Monday, February 28, 2005

I was wondering when something like this article, "What Would Jesus Cut," would come out. RealClear Politics points out an article that cuts to the chase on why I see the Republican coalition being fundamentally unstable: Christianity, which espouses an altruist ethics, is incompatible with capitalism. For fellow Objectivists, there's no real need to read all of it. I'll quote the most important parts here.

Immoral. That's what several religious groups are calling President Bush's latest budget. The charge has political ramifications. It threatens to undermine some of Mr. Bush's support from voters concerned with values. But it also raises a deep question: Can budgets be moral or immoral? Is that really how the nation's spending plan should be judged? This emerging challenge is turning the "values" debate on its head. Liberals are putting policy issues in moral terms. Conservatives are resisting it.

This is really bad. Most of our culture accepts some form of the idea that the moral and the practical are not the same thing. Why? Because this idea stems directly from the mind-body dichotomy. "Idealists" -- bright-eyed liberals and religious folk alike -- will take the "moral" side of this false dichotomy while amoral "realists" will take the "practical" side. It is obvious that the "idealists" will tank the economy, but the "realists" will, too. Sooner or later, they'll either make a concession to the idealists for some range-of-the-moment gain or they'll be unable to defend why a cut should be made. And look who's seizing the moral high ground: the liberals. This is a lose-lose situation in the short term. Either certain religious groups will defect to the Democrats, especially if the latter cave on issues like abortion, or the Republicans will begin scuttling the better parts of their agenda to keep the religious right in the fold. Either way, we get a "best-of-breed" party from hell: the social agenda of the Christian right and the socialistic one of the left.

Meanwhile, Bush is still trying to have it both ways.

In his State of the Union address early this month, Bush argued that the 150 programs he wants cut or axed "are not getting results, or duplicate current efforts, or do not fulfill essential priorities.... Taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all."

So if we're "getting results," it's OK for Uncle Sam to take my money and give it to someone else? This is where a feeble rationale will get you when only a moral case will do.

And then there's this. Who said the New Deal and its Christian foundation are dead?

He and others from his group - as well as a sister organization, Sojourners - have met with Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress. They have launched a nationwide "grassroots network" and plan a bus tour across the country to put pressure on Congress "to raise awareness of poverty as a religious and electoral issue."

"Spending more money on nuclear warheads and tax cuts that benefit the rich is not a strategy that would be affirmed by the biblical prophets," states one message to Sojourner supporters. It urges them to e-mail complaints to Congress.

What the hey? Read the whole article, if you can stand it! Better to be sick at your stomach now than blindsided later. Ayn Rand always said conservatives were worse than liberals. Sadly, she's right.

-- CAV

No comments: