The Decline Of Compassion

English: US Representative Michele Bachmann (R...
English: US Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) addressing a Tea Party Express rally outside the Minnesota state capital building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There can be no doubt that our nation, indeed much of the world, has been through a very damaging economic crisis over the past several years.  While things have improved, there are still many who are struggling to achieve just basic financial security.  Millions, through no fault of their own, found themselves confronting personal financial challenges unfathomable just a few years earlier.  When the housing, job and financial markets collapsed, almost simultaneously, many suddenly faced financial disaster.  The increase of families that found themselves homeless and others who suddenly needed to depend on food pantries and food stamps to feed themselves grew at a staggering rate.  It was a time when our nation needed to show its compassion and provide for the needs of  the millions in dire straights.  Yet, the conservatives showed us a closed fist rather than an outstretched hand.

The GOP, lead by the Tea Party, opposed every attempt to enhance and secure the safety net that provides basic services to those in need.  They happily celebrated the arrival of sequestration that harshly cut everything from Food Stamps to the Head Start program.  They have regularly opposed increases in the Minimum Wage, and have been against any effort to create a more equitable Tax Code that would take some benefits away from the wealthy and the corporations, and provide some relief to the middle class.  They have been opposed to a health care law that provides affordable coverage for the millions in need, in favor of continuing a broken health care system that serves the wealthy.  They have been opposed to basic gun control laws that would save lives, in favor of gun dealers and manufactures profits.  They have shown no willingness to understand the need for an open mind regarding the availability of women’s health services or voting rights.

It is very interesting that George W. Bush described himself as a “compassionate conservative“.  The need to place that descriptive adjective in front of the noun implies that without it, there is no compassion.  Recent events both on the federal and  state levels have made this an undeniable truth.   The statements made and positions taken by those who call themselves “conservative” are completely devoid of compassion.  Just today Congressman Kingston, a conservative Republican from Georgia, as reported on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, called for children receiving free school lunches, because their family can’t afford to pay, to be forced to sweep the floor of the cafeteria to earn that lunch.  It should be noted that he recently suggested that solutions be sought to solve the problems of the ACA.  However, out of fear of being challenged in a primary by someone considered to be more conservative, he found it necessary to offer his school lunch suggestion to reestablish his conservative credentials.   Fear of sounding too reasonable and compassionate drove him to make those comments.  The GOP has become a political tragedy that is creating a true American tragedy.  This is only one of the latest tone-deaf and stupid comments made by the conservatives.  They have a simple attitude.  If you’re rich you deserve it, and if you’re not, it’s your own fault.

Government without compassion supports economic tyranny.  It perpetuates a privileged class while forcing all others to push against the winds of the economic downdrafts.  Mitt Romney, in fact, revealed himself to be a  true conservative with his famous 47% comment.  The mid-term elections of 2014 will provide the 53% an opportunity to make their demand for a government with compassion.

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1 Comment

  1. Stop! While I too am disgusted by both parties I get totally sick and tired of the hyperbole. I was homeless just two months ago and had been for several months, so I get the poverty-thing. To help, I have raised money for the homeless so they can feed their pet. They many times need those pets to survival. I told the social worker as well as the therapist, that without my cat I would probably not be here.

    It just ticks me off when people make this black/white. It is more complicated than that. Free your mind and your body will follow. But that requires that the debate does not happen through the prism of hyperbole. That right there is a huge problem and BOTH sides are guilty of that.

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