original American patriots pledging to each other their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Let's get this straight. In a free country, free men voluntarily pledge to each other their own lives, fortunes and sacred honor, in order to obtain and preserve freedom for future generations to come.

Our founding fathers did it. The countless brave men and women of current and past wars did it and are doing it still today. However, in a socialist nation, the government pledges to itself your life, your fortune and your sacred honor, without even once asking your permission! If the signors of our Declaration had been socialists, the final 12, no, scratch that, 14 words of the document would read as follows: "We pledge to each other everyone else's lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor." Enough said.

Recently I had a chance to meet Rep. Persell face to face. He visited my business to do a favor for a friend. He seems like a nice guy. So please understand this is not about John or any other liberal politician.

You see, just because you are a self-admitted socialist does not mean that you are a bad person. But it does make your policies wrong and extremely dangerous for liberty and freedom in America.

Kenneth Cobb is chairman of the Beltrami County Republicans, a sponsor of the Bemidji Tea Parties.