The power of the free-market capitalism despised by the Democrats is that it shows far more interest in results than intentions. The free market has very little time to spare for well-meaning failures. It certainly doesn’t appropriate a couple million dollars worth of prime-time television to ram them down people’s throats. The profit motive, so casually impugned by desperate liberals, is the best thing going for the consumers of any product – from health care, to computers, to cat food – because it is the best way to ensure the highest level of sustained effort from the greatest number of producers. If health care is completely nationalized, there are some doctors who will continue to practice their trade with undiminished dedication, entirely out of concern for their patients… but neither health care, nor any other industry, can rely entirely on the efforts of such people.

The angry and confused man on television last night did not think he would ever find himself playing defense – and losing. He thought he only needed to announce he was giving away “free” health care, then bask in the adulation of the grateful multitudes, like any beloved king. Aristocrats rarely take criticism well, and they lack a capitalist’s creative energy for dealing with setbacks. If you ever do need your tonsils out, you’re better off hiring a greedy doctor than a caring bureaucrat. It looks like you might just be allowed to continue making that decision.