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We're # 1: The GOP Boasts About American Greatness While They Degrade It

by: AndySchmooklerforCongress

Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:53:19 AM EST

( - promoted by lowkell)

This article appeared this past weekend in the Northern Virginia Daily and, in a shorter version, in Staunton's Virginia News Leader.

What are we to believe about the size of government and the level of government spending?

Republicans say that the U.S. government has become way too big and that Americans are grossly overtaxed.  Is that true?

In the United States, the rate of taxation is lower, and the size of government in relation to the size of the economy is smaller, than in just about every other nation like ours-rich, free, capitalistic, democratic societies.

Our peers around the world have decided  that the best balance between the things that can be bought by people separately in the market and the things we have to buy together through tax dollars means having a government as big as ours, or bigger. So if Republicans are right, and government and taxation are too big, then not only are Americans foolish -- every other society like ours is foolish.

In the Declaration of Independence, our Founders called for "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind."  And dismissing as foolish the judgment of dozens of advanced societies like ours hardly seems in keeping with that "decent respect."

The attempt to discredit government and reduce its size may serve some interests but not the people. For example, government is the only entity strong enough to serve as a check on the huge agglomerations of private power in our big corporations.

The issue shouldn't be the size of government but how wisely and justly we use it.

AndySchmooklerforCongress :: We're # 1: The GOP Boasts About American Greatness While They Degrade It
When Republicans call for cuts in spending, they take the position that we need to cut back on social programs and, indeed, on virtually every aspect of non-defense discretionary spending. But they strongly oppose cuts to defense spending. Is this the way to make America the best that it can be?

Republicans have in recent years encouraged the habit of boasting about our country, "We're number 1."  And when it comes to defense spending, we are indeed far and away number 1. The United States spends almost as much on defense as the rest of the nations of the world combined.  And most of the other large defense budgets are in countries that are our allies, not our enemies.

Is military spending the part of the budget where more spending will do most to help this nation fulfill its potential?

We're also number 1 of all the nations on earth in how many of our people are in prison, number 1 among the 20 major advanced nations in the rate of infant mortality; in income inequality; in the proportion of our people, especially our children, who live in poverty; in how much we spend per person on health care, while also having the most people who go without health care because of cost.

Shouldn't these be the kinds of areas where we invest?

Among advanced nations, we have the highest homicide rate; the second-highest high school drop-out rate; the highest rate of obesity; and the lowest rate of social mobility (the ability of people to climb up to a higher economic level than that into which they were born).

In tests of students from around the world, in various subjects, America's children come out far from the top.

Are you satisfied with this picture?  I'm not.

What does it say about a political party if it protects that part of the budget where we're already fat, and wants to trim areas where we are hurting and deficient?

What kind of patriot brags about his country's greatness while advocating policies that undermine its true strength?


A reminder that I will be talking tomorrow evening -- presenting a political strategy for Democrats in heavily Republican districts -- at the University of Virginia, at 6 PM, in Room 108 of Clark Hall.

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Brains (0.00 / 0)
I have seen some articles that basically say that there is a difference between the brains of republicans and democrats. That may be nonsense, but I am beginning to believe it may have some truth. How else do you explain the total lack of reality by republicans?

How else to explain (0.00 / 0)
People are not of a piece. (Some people especially are not of a piece.) People will think one way in one context, and another in another context.  

See for example my posting here on Sunday, Problems in the Religion Are Symptoms of Something Deeper, where the issue was the contradiction between the spirit that informs a "good, decent conservative" when he goes to church and the very contrary spirit that imbues his politics.

One can also discern in someone an excellent capacity to think rationally and empirically when dealing, say, with running his business, but then discover that same person can believe absolutely incredible -- defying both logic and evidence-- things that are being promulgated within his political culture.  (Examples include that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, despite the newspaper announcements in Hawaii in August, 1961, and the belief that somehow the tiny and mistrusted minority of Muslims in America will impose on everyone Sharia law.)

I have been talking, for some years now, of a "trance state" having been induced on the right, as part of the way in which this "sick and broken spirit" has extended its power in this country in the past couple of decades.

I invite you to follow my "Swinging for the Fences" project as it unfolds over the months to come. There are ways, I will try to show, in which the insights of various fields concerning human culture and psychology can be integrated to produce a good answer to your question, "How else to explain...?"

Just to throw in a line here from Euripedes, for its power and at least metaphorical insight:  "Those whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad."

It is less the brains in the individuals than the operation of forces in the subculture in which those individuals have been corralled.

[ Parent ]
This is the mindboggling moronic mentality we're dealing with. (0.00 / 0)
Zero self awareness. Extremely little (if any) historical literacy. Extremely little (if any) ability to think critically or even rationally. Extremely little (if any) honesty -- at best half truths.

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[ Parent ]

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