Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Defense of Republican Thought

My own view is that many/most Republicans identify with the rich and powerful--and have contempt for the poor and downtrodden. Their biggest concern is maintaining their wealth and power. I'm sure that George W. thinks he, being a Bush, deserves special treatment -- the way Mr. Cheney felt that he didn't have to bother with the draft. ("I had better things to do.")

Someone writes to me, defending Republicans,

"The best way I can think of to explain the Republican attitude toward taxation for welfare programs is a college classroom. A student who earns straight A's shouldn't be asked to give up points to students who are earning F's so that everyone in the school levels out to a C. Granted, the F students need help, but what you offer is remedial instruction."

But the analogy is very misleading.

The rich in our society may have inherited their wealth. Or they may have been lucky in business. They may have come from families that gave them strong self-esteem ,and had schooling that also boosted their self-esteem, along with giving them excellent educations. They were off to a running head start.

Is Paris Hilton an A student? Are the many blacks mired in poverty and unemployment in crime-ridden ghettos F students? Weren't they given very different hands to play? If Bigger Thomas had been the offspring of the Hiltons, might he have had a more enviable life?

I tell people that if our society were fair, and if I hadn't benefited from an Ivy League education (no scholarship), and if I didn't have to work until I graduated from college, today I'd be cleaning men's rooms in Camden, N.J.

Besides, we're not asking A students to give up their As. We're asking the very rich to pay higher taxes (something established at the beginning of our country) and to help the D students lead decent lives--and to recognize that they got As, in many cases, because there wasn't a level playing field. And to recognize that D students, like many/most welfare recipients, got a shitty deal in life.

In short, the grading system doesn't reflect real life.

Real life is Paris Hilton pissing away her money while many Americans go hungry.

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