The Conservative Delusion

The Conservative Delusion:  “I don’t know when we stopped being self-sufficient” is a typical conservative social comment currently in fashion. The truth is America has never been a country of self-sufficient people. Poor people can’t be self-sufficient. Mostly they get buy, get sick or get dead.  Sick people can’t take care of themselves. The injured, disabled, handicapped, elderly, and the too young always need help.  In point of fact, better than sixty percent of the population of the United States has never been “self-sufficient.” Community welfare has always been extremely limited.  Most communities just suffer.  In the nineteenth century life expectancy was half of what it is today. People who have suffered because of accidents, crime, neglect, and bad luck are seldom self-sufficient. Mothers with children, no spouse or a drunk for a husband have a real hard time living let alone being self-sufficient. Minorities constantly degraded, jobless, and without hope, last to be hired, first to be fired, living in ghettos, working two jobs with no transportation have always found it virtually impossible to to be self-sufficient.  When it comes down to it, it takes a really a self-centered conservative wearing cultural blinders to think him or herself, let alone our society, as self-sufficient.  Most government laws help those who already have most of what they need.  Government welfare makes business more profitable, government funds mostly improve already better schools, government builds roads and bridges for people who have vehicles to use them.  Marginalized citizens don’t care about doubling the defense budget.  Law and order without justice is for white people. Our tax system favors homeowners while redlining higher insurance rates for the poor and minorities. Conservatives are deluding themselves into believing self-sufficiency is admirable. They really want a meAmerica, or at least a me-first America not a weAmerica.  American society is polarized today, just as badly as it was in 1817 or 1860 or 1950, because too many people think too many people are getting more than they deserve. The mission of our country is for everyone to work to promote prosperity among all Americans not just for crooks who can rig elections. The purpose of government is to help people do things they cannot do on their own. The welfare of the public is the purpose of government. Self-sufficiency is for hermits. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.

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