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Let's get the shocking part out of the way first. This is part of an interview in a Romney field office in Virginia by Christopher Crook of the Progressive:

What do you mean, exactly, I ask him. You say people are suffering under Obama, don't they need some help?

“No. No more help, enough is enough. People have to pick themselves up, take some responsibility. Why should we be paying for people’s mistakes and bad choices? All these illegitimate families just adding to the population, making all these bad decisions, then asking us to pay for it? It's time to cut them off."

I ask for some clarification: what do you mean, just starve them out? What if people can't find work? Let them starve?

"Look, there's always something you can do. You telling me people can't make a choice for a better life? We have to help all of them? No. I'll tell you what really need to do with these illegitimate families on welfare — give all the kids up for adoption and execute the parents."

Let me be clear -- there is no way that I think that any Republican leader or candidate supports this statement. That's not my point.

My point is this: When you abandon the concept of community, of "the commons," you give THIS sort of thinking room to grow. When you shrug like Atlas and say that caring and compassion are for suckers, you wind up with Expediency as the ground of all being.

  • People who are hurting through no fault of their own? Fuck 'em. They should have been smarter, or had more charm, or chosen richer parents.
  • An economic system that takes from the poor and gives to the rich? That's the way it is supposed to be, because obviously the rich are living right and are thus blessed of God.
  • Too many mouths to feed? Too many people out of work? Too many sick people? We can't afford to take care of everyone -- some of them will just have to die.

Am I worried that this crazy statement from a single Republican field worker is going to become the law of the land? Of course not. He's a bitter old man, speaking only for himself.

Except, he's not speaking only for himself. Many, many people believe that we have no common bond, no shared humanity, no responsibility to each other. Many, many people believe that any help from the government to individuals is not only expensive, but morally wrong. We don't need to call out this guy's statement, as it is self-evidently insane. But, we DO have to call out the philosophy, the belief system behind it.

Because that belief system, left unchallenged, will wreck our nation.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for the commonweal (39+ / 0-)

    and calling out Randian thinking every chance we get.

    Bruce in Louisville
    Visit me at brucemaples.com, brucewriter.com, or ThreePols.com
    Follow me on Twitter @brucewriter or @ThreePols

    by bmaples on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 02:59:11 PM PDT

  •  It is crazy and sad but, (10+ / 0-)

    it's not shocking anymore. There are more crazies like that than you would  think.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 03:09:50 PM PDT

  •  When did we go to war with each other? (6+ / 0-)

    When the hell did Facebook, realistically a product designed to bring people together, end up tearing us apart?

    How do you show love to someone who is only willing to show you hate back? Jesus, not to be a downer, but I don't think your message came through clearly.

    •  Not sure I understand your comment. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mary Mike, jan4insight

      I'm sorry if the message got lost. I was trying to make a distinction between the field worker -- who is clearly out in yahoo land -- and the philosophy that underlies his comment, which is becoming more and more accepted.

      Bruce in Louisville
      Visit me at brucemaples.com, brucewriter.com, or ThreePols.com
      Follow me on Twitter @brucewriter or @ThreePols

      by bmaples on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 05:19:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We went to war (5+ / 0-)

      We went to war when the little girl went through the school house doors escorted by US Marshals.  We've been at war ever since.  

      Dwight Eisenhower was, perhaps, the last decent republican.  I know of few republicans since that have demonstrated an ounce of integrity...and they continue to prove me right every day by their unending support of hate radio and hate cable news.  

      I am a 67 year old teacher...teaching computer applications in a Texas high school. I've already retired once but it didn't take.

      by 43yearsateacher on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 07:14:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Facebook? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf

      I mean, I know it's fashionable to bash Facebook, but what has Facebook got to do with this diarist's argument?

      lol WTF ground squirrel

  •  No. Be worried. There are more of him (13+ / 0-)

    than you think.  There are many many conservative types who would think nothing of "starving them out" and putting the kids up for adoption.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 03:20:01 PM PDT

  •  I didn't think we'd ever have to worry (13+ / 0-)

    about social darwinism having a role in policy or domestic insurgency rising up if the political system won't allow it, until I saw Sharron Angle up close, and listened to her very, very carefully here in Nevada back when she was running for Harry Reid's Senate seat.

    That 'Second Amendment Remedies' shit wasn't hyperbole. She believes that shit. She might walk it back when she gets caught, because it hurts her cause to be outed as a corporatist/fascist hybrid, but she wasn't just flinging red meat.

    We have to keep an eye on these people, because they are always trolling for the fiery resentful or the simmeringly seething to stoke.

    Movement Conservatism is a national security threat. Far too many of its adherents believe that if they can't reign, then they feel Constitutionally entitled to break the nation and punish those who don't agree with them as their civic duty to the Founders.

    It's nuts. But its there.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 03:32:08 PM PDT

  •  Already wrecked, need years to fix once stopped (0+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 04:42:56 PM PDT

  •  people of a certain age believe that shit b/c (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    that's the way they were raised.  pre-fdr there was no govt welfare.  private charity took care of widows & orphans & the poor, & if it didn't cover everyone who needed help, oh well, too bad.  that was the way of the world & you were supposed to either prepare yourself against it, or deal with it -- & not complain.

    as a way of illustration, i once read about the aftermath of a devastating hurricane off the se coast of georgia in the late 1890s (i believe that's when it was).  a journalist had written an article about what happened to the people & noticed a woman standing on a wrecked beach staring out to sea.  apparently her entire family had been swept away by the storm surge & some town official walked by & told her "do not feed too long on the bread of idleness."  iow, quit feeling sorry for yourself & get on with your life b/c nobody's going to help you out.

    that's what people were taught back then.  that's what some of them still believe.  of course, corporate welfare is ok with them, but not personal welfare.  mind-boggling.

    •  I wonder, though, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight

      if we're also seeing this in younger adults, because they feel like the opportunity horizon is narrowing, and they worry that if they help others there won't be enough for their own.

      The first time I ever heard this philosophy was from a collection of 30-somethings.

      Bruce in Louisville
      Visit me at brucemaples.com, brucewriter.com, or ThreePols.com
      Follow me on Twitter @brucewriter or @ThreePols

      by bmaples on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 05:22:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it could be. thirty-somethings are usually (0+ / 0-)

        past the idealism of their teens & twenties & many have families to think of & worry about, so it's possible that they're thinking more insular & less altruistically.

        the rw has tried very hard to reach out to young people with their message of personal responsibility, etc., etc. -- partly b/c their base is dying off & partly b/c they know the catholic church got it right when it said if you get 'em when they're young, you got 'em for life, so that could be another explanation for what you're hearing.

        there are always going to be a certain faction of the electorate who vote against their own best interests, & unless that's brought to people's attention (low information voters, especially) they will continue to be swayed by the same rw jibberish that's worked so well in the past.

  •  pro-life! (0+ / 0-)

    That's the heart of it.

  •  stop taking the bait!!! (0+ / 0-)

    There are way too many people, even independents who agree with the "Why should we be paying for people’s mistakes and bad choices?" line of reasoning.  

    Nobody wants to help anyone who wont help them selves, not even the Left.   The way liberals  genenerally have responded to this has irked me to no end.

    When you say wussy bleeding heart liberal stuff like "what do you mean, just starve them out? What if people can't find work? Let them starve?" you are punching yourself in the face right in front of them. They have put you in the position of appearing to defenda scoundrel that the court of opinion does not have sympathy for.  Stop taking the bait - you will not win.

    The next thing they will do is bait you into an endless argument about 'finding work', which is extremely subjective and has no definitive answer.

    The correct way to answer this is to reframe the debate so you are talking about creating DEMAND. Point to the high unemployment rate and remind them of outsourcing, and then ask them what does one do if neither the private sector nor public sector are hiring.  Remind them that it was their side that cut public sector jobs, that their politicians ran on it and that they voted for it in 2010. If they argue that public sector workers are tax leeches, remind them that they are calling the troops tax leeches, because the troops are public sector workers. Most of them will be against new wars and understand that our troops are exhausted, so use this to your advantage. Say that public sector employees are at least WORKING and not getting their brains blown out to enrich the MIC, and not sitting at home doing nothing and collecting a welfare check.

    When you've gotten them to concede to this point, here is where you talk about creating demand for the private sector - 'priming the pump' so the private sector can return to prosperity, and that public sector jobs can be cut THEN.  Explain to them how the poor are the loosest spenders and that money doesnt stick to the bottom, and how all kinds of private businesses benefit from the poor and public sector employees spending their money.

    Stop with the bleeding heart liberal answers to troll bait questions!

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