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Eric Zuesse

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The Philosophical War Between Democrats And Republicans

Posted: 04/15/2013 2:10 pm

Several recent news reports at huffingtonpost highlight the wide and unbridgeable gulf between the values respectively of Republicans and Democrats - basically, these two Parties are like two warring camps.

On April 15th, Luke Johnson headlined "Rob Woodall: Mitt Romney Was Right About '47 Percent' Statistic," and he reported that "Woodall (R-Ga.) said Mitt Romney was correct in his infamous '47 percent' statistic, adding that Americans need to pay taxes to participate in the political process." Rep. Woodall had asserted at a town hall event, "You know, folks mock Mitt Romney for what he said, but he's right. Forty-seven percent of American citizens pay zero in income taxes." Woodall ignored why they do, such as their being below income-thresholds, or being retired, or being military, or (at the other end) their having taken a capital-gains loss that wiped out the nominal income for that particular year - even if other of their investments had actually gained even more in value during that same year and their wealth had thus actually grown, instead of gone down. Woodall ignored the lobby-shaped injustices that litter the federal income-tax code, and he basically just assumed that people who vote in federal elections should be required to prove that they had paid federal income tax the prior year. Furthermore, he ignored that lots of people who aren't paying federal income tax are paying sales and other taxes, which might collectively constitute a higher overall percentage-rate than the overall percentage-rate that's being paid by some individuals who do pay a federal income tax. There were lots of false assumptions crammed into Woodall's excuse for Romney's ugly, and even repulsive, comment.

Luke Johnson went on to note that, "Woodall's argument echoed one made by Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.) during her run for president." Bachmann had said that, "everyone can afford to pay at least" ten dollars in federal income taxes each year, and should be required to do so in order to have any federal rights whatsoever. She said that tax-breaks should instead go to "the true people who know how to create jobs." Her assumption was that the richest people are the worthiest, and aren't merely the ones who - by hook or by crook perhaps - happen to be the wealthiest.

Republicans (such as Bachman) frequently cite as "authority" such biblical passages as these:

In "Matthew" 10:24, "Jesus" says: "A student is never superior to the teacher, just as a slave is never superior to the slave-master. It is sufficient for the student to aspire to become a teacher, and for the slave to aspire to become a slave-master." This "Jesus" accepts slavery, and also accepts the rights of slave-masters.

In "Matthew" 13:12, "Jesus" directly instructs his disciples, that, in the Kingdom of Heaven, "The person who has something will be given still more, until he possesses more than enough; but the person who has nothing will find even that taken away from him."

In "Matthew" 25:29-30, "Jesus" tells a parable of the Kingdom of Heaven, a realm where: "To every person who has something, even more will be given, until he possesses more than enough; but the person who has nothing will find even that taken away from him. And unproductive slaves will be thrown outside into the darkness, where there is want and weeping."

In 2 Thessalonians (which is one of the almost certainly forged documents that was palmed off by biblical writers as having been written by Paul) 3:10, "Paul" says: "Whoever refuses to work must not be permitted to eat." That's Republicanism in a nutshell.

Conservatives believe what they want to believe; and they don't want to believe such biblical "quotations" from "Jesus" as: ("Luke" 6:20) "Blessed are the poor, for theirs is God's Kingdom"; and ("Matthew" 19:24) "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God." Those types of "quotations" of "Jesus" are instead believed by the liberal religious people.

And that gets us to a huffingtonpost article by Paige Lavender, "Elizabeth Warren Responds To Criticism Of Social Security Email." Conservatives had complained that the progressive Democratic Senator, Elizabeth Warren, from Massachusetts, was favoring her poor brother over strangers, when Warren had cited the plight of her brother as exemplifying why the proposal by the self-proclaimed "Democratic" President, Barack Obama, regarding Social Security, should be rejected by Congress. Republicans liked Obama's proposal to pay for the ongoing Wall Street bailouts, and resulting federal deficits, partly by cutting benefits that will be paid to recipients of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. After all, this happened to be an Obama proposal that wasn't aiming to take that money from the "job creators" - much less from the Wall Street Dons that Senator Warren is so famous for condemning, but that neither Republicans nor conservative Democrats (such as Obama) blame for the nation's economic problems: those men who are supposedly "Too Big To Fail." A Republican (in this case a "reporter" from Rupert Murdoch's Fox 25 "News" channel in Boston, aiming to take down Senator Warren) said, contemptuously of Senator Warren, "not everyone has a sister who can help," and thus he turned Warren into a virtual paradigm of elitism, playing on conservative Know-Nothings' resentment against "eggheads" and "Harvard professors," and playing upon their favoring instead the "common man" type of guy, such as Wall Street's darling Senator Scott Brown, whom she had so ignominiously defeated in 2012. To conservatives, the evil "elite" aren't the aristocrats and their stooges who want to transfer the aristocracy's investment losses onto the general public, but are instead middle-class people such as Elizabeth Warren who have emerged to become among Harvard's most highly regarded teachers, and who (unlike some other Harvard professors, who favor Republicans) try to block those transfers.

Conservatives just crave evil people as leaders. Liberals don't know which side they stand on. And progressives detest evil people as leaders.

This is the real "culture war," and it cannot be solved by compromise; it will inevitably be solved by victory for one side, and defeat for the other, until the tables become reversed again. The good people had dominated when Franklin Delano Roosevelt came into power until Ronald Reagan came into power, and now we still have the Reagan side dominant, but now under the "Democratic" President Obama, who praises Reagan's English equivalent, Margaret Thatcher, by saying that, "we carry on the work to which she dedicated her life," and that, "many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan," presumably referring, there, to both of these far-right leaders having, for example, supported and praised the fascist dictator of Chile, General Augusto Pinochet, who took power there by assassinating the popular democratically elected pro-democratic Chilean President Salvador Allende and by exterminating liberals and leftists. As I have documented elsewhere, President Obama similarly supports the fascist generals who perpetrated a coup against the popular democratically elected President of Honduras in 2009. So, Obama really is in line with Reagan and Thatcher and their support of death squads and fascists.

Liberals will have to choose a side. Obama seems to have now clearly chosen his.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

 
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