This is a response I wrote to my cousin Lisa, who recently sent me ANOTHER forwarded email, detailing why Obama is a communist because of his socialist policy views. I thought I would expand it into an article detailing why I am in fact a Democrat and not a Republican, why I'm liberal and not conservative. This has been an ongoing process for me, as many here know. I'm sure many remember me as the conservative attack dog just a couple years ago. Well, I have read a lot, discussed a lot, and I've been listening and learning. I have truly "gotten smarter here" and elsewhere. People can change, and I have come to the conclusion that I have been a liberal Democrat all along, but just as with my religion, I have fought against my own feelings because of the way I was raised. I was raised to be a God fearing Republican, and so for many years I made many excuses and tried to justify why I was outwardly a conservative but inwardly a liberal.
I don't have a whole lot of time to get into this and so I've been thinking the last couple hours how best to respond to this in the most succinct manner, so here goes.
Don't you know that Jesus was a Communist? I really don't understand the Republican labeling everything that helps the poor as communist. you want to know what is communist? This is communist:
"Sell all you have and give it all to the poor --Jesus"
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven."
"love your brother as yourself."
I am fully and deeply convinced that Jesus was a liberal. Just read what Jesus had to say in the Bible about the Pharisees, substitute the word Republican in for Pharisee and it's spot on. I am fully and deeply convinced that today's Republicans are the very equivalent of the Pharisees of Jesus' day. Not you specifically, but the politicians. You and so many others like you have just been lied to and you have bought into it all, hook line and sinker. You have bought into the Pharisaic philosophy of old. There really is nothing new under the sun.
But let's talk specifically about this "economic justice" you so deride Obama for talking about. Jackie, my girlfriend, gets WIC every month to help us pay for milk, juice and cheese for both her and the baby. THAT'S economic justice, because the Republican ideal would just let them starve.
Both Jackie and I are going back to school this fall completely on the government's dole, as we are poor enough to fully qualify for Pell grants, the federal government is going to pay completely for our tuition and books, and we will even have about $700 left over each semester. THAT's economic justice, because the Republican ideal would just let us wallow in our own poverty and never help us to better ourselves.
Let's talk about education for a minute, because hardline Republicans want to know why they should have to pay their tax dollars to help me and mine go to college. I'll tell you why, because we all live in this society together and in fact society itself has something to gain by sending me and Jackie to nursing school. What is that? Well there will be 2 more nurses to help with the nursing shortage for one. We will be better contributing members of society, we won't have to be on WIC anymore. Send other poor people to college and they won't have to be on welfare anymore and they will have a job that benefits society.
Other than that, society has something to gain, in the form of less crime. This is something that Republicans just do not understand. When you help poor people to better themselves, when you make sure they are not starving but are fed, when you make sure they are not cold but are clothed, that they have a roof over their heads, you necessarily decrease crime. This is a proven fact, sociologists have the statistics to back it up. If you don't believe, just look at the results of the last 25 to 30 years. The 90's with all of it's economic prosperity had some of the lowest crime rates. Look at the 8 last years. Economic recession, the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer and of course crime, especially violent crime is on the rise. The Republican answer is to create more prisons. Our solution is to create less crime in the first place by taking care of the problems that engender crime. You just want band aid solutions, you want to go to the doctor with cancer and have him put a band aid on your arm for you. You don't want to solve the underlying problems, the underlying causes.
I am also getting GI Bill money from the VA for going to school. The Democrats want to increase those benefits especially for those serving in Iraq, so that the VA will pay for a full 4 years of college at any state college. John McCain was against doing so for fear that less people will stay in the military if they get educated. they will just do their 4 years and leave. And you call that economic justice?
let's talk about this notion of redistritubion of wealth. Make no mistake, Republicans have no problem with this concept, the only difference is that they are systematically re-distributing the wealth from the poor to the rich.
What really confuses me is that all you have to do is look at the results of the last 20 years. Corporations themselves are results based, no CEO would have been allowed to keep his job who had done such an awful job at the helm as Bush as done. During the clinton years of the 90's, the economy soared, people were doing great, Clinton even overhauled welfare as we know it and took millions off of it and encouraged them to get back to work. Remember the projects that Grandma used to live in? They are no more, they were taken down during Clinton's Presidency.
The last 8 years on the other hand? Oh my God, where should I start? Sky high fuel prices, two costly wars, one of which we have no business being in, people not being able to pay their mortgages, food prices going up, unemployment up, wages down, consumer confidence down, bankruptcies up. It's all really quite simple really.
How could anyone who has lived through the 90's and the last 8 years ever with a straight face say that they believe in Republican economics? Remember when I talked about Republicans taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich, that's exactly what Bush's tax cuts did, as the vast majority of them only benefits the super wealthy. What did we get? an extra $400. And you want to sing the praises of Republicanism.
The last thing I don't understand is why would a person vote against their own interests. You're not rich, I'm not rich, probably never will be. Why do millions and millions of middle class voters vote against their interests and vote Republican? It truly boggles my mind. All those government programs I am taking advantage of as we speak? all of them championed by Democrats.
Grandma. How do you think she pays for her medical bills? Medicare. Both of my children were born free of charge using medicaid. Jackie is still on medicaid today. The baby was too until I got health insurance at my job now. The Republican ideal would say, "oh well, you get sick you're on your own." And I'm saying it's not right, and I can not let you spread lies about Obama. I'm not saying you are lying, but you are believing the lies of others. I used to be a Republican as well, a staunch Bush supporter, then I opened my eyes and began to do a LOT of reading.
My feeling is that you probably watch Fox News as your news source don't you? you probably listen to rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, don't you? Those fools are liars, liars, liars, I used to listen to them too. They prey on the uneducated, those that don't know any better. They do this by using the old stand by's of patriotism and religion, god and country. they try to paint every Democrat as unpatriotic and ungodly and I and many others are not going to stand for it any longer. You are being systematically lied to.. Don't let them lie to you. Educate yourself.
"You DO want to better yourself, and I would fight for anyone who just needed a break to get ahead"
But the vast majority of these programs were championed by Democrats and fought against by Republicans. To this day they call them "entitlement programs" and strive every day to cut funding for them. Without Democrats, Jackie would not have WIC and I probably would not have as much Pell grant as I have.
Just looked it up. WIC was championed in the late 60's by President Johnson, a Democrat as part of his anti-poverty campaign, and was actually pushed through congress and started in 1972 by Senator Humphrey, a Democrat.
Pell grant started in 1965 by Senator Pell, a Democrat.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. Republicans like to say they are all for these programs when used correctly, but where were they when these programs started? how come they were all championed and started by Democrats?
"I think that is the feeling of most republicans"
Maybe the Republicans you know, but not the Republican politicians in Washington. They do everything in their power to reduce and end these programs.
The people just sitting back and not doing anything, just collecting a check, yes they are out there, but I believe they are actually the minority, the vast majority of those on some kind of aid are just like me. I work with a lot of nurses, many of them were single mothers and used aid to get through school. There were many more people just like you said before Clinton overhauled welfare in the 80's. Republicans talked about doing it, Clinton, a Democrat did it. Today,Welfare is called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, there are work requirements and it is time based, you can not just get welfare any more for all your life without having to work or better yourself. Food stamps you can and I think that should be work based as well. I know people who get food stamps, have been on them for years, and no questions are ever asked about what they are doing to better their situation.
But see, most Democrats are not for just giving out money either. We don't want to just give out free money, we want to help people to help themselves, to better themselves. And when we do, we get called Communists. That's why your article you sent me makes me so mad. We are no different than you, we believe in the message of Jesus Christ, which was to feed the poor, clothe the naked, nurse the sick, why then do we get labeled communists when we try to do this? Seriously, do not buy into this propoganda crap. We are not communists and neither is Obama. The people telling you we are, or that Obama is are Pharisees.
I AM the norm, nobody is content to just get a government check. Nobody ever got rich off food stamps. A lot of people just don't know how to better themselves, many of them were raised in poverty, in addition to money they need counseling services, mentoring, tutoring. They need help and when we try to help them we get called communists.
You say you believe that all vets should get a free education, well unfortunately not all your Republican buddies in Washington agree, John Mccain, who you are going to vote for, was dead set against raising GI Bill benefits. We want to increase the benefits for those who have served, and what do we get? We get called communists.
"Jesus gave freely, and so did his disciples. Forcing someone to give doesn't make them a better person. Many rich people do give a lot of money to people in need….look at Bill Gates"
We are ALREADY forced to give, it's called taxes, Republicans though want the middle class to shoulder the burden, they want to give tax cuts to the rich, with the lie of "trickle down economics" which has never worked and will never work. I encourage you to actually read the Communist Manifesto that Karl Marx wrote back in the 1850's, many of the things he said could have come right out of the mouth of Jesus. And what Marx understood is that the rich and powerful are NEVER going to voluntarily give up any part of their wealth to help those less fortunate. yes there are Bill Gates in the world but for every one of them I can name 10 Ken Lays. remember that prick? Do you think it is 'economically just' that while companies are laying people off and slashing wages, that the CEO's are payed millions and millions of dollars with annual increases in the millions of dollars? It is grotesque and goes against everything Jesus preached.
Karl Marx understood that the rich will never give up their wealth voluntarily, but he advocated violent revolution. Social Democrats today do not advocate this, we advocate the peaceful way of Ghandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. We believe in fighting for the poor in Washington and in our state and local governments, and for me, that means voting Democratic all the way.
It is interesting to note that before the Civil Rights era, most Southerners were Democratic but when Johnson signed the Civil rights Act he quipped, "we have lost the south for a generation" and indeed we have. Most southerners jumped ship to the Republican Party, the party who fought against Civil Rights tooth and nail.
See, what you say is why I support Obama so much, because I believe he IS different, that he is not just your typical politician, that he does care about helping people. Look at his resume, he graduated from Harvard Law school and could have gone to work for any prestigious law firm he so desired, but what did he do? He went to work in the inner city of chicago helping the poor, and for very little pay.
When do I think our politicians stopped caring about the good of the country? I think it all started with "tricky Dick", the biggest crook of a President we ever had, and then Ford in his Presidency pardoned Nixon for his crimes. I think Carter genuinely cared and wanted to do the right thing, he was a Southern Baptist too, ya know, but I think he was genuinely naive about a lot of things and he also had to deal with a lot of bad stuff in his administration. His wasn't that great of a presidency but I believe he was and is a genuinely good person. Look at all the humanitarian work he does today, even winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
I think Al Gore is a genuinely good person, even if a tad bit annoying to listen to. I think Bill Clinton was a genuinely good person, although I don't agree with many things he did, most notably NAFTA, which Republicans so love and which has cost so many American jobs. What was his biggest crime though? Did he take us into an unnecessary war? No. did he drive the country into recession? No. did he trample on the Constitution as Bush has done? No. did he spy on Americans as Bush has done? No. What did he do? he got a freakin' blow job!! And for that he is demonized.
But the simple fact remains that he presided over one of the best decades of the last several decades. The world loved him. The world despises Bush. I can't even begin to tell you how much bad that man has done to this country and to the world, it is going to take the next several presidencies to fix all the problems. Look at the Surplus he inherited. It is almost unheard of for the government to run a surplus and Bush took that and turned it into one of the worst deficits in decades. Trillions of dollars in debt we are. If he was a CEO of any company he would have been fired years ago. So why would you want to hire McCain who would just be more of the same?
In the end, I am a Democrat because, while I am not religious in the least, and consider myself a borderline Atheist, a practicing Agnostic, I fully believe in the true message of Jesus Christ and I truly and with heartfelt convictions believe that the Democratic Party more closely embodies those ideals that Jesus preached, feeding the poor, healing the sick, clothing the naked. And I feel that the Republican Party more closely embodies the philosophies of the Pharisees of old, the greedy, mean-spirited, philosophy that is more concerned with the letter of the law than with the spirit of the law. Jesus fought against the Pharisees of his day and was eventually killed by them. The Pharisees did not go away. They exist to this day, and in this country they are called Republicans. They praise Jesus with their lips, but with their hearts they praise the almighty dollar. They believe in "rugged individualism", a concept that would have been totally foreign to Jesus' message of "being your brother's keeper." They are like Cain when he said, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Yes, damnit, you are!! We are all supposed to love one another, to lift each other up when we are down, to help one another, to lend a helping hand when a person feels helpless.
That's the problem with Capitalism in a nutshell. Those who believe unfailingly in the power of the markets fail to realize that by the nature of the beast we have created, there are naturally going to be winners and losers. If you are a winner, great. But recognize there are millions of other people who have failed. The Republican philosophy says, "So what?" about the losers. Rugged individualism. If you can't become a winner on your own, it doesn't matter. To climb the corporate ladder you have to step on the heads of those below you. It's all a philosophy of selfishness and greed. I believe that when we succeed we should be helping others to succeed. Studies show that the vast majority of the winners failed many many times in their own lives. The winners should be reaching out their hands to help the losers to better themselves. Aside from altruistic reasons, we should be doing this because it betters society itself. The more winners there are, the less crime there is. This is a sociological statistical fact. Republicans just want to build more prisons to house all the criminals. We want to reduce the numbers of criminals. Republican philosophy, capitalistic philosophy does not care about the losers, it's a dog eat dog world out there, and they are all about creating more dog pens to house those who get a little rabid.
So I'm a Democrat because I believe in helping people to better themselves, I believe that a just society can do no less. I believe in more compassion, more caring, less warfare, more understanding, more coming together, more holding hands, less fighting. It all goes along with my religious/philosophy that we are all one.
When you look and observe, you can't help but see that it is the Pharisees are so screwing this world up. They don't care, in their world view, Jesus is going to come back soon to save them all. The problem is that if Jesus ever does come back, they are the very ones that will be left behind.
They are hateful, spiteful, mean-spirited people and I want no part of their pharisaic philosophy!! Look at all the biggest crooks we have ever known in the Presidency, Bush II, Bush I to some extent, Reagan, Nixon, Ford, all of them Republicans. What is the biggest crime of Bill Clinton, the President who presided over one of the biggest decades of economic prosperity? His crime was that he received an extra-marital blowjob and in true Pharisaic fashion, the Republicans were more concerned with that than with their own greed and hypocrisy.