Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Comment of the Week
Posted in response to Monday's "Burden in Their Hand" piece:
"I'm a Tea Partier (Agnostic) and would like to explain our side of the story to you rather mystified folks.
One common thread seen in liberal blogs is confusion and rage. I felt that way too in my twenties when I had no idea how the world worked and was pissed I wasn't being handed out free money.
And in this liberal blog like all the rest we see that same rage reflected, and understandably.
Since few of the commenters here - and certainly not the writer - are interested in free market economics, it follows that you're not interested in what screws up free market economics, are you?
Instead you rail against those of us who pay your bills under that system, and that we're not paying you enough.
We on the right were all just like you once, and are happy to pay your bills only to the point that you learn how to do it yourself.
You can even call us greedy when we keep a little of our earnings for ourselves."
-- Todd Dunning
It might be a good idea, Todd, that before you begin criticizing the supposed rage-filled rants of others you do your homework and not make your own blanket assumptions about the people your diatribes are aimed at. I can't speak for everyone on this particular thread -- although I do know the backgrounds of one or two people here -- but I haven't been some doe-eyed kid in almost two decades, at least. I'll be 42 in December and trust me when I tell you I have a damn good idea how the world works. I've earned a very nice living throughout my life and continue to do better than a lot of people. You're not providing the financial charity without which I and at least a good portion of the readers here wouldn't be able to speak our minds. So please spare me the tired maxim that if you're a conservative at 20 you have no heart and if you're a liberal at 40 you have no brain. I guarantee you you're not the one and only "adult" in the room, as you seem to condescendingly believe you are. Thanks for being the very sort of cliché you conveniently decry, though.
What we're witnessing right now in conservative politics goes far beyond a few people wanting to keep the money they've earned while everyone else apparently expects some kind of handout. You can believe that all you'd like, but much like your initial assumption about those who disagree with you, you'll be comically wrong. The current model of Republicanism -- and I generally try to qualify that statement simply because while the GOP has always protected the very wealthy to some extent, even at the expense of the less-fortunate, this level of naked class warfare is something new altogether -- seems to be about protecting a very small portion of the population at all costs, even at the expense of the vast swath of those who aren't just getting "handouts" but who are earning and yet still struggle. The American dream we all learned about in school was never that you sit around waiting for somebody to throw money at you; it was simply that if you work hard, even at a middle-class brand of job, you can provide for you and your family and can live a decent life. The ability to do that has now been chipped away through years of corporate deregulatory largesse and the coddling of those who basically gamble people's money away and make billions even when those people -- and the people gambling, by the way, thanks to hedge fund types -- lose and lose very big. Being rich didn't used to be a zero-sum game -- and I know many conservatives love to claim it isn't at all -- but these days there are those who actually make money when others go down hard and when Wall Street fails big, the rest of us have to bail it out anyway. Which means that, yes, it kind does feel like a zero-sum situation right now.
Beyond that, what the GOP is now trying to do is dismantle any form of social program that actually helps people and, if possible, hand it over to the generally soulless free market barons who've already proven that they'll tear through the American working and middle class, grab a cocktail at lunch and occasionally be in the Hamptons by dinner. Believe it or not, that's not all that much of an exaggeration and if you really believe it's some kind of liberal fantasy ripe for easy dismissal by you, the hypocritical nonsense that is the Tea Party, whomever, then there's probably not much I can say to convince you otherwise regardless. You're just too set in your ways -- having been on this earth for as long as you have, oh great grown-up -- and I'm wasting my time.
Everything I wrote in the piece you've chosen to comment on is true. I didn't make up the fact that the House Republicans who would rather slice off their own arms than submit to new taxes on the wealthy or well-off are now fighting to stop the extension of a payroll tax break for largely working class people. I couldn't invent that kind of shamelessness, even in my most imaginative delusion.
Incidentally, while I certainly appreciate your comment, next time you might want to make an actual argument as opposed to just being a patronizing jerk who steps in for no other reason than to arrogantly declare that he's smarter than everybody else. Trust me on this -- you're not.