06 November 2006

Republican 'values'

One last thing for you to think about before you head to the polls. Got this as an email today:

A young teenage girl was about to finish her first year of college. She considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat but her father was a rather staunch Republican.
One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to taxes and welfare programs. He stopped her and asked her how she was doing in school.
She answered that she had a 4.0 GPA but it was really tough. She had to study all the time, and she never had time to go out and party. She didn't have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because of spending all her time studying.
He asked, "How is your friend Mary?" She replied that Mary was barely getting by. She had a 2.0 GPA and never studied. She was very popular on campus and went to parties all the time. She often didn't show up for classes because she was hung over.
Dad then asked his daughter why she didn't go to the Dean's office and have 1.0 taken off her 4.0 and give it to her friend with the 2.0. That way they would both have a 3.0 GPA.
The daughter angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair! I worked really hard for mine and Mary has done nothing." The father slowly smiled and said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."
Received from Andy Chaps The Funnies.

Funny. Misleading, but funny.
You can't seriously equate a GPA to health. Mary has made her own choices and her 2.0 will likely have no bearing on the daughter's life. Millions of people in America are disadvantaged through no fault of their own and despite a lifetime of hard work that you and I could not imagine.
'Yeah, but some...'
I didn't say all of the poor are victims. Some have made poor choices that have resulted in their current circumstances. But so have I. Why should I be favoured over them for a fulfilled, successful life? And even if they have made poor choices, does that mean they don't deserve adequate health care?
The Republican Party and the Religious Right have pushed a platform based on 'values', but I just don't see it anymore. What 'value' is there in not providing health care for everyone? What 'value' is there in giving tax breaks only to the wealthy? What 'value' is there in favouring corporations over individuals? What 'value' is there in the persistent damage of the environment by heavy use of fossil fuels when clean alternatives are readily available? What 'value' is there is providing vouchers to wealthy families while the poor are left to drop out in woefully underfunded public schools? People working for the current minimum wage live well below the poverty line--what 'value' is that?
I'm sick of it. For my entire life, the Republicans have talked about 'family values' like abortion and now gay rights. But in the thirty-four years since Roe v Wade, twenty-two years of Republican presidents have done nothing to reverse it. So what's the point? By the way, did you realise that the two Democratic presidents since then were both Baptists? (The Republican presidents were Quaker, two Episcopalians, Presbyterian and Methodist.)
I'm much more concerned about my government taking care of our social values. I can choose my religious values for myself. That's what our founding fathers had in mind anyway.
Values? The government is currently denying people basic human rights, even going so far as torturing suspected terrorists (The Economist, bmj.com). If they are guilty, they deserve punishment, but torture? What happened to trial by jury? Isn't the United States better than this?
You're still worried about giving 1.0 of your GPA to Mary? They're Democrats, not Communists. You still get your reward for hard work. It's just that everyone gets access to basic needs. Yeah, it's going to raise your taxes a little (although not as much as you think). Take out the ridiculous tax breaks for the wealthy and that would go a long way to cover it. But isn't a little tax worth a better society? I said in my first paragraph that Mary's GPA will likely have no bearing on the daughter's life. The joke is also misleading because that simply isn't the case in the real world. All of our lives are impacted by those around us who are unhealthy and uneducated. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If these people were provided with these basic necessities, it would benefit all of society. I've seen it work.

2 comments:

Heather said...

The other moral of the story is all work and no play makes the daughter a dull and boring girl!! A 4.0 gpa, but no friends, no romantic relationships, and all that stress? That sounds like an appealing lifestyle. Whatevs, it's common knowledge that getting ahead has more to do with who you know than what you know. How else can we explain Kevin Federlines's meteoric rise to fame and fortune? I doubt he had a 4.0.

rus said...

I agree. It's unfortunate that "values" has turn boiled down to abortion and gay rights. There are many out there who not only stand against abortion, but provide a real alternative for scared pregnant girls, who see no other way out. In fact, looking at the Bible, what are the moral issues that Jesus address? The poor, the sick, the alien in our midst, even the enemy. How is homosexuality a moral issues, but the poor aren't? We respect the flag, but destory the environment of that flag's country.