The Right vs. the 20th Century

There can always be progress. Belief in perfection is belief in the absurd.

October 20, 2010

Glenn Beck needs either a dictionary or a history book. Probably both.

He, along with the Tea Party and everyone on the far right, seems to think that progressivism is evil because our Founders got it right the first time. The Declaration of Independence spells it out, says Beck. Behold, ladies and gentlemen, one of the most near-sighted historical analyzes you’ll ever read:

According to Beck, Progressivism is a lie because trying to improve on the work of a bunch of dead white guys who’ve been dead for two hundred years is impossible. Can’t be done. Anything added to the Constitution is socialism, control, and eventually slavery.

Okay… time for another history lesson, boys and girls. We’ll keep this to just two topics for today.

through the veins of history by =Larbesta on deviantART

The Ponzi Scheme that Isn’t

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are one of the Right’s biggest targets. They say that it’s bankrupt, that it’s unsustainable (neither is true), and that having to pay for other people’s medical bills is like stealing. They want to do away with it. Beck most famously keeps saying that the program is socialist, the whole taking care of the individual, so it should never have been created.

Okay, fine. We, as a society, decided to help the infirm, elderly, and those who cannot take care of themselves and that’s socialism so it’s evil. Okay then.

Give the money back.

No, seriously. I’ve been paying Social Security out of my paychecks for years. If we’re going to do away with it, give us all a refund. As you can see in the links, the programs are good for another 70 years, so if my grandparents can’t receive that money back in their later years, money they earned and was put away by the government, then just give us all a refund and we’ll figure it out.

Some are More Equal Than Others

“All men are created equal,” is not the same as “Everyone is created equal.”

Whenever I hear Michelle Bachmann say she wants to go back to an America of 200 years ago, she’s basically saying she’d like to not be able to vote. Blacks didn’t have a voice in the government. They had a whisper, and most were still property. Slavery was legal.

When our Founders wrote that all men created equal, it really meant “rich white men.” Let’s not tip-toe around the issue. In fact, they were really elitist, even by today’s standards.

The fact that we even needed a law that stated that people could not discriminate based on sex, race, or any other factor is proof that our country was in a very bad place. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t march because he needed to stretch his legs. He marched because our country needed to change.

MsGothje meet Founding Fathers by ~MsGothje on deviantART

Faith is Not Wisdom

I’ve said it a dozen other times on this site: faith is blind. Faith means having trust in something without proof. Faith can pull you through difficult times, but it can also blind you to the truth.

Here’s a hard fact: the Founders, whether wise old men or tough-as-nails revolutionaries, were men. They were human.

They could make mistakes like the rest of us. The only way we can move forward is by experience, objective analysis, and the acknowledgement that we are all human and make mistakes. Things can always get better. The Declaration of Independence has a beautiful sentiment, but it can be better.

Adhere to it, or any other dogma, as though it were infallible, and you will miss real progress, real change, and real ideas that could save the world. The Founders’ ideas are a good start.

I think we can do better.

The American Dream by ~bauderart on deviantART

Link time, boys and girls!

  • Did you know that Hitler, and not Jefferson in a letter that expressed his views of faith and government, came up with the term “separation of church and state”? I was shocked, too. Oh, the things you can learn from Republicans.
  • Is it possible to have government without the Founders? Maybe. it’s apparently very possible to have morals without God.
  • If you needed any reason that Mister Rogers was one of the most awesome people ever, take a look at this list. My personal favorite is the one about the thieves that returned his property with a letter of apology.
  • And finally, while I never played or liked Pokemon, I have to say I’d probably watch this for the sheer cheese factor. Enjoy!

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