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TomL
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Join date : 2010-03-25
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Location : Lebanon, PA

20131206
PostWhat Happened in the Last Presidential Election

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION


I just read an article that I must share. This is the reason, or at least one of them, Republicans lost the last Presidential election.

Quote :
Rank Idolatry of the Rugged Individualist
by Rabbi Daniel Wiener

In the run up to the last presidential election, Sojourners’ Jim Wallis acoined and coalesced a well known but oft forgotten observation of an ideal: Budgets are moral documents. If it is a moral truism that the virtue of a society is determined by its treatment of the most vulnerable, then investment in the social safety net within the budgetary process is an expression of the loftiest values, priorities and aspirations.

Since Paul Ryan, the Boy Wonder to Romney’s Bainman, is purported to be the privatizing Prometheus of the GOP’s economic agenda, it is telling and critical to examine the assumptions behind his infamous budget, a clear cataclysm for America’s tired, poor and–in the true spirit of his lauded embrace of Ayn Rand, the wretched refuse of volitional dependency.

Little can be added to the comprehensive, eloquent and convincing analysis by Leon Wieseltier in a recent edition of The New Republic. Amongst the many issues cited, it is Ryan’s vision of a narcissistic self-reliance that is most troubling. In his budget, Ryan asserts, “Dependency drains individual character, which in turn weakens American society. The process suffocates individual initiative and transforms self-reliance into a vice and government dependency into a virtue.”

While at best tone deaf to the current cultural moment, it is at its worst downright cruel and sadistic in ways that remain acceptable in civil society. Contempt for the needy is one of the last of the benighted bigotries. But it is in the light of Ryan’s self professed faith and theology that his worship at the altar of Randian solipsism is most problematic.

Like so many on the Right, Ryan dons the cloak of faith as his credibility amongst social conservatives. For many brought to God via the Republican platform, particularly those amongst neo-Catholics, religious conviction is rarely examined or road tested. But the Ryan budget revealed the depths of this wunderkind’s hypocrisy and opportunism, his embrace of Rand’s individualism while rejecting her atheism, and his self-congratulatory expression of Catholic faith while thwarting Catholic doctrine.

The immediate and consistent response from Catholics across the spectrum has been resounding. But beyond the dissonance between the Ryan budget and Catholic social doctrine lies a more essential repudiation of a key element of ethical monotheism.

From Abraham’s iconoclastic destruction of his father’s stone idols and his embrace of an abstract, all-encompassing deity, to Moses’ thwarting of Pharaoh in affirmation of an authentic, higher power beyond even the most vaulted earthly authority, Jews and Christians have long resisted the temptation to deify the works of their hands in obscuring the ultimate source of talents, opportunities and blessings.

The implications of and ideas underlying the Ryan budget reflect far more than numbers crunched and lives made more difficult (or vice versa). In his embrace of Ayn Rand, seemingly in total contradistinction to Judeo-Christian tenets, Ryan asserts that human will, effort and accomplishment are transcendent. This is more than merely a denial of what the self-made businessman owes to the government and infrastructure he conveniently ignores in assessing his up-by-the-bootstraps success. Ryan neglects the concomitant reality of human suffering, weakness and vulnerability as more often conditional than character-based. Even more critically, his triumphalist celebration of the strong and successful leaves little room for compassion and grace emanating from a loving God who longs for its echo in the human heart and its extension by the human hand.

The Ryan budget, its advocates, and its reflection of evolving conservative values since the Reagan revolution, is little more than rank idolatry masquerading as rugged individualism. Its sacrifice of whole classes of our nation to the jealous, pagan gods of unchecked capitalism and cynical individualism is as threatening to the well being of our culture and its future as were the merciless pyres that consumed the innocent and ignorant of a supposedly far more primitive, ancient era.

Daniel Wiener is Senior Rabbi at Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Seattle & Bellevue.
This is something I've been saying myself, although maybe not quite as good. This is why I have been saying that the leadership of the Republican Party is heading in the wrong direction.

It has become plain to me that the Republican elites do not care about the hardships of people. Paul Ryan, though, is only part of the problem. We are having the same problem here in Pennsylvania. Republicans just gave the people of Pennsylvania a large tax increase, that will hurt a lot of people.

The problem is that there is just too much government at just about every level. Republicans use to believe in smaller government and lower taxes. But, we are no longer seeing that message from Republicans. In fact, we are hearing about Republicans, like Jeb Bush, who believe that the small government mantra is hurting the Republican Party. In reality, it is using the small government mantra in a campaign, then when elected, ignoring the principles of smaller government. That is what is hurting the Republican Party. And this has been going on for quite some time.

Government has increased in size, scope and cost under every Republican President in recent history, including Ronald Reagan. The only time government has decreased in size, Bill Clinton was President. Someone might say, it's because he had a Republican Congress from 1995 through to the end of his two terms. That's true. But, George W. Bush also had a Republican Congress in his first 2 years in office. They increased the size and cost of government.

You might ask, why do I then agree with Rabbi Wiener in the above article? His position would increase entitlement spending. But I maintain that if we cut the size of government by eliminating departments like Education, Homeland Security, FDA, ATF, etc. And, eliminate government control laws, rules and regulations, the Federal Government would become manageable even with entitlement spending. In short, we need to get the government out of the way so the private sector can rebuild their economy, so there will be more jobs. The jobs there are, the less people will need entitlements.

Government has caused the need for entitlements by hurting the private sector economy. Reverse that, the need for entitlements will be for those who truly need it.

I call it the liability factor. The more government destroys the private sector economy, they are liable and responsible for the loss of jobs. Therefore, they owe people a living. If I would do something that causes you to lose your job, or takes away your ability to work, you could sue me, and I could be found liable, and I would have to pay you whatever that job would be worth for as long as you could have that job. Well, the government is doing that. They are taking away America's jobs. The only way to fix it is get government out of the way.

The problem with the Republican Party is they seem to have lost the understanding of the way the economy works. All they want is to cut entitlement spending without fixing the problem that caused the entitlement problem in the first place. And that is why Obama won a second term. And we will not see a Republican President as long as they continue their stupidity.

Here is the link to the article above... http://faithandvaluesblog.com/2012/10/28/rank-idolatry-of-the-rugged-individualist/

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study - Do your best to present yourself to God as an approved worker who has nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of truth with precision. - 2 Timothy 2.15; ISV, isv.com
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