If you are peddling “truth” you can start by calling the Civil War for what it was: the War Against the Federal Government by Some States. It was all about states’ rights and individual liberties only if you believe in the right of a state to hold one group of people in slavery and denying them their individual liberties. Even after they lost the war, the condition or treatment of former slaves didn’t change much. Southerners weren’t going to abandon their states’ rights and phony defense of individual liberties justifications just because they got away with treason.
One could argue that most non slave holders fought in the Civil War because they were duped in the same way that today’s Southern workers are duped into voting against their self interest by the economic descendants of plantation owners. Southern wage earners haven’t learned much, that’s why they continue to be the lowest paid in the country.
Having a doctorate in history, philosophy or anything else does not guarantee open-mindedness, honesty, empathy, tolerance or any other human quality. Nor is it an inoculation against being an ideologue. And it certainly doesn’t confer ownership of truth.
Why is the comment thread to today's Robin Smith's piece not operative?
Why is the comments section to Robin's piece not operative? As long as we are using this thread to comment on it....
“The irony gets so thick that a chainsaw is needed” It does indeed, Robin. A conservative fulminating on a war on compassion! You have no idea what irony is, you rich thing.
But we would expect better manners from a Southern lady columnist writing in a mainstream newspaper than to characterize someone with whom she disagrees as a dog that barks.
What’s the problem with seeing all of the citizens of the United States combined as a community? What other institution do we have which has a responsibility to care about each and everyone of them than the federal government?
Conservatives have shown repeatedly that they only care about some of their fellow citizens. The rest are dogs that bark. God help all of us if they decide to bite.
Tennessee ranks 45th in average income. The result of “fiercely independent” workers individually selling their labor in a union free “right to work state.” Good thing many are too distracted by Republican duplicity to realize that being fiercely independent has no market value, except to employers. Do you also think they are proudly poor?
So, when are we going to see a column about supporting a “fiercely independent” woman’s right to an abortion within the limits set by the Supreme Court? Or supporting a “fiercely independent” lesbian’s right to marry her partner?
Exactly how far does Republican support for “fiercely independent” people go?
And since you seem concerned about excessive compensation, how about a column about the $18.5 million bonus and $1.5 salary for Jamie Dimon (head of taxpayer bailed out JPMorgan-Chase which was fined $1 billion for lack of properly overseeing their traders) as being “excessive”? Or one that decries the fact 4 Walton heirs have more wealth than the bottom 120 million Americans combined while they pay many of their employees so little that they qualify for tax payer funded food stamps. Isn’t that excessive, especially since those four didn’t work a day in their lives for their wealth? Worth a column, don’t you think? Just a suggestion.
soakya: And who is this "an European Psychologist?" I'd like to read more of what she has to say.
Plain Truth: Solution? As long as I can’t afford a lobbyist who can throw money around to get legislation to personally enrich me, a good start would be publicly funded elections.
Maximus: You call the President of the United States “Barry, the Welfare Pimp”, and a “tyrant” which only proves you are nothing but a potty mouthed ignoramus, didn’t your mother teach you manners?
You really believe that you personally control your own economic future and all you have accomplished has been done all by yourself? And you expect anyone to take you seriously? Sorry, but much of what you have achieved is also the result of other people’s hard work and a certain amount of luck. Where one is born and who their parents are is a matter of luck and that has more to do with individual success than individual initiative does. But then, everything is simple for a simpleton.
After WWII the US supported progressive taxation, banking regulation, labor legislation, and investments in education, infrastructure, health care and R&D. Yet despite all these liberal efforts to undermine true American values a prosperous middle class, against all logic, emerged. Fortunately, after Ronald Reagan was elected the US adopted a conservative agenda of trickle-down economics, deregulation, outsourcing and a weakened labor movement. Now the middle class is deservedly disappearing in a nation controlled by right wing wackos financed by multibillionaires and elected by ignoramouses. The way God intended it to be.
Thankfully, we still have smart people like Soakya, conservative, Plain Truth, Jesse, Reardon, Maximus, et al who know that our country’s current problems are the fault of “libertards” and can support their beliefs with “logic”. And they're so polite.
I’m sure the Waltons who, through their personal hard work alone, (more logic) control greater wealth than over 100 million Americans at the bottom of the wealth scale combined, are grateful for their support. Makes it easier for them to steal even more.
n.b. Don't you love Reardon’s “I could show you [how correct I am] but I shan’t. Shan’t!? No, you mean “can’t” otherwise you would. For instance, you really can show us how the State had nothing to do with the wealth of the Waltons? They earned it all by themselves? You can do that? Really? Had nothing to do with favorable tax laws, favorable regulatory rules, favorable court decisions? Really? Then do it or shut up.
And precisely why do you choose to be a conservative? Do remind us.
soakya, you mean like convincing Christians to stick to the 10 Commandments, as they are written?
Both Ms Benkiser and you don’t appreciate the real genius of the Constitution. Neither of you seem to be familiar with history either: even the people who wrote the Constitution couldn't agree on what it meant.
FDR’s so-called “departure” from the Constitution was in reality his interpretation of its intent. “Evading the Constitution”, like “departure” from it, means interpreting it in a way that doesn’t benefit whoever is making the accusation. Contrary to Ms Benkiser assertion, it was precisely a large civil government which enacted and enforced regulations that curbed the excesses of the wealthy class and created a prosperous middle class. That trend ended around the time of the election of Ronald Reagan when his view of the Constitution gained ascendency. Since then the once huge middle class has been shrinking and a much smaller wealthy class has been becoming ever more prosperous. Same Constitution, different interpretation, different results.
The Constitution, with a few modifications, hasn't lasted for more than 225 years because the conditions under which it was written haven't changed during those years. It’s still relevant because it was meant to be interpreted by each generation of Americans in order to solve the problems and meet the challenges of their time. The “tortured” interpretation of the Constitution Ms. Benkiser laments is one that curbs the greed and power of the currently powerful obscenely wealthy class.
"Deficits don't matter."
Vice President Dick Cheney