Whew! What a crazy month I've had - between holidays and work travel I've been out of pocket for a month - but it's good to be back.
Since we are two short weeks from Christmas I thought it would be fitting to return with a brief discussion of the holiday spirit shown by the Republican strategy. In a season where the warmth of human nature should be at its strongest and we should all be bathing in the glow of brotherly love, Republicans are still up to the same old tricks. They continue to insist that Democrats who would question continued war-making during this season of peaceful tidings as unpatriotic. They continue to push policies that will provide more tax cuts for the wealthy while leaving millions of children and elderly in the throws of poverty. They continue to hem and haw around the denunciation of torture. Under their watch thousands are still living in cars, temporary housing or hotels following Hurricane Katrina.
Despite the blatant needs of hurricane victims and those who have struggled with homelessness, illness and poverty for much longer, Republicans call for cuts to social programs that assist the needy, adopting the moniker of tough love. Yet, in the season that marks Christ's birth such practices fall far short of the message the manger babe would grow up to spread. Love of ones fellow human, aid to the least among us - these were the priorities espoused by Jesus.
Barack Obama correctly characterized the Republican policies as Social Darwinism. The insistance of cutting government aid and leaving all to fend for themselves as though all were born with equal opportunities can be seen as nothing short of survival of the fittest. Yet, just as the hungry beast when faced with starvation will kill other animals - so humans left with no other means, desperate to survive and support their families turn to crime and violence. That is why Social Darwinism didn't work before and why it shouldn't be accepted and won't work now - even if it is repackaged as an "Ownership Society." Those born with nothing cannot join an ownership society without some help from others. Providing that help is the responsiblity of a just society and government.