I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Republican Hypocrisy

Lance Mannion, who's posts are always a must read, has a must must read this morning.
One of the Right to Life crowd's recurring tropes is women who have abortions because babies cost money better spent on plasma TVs and expensive vacations.

This is a sub-topic in the Right's general argument that there are no poor people in America because everybody can afford a TV set and dinner out at McDonalds. Poverty only exists where people live in mud huts and till the ungenerous earth with sticks. There are no poor people here, there are only lazy people and spendthrifts who don't know how to set priorities and postpone gratification.

And it's a corrollary to the Right's general anti-feminsim which argues that every woman who works---except their own wives---is a selfish careerist who has chosen to put her own vanity and self-aggrandizement over the joys and duties of wife and mother.

Out of this mouths of the Anti-choice types these ideas are expressed thus:

If you say you want an abortion because you can't afford a child, or even another child, or even a fifth child, you are either a selfish Yuppie careerist or you are one of those unfortunates who doesn't know how to budget---you could have that kid if you'd learn to buy a cheaper detergent, serve meat loaf instead of strip steak, and join Sam's Club.

And within that argument, behind the cliches, is an admirable anti-materialism.

Basically, the sentiment is that there are things far more important than money and owning stuff.

The problem is that the Right to Lifers who make this argument tend to vote Republican.

Voting Republican is first, last, and always a way of saying There is nothing more important than money and owning stuff.
This set off several bells in my head. The first was this: "This is a sub-topic in the Right's general argument that there are no poor people in America because everybody can afford a TV set and dinner out at McDonalds. Poverty only exists where people live in mud huts and till the ungenerous earth with sticks. There are no poor people here, there are only lazy people and spendthrifts who don't know how to set priorities and postpone gratification." On the surface my thoughts on this may seem unrelated but I don't think they are. I have lived in Europe and spent extended periods of time in Asia. My observation each time I returned was that Americans are really unhappy people when compared with those in other parts of the world in spite of all the material goods they are blessed with or is it because of them. There is something missing here, a lack of how to live life to the fullest, an inability to enjoy life with others. I have some ideas on why this may be but I'll save those for another time. In a similar vane I enjoy watching programs like Globe Trekker. My observations are similar; in the locals "where people live in mud huts and till the ungenerous earth with sticks" the people seem to be much happier than Americans.

And now for the promised Republican hypocrisy. In addition to the hypocrisy Lance mentions above we have the abhorrence of labor unions and the American middle class by the Republican party. Large American companies became large companies because they had customers. They had customers because there was a large middle class which was the result of labor unions. Without the labor unions they curse the large American companies could not have become large American companies. Companies like Walmart it would seem are in the process of committing a drawn out economic suicide as their outsourcing policies are destroying there customer base. This is a result of the short term thinking that drives economics.

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