Sunday, December 09, 2007


NOTE: lots of hits on the dubious quote. I don't know where it came from either.

I am willing to make enemies on the left and right saying I don't believe in the grass roots, I believe in big government, I believe in taxing and spending, I believe that your property is a limited charter from the collective interest, not a god-given right. I believe it's a good idea to interfere with your use of that property only as much as necessary, and no more, but that's a tactical and not a moral belief.

We are the custodians of life and art in the universe. That's more important than your pathetic striving to be top monkey in your little corner of the woods. And that's why the liberal program needs to be revived, not sheepishly and in half measures but proudly and triumphantly. Here's a Daily Kos article:

When you're too busy trying not to lose, you may win elections now and then, but you rarely advance those causes you're supposed to care about. We've reached the point where Republican voters can claim the philosophy of absolute greed.

"I make a great deal of money through my own hard work. I don't want to pay for someone else's child to eat breakfast at school anymore."

[Is that for real? I don't know.]

Get that? She makes not just enough money, but a "great deal of money." How dare anyone take it away for something so frivolous as feeding a poor child? And yet Republicans, through their actions in blurring the lines between church and state, have become the "party of faith." Because they say so. Because they are bold in their actions and snarling in their defense.

We need to be just as adamant. We need to not hide behind any abstraction or evasion. We need to be unafraid to address this voter and say "I am going to take some of your money, and give it to that poor kid, because it's more important -- both to the child and to society -- that he eat, rather than that you have an extra week in Cabo."

Note that we should not pretend that "a program will take your money." Or "the government will take your money." This is a democracy, and we are the government. I will take your money. I will. Some of that money you worked hard for and want to keep. I will give it to a kid who is hungry. If your concern is that poverty should be addressed by individuals, then there's a simple solution: feed him. If there are no poor children needing food, I won't have to take anything for them. If your position is that people would be more generous if only the government would stay out of it, then sorry. I'm not willing to put this child at risk to as part of your experiment. Besides, if that were true, then why were their more hungry kids before we started these programs to give them a little breakfast? If your position is that your being able to keep all your money is more important than a child being fed, then I simply think you're wrong. And sick. You want to keep that money? You better beat me at the polls.

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