Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Myth... If you will

So, who is this guy you are looking at?  That would be Doug Wead, the very first compassionate conservative.  Don't know who he is?  Yeah I didn't know either.  Seems he is a presidential historian, adviser, author, and philanthropist.  Basically if you are waiting to see another Bush run for the White House, this guy will be lurking in the darkened corners of the stage.

So what is a compassionate conservative?  Well they believe that their interests of maintaining the status quo through policy should not be brought into their political view.  What the best interest of people should be the political aim of their policy.  But as we well know, the compassionate conservative is a myth. 

See in Wead's warped mind, conservatism and compassion compliment each other.  And here is how they do it.  You see with cooperation between the Government and Private companies, Charities, and Religious organizations, we could solve all of the social ills plaguing the poor.  Basically, Uncle Sam says help the poor, companies kill each other to do so.  Okay, I exaggerated, really the government would kindly encourage companies and the like to help out the poor, so the government doesn't have to. 

I think we have seen how well that works out, haven't we?  But, you are asking about the myth.  Well, here is the myth in action, we see the so called compassionate conservatives in action today, but look what was said by one several years ago (1999):
Compassionate conservatives [...] offer a new way of thinking about the poor. They know that telling the poor that they are mere passive victims, whether of racism or of vast economic forces, is not only false but also destructive, paralyzing the poor with thoughts of their own helplessness and inadequacy. The poor need the larger society's moral support; they need to hear the message of personal responsibility and self-reliance, the optimistic assurance that if they try – as they must – they will make it. They need to know, too, that they can't blame "the system" for their own wrongdoing.
—Myron Magnet, The Wall Street Journal
So, telling the victim of racism or sexism is false and destructive.  But lets develop this idea.  In the mind of the author of that article, it is never true that someone who is poor is discriminated against because of their race, religion, sexual identity, sexual gender, or sexual orientation.  Something that with any amount of person research can show does happen.  Hell, my Mom was paid drastically less than the guy she ranked over in college, and had more time on the job then he did.  Sure, the poor need societal moral support.  That helps when even when everything is falling apart you have people standing behind you saying "Keep pushing man, I got your back.  Just keep pushing, it will work out."  That helps.  But then I see this, "they need to hear the message of personal responsibility and self-reliance."  Yeah, at that point they lost it again.  See, personal responsibility only goes so far in my book.  Personal Responsibility requires you put for effort, and make wise choices.  But on the flip side, is it your personal responsibility to be fired because you chose not to sleep with a supervisor or boss?  Or is it your personal responsibility to be outted by a pissed off co-worker that results in your termination?  I know we should hold every person who is crippled in an automobile accident responsible because the other driver was drunk.  Was it my personal responsibility to contend with someone going off their meds, making threats, and otherwise putting me into a rather bad situation at work?  Sure we can't always blame the system for our own screw ups, but guess what?  I can blame a system which has little tolerance, and is rigged against people like me, and you, and people like +Larry Dillon, and others.

Another reason compassionate conservatism is a myth.  See it pushes for traditional family values, it pushes personal responsibility (which is affected by other peoples responsibility), ad "reforms" to social safety nets.  And I'll be damned, even "W" agrees.  See, in one of his brighter moments he compared compassionate conservatism as sugarcoating, an empty phrase so that it would be more palatable to moderate voters.  But even if it is a myth, it is a dangerous myth.  How you ask?  When someone says they are a compassionate conservative, know they will not help you in any way.  But also know that they are really wanting to shovel off charity and social safety nets to the churches in the community.  You know, the same ones that ask if you have accepted Jesus before they give you some charity.  So, all told, a compassionate conservative will say that they would love to help you, but first you must meet the follow criteria, and then you are passed on somewhere else.