posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 12:43 PM
Following the election, we’ve been hearing for nearly a month now about the woes of the Republican party and the need for it to re-invent itself;
that it’s “losing touch”. One primary reason “they” cite is the consistency gap between economic and personal liberty in Republican
ideology. For instance, the state shouldn’t regulate the market, but it can and should regulate what you do with your body and who you do it with.
Pundits and critics have been pointing to this inconsistency as a primary cause of electoral disenfranchisement for years.
What is rarely, if ever, discussed is the consistency gap between the Republican values of promoting self-reliance and achieving sustained economic
growth. In other words, when Republicans (or either party, really, but Republicans in particular) extoll the virtues of self-reliance the words ring
very hollow, and I suspect more and more people are waking up to that, calling it out for the BS it is. Here’s what got me thinking…
I was in line at the supermarket this morning and the woman ahead of me used her EBT card (food stamps, although they avoid calling it that
anymore—they change the language every time negative connotations become associated with a term) as payment. She had just purchased a case of
Pepsi, two boxes of Hamburger Helper, one… tube of ground “beef” (or whatever that stuff is), a gallon of milk, a bag of fun-sized Oh! Henrys
and, of course, some “organic” yellow onions.
As her 300-lb. frame and proportional fingers struggled to input her PIN while managing her cell phone and leashed 4-year-old child, a thought
occurred to me that might be helpful to a Republican party struggling with the balance between continuing relevancy and adherence to core principles.
As a disclaimer, I really don’t care (and would probably delight in the occurrence) if the Republican party—and political systems in general, for
that matter—goes the way of the dodo or not. When that happens, not if, is the question anyway. I’m just trying to be helpful, for what it’s
Instead of food stamps—that is, giving people other people’s money to buy “food”—I thought it might be a good idea to send those who are
dependent on government assistance a big box of MREs (rations), a big box of seeds, and a bag of dirt. The rations will get them through a season
until what they’ve grown can begin to bear fruit. They would be taught self-reliance (a Republican value) while promoting community-based ecologic
sustainability (a Democrat value) and healthier lifestyles (hopefully a value present in both parties, although I’m not sure). A forward-thinking,
bipartisan solution with minimal ideological compromise, right?
But it would never happen.
Let’s set aside for a moment how this illustrates the absurdity of dependence on anything outside yourself to procure the needs for your own
survival. After all, seeds are free anyway if you know where to look and have a little patience. There isn’t really any need for a state program.
Mother Nature does all the real work. Plants basically grow themselves for free, and all they ask in return is that you take care of the soil—which
is ridiculously easy even in urban environments, if only we would realize that which we had once known and lost.
Returning to a political context, welfare reform such as this would never happen because people becoming self-reliant en masse poses a systemic threat
to the robbery of human dignity we call an “economy”, so there’s no way Republicans (or Democrats) would ever go for something like this. The
more self-reliant we are as individuals, the less dependent we are on the goods and services offered by others, be it in the market or from the state.
Sustained self-sufficiency and perpetual economic growth are not compatible, yet Republicans claim them as two core principles of their philosophy.
They don’t want you dependent on the government; they want you dependent on the corporations. It is still dependency, the anathema of true human
liberty, therefore there is little difference between the two (as if there is any substantive division between the state and the corporations in the
Perhaps Republicans would be better-served by an honest critical analysis of the contradictions within their own philosophy than they would through
minor positional reforms, as such inconsistencies seem to be many. Food stamps are, realistically, nothing more than state subsidies to corporations
who make processed chemical garbage, call it food, and sell it as such. If we eliminated such subsidies by making the sustenance aspect of welfare
self-sustaining (i.e., if people didn’t have to use the stolen money they get from the government to purchase the corporation’s products),
corporations such as these would go bankrupt and the economy would likely collapse.
They say they value self-reliance, yet are beholden to a system that makes such a lifestyle largely impossible. I think many people are finally
starting to see this hypocrisy. Your thoughts?