14 November, 2013

Gator People Live In the River: Conscious Conscience

Government is not reason. It is not eloquent. It is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. - George Washington

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. - P.J. O'Rourke

If there is an argument against the existence of what the tea baggers and neo-cons refer to as "the nanny state" it is the shameful state of the social net.

The gradual whittling down of social programs to force people into market-driven servitude  "for their own good" comes down to us from the same folks who would drug-test anyone applying for help and be critical of anyone on assistance who has the unmitigated gall to have a cell phone. Of course, the paternal and dehumanizing tone these powermongers, lackeys, and lapdogs take is completely lost on them, and generally ignored by those well intended folks insist that voting Democratic will somehow fix the problem.

Not that I'm endorsing the GOP, the Tea Party, or any other version thereof , sometimes referred to as "third parties" (which is a funny term since the collected total of them would not garner a full third of the ballot tossing public if anyone paid attention to the details of their notions). Far from it. Experience and perpetual study has taught me that the only difference between a lying incumbent and a well-intended outsider is corporate sponsorship and the first sniff whiff of power. Beyond that, all politicians are by nature too pragmatic for anything as ideal as real "re-form.*"
Now, those of you who insist on calling Obamacare )AKA the Affordable Health Care Act, AKA The Single Largest Upward Redistribution of Wealth since the Wall Street Bail Out and the 401K) proof of the existence of the nanny state roll your eyes and mumble about gun rights and lazy poor people with iphones and how your tax dollars are being used to support a bunch of ingrates, be aware that the very people you have decided to blame for all your problems (the poor, the homeless, the powerless) are not waiting for you to catch on to the fact that after they're shuffled off from view that you will be next.  Your judgement, hatred, and paternalism masked as philosophical ideology does not change the fact that you have more in common with them than with the powermongers and grafters with whom you have thrown in your lot.

Not seeing or hearing the train barreling down on you doesn't change the fact that the train is rolling on.

The recent cuts in SNAP -- the food assistance program that used to be called Food Stamps -- will have catastrophic impacts on people who are the least able to wield any political power to improve their lot. Meanwhile, Exxon will get tax subsidies that far outweigh any tax they might pay. Meanwhile, the insurance industry will get richer and people who can't afford insurance will be further penalized. 

The good news is that there are people out here who are not waiting on the government to grow a conscience; and they are not waiting on you to grow one, either.  But we will share when you're in need. Just remember how you got here when you arrive.


* Notice the root word and prefix. Then think about what it really means.