Wednesday, December 19, 2012


( ... who sent me a link to his response to "Lincoln," the Spielberg movie.  This is an edited version of the comment I posted to his entry.)

I have not yet seen this movie, Bob, so I really can't comment on your response.  I did, however, take deep exception to one of your rhetorical questions: "Why has the country, the majority of citizens," you ask, "turned away from the ideals of the Founding Fathers and now look to the government to take care of them?"  First, Bob, it's absurd to suggest that "the majority" of Americans expect the government to take care of them.  This argument is in line with former candidate Romney's assertion that 47 percent of Americans are moochers (even he did not indict "the majority"!) and the now cliche'd distinction between "makers" and "takers."  This is much too easy, much too glib, and not worthy of your claim to serious conservative thought.

I happen to be among those people you so readily accuse of (at least, in my case, partial) dependency--on the government through the Social Security system.  I receive a modest monthly check.  So does my wife, Ellie.  We would not be able to make ends meet without them.  But this is not a government handout.  For every one of our working years we paid into this collective insurance system, precisely to avoid destitution and dependency in our older years.  The same with Medicare.  It is vital to our well-being--and it is something we have contributed to throughout our working lives, and continue to contribute now through deductions from our Social Security checks.  Are we, for this reason, asking government to take care of us?

And what about those you serve with such admirable dedication in the prison system?  They, surely, are of necessity dependent on government.  I suppose you could argue that it was their choice that led them to this predicament, and that their dependency is therefore a matter of their lack of personal responsibility.  But given their current plight, and society's need to keep them shut away, it becomes the responsibility of government to take care of their basic needs.

I'd invite you to think, too, about those who are long unemployed, through none of their own fault; they have been laid off, perhaps they suffer from some work-related disability.  Most of them, contrary to your implication, are desperate to find work.  Or those whose health care needs are far beyond their ability to pay.  It is surely nobody's choice to be devastated by an accident, for example, or struck down with cancer, but many people are; and many others are rejected by private insurance companies or, for many of them, insurance benefits are totally insufficient to meet their needs.  Do we let them die?  No, because we recognize a human responsibility to take care of others, not merely ourselves.

I suppose there are some few who make the choice of which you blithely accuse "the majority."  It's my choice, though, to believe that the vast majority of Americans do not choose dependency over individual freedom.  I believe that a vast majority want to work, want to enjoy good health, want financial independence, want to take care of themselves.  Indeed, I think it glib, if not outright arrogant, to accuse so many of something of which I think only a small handful may be guilty.

Please reconsider this blanket condemnation of your fellow-citizens, Bob.  They--and you!--are better than you imply.  And none of the above begins to address your--to my mind--gratuitous dismissal of President Obama and his predecessors.

1 comment:

CHI SPHERE said...

Hi Bob,

I to read your response and have a few words to ADD.

We are living at the beginning moment of a technological evolution/revolution of such vast proportion it is nearly impossible to comprehend from within the paradigm consciousness of September 17, 1787 what the heck is going on!

www won the election because the most intelligent forward thinking group of citizens realized how to reach the greatest number of educated 21 Century citizens to do the greatest good ASAP.

Like Pete, I am finally after 54 years of paying loyally still into the SSI system I'm in need and am being assisted just at the time in my life when it's most needed.