This definitely helps explain his budget proposals.
Before going on, I just found this great quote from Flannery O’Connor about Ayn Rand:
“The fiction of Ayn Rand is as low as you can get re fiction. I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail. She makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky.”
(Full disclosure: I have not read any Ayn Rand, so I can’t attest to the sentiments personally. However, I unequivocally refute her worldview so it makes me smile.)
I was going to leave this post right there and get back to my Montaigne reading – maybe dig out a quote or two more from Mr. Montaigne to share – but it’s really struck me how ideologically opposed Romney and Obama are, especially given Mr. Ryan’s appointment to the VP position.
I would just like to say, it’s a sad commentary on American Christianity if this is what it takes to get the evangelical, Right-wing base of the party fired up: A man who rejects the need for social assistance programs that help millions of Americans every day. A man who wants to kick 10 million people off of food stamps. A man who prioritizes corporations and Wall Street over the people living and working on Main Street.
Debates about who Jesus would vote for are stupid and petty so I’m not going there. And we don’t know how big of an effect this will have on evangelical Christians… yet. But if you’re a Christian planning on voting for Romney – Ryan for their fiscal responsibility, then consider that this is a congressman who supported wasteful government spending when it came to phony wars overseas but when it comes to a question of whether or not we will support our seniors on Medicare, he says no. When it comes to people on foodstamps, he says no.
Me? I’m a communitarian. I believe that we only flourish individually when we flourish as a community. I don’t buy that religious Right-wing argument that it should be left to individuals and religious organizations to take care of “charity”. I’ve worked firsthand with these sorts of organizations and I love the work that they do. But there are certain things private individuals and churches and mosques can’t do. They can’t pay all the medical bills of their seniors. They can’t cut healthcare costs. Sure, they can run food pantries, but I’ve seen firsthand how hard it is to keep those shelves stocked – and guess what? A lot of their support comes… from the government! Surprise!
If supporting social safety nets means makes me a socialist or a collectivist, then so be it! I take it as a judgment on where our society is today more than a judgment on my political beliefs. I take it as a judgment on the state of American Christianity when 9 times out of 10 we are more concerned about preventing gays from marrying than making sure that every child in this country gets a good education. I take it as a judgment on American Christianity when we march against abortion, but we can’t march against the poverty that far too many already-born children live in. What does it say when the “godless” left in this country does a better job following Jesus’ precepts than those filling the pews every Sunday?
If all it takes to rally America’s conservative Christians – the base that Romney’s been missing – is a pseudo fiscal conservative who doesn’t like gays or abortion, then it’s time for this country to do a little soul-searching.