Thursday, November 08, 2012

Four More Years Of Socialism

Four years ago, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States.

He made some attempt to be conciliatory to his opponents. He tried to include some Republicans in his Administration. In two of his signature legislative attempts, which were capping and trading carbon emissions and health reform, he based his proposals off ideas that conservatives had previously pioneered (health - Massachusetts under Romney and with the Heritage Foundation endorsing the idea) or been involved in (cap and trade - the EPA applied this to SO2 emissions under Reagan).

He was reviled as, variously, a socialist, a Kenyan anti-colonialist, un-American, non-American. Some insinuated that he only got into Harvard because of affirmative action, others that he was in over his head. Others insinuated that he had a plot to forcibly disarm the country and to destroy capitalism.

A few days ago, he was re-elected. His opponents' platform contained proposals that would have dismantled Medicaid, severely damaged Medicare, and destroyed most means-tested aid programs.

Christians are supposed to urge conciliation. Christians are also called to resist evil with every fiber of their beings. So, let us work together. We are all Americans (most of us, anyway, as not everyone reading this may be in the US). But let us also remember that the Republicans in Congress would have signed on to a budget that an analyst I respect called "Robin Hood, in reverse - on steroids". Matthew 7:16 says, "You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?"  And the modern Republican Party exhibits no compassion for the poor, no regard for the future of our nation and the planet. Internationally, its policy would be belligerence and recklessness. Domestically, they've tried their best to suppress the votes of people of color and young people - people who tend to vote against them. The fruit of the modern Republican party is toxic.

I have neighbors and relatives who are conservatives. If they hadn't been fed a bunch of lies by the Republicans in Congress, they would probably still be more cautious about expanding health care to the entire population. They would be afraid that Medicare cuts would compromise the care they and their parents get. They would be worried that cutting carbon emissions might compromise their standards of living. That's fine. I'm not worried about those things, but we can deal. God made some of us conservative, some of us progressive, and some of us in between. God did this for a good reason, because not all changes are good, and caution can save your skin. Unfortunately, the national Republican party has fed my neighbors, relatives and friends a bunch of toxic lies. Conservatism is a movement and a philosophy that contains much wisdom and that progressives can deal with. But the national Republican party in the United States serves only Mammon. It deserves to die.

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