Seize 'Compassion' from the Left in 2014
Lest I get a letter from a Curia official on behalf of Pope Francis rebuking me for my effort to call out compassion this year, let me offer a quick explanation. The call is for liberty-lovers to campaign against the left's cynical use of compassion. Why, this should win favor from His Holiness, since Jesus Christ was foursquare against hypocrisy.
The left here and across the globe have profited handsomely for years from the hijacking of compassion and its misbegotten applications, in service far less to the unfortunate than in service to leftist power-building and grubby self-interest. Compassion housed in big government can result in little more (ah, yes, there was Soviet mass murder and squalor).
This being an election year, it's time to wrest "compassion" from the progressives (yet a further corruption of language, for what is "progressive" about the dark statist impulse?).
This isn't to suggest that the right try to out-compassion the left. That's a losing proposition, though I imagine RINOs' eyes twinkling at the thought. No, the right's aim is to shine a spotlight on the hypocrisy that the left provides daily in abundance. It's important to show (not just tell) voters that there's a gaping disconnect between the left's words and actions. The left's intentions, hardly good, are paving stones to hell. The ObamaCare fiasco has given the right an historic opening.
The goal -- admittedly ambitious and not to be realized fully immediately -- is the delegitimization of liberalism and its handmaiden Democratic Party. The aim is to strip away an indispensible cover to reveal to voters the inner workings of leftist politics, which is about power and its acquisition; spoils and their distribution to the favored; status and money, both of which cause the left to salivate as heartily as any Wall Street wolf.
Keep in mind that compassion is one of the three legs that the entire liberal Ponzi scheme rests upon. The other two legs are "justice" and "fairness," which can and should be undercut. But compassion tends to resonate with voters at a gut-level; it leads the other two in the left's ongoing assault upon liberty.
Using the old saying that a "picture is worth a thousand words," conservatives running for public office, high and low, and conservative voter education groups need to employ a simple tactic to start the process of stripping away liberals' compassion scam. The tactic takes the form a question: "Is this compassion?" The applications for this question are nearly inexhaustible, and in this day and age, touch almost every life in some way.
The question should be affixed not only to leftist boondoggles, to examples of liberal phoniness at the expense of hard-working Americans and the disadvantaged, who are allegedly the beneficiaries of liberals' redistributionist ploys, but to the champions of hoax compassion themselves, the candidates and their causes.
This is, after all, a war -- a war for liberty's future (if liberty is to have one, in fact). Going after Democratic candidates to reveal their hypocrisies is fair game, as much as conservatives have been and will be game, characterized as Scrooges or much worse, people who care not a fig for the down-on-their-luck and poor. The big difference is that the right needn't resort to lies and defamation; conservatives need only tell the truth about their opponents, confidently, unflinchingly, relentlessly.
Before we delve more into busting up the left's compassion racket, let's take a brief look at compassion, the definition and concept.
Here's a simple definition of "compassion" from Merriam-Webster:
sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it
Genuine compassion is critical to appreciating the human condition and to civilization itself. But nowhere in any definition is government prescribed as the means of expressing compassion (outside leftist tracts). Compassion can have many expressions (including "tough love"), but those expressions arise from the individual or groups that voluntarily band together to turn sympathy into efforts to lessen distress.
This from BibleStudyTools.com:
That (human) disposition that fuels Acts of kindness and mercy. Compassion, a form of love, is aroused within us when we are confronted with those who suffer or are vulnerable. Compassion often produces action to alleviate the suffering....
Expropriating money or resources from the many to fatten bank accounts of elites and trickle down assistance to the disadvantaged has little, if anything, to do with compassion. The act of "expropriating" has everything to do with another "C" word, "compulsion."
What underlies "compassion through government" is force. The mechanics of oxymoronic governmental compassion serve a sinister end: to create and sustain an elite that benefits richly from overseeing and running government.
The "Government Compassion Act" of 20th Century America was particularly compassionate to the likes of Lyndon Baines Johnson, a once dirt-poor Texas lad who parlayed elective office into a fortune. How about former Governor Bill Clinton and Hillary lining their pockets in Arkansas? Bill's made $106 million alone on the mashed potato circuit since leaving the presidency in 2001. How about all those affluent bureaucrats and government contractors residing in Washington's suburbs?
Today, Democrats and Republicans make tidy sums in and after holding office: congressional pay isn't chump change, and the benefits are handsome (as are the pensions), and afterwards, on boards, as consultants and lobbyists, in media, in law practices related to government, and in various other ways.
Finally, there's an argument to be made for the Catholic "Principle of Subsidiarity." See this explanation from the Acton Institute:
One of the key principles of Catholic social thought is known as the principle of subsidiarity. This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization. In other words, any activity which can be performed by a more decentralized entity should be. This principle is a bulwark of limited government and personal freedom. It conflicts with the passion for centralization and bureaucracy characteristic of the Welfare State.
This is why Pope John Paul II took the "social assistance state" to task in his 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus. The Pontiff wrote that the Welfare State was contradicting the principle of subsidiarity by intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility. This "leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending."
The question "Is this compassion?" needs to be more expressly applied to ObamaCare's failures, showing real people who are suffering or are about to suffer from higher insurance costs, loss of coverage and doctors, and so forth. More ObamaCare troubles lie ahead. Fear is a justifiable motivator.
Is it compassion for able-bodied Americans to subsist on unemployment or work multiple part time jobs to make ends meet? Let's meet them and ask.
Then there are Detroits of varying sizes in almost every state. Detroit and its sister failures have been testing grounds for the decades-old liberal experiment. Conservative groups should offer visuals in front of crumbling factories and dilapidated homes and bulldozed neighborhoods. At public schools more warehouses for the young - if that - than institutions of education. At public housing, which are yet more warehousing and centers of drug-related, gang, and other crime. In front of welfare agencies, whose policies have shattered families or prevent their formations, skyrocketing illegitimacy, creating generational poverty and hopelessness.
Dare say, in nearly every working or middle class community across the nation there are at least the beginnings of the pathologies that exist in inner cities. The cancer of liberal faux compassion needs to be connected to the lives of voters who have an unease yet aren't quite making the connections.
For the 2014 elections, the aims are 1) to take the fight to liberals, undercutting their compassion propaganda, thereby energizing conservative voters; 2) discourage the left's base voters; 3) to inform the electorate's persuadables, particularly the young, perhaps winning their votes - or, at least, planting seeds of doubt. After all, the delegitimization of liberalism is a long term project.