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Trump’s ‘right to try’ proposal: the most interesting moment in the SOTU
Notwithstanding the moving tributes to the guests seated with the First Lady, the applause lines, and all the rest, it seems to me that the most interesting moment in Mr. Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday was the point at which he asked Congress to enact “right to try” legislation, which would allow terminally-ill patients to access experimental and other such treatments (at about the 1:09:30 mark here).
Notice that the Republicans rose to their feet in enthusiastic endorsement of that suggestion, while among the Democrats only scattered applause was observed.
Why? Who could oppose or only endorse half-heartedly so humane and obvious a proposal? The same question applies to the dominant Democratic response to Trump’s observations about the positive trends in minority unemployment, wages, etc.
I think that the “resistance” or “fear of their base” explanations — that any endorsement of a Trump proposal or a positive outcome of a Trump policy would elicit loathing and political opposition from the Democratic left wing — is too narrow an explanation. Again, the response to the “right to try” proposal is deeply revealing: The “right to try” — like improved economic conditions for lower-income workers, etc. — is inconsistent with the long-term goal of the left to make all individuals more rather than less dependent upon government.
I cannot think of a single policy preference of the left not consistent with that broader objective, a deeply disturbing political trend utterly inconsistent with American political traditions or with a more-modern goal of enhancing human flourishing.