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In reading through the front-page diary about whether you're one of the people the Teapublicans hate, I was struck by an exchange in the comments asking why (essentially) the Tea Partiers' positions change with the wind.

The diary focused largely on who they hate. And, I think, that's the answer to that question. Their position is based on "I hate the people who I perceive as causing me, or my group, to be reduced in status/caused to pay taxes/offended."

But the thing is, their hate, being equal-opportunity, precludes compassion. It exes out the possibility of compassionate policy. And although I've been told that liberals change with the wind, there is a common thread running through most liberal and progressive policy: Is it compassionate?

Welfare is compassion for the poor. WIC and TANF are compassion for the hungry. Education programs for prisoners is compassion for the imprisoned.

I think this guy called Jeshua ben Josef kind of advocated that sort of thing, didn't he?

I'm also a sociologist. In my experience and research, social forces are what push people to take certain positions. The last time Americans were this un-compassionate, it was the Golden Age of the robber barons, when everyone except the 1% was living on the trembling edge of abject poverty (if not living in it already). Do we have to go through this every hundred years or so to remind us that compassion for those less fortunate is a good thing?

When is humanity going to grow up? More specifically, when are AMERICANS going to grow up?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

    by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 02:52:22 PM PDT

  •  When are the American 1%... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows, a2nite, jennyp

    ...goung to grow a heart?

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 02:55:20 PM PDT

    •  It's not just the 1%, though. (9+ / 0-)

      It's all the people in the 99% that they've snookered into believing (or laid out the red carpet in invitation to believe) that compassion is a vice and selfishness is a virtue; that love is a weakness and hate is a strength.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

      by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 03:01:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. Snookering. Manipulating. Lying... (9+ / 0-)

        ...so brazenly it would burn off your socks if lies were lasers. That has made a hefty % of the 99% disdainfully compassionless—against the better nature of most of them, I believe. And most of them are victims of the very policies the snookering manipulators have imposed. We should have some compassion for them, too, and their kids.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 03:16:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  MB...this is a wonderful comment. I am failing in (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Killer of Sacred Cows, JeffW

          my ability to have compassion for them (I do for the children).
          Your words are inspiring.

          "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

          by rubyr on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 04:00:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well.... (2+ / 0-)

          I do have compassion for them.
          On a one to one basis, the majority of those people who have fallen victim to the 'R' snake oil, are at heart, very decent, kind, good people.
          The 'R' manipulation machine has either scared them, beaten them (figuratively), preyed on their very human prejudices (who, even here, doesn't have some prejudice against something?) and plied them with grandiose lies.
          There is a great big country out there, not just two coasts, with loads of all sorts of folks, and the 'R's play them like violins.
          Of course, the media doesn't help with its stupid false equivalency memes (according to Chuck Todd, it's not the media's job to ferret out the truth), and there is a huge part of the country where there is nothing on the radio but Rush and pork futures (one of the reasons I have satellite radio).
          And, of course, there's the hateful lying going on 24/7 on Faux 'news'.
          It's actually amazing we've come as far as we have.
          But we have a long way to go.
          With compassion.  But resolutely.

          I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

          by Lilyvt on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 05:20:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  When Hell freezes over. eom (0+ / 0-)

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

      by Calamity Jean on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 07:48:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Conservative... (4+ / 0-)

    ...is merely another word for selfish, or if if you prefer the noun, one without compassion.

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 03:01:53 PM PDT

  •  I take your point. Compassion is the line between (4+ / 0-)

    the Tea Party and us.  They see a country of free loaders, we see many groups who need a hand up so they can be safe and sane and remain connectied to society.  Waht will it be compassion or the Tea Party highway of alienation and rejection.  I'll take Jeshua over Goldman Sax.

  •  Your diary connects to my own thoughts (6+ / 0-)

    earlier today while I raked leaves.  I was thinking of the historical Jesus and his compassionate teachings.  His words and actions got him crucified.  We have our own Pharisees called the Republican Party/Tea Party.  Compassion and kindness seem to scare those with no heart and living with joy ourselves is our strength.   We need to continue the good fight forever.

    We take care of the future best by taking care of the present now.

    by Catkin on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 03:06:38 PM PDT

  •  For some people the answer (5+ / 0-)

    is never they can't look passed there own needs to see the needs of others. For other people it's all about greed they can never have enough The Koch boys fall in that group. And some people mostly the tea baggers are just plain selfish. They have no idea what compassion is!

    •  Ya know.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Killer of Sacred Cows

      I often think about that....how some people can never have enough.
      Really, how many bathrooms do you need?  How many homes?  How many cars?
      You can amass a fortune, you can have many, many homes, you can have gold-plated everything, you can have people kowtow to you, you can have everything which should make you happy.  But you still want more.  Sad.  Even more pathetic than the starving person who only wants a crumb to eat.
      The kick is, you're still gonna die, just like the poorest of the poor.
      Nothing you collect or do or make will change the inevitable outcome of life.
      Might as well be nice and play well with others and stop being a selfish stinker.

      I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

      by Lilyvt on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 05:37:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had this epiphany the other day (4+ / 0-)

    "Social Security" is not just a program, it is a vision of what kind of a country we want ... one where the security of the least of us is secure (or somewhat secure) and therefore the society, the fabric, the structure of the country is also secure. It is a vision of moving towards a more just society where the old, the orphaned, the differently abled are secure enough to have some dignity and some self respect.

    This is what is under attack because the vision of the TP or GOP or the 1% is that the least of us are not worth anything. The nihilism and the meanness of the Ryan budget, the lack of understanding of the long term effects of the way the GOP's destruction embodies the fear and jealousy of others ... is the Mad Max's Thunder Dome.

    The lack of compassion and care for the other is bringing down our economy and their own future, but they don't seem to be able to understand that what they do to others does, in fact, make them less secure.

     

    "I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night." Greg Martin, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida

    by CorinaR on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 04:25:08 PM PDT

  •  excellent. Short but sweet (3+ / 0-)

    Never before in my life do I remember a time where it was ok to call the disabled "takers". Many Republicans now say out loud smears against those on food stamps or disability etc that they'd never say out loud before.

    But now a large enough percentage of the general public has been brainwashed to think that they are being harmed by the "lazy takers" that the politicians can say it out loud and get cheers.

    A hundred years hence, perhaps students will be learning how Fox News changed the very fabric of this country in a negative way. Perhaps they even contributed to its ending as we know it. (thinking about their huge role in propagating the idea that those who get help are lazy and taking advantage of the "makers')

    Hope I am wrong about the latter, but if the Republicans are allowed to "win" this current battle--and I mean, if they come out thinking that threats of default and shutting government are a useful way to accomplish their agenda without making concessions themselves--it may be the end of our democracy as we know it. Or, if you think we don't really have one anyway, perhaps it would be yet a further step away from what it could be.

    Yet another reason why I am glad not to be young lately, I admit.

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