Democrats, including the liberal Christian variety in the Tar Heel State, have never been shy about making the moral case for their anti-entrepreneurial welfare state policies and against Republicans who oppose them. If one is against the latest bill demanding more, more and more of the same “stimuli” sold as the antidote to the “mess inherited from Bush”, whether it be unemployment compensation extensions or advertisements for U.S. food stamp-eligibility to potential illegal border-crossers in Mexico, one doesn’t “care” about the poor. No matter that when your Grand Old Party held power in Washington, it never proposed, much less ever cut, any entitlement program.
Moreover, unlike Hoovervilles that first emerged at least two years before FDR’s first inaugural (but kept their Republican Party name despite 20+% unemployment over five years after passage of the Democrat’s New Deal during the first 100 days of 1933; homeless-filled tent cities emerged and grew in the Garden State more than three years years after President Barack Obama’s democrats started cleaning up the mess in 2009, despite the post-Hurricane Sandy Christie-Obama 2012 election-season love-fest:
Camden, New Jersey (My9NJ) -Tent cities have popped up across New Jersey including the state’s poorest city…Residing off Route 38 at Wilson Boulevard under an overpass, through woods and down a path of trash lays a community of people living in tents. Among the homes are decomposing food, broken furniture, and feral cats…Many of the people who live in the Camden tent city walk down to Cathedral Kitchen. “This is just a lot of good people who fell on bad times,” Executive Chef Jonathan Jernigan says. “Lost their jobs, lost their family, a lot of depression and mental illness.”
No word on whether last week’s re-calculation of Gross Domestic Product by the Obama Administration (that makes their economic stewardship look better, but oh so marginally, relative to past “recoveries”) reduced the demand for tents and Katniss Everdeen-brand archery equipment in congressional districts south of Wall Street and north of Capitol City, but I digress.
Given the dismal economic results after four years of Obama’s unemployment benefit extensions, Obamacare elimination of full-time jobs and tax hikes on the rich, one would think that political activism by bleeding heart liberal Democrats on “Moral Mondays” in Raleigh, North Carolina would express outrage over the policies that produce (or at least haven’t prevented) such rising poverty during a so-called “recovery”, but one would be wrong:
The burning heart of liberal activism and indignation this summer can be found, of all places, in the charming capital city of the Tar Heel State. On Monday, for the 11th week in a row [as of July 19], thousands of protesters descended on the … Capitol denouncing the policies of a Republican Party that for the first time since Reconstruction controls [N.C.’s] governorship and legislature. Some 800 agitators have been arrested for disrupting the legislature.
So what are liberals of all stripes so angry about…? I put that question to the …Moral Monday movement organizer, Rev. William Barber II, a loquacious, likable and politically shrewd preacher and leader of the North Carolina NAACP. (Think Jesse Jackson, but with charm and genuine conviction.) He preaches “civil disobedience” and trains peaceful demonstrators on how to get arrested.
After a near-five minute sermon about how Republicans have made the state a “crucible of extremism and injustice,” it became clear the answer to my question is he and his followers are mad as hell about, well . . . everything. The list of grievances is long but includes unemployment-insurance cuts that took some 70,000 recipients in the state off the rolls, state lawmakers’ refusal to sign up for ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, a proposed voter-ID law, and of course “tax cuts for the rich.” This past Monday marchers were waving signs that read “Justice for Trayvon Martin,” “Stop Fracking in North Carolina,” and “Vouchers Destroy Public Schools.” In recent weeks, demonstrators were out in force demanding abortion rights.
Mostly, however, these protests are about money. The Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank in North Carolina, recently published an analysis of the financial statements of the left-wing groups sponsoring these rallies, such as the Community Development Initiative and the Institute of Minority Economic Development. It found they have collected about $100 million in state grants, loans and contracts. No wonder they’re enraged over GOP lawmakers’ attempts to rein in spending.
Rev. Barber is only the latest in a long line of leaders of the self-defined party of “tolerance and diversity” with no compunction against accusing Republican political opponents of moral turpitude (extremism and injustice); from which vile charges Republicans regularly retreat based partially upon good manners and the difficulty (if not impossibility) of reading the heart of another. And I have no doubt that many liberal Democrats, Christian and non-Christian alike, sincerely wish only the best for the poor and believe that taxing the rich and hiring government bureaucrats to re-distribute the wealth is the moral way to go. I know, because I used to be an economically-ignorant and naive liberal Democrat young person before being mugged by prosperous-Reagan-conservative-policy reality.
But had I continued to advocate those same liberal Democrat policies after realizing their proven failure in reducing poverty and increasing middle class wealth and standards of living, I would have developed a cold, extreme and unjust heart bent more toward moral preening and consolidation of political power than actually helping the poor. And let me state categorically, that I think the Rev. Jackson has just as much genuine conviction as does the charming Rev. Barber on the issues N.C. Democrats are angry about.
But notice that none of the issues complained of by Tar Heel democrats concern a desire to employ the unemployed.
One has to wonder how many blacks and young people have to lose their jobs before failed economic policies become a moral issue for liberal Democrats. Given that so many Americans (after 40+ years of liberal education via academia, Hollywood and the news media) haven’t a clue how wealth and jobs are created, maybe never. They simply take for granted what wealth exists and declare it community property to which all are entitled to share by virtue of one’s mother having made the “choice” not to abort them.
No, beyond a food stamp and subsidized housing existence (rather than liberty and justice) for all, the economic plight of Americans doesn’t rise to the moral level of concern as the right to abort babies, “protecting” Planet Earth from fracking (never mind the effects of eliminating jobs and affordable energy on the poor), and voting without a photo ID (even if its free).
Republicans must reject the “turn-McCain’s-other-cheek” approach that “merely disagree” when their hearts are found wanting by their “honorable friends on the other side of the aisle”and join GOP Sens. Jeff Sessions(AL) , Rand Paul(KY), Ted Cruz(TX) and Mike Lee(UT) in making the moral case for free market capitalism and against big government welfare state and anti-job-creation policies. One can object to failed policies that hurt the poor without attacking the hearts of their advocates, but sadly the GOP has rarely even been willing to do even the former.
Even absent the economic boom that has taken place in Washington, D.C. (excruciatingly described in Mark Leibovich’s This Town), the policies that cause tent city-proliferation would be immoral. But that the gap between the Ruling Class and the rest of us resembles a Hunger Games sequel, does call into question the state of the liberal heart; and conservatives shouldn’t be shy about posing that moral question along with our usual economic common sense.
Mike DeVine‘s Right.com
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson