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June 15, 2006

Comments

I think that any liberal worth his pot stash would disagree on the grounds that he is passionnately in love with his/her idea of America as he/she is trying to mold it: a totalitarian nanny-state that brooks no inequality of outcomes, superiority of character, or supremacy of any divine being. Of course, left wing entertainers can make millions while we idolize them and pretend they are virtuous. They will brook that.

Oh, where do I start:

*More inequality than any European country
*No national health insurance
*No protections for workers
*Less social mobility (the old pattern has reversed, and I believe there is economic research to this effect)
*Supremacy of the car rather than public transport
I don't like religion, but that's another story and it's the conservatizing effect of religion that I truly detest. I don't care if my neighbor believes in twenty gods or none, it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. Oh, by the way, what was that thing Jesus said about taking care of the poor? Lower tax rates on the rich and destroy the environment, that must have been it. And forget letting 'em form unions. Whatsoever you do the least of them, I don't care about.

America is more conservative than Europe, no question there. Still note that over 60% of Democrats said they liked being Americans. So only about a third of liberals hate America (probably less since many people are just sort of neutral), a lot less than Fox News would have us believe.

Me, well, if the French invaded, of course I'd take up arms against 'em, but if I had my choice at birth I'd rather be French.

Yes, but how many of those Republicans would say that about whatever country they happened to be born in? Nationalism ain't patriotism.

America isn't just politics, Roguelefty.

"Yes, but how many of those Republicans would say that about whatever country they happened to be born in? Nationalism ain't patriotism."
True, but that applies to both parties, though arguably less so to the democrats.

Don Marsh - your caricature of the liberal is snide and ungracious. A better feel, if you want to understand your fellow man: Let America Be America Again.
I learn more about how policies work or don't work by reading conservatives, but if I want inspiration or a vision of a just world I'm better off with liberals.

I'm glad to have struck a nerve. And for the record, it wasn't Jesus who said to rob from the rich and give to the poor.

I never stole from the rich when I was poor. I chose to do something that they would pay for. To this day I have plenty to do because I am willing to work. And I do well because there are not enough people who are willing.

Workers don't need protection when they are in such high demand. Is that the situation in Europe? No. They still pour into America to be "abused" by opportunity.

Yeah. People don't come here for the benefits and for unions. They come here for a chance to succeed. That's why I work. I pay for the things government wants to "give" me. And I get better service for it.

So I don't care if you call me snide.

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Sound familiar? The ability of so many Republicans to simultaneously advocate capitalism and Christianity has always seemed funny to me. Christianity is fundamentally an antimaterialist religion, though the Old Testament and a thousand years of pagan influence have created a whole body of exegesis (a la 'The Man in the Mirror') devoted to obscuring this.

At any rate, I am neither a Christian nor a liberal. I just prefer to understand my opponents rather than reassure myself by conjuring strawmen.


Philippians 4:12 I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little."

Christianity isn't anti-materialist. We are simply to transcend material things. For instance, it is not a sin to have wealth. It is only a sin for wealth to have you.

Indeed, it is liberalism that seems obsessed with material possessions and the redistribution thereof. They look for people who are discontent with what they have and then they champion their envy and hatred of the rich. That is NOT a Christian principle.

Both wealth and poverty are an impediment to your peace of mind, and your spiritual well-being, if you neglect more important things for them.

I have found that you can work 40 hours a week doing the world's dirty work, dote on your family, have friends, and be generous to those in need. I just happen to think that people are needier in places where there are fewer liberties than there are here in America. Fortunately, I still have a right to act on that belief. Unfortunately, I spend almost as much on taxes, that are spent much less effectively, in my opinion.

So, which of you liberals will be the first to start preaching the virtues of contentment to your constituents? And which of you will begin to instruct them to stop the self-destructive behaviors that lead to poverty? The church has taught against promiscuity, sloth, theft, and substance abuse for longer than you have been alive, and all we get is scorn for "trying to force religion" on people.

I like you better now that you're talking sense :-). And you are of course right about liberalism (and it's even truer of Marxism) - for an ideology that would like to think it's anti-greed, it's strangely obsessed with the redistribution of wealth. Probably not a coincidence that Langston Hughes was writing at a time when injustice and poverty were more severe than they are today.

over 60% of Democrats said they liked being Americans. So only about a third of liberals hate America

Not sure to what extent you're being tongue in cheek here, but note that the 60+% figure is for those who 'strongly agree'; it seems likely that there is another significant block who merely 'agree', and they would also have to be counted among those who 'liked being Americans'.

So, which of you liberals will be the first to start preaching the virtues of contentment to your constituents? And which of you will begin to instruct them to stop the self-destructive behaviors that lead to poverty? The church has taught against promiscuity, sloth, theft, and substance abuse for longer than you have been alive, and all we get is scorn for "trying to force religion" on people.

Which of us *don't* preach those things? Except instead of telling people to wait for marriage, for example, we teach them to have safe sex should they decide to have premarital sex. Instead of telling them drugs are a sin, we teach them why drugs are dangerous, and we support sane policies which help reduce and treat drug addiction. Instead of just telling the poor that stealing is wrong, we tell them that AND try to create a level playing field AND provide them the opportunity to move up the economic ladder. And most of the poor don't need to be counseled about sloth. That should be saved for the rich people paying them 5 bucks an hour to clean their toilets.

"That should be saved for the rich people paying them 5 bucks an hour to clean their toilets."
I'd like to think you had a lapse of reasoning, and not that you are centuries behind (The Wealth of Nations) in your knowledge of economics, specifically the specialization of labor. The above makes for a nice rejoinder in a shouting match, but is socially destructive. You wouldn't want scientists, professors, entrepeneurs and engineers spending time cleaning toilets when they could be innovating, would you?

The slothful are the able welfare recipients.

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