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Joke Of The Decade – Compassionate Conservatism

Krugman brings up one of the main themes of the Republican Party from ten years ago, “compassionate conservatism”.  Back then Americans apparently bought in to the idea, as evidenced by eight years of Bush and Company.  But the reality is that there is no bigger oxymoron than “compassionate conservatism” — a conservative, by definition, is someone who believes in self-reliance and thus has no compassion for anyone outside his circle of family and friends.  And most of these people who call themselves “compassionate conservatives” typically are proud to call themselves Christians as well.  But again, there’s no bigger hypocrite than a Christian who votes Republican.  Jesus Christ himself was the first card-carrying Socialist, and Christianity is all about the “common good”, something all Republicans abhor.  Their rebuttal is that private charity can take care of the poor and the needy, but that’s a load of crap.  The reason why they prefer private charity to government programs is because that allows them to pick and choose who gets help and who doesn’t, and thus millions of people who don’t measure up to their “standards” for whatever reasons — race, religion, ethnicity, or whatever else they don’t like — go without.  Let’s face it, if private charity could solve all the problems of society, there wouldn’t be millions of people living in poverty, millions of children going hungry and not getting a good education, millions of people without adequate health care, and on and on.  Say what you will about private charity, it’s not up to the task at hand — not even close — so advocating private charity as a solution to all the problems is 100% bullshit.

But these loathsome “compassionate conservatives” see themselves as the good guys.  Now certainly many of them do contribute a lot to private charities, and that’s certainly to their credit — but the reality is that if they gave nothing but instead paid their fair share in taxes, then we as a nation could pretty much eliminate poverty, provide everyone with proper health care and a good education, and guarantee that no one suffered unnecessarily for any reason.  And the reality also is that because there is so much obscene wealth in this country, we could accomplish all this with tax increases that would hardly be noticed by these people, as all of them already have far more money than they can possibly spend anyway.

But this would require a truly compassionate society.  And right now, the majority of Americans, and certainly all those who vote Republican, don’t have an ounce of true compassion in their bodies.  All they give a damn about is themselves and their family and friends.  There’s nothing compassionate about that.