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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/22/14

The Good Old Days

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An observation worth noting ... and pondering, from Dave Johnson:

Imagine a political party that keeps government from helping people, because that might lead people to support government. Imagine a political party that hurts parts of the country because those parts tend to not vote the way they want. Imagine a political party that would hurt the public, the economy and the country so they could say in the next election, 'Hey look at how the country is hurting, vote for us instead.' That could never happen here, could it?'
Remember when both voters and elected officials thought that integrity mattered? Remember when legislators from both political parties actually thought that doing what's best for the nation and honoring the will of the majority meant something? Who knew that such things mattered as the nation was built

We're now saddled with ignorance, belligerence, and idiotic officials who have jettisoned democracy both to preserve an ideology catering to the few and to prevent citizens/voters from realizing that honorable officials can create a (never-will-be-perfect) government that actually serves the common good.

But recent history tells us that not much is going to deflect these officials from their unstated but crystal-clear aims of preserving the most for the few. A welcome sign has been criticism from some in their fold, such as Rod Dreher, whose comment appears below. Reasonable minds exist in their midst, but like the voices belonging to the public at large, not too many are listening.

The Republican Party is throwing corporate welfare at farmers, but telling people who are so poor they qualify for government aid to feed themselves that they are not a priority. As a matter of basic politics, the Republicans have lost their minds. This is Mitt Romney's 47 percent remark all over again.

President Obama has vowed to veto this GOP farm bill if it hits his desk, so Congress is going to have to try again. You know who needs to find their voice and use it right now? Conservative Christian pastors and leaders. Christians need to seriously reconsider uncritical support for a political party that prioritizes lavishing subsidies on the agribusiness rich while telling the poor to sit quietly and wait for scraps.

Isaiah J. Poole [here] and Katrina vanden Hovel [here] among others on both the Left and Right sides of the fence commented on that almost-unbelievable farm bill passed exclusively by GOP House members several months ago. (Its most charming features: Extending nearly $200 billion in subsidies for agribusiness while dropping food stamps--for the first time in 40 years. Of course, since only 50 million or so Americans currently rely on food stamps to ... you know: EAT, I guess it's not that big a deal, Right?)

More recent legislative "efforts" denying extended unemployment benefits and similar refusals to offer assistance to those most in need suggest that callousness is alive and well. That heartless disregard for fellow humans suffering in their own country shouldn't shock the conscience of those who've been paying attention to the Right's absurd protection of the wealthy and screw-the-rest-of-you ideology. Aren't we lucky!

Wouldn't it be nice if we started revering integrity and democracy once again, and stopped celebrating vile hypocrisy, sabotage, political blackmail, and anarchy masquerading as leadership?

I'll say it again: citizens owe it to themselves and to their hopes for the future to start paying attention to the motivations and consequences of legislation and talking points offered up by the extremists on the Right.

Who benefits? and Who does not? are not meaningless questions. The answers matter to people. If you aren't one of the 1%, then the questions and answers matter to you as well.

Adapted from blog posts of mine 1. 2.

 

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Looking Left and Right: Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows I remain a firm believer in late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone's observation that "We all do better when we all do better." That objective might be worth pursuing (more...)
 

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