Kristine Kaiser: Why GOP malice toward the needy?
Remember when George W. Bush was called the “compassionate conservative?” The GOP’s slogan was an attempt to make their candidate gentle. “Compassionate” is a religious word and is a favorite with churchgoers. The Republicans wanted to assert that the Grand Old Party had a heart and cared for the poor and underprivileged.
The days of the Republican’s public relations campaigns are over. The GOP doesn’t worry about its image. The Republicans and their followers now boldly blame the victims. The poor are potential moochers, taking advantage of government. There are “makers,” and there are “takers,” and the needy fit into the latter category. The makers are productive citizens who are always responsible. The GOP only cares for the makers or the people who receive no public assistance. The GOP cares for folks who need nothing and expect nothing from elected officials except a little meanness.
As a left-leaning columnist, I am often surprised at conservative readers’ comments about my writing. However, they don’t often bother me unless I fully process critics’ viewpoints on the poor. Sometimes readers appear to be jealous of the poor, angry about the benefits they receive because they own televisions and microwaves.
Most conservatives would prefer that the American poor have nothing, that they are then reduced to living in mud huts or crowded ghettos. Indeed, some conservatives think that the condition of poverty is about owning or not owning small appliances. That ownership determines how well a person is doing in society. I suggest that living in poverty is about obsessive insecurity, about never having a feeling of rest. Poverty is a condition without any certainty. Will I have a home? Will I have medicine or food? Such uncertainty is a constant source of anxiety. Poverty causes constant unease in souls.
So many conservative comments make it clear to me that the right-wingers do not like the poor. I’m not exaggerating or trying to give the GOP a bad rap. GOPers will now unashamedly come out and voice their disdain for the unfortunate among us. I prefer the fakers, gentle George W. Bushes, who suppose to like the needy, who cry crocodile tears about their plight. As a result of GOPer’s past insincerity, society was more human. While truth-seekers could yell hypocrisy, children would not yet know about the wretchedness of this world and about people who scoff at released hunger statistics.
In my middle-age years, I choose kindly posers over cruel misanthropes. Why can’t we have more compassionate conservatives, a party of them? Why can’t all GOPers be compassionate conservatives? Every GOPer could mimic the former president, could adopt his well-touted public image. GOPers could once again pretend to care.
I try not to overwhelm people with my religious beliefs, but I am a Christian. At my core, I accept certain values. With these, I try to shape the world we live in. Yet, I do have eyes and ears. I understand that the current political climate favors the richest citizens. Our state government is about to cut taxes to benefit the wealthiest North Carolinians, while it has wiped out long-term unemployment benefits for the jobless.
The GOP is no better at the national level. The Republican-led House recently passed a farm bill without provisions for food stamps. Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it reaches his desk. The GOP’s “victory” is a callous legislative move to hurt others.
We were better off with the GOPers’ falseness, when the makers were fakers. There was then the ambiguity of hope. Maybe GOPers did like the poor. Maybe, they didn’t. Who knew? But now we are certain of their unapologetic malice towards the needy.
Kristine Kaiser is a writer living in Kernersville. Contact her for comments at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.