Walter Rhett

An Effigy of the Common Good

In National Affairs, National Government, Perlo on October 16, 2010 at 7:56 pm

It is an amazing that millions of voters and leaders have willfully abandoned the idea the common good. The Republican justification? They say small government.

Unless:
a) it comes to dredging my port (Charleston) to handle more of China’s imports,
b) paying for a pipeline so I sent more oil and natural gas to China, putting the hammer down on BP to clean up the Gulf and permitting drilling to continue so we can repeat the spill,
c) expanding security at airports to fly safely,
d) prohibiting churches from the free use of real estate because it might be a bummer for the nation’s–and my–feelings,
e) policing every pregnant woman to ensure she gives birth to children conceived by incest or rape;
f) protecting me when imports of red meat, sheet rock, children’s toys, and virus threaten to kill me;
g) rounding up illegal immigrants and forcing those who appear illegal to carry papers similar apartheid passbooks from South Africa because I don’t want illegals taking all those landscaping and hotel worker jobs I don’t want and draining my resources as I deduct taxes from the ones working for me that (wink!) I don’t know about,
h) or cutting taxes so the richest 1% who control 23% of the national wealth can create jobs in their role as small business persons while I carry the weight of the 700 billion deficit that results from this non-Marxism, free market government action which reduces government intrusion while increasing the deficit (I’m all for small government! Even at the expense of larger deficits!),
i) and eliminating federal government funding for education so I won’t be smart enough to see the error of my ways.

Gee, it’s hard to articulate all of these issues whose contradictions make perfect sense when I hear them bellowed on TV.

(End of the irony.) Many want to take the country back. Others want to take country forward. Every time the government makes a foolish cut, in the name of austerity, the public ends up paying an even higher cost.


Elizabeth Catlett, “The Embrace.” 1978.

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