Monday, September 10, 2012

"We're All In This Together," By A Republican Standing In Four Feet Of Floodwater

I was reading Atlas Shrugged when the power went out. That's when the roof collapsed, and my cell went dark, and I could hear the weirdly high-pitched screams of those trapped people that sounded like music from hell itself. Anyway, it gave me some time to think about things.

You know what? I believe America is great, because we fight for individual liberty. But we're also great when we pull together and help each other out. That's an important aspect of our national character too. It's what I just realized three or four hours ago, when I ran out of potable water.

An expression of this sense of community is our government. It's one thing to be critical of it, but it's quite another to say that government is always the enemy. I for one would be really, really happy to see some federal workers right about now. Especially if they brought antibiotics.

A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away - that's what Ronald Reagan said, and it's true. But having a government big enough to buy some rescue helicopters wouldn't be so bad, would it?

Many of my fellow Republicans have been saying we should roll back regulations, and let businesses make money so they can power our economy. I get that. But some regulations are necessary. Like that contractor who offered the lowest bid on the storm water drainage system. The government definitely should have regulated him. It should have regulated the hell out of him.

I still think we needed to make those budget cuts Paul Ryan wanted. We did that for our kids. But I've been doing some soul-searching after standing in my own urine for most of the night, and I've come to the conclusion that maybe raising some of those tax rates could have helped us cut a bit less of the important stuff, like funds for FEMA and equipment for first responders. It could be the hypothermia talking here, but maybe we should have let the Democrats have that one.

I guess I'm just rethinking my whole philosophy about the relationship between the individual and society as a whole. We don't just create every opportunity for ourselves by hard work and sheer willpower. We exist as part of an interdependent network of people - real human beings whose basic needs should be our concern, if we want to be a part of a society. That's why I truly believe we have to move beyond the selfishness of pure capitalism, and why I think you all should let me on your raft so I don't die.

(NOTE: This is dedicated to DMH, mostly because I stole the idea from him.)

11 comments:

  1. This has been here for two weeks without a comment? For shame. Because it was brilliant.

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    1. It's a shame it took something so devastating happening to this person for this individual to understand something many of us have been saying for some time. We need community and we accomplish much more when we all contribute to the, yes, welfare of that community. The points are well taken and agreed with but I would encourage the writer to examine how those "cuts" he still supports will affect the greater community. Not all should be on the table.

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  2. You got linked by Patrick Nielsen Hayden at "Making Light." Congrats! Awesome post.

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  3. Hilarious. I changed my political philosophy after Katrina, so I know whereof you speak...

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  4. Too bad it usually takes a monumental event in a Republicans life to realize their philosophy is a myth.

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  5. I loved it when Bill O denied to Stewart that the entirety of Levittown had be built by government subsidies.

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  6. Every republican voter would have to really live through republican policies to see that they are a bullcrap ideology. Until then, the poor red states vote republican, and I would love to see the look on their faces when they realize that THEY are the very MOOCHERS that the republicans are always talking about.

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  7. Sadly, Republicans only seem to gain "empathy" when it impacts them personally. Think Dick Cheney and gay rights or Nancy Reagan and stem cells. I guess it's not really empathy then, is it?

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  8. Brilliant - with a caveat - "the government should only rescue ME." A coworker is a single mom on so many government programs she carries around a big binder to keep track of them all. She turned down a raise because if she made more money, she wouldn't qualify for some of the aid she's on. She won't marry her live-in boyfriend for the same reason. Yes, she's a big Republican. When told that the Republicans want to cut those very programs, she says, "No, that's not true. They wouldn't cut them for ME. They'll just cut them for freeloaders." Which apparently means "anyone other than ME."

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  9. "..doing some soul-searching after standing in my own urine for most of the night..."

    Now that's a great line!!! Not to mention an awakening.

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  10. This is totally unbelievable! Objectivists never "rethink" anything; why would they when they already possess Truth™?

    On the subject of Rand, I don't think most people know just how vile she was. They think of her as this hyper-libertarian character (which is bad enough), but she was, in fact, just a bigot who thought that we in the west had reached the end of history. I wrote about this recently:

    Ayn Rand and Indians

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