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Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 in At TMV, Politics, Society, USA Presidential Election 2012 | 10 comments

If Republicans Get Their Way, We Really Will All Be On Our Own

I was appalled by Mitt Romney’s remarks to wealthy donors implying that nearly half the nation is not worth caring about because they receive some form of government aid. But that’s me, my view, a liberal view. But when even a well known and highly regarded Republican commentator like David Brooks says much the same in his editorial in today’s New York Times, writing that Romney’s comments “reveal that he has lost any sense of the social compact,” you know Romney has gone off the rails — at least the moderate political rails.

An even more appalling thing is that this seems to be the prevailing attitude in Republican circles generally. Brooks’ editorial went on to say: “In 1987, during Ronald Reagan’s second term, 62 percent of Republicans believed that the government has a responsibility to help those who can’t help themselves. Now, according to the Pew Research Center, only 40 percent of Republicans believe that.”

What makes this Romney/Republican way of thinking so positively weird as well as appalling comes through powerfully in another quote from Brooks’ editorial: “The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees. As Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution has noted, the people who have benefited from the entitlements explosion are middle-class workers, more so than the dependent poor.”

I have to say that this is pretty darn scary stuff. If someone running for the presidency of the United States thinks that around 47 percent of our citizens are freeloading wasters of resources, what does it say about where our country is headed? If he considers veterans and the elderly and children undeserving of even food and shelter, what happens next?

If all of our leaders and potential leaders don’t recognize that we share responsibility to all of our fellow citizens in all of our communities, how can the USA, which unless we forget is an acronym for the “United States Of America,” function at all?

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  • moderateguy

    I believe the Mr. Romney’s gaffes have a traceable source.

    I identify two logical paths to having a policy position.

    1. One can research the factors that underlie the policy, explore the ramifications of possible policies, then distill that exploration into a set of policy goals and talking points.

    2. One can be provided with an executive summary of such a process and express the conclusions and talking points that emerged.

    I take no position on which path is the right one. Given Mr. Romney’s history as a CEO I believe he is likely to be accustomed to expressing the policy conclusions of his subordinates, and likely is effective in doing so.

    The issue that I see being displayed by Mr. Romney is that he has a habit of forcefully expressing the “Executive Summary” conclusions he is presented with, and has a personal habit of overstatement.

    I also believe that Mr. Romney lacks the humility many gain from life events and experience in policy. I do not see this as a repairable failing on his part and believe that regardless of what ideology he professes he simply lacks the training and temperament to be president.

  • roro80

    there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.

    Emphasis mine. Do I think people are entitled to food? I mean, friggin food. Yep, yep I do. I also believe they are entitled not to die of exposure or treatable diseases, and can’t understand why anyone in this country would think otherwise, but food??? We’re going to now have a conversation about our possible next president’s idea that maybe not all Americans (half of them!) — human beings, mind you — are entitled to food. Perhaps it is needless to say, but I agree with David Brooks (writing those words hurts) that these comments “reveal that he has lost any sense of the social compact”.

  • moderateguy has it. Good comment!

  • Do I think people are entitled to food? I mean, friggin food. Yep, yep I do.

    It’s the phrasing that gets me. It’s not “should we help feed the hungry?”, it’s “we’re entitled to food (or whatever)”.

    One suggests humility, the other suggests immaturity & arrogance.

  • ProWife

    Romney questions whether all americans should be entitled to food and health care, yet doesn’t say a word about how he depends on at least three governments to keep himself, his property and or, his money safe. More reason for Christians to reevaluate their choices this election. I say that because my religious upbringing taught me that Jesus Christ believed that all people were entitled to health care and food.

  • roro80

    Saying that people are entitled to food is arrogant and immature? Er…whatever you say, buddy. If the poor grovel sufficiently, would that make them more deserving in your eyes to the basics of human sustenance?

  • Rcoutme

    If we are not “entitled” to food, are we instead entitled to go obtain food using whatever resources we have at hand? Given the support that conservatives have for the Second Amendment, I can think of some useful tools to go get that will help me obtain some of the resources I need. Meanwhile, let’s get rid of all those pesky regulators (aka police) that would try to thwart my efforts. I mean, talk about restraint of trade!!

    While we’re at it, how about getting rid of some of the other government interventions that take away so many people’s capacity to obtain resources. We should eliminate the overburdensome court system, follow the banks in their effort to eliminate the records division of every county, get to a truly free-trade system where the only rules put into place are those that one can enforce by his own capacities.

    Oh wait! That would mean eliminating the capacity of Congress to print and coin currency. Well, I guess we can do without that too! I mean, look at how many people think we should just switch to gold (I presume coins). Of course, most “elite, smart” people will claim that all my suggestions would lead to chaos and anarchy–but hey, what do they know and why should we care what they know anyways?

  • Dabb

    I was taken back by Romney’s food, housing and healthcare reference. Yes, every human being on this earth is entitled to food …. even Mitt Romney.

  • SteveK

    … every human being on this earth is entitled to food …. even Mitt Romney.

    Yeah, but only if he eats cake! 🙂 ‘least that’s what Marie… Ah, I mean Sue told me.

  • ProWife

    @Rcoutme Sounds like you’re suggesting we all go a little mama grizzly.

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