By Chris Swindell
As a progressive, I admit we have a spending problem. To save the big-ticket items in the U.S. budget, we need painful reforms. But, how do We the People go about it? That's the rub.
What Republicans and West Virginia red state Democrats will simply not admit is that we are, in fact, our brother's keeper. However, unlike Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Reagan, that motivating principle is no longer our North Star.
We cannot agree because we no longer share a vision for America's poor, sick and elderly. Budget negotiations are fruitless as long as Ayn Rand is guiding Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. That the Tea Party supports the notion of independent gain, luck of one's own making, and other disincentives to collective welfare, simply proves my point.
Two years ago I wrote the Tea Party hates America. I was wrong. The Tea Party hates government, hates progressives, hates gays, hates Barak Obama, hates brown and black people, hates gun control supporters, hates immigrants, hates establishment Republicans, hates European Socialists, hates the Federal Reserve, hates communists, hates the poor (remember we're half takers, half makers), hates science, hates climate change worriers, hates clean energy proponents, hates women (at least, articulate independent women or unwed pregnant ones) hates Muslims (all terrorists, after all), and most of all, saves the most venom for anyone who disagrees.
Disagreement is automatically labeled UnAmerican. So, when the party did its autopsy on the election, did it acknowledge any of those things? Nope. Better messaging, better social media, better immigration articulation, better tactical spending. Not one Republican asked us why they lost.
Hey, decent, hard-working fellow Americans who are conservative, see the above list. Have your crazies self-deport and let's get back down to business. Silence the evil talk of vouchers for Medicare and higher retirement ages for the working class. Have the glimmer of intelligence to recognize that part of our spending problem is the Department of Defense. Stop talking about the tried and failed policy of lowering tax rates and increasing revenue through growth. We just tried that and it ruined the country.
The simple thing that Republicans won't acknowledge is this. Cruelty, your special brand of it which you spewed for a year during the last election cycle, does not square with the godly principles you claim to espouse. Hey, White, Christian bigots, it's 2013. You have an image problem and you are a dwindling minority.
My Jesus hung out with hookers, beggars, tax cheats, doubters, pagans, and at his death, assorted murderers and common criminals. He never had a dime, but always paid his taxes. He fed poor people instead of telling them to go get a freaking job you lazy bum. He never applied for American citizenship, never was a homeowner, never carried a sword, because, you know, it's my right to defend myself.
Through no fault of His own, he rarely bathed. At a wedding party, the liquor He created was the best booze the help had ever tasted. And most of all. Don't miss this. It is from Him that we get the very concept of our brother's keeper. He modeled it and said of His followers, you'll know them by their love. The love that they show their fellow man. The point is Christian or atheist, citizen or welcomed illegal immigrant, America is about looking out for the other guy. And it's time we started acting like it.
Swindell is a professor of ethics, chris_swind...@hotmail.com.