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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/13/12

Romney and Ryan: Deadly Duo To Seniors, Gays and The Poor, Savvy Saviors To Pulpit Pimps

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Ryan's Senior Food Plan
Ryan's Senior Food Plan
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Social Darwinism Has Its Advantages ... For Bishop Eddie Long And His Colleagues

The choice of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's Vice Presidential running mate is creating a stir on both sides of the political spectrum: the Right is salivating in the possibility of unfettered free enterprise and the Left is screaming "Social Darwinism." At its most extreme, it could be said that not since the French Revolution have the differences between the staunchly conservative rich/upper middle class and the poor/disenfranchised been more obvious. At its most moderate, it could be said that America's corporate class will decide what's good for the poor and the elderly. A Romney-Ryan administration could usher in an age of new robber-barons.

It's The Ideology, Stupid!

Paul Ryan is considered an ideologue, a man so fixed in the philosophy of fiscal conservatism, that he can't see the forest from the trees: the forest being the millions of people effected by a slash-and-burn budget. He and Romney have come out with a joint statement that they will not eliminate Medicare or Social Security, Ryan stating that his mother is a Medicare recipient. But the ideology of no entitlements is still there, lurking under more "moderate" statements. Entitlements go against the grain of intense capitalists.  

[On Ryan's budget plan]   Huffington Post :

Other elements of the budget plan would cut projected spending for Medicaid, which provides health care for the poor, as well as food stamps, student loans and other social programs that Obama and Democrats have pledged to defend.

Donna Brazile,   CNN Contributor :  

"First, Romney has fully and unequivocally embraced the extreme Ryan budget plan. Earlier this year,   he called it "marvelous"   -- now he's made it his own. The Romney-Ryan   plan   would throw seniors under the bus and undermine their health security by ending Medicare as we know it. It would increase   health care costs for seniors, including those on fixed income, by thousands of dollars a year."


Ryan's ideology overshadows everything, including gay rights: when asked a question about gay rights during a particular interview, he said "I don't know why we're talking about this." In 2007, Ryan half-heartedly voted for ENDA, a move which would cost him immense criticism from the Christian Right. Since then, he has toed the line on all issues related to gay rights: "no" on gay adoption, "yes" on a proposed Marriage Amendment, "no" on the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Human Rights Campaign, the gay-rights lobby has consistently given Ryan a "zero" rating. Social issues are of no concern, only fiscal issues. Money, it seems rules all.

So What Of Religion In All Of This?

Religion Dispatches:

"Ryan and House Speaker John Boehner, after all, famously sought the approval   of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and one-time Archbishop of Milwaukee, for Ryan's budget plan that a liberal budget expert said 'would produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history, while increasing poverty and inequality more than any measure in recent times and possibly in the nation's history.'"

Romney and Ryan's fiscal ideology has been at the core of America's Christian Right for years: it was Glenn Beck who brought the animosity of the CR for "social justice" to the fore, but early in the last century, the Southern Baptist Convention's involvement in Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan definitely had a monetary bent. White congregations were more affluent, more controllable ... and more diametrically opposed to civil rights. Pat Robertson's 700 Club ushered in a new age for televangelists and prosperity gospel preachers*, the evolution of which has featured scandal and bling, but has never been halted.** 

Romney, Ryan and their ideology are, in fact, tailor-made for today's Right Wing religionists, because let's face it: today's prosperity gospel preachers and megachurches are merely savvy entrepreneurs out to make as much money as possible selling hope. And while they can achieve product sales out of poor people by selling in bulk (via televangelism), they have to concentrate on their base composed of middle and lower-middle class: the prosperity gospel depends on desperation - but not too much desperation.***

Whither Compassion And Social Justice?

The Romney-Ryan campaign has already started to soft pedal its stance on entitlements, saying that what they REALLY mean to do is to overhaul and not eliminate. They are studiously avoiding gay issues as much as possible in order to placate the Right and not seem too bigoted. They will, however, be fighting the bottom line: their previous stances on social issues have made them enemies of compassion and social justice. 

Their campaign managers must be masters of spin to make them look anything else.

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Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books €" Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)
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