We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Religious as well as non-sectarian writings all contain various prescriptions and injunctions related to their view of morality. Most Americans recognize the difference between individual morality and state morality, as exemplified in the two versions of the Golden Rule. Individual morality is violated when state morality is violated.
The prescriptive Golden Rule – rule for a better life by individuals and voluntary associations -- comes down to do to others what one would want done to oneself. The variation, the injunctive Golden Rule – the prohibition, not to do to others what one wouldn’t want done to oneself, is more limited and more applicable to manmade laws that have restraints upon the extent of state power.
When the latter, the injunctive Golden Rule, is violated by the state, there is an intrusion into the former, the prescriptive Golden Rule. To some or many affected, there is a denial of their individual moral rights. The state mandates behaviors that force individuals to act in ways that they would not want to be done to themselves.
The upholding of the injunctive Golden Rule is closest to our Constitution and to the philosophy of libertarianism.The violation of that injunction is closest to those philosophies or political movements, whether from the Left or Right, which seek to force their particular moral political agenda upon others.
Our Constitution works to restrain these violations.
The legal debate is moving through our courts over whether the Commerce Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution allow the mandating of purchasing medical insurance. Advocates of the mandate argue for it as increasing the ability to obtain more affordable medical care by increasing the breadth of the insurance pool. Opponents challenge that affordability assertion due the impracticalities of creating such a broad pool without unacceptable draconian measures, and due to the sheer demand-cost inflation created for more medical services by many more. However, the Constitutional issue is whether the state can require activities, as compared to enjoin activities.
Those not at the poles – either libertarian or moralistic – are the majority of Americans. In most cases, once the poles have argued, and courageous individuals entered the fray to focus the discussion regardless of the heat from the poles, the majority of Americans do not so much compromise as recognize the necessary interaction between the prescriptive, individual Golden Rule and the injunctive, state Golden Rule.