When I read back through my blog, I am struck by how at each conservative jag to the right, I was stunned by their lack of compassion. This all started in 2000 when during a good economic time, all conservatives could focus on was tax cuts. Not helping people. Not building things. Not taking care of our parks or our research. Tax cuts. Gimme.
It got worse. Compassionate conservative George Bush told people to go shopping to fight terrorism, but refused to ask Americans to pay more taxes for his wars. Or his Medicare Part D. Or anything.
Fast forward to 2009 when Republican priorities after the crash were to see that Obama was not reelected. Not to fix the economy, or get people back to work. Stop the black Democrat from being reelected. 2010, they decided that expanding healthcare was either fascism or communism, or that Obama was like Hitler. They openly lied about death panels to the point that reasonable people I know believed they were in the bill.
Yesterday, I read about Arkansas Republicans gleefully planning to take back the Medicaid expansion, meaning that people who had coverage last year won't next year. And the Republicans are happy about that. Harvard study says that thousands will die because of the unwillingness to expand, but Republicans insist that if they allow it, Obama will get the credit. And they cannot have that. Cruz, Rubio and Mike Lee are all urging the court to not allow federal subsidies to people in states that haven't formed their own exchanges. No cost to the state, just spite. We won't set up an exchange and we don't want people to have healthcare. About that simple.
I read about a man on food stamps. He used to be a plumber, but then had a stroke. He is just a few years older than me. Now disabled and can't work, he relies on food stamps to eat. His food stamps run out with 10 days left in the month, and he knows that the farm bill will reduce that by more. I go to the grocery store every day to prep for dinner. He can't buy food for 1/3 of the month.
Here in Oklahoma, our governor wants to cut taxes on the rich from 5.25% down to 5%. We have a budget shortfall. She still wants to cut taxes. And pay for that tax cut by cutting public art, history, and of course, healthcare for the poor. Who does that? Who looks at the well-heeled and comfortable and says, let's give them more money, but those people who don't go to doctors at all because they can't afford care? They need fewer services.
My Republican friends still stun me. I get their opposition to abortion. I get that they are fearful of gay marriage and cultural shifts. I get that they fear the government getting too big. I get that they fear the Mexicans are taking over. I even get their fear of Muslim extremists.
But I do not get, nor will I ever get, their acquiescence in the face of cruelty to the poor and the sick, especially for those who speak often of Jesus. This isn't rocket science. If Christianity doesn't care about the sick and the poor then Christianity is no longer a religion or a belief system. If their God cares more about teaching bad science and forcing kids to pray in school than he does about hungry children--then he is not God.