September 28, 2011
Compassion is perhaps one of the greatest characteristics anyone can have. It’s what helps us build communities beyond our family. Compassion allows us to empathize with others, to see past our own greed and self-interest, and give help to those who need it.
As you can imagine, the Republican Party wants none of that.
And I’m not talking in hyperbole. Republicans genuinely believe that compassion for others is a sign of weakness. For a party that is so entrenched in American religious demographics, they have a funny way of showing it. In Texas, one of the most red states in the union, we’ve done away with last meals for death row inmates. Why? At first, it seemed as if it was a cost issue. After all, the last straw seemed to be an outlandish meal served to a man convicted of a hate killing.
Of course, the rationale had nothing to do with cost. It was about principle, said Texas Senator John Whitmore. I’ll admit that giving this particular inmate any sort of accommodation irks me, but there is enough uncertainty in the practice of executing prisoners that the smallest bit of compassion should be ruled out. Enough people have been found innocent at the last minute. Texas has executed prisoners and is proud of it. Our own governor got cheers when he said he never loses sleep over an execution.
And people wonder why we didn’t actually put our state motto on the license plates.
It’s “Friendship,” by the way, but good luck actually finding a Texan that knows that.
On the other side of things, Republicans seem positively giddy at the prospect of people dying from a lack of heath care. Ron Paul received cheers when Brain Williams asked if people should be allowed to die simply because they cannot afford insurance. The audience cheered and Paul didn’t give an answer so much as he went on and on about not giving people aid is the most compassionate thing we could do.
Let that sink in. Not offering aid to people, doing things like taking away social security, Medicare, and Medicaid so the poor and elderly die on the streets, is the best thing we could do for them, because letting them die like dogs lets them live the full extent of the choices they made regardless of external factors.
But then, of course, you have Rush Limbaugh. The man is an institution. Or he has enough mass for orbiting satellites. Either way, he takes the cake. Listen to this:
If you skipped it because you were afraid the sound of Limbaugh’s voice might curdle all the milk within two hundred feet of you, he flat-out said that compassion has crippled us as a society. Then he went into full projection mode and claimed Democrats want an ignorant, poor society, ignoring the fact that progressives often champion things such as more education.
Seriously, though, if you can, just listen to this man. Compassion hurts us because we give to those who have nothing and make them dependant. I’m sure Rush would also argue against life guards since helping someone who is drowning robs the victim of the chance to really learn how to swim.
There are times when it is appropriate to show compassion. Being humble, knowing that we might be wrong, is what keeps us grounded. Allowing someone to die when we can, as a society, help that person is cold. It may seem “rational” to give everyone the freedom to die if they lack the thousands of dollars it takes to treat a disease, but it’s not freedom. “Compassion” is not a weakness. It’s what seperates us from animals that just hang around for the sake of survival.
And even though I don’t know if this guy is a Republican, I’m just going to thrown him in with the rest of these evolutionary throwbacks. Why? He explains why traders actually look forward to the economy collapsing and how they don’t want a balanced economy; they want chaos to make more money.