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August 2, 2004

Protecting Us from People Like Themselves

In a piece from the latest print edition of National Review, David Frum quotes from John Edwards's "Two Americas" speech:

One America that does the work, another America that reaps the reward. One America that pays the taxes, another America that gets the tax breaks. One America that will do anything to leave its children a better life, another America that never has to do a thing because its children are already set for life. One America — middle-class America — whose needs Washington has long forgotten, another America — narrow-interest America — whose every wish is Washington's command. One America that is struggling to get by, another America that can buy anything it wants, even a Congress and a president.

It's a close contest, but that last line may be the most audacious of the batch. Considering the combined wealth of the Democrats' presidential ticket and the efforts of well-endowed financiers (most visibly, George Soros), the matter of which party is more for sale is, at the very least, up for debate. Not up for debate is which party is more apt to claim the mantle of working class heroes and to give lip service to that greatest of hypocrites' ideologies, socialism, and on that count, Lane Core is losing his patience:

I've had it up to here, and further, with filthy rich politicians bewailing how little the federal government does to help the underprivileged. By which they mean that they haven't yet taxed us enough to keep the money running through their fat, grubby hands so they can buy votes from special interest groups.

In a nutshell: to hell with filthy rich politicians who demand that ordinary Americans should be required — by threat of confiscation and/or imprisonment — to allow the politicians to be generous with our (tax) money though they continue to live fabulous lives of luxurious comfort.

The obscene rhetoric of the phony class warriors must play with somebody; often, it seems to be those with the least at stake in policies that stroke the egos of the wealthy at the expense of the livelihoods of the poor.

Posted by Justin Katz at August 2, 2004 11:33 PM

If the church had not so utterly failed in helping and empowering the poor, this wouldn't even be an issue.

The social programs began under Franklin Roosevelt because the church declined to take any substantive steps to alleviate the tremendous suffering of the Great Depression.

Posted by: Joel Thomas at August 3, 2004 12:49 AM

Thanks for the notice.

Posted by: ELC at August 3, 2004 9:37 AM


Tell me you are kidding.

Are you really saying that the disparity in wealth between the rich and poor, that the hunger and suffering of the needy is due to the lack of involvement of the Church ?

Just so I have this clear, you blame the Church for failing to help and empower the poor. And the Church failed (or didn't care - as you noted) so the government was forced to get involved.

There are so many things wrong with your assertion that I can't even begin to point them all out.

Why not just say it more clearly "Religion->Bad, Government->Good".

Hope you were kidding.

Posted by: Mark Miller at August 3, 2004 10:13 AM

Private and, particularly, religious philanthropy still accounts for a far, far greater portion of total assistance to the world's poor than government outlays. Get your facts straight, Joel.

Posted by: Sage at August 3, 2004 10:21 AM


No, I am not kidding.

Posted by: Joel Thomas at August 3, 2004 11:10 AM


That's a shame.

I'm no fan of the Christian Coalition but to hold religious institutions accountable for the plight of the poor and needy is new height for absurdity.

Posted by: Mark Miller at August 3, 2004 12:05 PM

How exactly is the Church supposed to empower the poor when the government has nearly all the power and Democrats (and unfortunately, too many Republicans) want the government to take more?

Posted by: c matt at August 5, 2004 3:51 PM

Is it possible for one person to ever further themselves from nothing -from being born into nothing and really do it their way - are dreams able to become a reality in their most simplistic form, or are we led to believe that we can do anything, only to be held down again when we get so far - so why teach our children lies?

Posted by: Gem at October 6, 2004 5:28 AM

Posted by: Gem at October 6, 2004 5:37 AM