Republican Senators have defeated a U.N. treaty favoring the fair treatment of people with disabilities worldwide, even though wounded WW II veteran, former senator and Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole sat "slumped" in his wheelchair on the Senate floor in support of it, a parallel to the Americans with Disabilities Act which he had co-sponsored.
"We did it," Rick Santorum gleefully tweeted after the rejection he urged.
We don't need Steven Spielberg's moving film to remind us that Republicans are far from the party of Lincoln, passionate about the most vulnerable. As former Republican Governor Jeb Bush has indicated, they're not even the party of Ronald Reagan or his father, George Bush. They have become more like the party of Ayn Rand, if Rand had become a reactionary Christian.
Social anthropologists have long defined civilization as societies which took care of the most vulnerable among them. How civilized are we?
"God bless us, everyone." No, Tiny Tim, that's collectivism, that's caring for the losers as well as the winners, that's socialism and communism -- and Christianity.
Strangely, those who most want us to "remain" a Christian nation are those most opposed to the principles of Jesus: Welcome strangers. Love your neighbor. Feed the hungry. Care for the battered and sick, those with disabilities, the outcast, the imprisoned and the oppressed. Sell what you have and give to the poor. It is more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.
"Are there no prisons? No poor houses?" Scrooge asked the altruistic souls collecting donations for the impoverished. Upon discovering the underprivileged would rather die than be in such places, Scrooge declared, "Let them die and decrease the excess population."
As the U.S. approaches the fiscal cliff, when Republicans would rather protect the very rich than give assistance to veterans, retirees, people with illness or disabilities, the unemployed, and rather than continue tax breaks for the vast majority of Americans, we need to address them as Reagan did Gorbachev regarding the Berlin Wall, demanding, "Mr. McConnell and Mr. Boehner, tear down this fiscal cliff!"
This vote against fairness for people with disabilities is the fitting metaphor for a Republican Party that has lost its way, pushing Tiny Tim off the fiscal cliff.
Copyright © 2012 by Chris R. Glaser. Permission granted for publication in The Huffington Post and for non-profit use with attribution of author and his blogsite.
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