I have a singular guiding principle for my morality, and its the oldest and IMO best human expression for determining right from wrong. People know it as the golden rule.
'Do unto others as you would have them do to you'
For me personally, this framework manifests itself in various ways but the two ways that are most prevalent and important to my political views and then discussing this ideology are empathy and intellectual honesty (otherwise known as 'not being a hypocrite').
And its these two notions that form the foundation of my distaste and lack of respect for so-called conservatives in general and most modern republicans in particular. The ways in which Cons are un-empathetic and hypocritical are myriad but I'm going to just show one right now. Follow me below the fold for more.
This heading at the Washington Post came across my twitter feed (it was retweeted, I do not follow the neo-liberal and corporate propaganda account that is The Post):
Bruce Bartlett @BruceBartlett 2hI bit. And as I was reading, I came across a paragraph that perfectly demonstrates the depth of conservative intellectual dishonesty and dissonance. The article was written by:
Former GW Bush adviser: Hire a million new bureaucrats--More workers, better government http://wapo.st/...
By John J.DiIulio Jr. August 29 at 1:47 PMhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/...
John J. DiIulio Jr., a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the National Academy of Public Administration, served as the first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under President George W. Bush. He is the author of “Bring Back the Bureaucrats,” from which this essay is adapted.
Its not even that I disagree with the basic premise of the article because the conclusions are quite realistic even though they are tarnished by his conservative bent. Here is the paragraph in question:
Post-1960 Federal America has become a grotesque Leviathan by proxy, in which an expanding mass of state and local government workers, for-profit contractors, and nonprofit grant recipients administers a vast portion of federal money and responsibilities. Beginning in the 1960s, the War on Poverty, the Vietnam War, and growing public demands for Washington to do more on issues from street crime and health care to environmental protection and veterans affairs led to government’s expansion.He describes the Federal Govt in typical Con fashion by using the phrase "grotesque leviathan", and he goes on to say that all the various things the federal Govt does for society were a result of the "growing public demands for Washington to do more on issues..."
So let me get this straight, the Federal Govt has an unlimited supply of money and it has grown along with the wishes and needs of a growing and changing public. And this is bad how? For a party that regularly touts its love of freedom and democracy, how can the Govt expression of the public will be so hated?
This is what I love about MMT or Modern Monetary Theory. For the most part, MMT simply describes the operations of a modern monetary system, but it does so through the lens of serving public purpose. And this is why its so critical for the progressive community to understand how the financial system and thus federal finances work. Because without the backdrop of a shortage of fiat money (as if that was possible) and so-called "debt" politics almost the entire foundation for conservative political goals falls apart. We The People are the Govt, its here to service us, not the other way around. And if we want to spend some of our unlimited financial resources to invest in ourselves and our future, then there is nothing stopping us but our own misunderstandings.
Conservatives love the idea of Govt when it does things they agree with, like discriminating against non-whites and the poor or displaying our military might. But when it comes to making society better for everyone, all of sudden, the Govt is a "grotesque leviathan". Its hypocrisy combined with a failure to have any empathy at all. And its not the modus operandi of the America public at large. More than anything, the fear of deficits and "debt" is what keeps the public from adopting and thus implementing progressive policies that serve the public purpose. But once we take those tools of fear away from the Cons, they will have nothing left but their bigotry and small-mindedness to stand on.
‘As sole manufacturers of dollars whose debt is denominated in the dollar, the US government can never become insolvent ie. unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational. Moreover, there will always be a market for US government debt at home because the US government has the only means of creating risk-free dollar-denominated assets.’https://www.stlouisfed.org/...