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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/14/12

The Heart of National Security Begins in the Belly

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I would be the last person to suggest America should be serious about developing, rather than dismantling, a broad based social welfare policy that doubles down on poverty, hunger, and disease in order to support a national war machine (something that was an essential aim of both Bismarck's Germany and Hitler's Third Reich). I believe America needs to double-down on poverty, hunger and disease because it is the moral test of a people to do so. I prefer St. Augustine's theology to Bismarck's German nationalism as justification for government social welfare programs and agree with Augustine's words that "charity is no substitute for justice withheld."

It is highly unlikely that the majority of Americans will ever be persuaded by Augustine; however, it seems possible that even the most conservative could embrace Bismarck's "revolutionary conservatism" based on the demands of national security. If conservatives truly desire a strong and prosperous nation (and I've never heard a conservative argue against that goal), Bismarck's social welfare policies and the condition of working-class men in WWI Germany and Britain should be compelling and makes the message clear that our first line of defense is not be NORAD, Homeland Security or Seal Team 6 -- but rather our first line of defense begins with tax-based support for the thousands of social welfare programs like Maine's York Food Pantry and Shelter that serve this country well.

It might not be Augustine but I can live with it.

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Maureen Gill is an educator, author, blogger, and public speaker known for her insightful historical analyses, biting political commentaries and riveting fiction. Maureen is an OpEd columnist at and York County Journal Tribune in (more...)
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