THIS SHOULD SERVE AS A MESSAGE TO THOSE CONSERVATIVES WHO SCREAM TO THE POOR, “PULL YOURSELVES UP BY YOUR OWN BOOTSTRAPS!”, WHEN SUCH POOR HAVE NEITHER BOOTS NOR STRAPS
Ever since the days of Ronald Reagan the conservatives in this country, particularly the far right – which has ruled the Republican Party for roughly eight decades, dating back to Hebert Hoover and the Great Depression – have called for and enacted policies that have served to do nothing but devastate the poor and less fortunate.
These devastations have come in the form of tax breaks for the super rich and cuts in safety net programs, which has increased joblessness and homelessness.
I have personally noticed this in the town I grew up in, Santa Monica, CA, in the 1980s when not too long after Reagan was inaugurated President in 1981, Palisades Park, an iconic stretch of grass which overlooks the Pacific Ocean and offers spectacular views of Malibu to the north and the Palos Verdes Peninsula to the south on a clear day, became inundated with the displaced as Palisades Park became a tent and sleeping bag city.
I also noticed increasing numbers of panhandlers hanging around various blocks.
Far right conservatives will tell you that those who are in that situation are themselves at fault for making bad decisions are not taking personal responsibility.
Or if they became poor and/or homeless through no fault of their own – such as being laid off from their jobs – those “Far Rights” would usually say that they are not working hard enough to rectify their situation; why should those who have the means subsidize those who don’t through tax raises, which in the Far Rights’ eyes serve as nothing but a free, welfare handout which encourages laziness?
I’ll tell you why…
BECAUSE THE BIBLE, WHICH THESE FAR RIGHTS HOLD SO DEAR AND REFER TO EVERY CHANCE THEY GET, SAYS SO.
Check out what Jesus said to the rich man who asked him what should he do to have eternal life:
“Go and sell everything you have, and give the money to the poor; and you shall have treasure in Heaven; and then come, follow me…It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to ever the Kingdom of God.” – Matthew 19:21, 24
And in Acts, here’s how the Apostles set up the first church after Jesus’ ascension:
“All who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need.” – Acts 2:44-45
Sounds a lot more like Karl Marx’ philosophies than anything that John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh would advocate.
In fact, when you go by these quotes from Matthew and the Acts, you can make a convincing argument that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was the world’s first Socialist.
While studying the Bible, which I have doing quite a bit of lately, I came upon some quotes from the Book of Proverbs that overwhelmingly seals the argument of how to treat the poor and what God thinks of those with the means who don’t – or directly hurt them due to budget cuts or changes in policy, i.e., Far Right Republicans…
“Anyone who oppresses the poor is insulting God who made them. To help the poor is to honor God.” – Proverbs 14:31
“Mocking the poor (which I’ve seen a lot of people do online and elsewhere in the form of taunts such as “Get a Job!” and other things) is mocking God who made them. He will punish those who rejoice at other’s misfortunes” – Proverbs 17:5
“When you help the poor you are lending to the Lord – and he pays wonderful interest on your loan!” – Proverbs 19:17
“He who shuts his ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in his own time of need.” – Proverbs 21:13
“Giving preferred treatment to rich people (i.e., tax cuts, tax loopholes and tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or the “1%”) is a clear case of selling one’s soul for a piece of land.” – Proverbs 28:21
Sure, there are plenty of folks who would state another quote from Jesus that appears in the books of Matthew, Mark and John, “The poor you will always have with you…” which in their interpretation means that the government is wasting their time helping the less fortunate because poverty will never be completely eradicated, and those less fortunate are better off helping themselves because that’s what America is all about – independence and self-reliance.
To those Far Rights who point that out, I say, “Does the government have to contribute to the plight of the poor, make things harder by taking away their safety nets, as you seem to want to do?”
In my book, those who advocate budget cuts and policy changes that will hurt the less fortunate can be described in two words:
Nowadays I often wonder what will Far Rights – those in and out of government – people say when they die and God tells them that they have to answer for their beliefs and practices concerning all of this, God saying,
“You were in favor of cuts and policies that did nothing but make my children suffer. What do you have to say for yourself?”
One thing is for certain at the end of the day…
Anyone who takes a position of being in favor of policies that help the poor, the homeless, and otherwise less fortunate should never, EVER vote for anyone in the Republican Party.
The reason? Because based on what too many of them have said and advocated, it is crystal clear that they do not care about those who are “down on their luck”; at least to the point where they are willing to leave programs that help such – Medicare, Social Security, Welfare – alone.
Those “Hoovervilles” that were all over the landscape in the 1930s are certainly evidence of that, as well as the many domestic cuts that Reagan enacted in the 80s; the increase in homeless during that time was a direct effect of that.
I’ve spoken enough about this subject, as I don’t want to get myself riled up over the thoughts of these policy makers in the now-Republican-majority Congress that want to screw the less fortunate over by the changes they want to make.
If those right wingers in Congress get their way, we’ll see a lot more of this