Sister Joan Chittister famously said, "We are each called to go through life reclaiming the planet an inch at a time until the Garden of Eden grows green again." Reflecting on that journey -- a blog at a time -- is the focus of this site.
Hm. Yet when I get on left-wing blogs it seems that their political philosophy is just the opposite. The premise that I keep having presented to me is that "institutional" discrimination against blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, etc. is ingrained in the system; that this is the reason why their financial status is lower than people not in those groups; and that this therefore justifies massive governmental intervention to even up the odds.
Ummm ... yes. Denying systemic oppression is kind of like denying evolution or climate change or thinking a woman's body can "shut down" a pregnancy. And yes, we detect a pattern here.But don't take my word for it. This from Republican analyst Mike Murphy: Q. Who lost this race? Mitt Romney or the Republican Party?A. Well, both! I think they're interconnected. There are so many levels of failure in this thing. The biggest deal is demographic ... The country is changing and the people our party appeals to is the static group and that is a recipe for extinction. The question is whether or not we're going to able to have an adult conversation inside the party about our need to attract more than just grumpy old white guys and about the policy problems we have with issues like immigration reform and gay marriage.Like I said: BOOM!
A disbelief in the veracity of the theory of evolution or thinking that a woman doesn't get pregnant if she's "truly raped" is astonishingly ignorant. I agree that those people shouldn't be in charge of our country. A failure to believe that a) there's global warming and that b) the cause is anthropogenic doesn't rise to the same standard.However, beliefs in the things above that you and I agree are absurd is not necessarily tied to adoption of those political philosophies that I hold and that you and I disagree upon. If they were, I would agree with those statements, and as I say I don't.It's also not tied to race or gender. Romney didn't get more than 50 million votes just from white males. What is tied to those philosophies is whether or not one is self-sufficient or dependent on government - whether one is a net payer of money to the government or a net recipient.The answer to that question tends to divide along racial lines. A higher proportion of blacks and Hispanics are net recipients of taxpayer money and a higher proportion of all whites are net payers (compared to the total of each group, not to the population as a whole, more whites overall are net recipients), and people tend to follow their immediately apparent financial self-interest. The apparent divide is racial. But I think the actual divide is income.I saw an editorial cartoon. Romney and Obama were standing in front of podiums as if they were debating. Romney's podium said "Free Enterprise". Obama's podium said "Free Stuff". I think that's apt. Obama inveighs against "the rich", as if they a) actually have enough money to pay off the deficit and fund all the social programs that Obama wants to establish or expand, and b) are the reason why other people cannot earn enough money to live without government assistance. Neither is true.California and Illinois are already finding this out. I live in Illinois. According to the actuaries, Illinois needs to contribute a minimum of $85 billion to fully fund public employee pensions. The State's annual budget is $34 billion - after the State income tax was increased from 3% to 5.5%. That works out to some pretty simple math, and it can't be blamed on wars or defense budgets. It also ignores the fact that the State's maintenance budget has been neglected to the point that there are hundreds of bridges and thousands of miles of roads that are so far out of repair as to be flat out dangerous. The City of Chicago is facing a problem of similar proportions.We're going to run into similar problems in the Federal budget. Tell me - using real math and real numbers - how this is going to be avoided without cutting social programs and without cutting the military below already unsustainable levels? President Obama doesn't seem to know - remember that the last two budgets he proposed were both shot down in the Senate, a body his party holds down a majority in, 97-0 and 99-0. There's something wrong there that goes beyond party.
Ummm ... yes. Denying systemic oppression is kind of like denying evolution or climate change or thinking a woman's body can "shut down" a pregnancy.So I completely disagree with this statement. Certainly the vast majority of conservatives disagree with denying evolution or thinking that a woman that's been "truly raped" will not get pregnant. Playing up the statements of a couple of fools (while the MSM refuses to publicize equally foolish statements by Democratic candidate) makes great political strategy but does not show the actual beliefs of conservatives.
Ron ... I'm posting up your comment in the interest of public, civil discourse ... but I just don't have time to "unpack" the stereotypes you've offered as rationale to support your position while utterly ignoring the point I actually MADE ... which is that ignoring the reality of systemic oppression is like-unto ignoring any other certifiable data that runs contrary to the "truth" one clings to as absolute. Or, now that I think about it, maybe you actually MAKE my point by ignoring it.Anyway -- go find some smart Republicans to listen to. They're out there. And please do me a favor and consider that when you offer illustrations such as "free stuff" vs. "free enterprise" you fall into the same trap that helped Romney NOT get elected of profiling 47% of the population as "other" based on bias rather than fact. And have a good day.
This notion that you can divide people into "payers" and "recipients" (or "makers" and "takers") is NONSENSE.In a democracy like ours, we ALL contribute, and we ALL receive. There is NO ONE who is "self-made" (or strictly "parent-made"). No, not one!Only a GROSS narcissism can prompt one to look at one's self and say "I contribute more than I'm getting back." Why not adopt "an attitude of gratitude"?
Remedial Reading Assignment for RonF -- Just finshed watching "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" and if you can find it online you'll get a great tutorial on why the "free stuff" vs "free enterprise" paradigm is so bogus. Seriously. Find it. Watch it. Learn something.
People like RonF have had poor examples set in their lives. We have to take the reins and make a good example. That's the only way to undo a belief in the fantasies that fuel his position.
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