Saturday, August 3, 2019

The Platitudes of concern

The current excuse for  liberal policies within no results or failed policies that cripple entire nations and peoples.  BELOW THIS LIST is a rebuttal!  Read both.
This pretty much explains what I think is a reasonable position.
This sums up my feelings pretty well. it is true that I'm a progressive, but that doesn't mean what a lot of you apparently think it does.
Let's break it down, shall we? Because quite frankly, I'm getting a little tired of being told what I believe and what I stand for. Spoiler alert: Not every progressive is the same, not every progressive is a Democrat, not every progressive is a liberal! The majority of progressives I know think along roughly these same lines:
1. I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. Period.
2. I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that's interpreted as "I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all." This is not the case. I'm fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it's impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes "let people die because they can't afford healthcare" a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I'm not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen.
3. I believe education should be affordable and accessible to everyone. It doesn't necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I'm mystified as to why it can't work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt.
4. I don't believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don't want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can't afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow, extreme right wing conservatives believe that makes me a communist.
5. I don't throw around "I'm willing to pay higher taxes" lightly. If I'm suggesting something that involves paying more, well, it's because I'm fine with paying my share as long as it's actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare.
6. I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion-dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn't have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work 40 hours and live.
7. I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. (BTW, prayer in school is NOT illegal; *compulsory* prayer in school is - and should be - illegal). All I ask is that Christians recognize *my* right to live according to *my* beliefs. I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law. I'm not "offended by Christianity" -- I'm offended that you're trying to force me to live by your religion's rules. You know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia law on you? That's how I feel about Christians trying to impose biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don't force it on me or mine.
8. I don't believe LGBT people should have more rights than you. I just believe they should have the *same* rights as you.
9. I don't believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN'T WHAT THEY DO (spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they're supposed to be abusing, and if they're "stealing" your job it's because your employer is hiring illegally). I'm not opposed to deporting people who are here illegally, but I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc).
10. I don't believe the government should regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cutting corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It's not that I want the government's hands in everything -- I just don't trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products/practices/etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they're harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. Just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation.
11. I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I can’t get over an election, but because I've spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past.
12. I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed. Which means those with privilege -- white, straight, male, economic, etc. -- need to start listening, even if you don't like what you're hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that's causing people to be marginalized.
13. I am not interested in coming after your guns, nor is anyone serving in government. What I am interested in is sensible policies, including background checks, that just MIGHT save one person’s, perhaps a toddler’s, life by the hand of someone who should not have a gun. (Got another opinion? Put it on your page, not mine).
14. I believe in so-called political correctness. I prefer to think it’s social politeness. If I call you Chuck and you say you prefer to be called Charles I’ll call you Charles. It’s the polite thing to do. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because as Maya Angelou put it, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you're using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person?
15. I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else.
16. I believe that women should not be treated as a separate class of human. They should be paid the same as men who do the same work, should have the same rights as men and should be free from abuse. Why on earth shouldn’t they be? They should have total control of their own bodies and medical decisions.
I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I'm a progressive because I think we should take care of each other. That doesn't mean you should work 80 hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don't believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved.
Copy & paste if you want. I did. (I copied and pasted only for the rebuttal below)
Author unknown.
ABOVE...A list of platitudes with no realistic plan for implementation.  I would wager that almost everyone on this thread would agree to every single item on your list if we lived in a world where unicorns actually crapped rainbows and we could all leave our doors unlocked all the time because that's how it used to be....


1.  How do you define neglect?  How do you define those in need.  You don't believe charity will take care of it, so how do you prevent a corrupt government employee from screwing them over as well?
2.  How do you define rights?  If someone decides to become a doctor, do you think the government should tell them who they must see and how much their time is worth?  Once you accept that some doctors are better than others, how do you create a system where the poor won't end up with the worst hospitals and staff?
3.  Education is affordable and free.  You're talking about college as well?  The reality is that too much emphasis has been placed on college.  Our country desperately needs people in the trades.
4.  Nice doublespeak.  I don't want to take your money, but what about fair wages, seeing the doctor, the wealthy paying their fair share....  Here's your chance, how much should the wealthy pay?  And more importantly, what do you consider wealthy?  Picking up a theme of class jealousy couched in pretty language though...
5.  I'm perfectly willing to pay more taxes as long as I receive benefit from it as well.  You want charity, go find a religion.  Taxes aren't charity.  Government should handle our infrastructure and do as much as it can to stay out of the citizen's way.
6. Companies should pay what the market will bear.  If it's not enough, don't work there.  You can see wages rising throughout this area over the past 10 months in response to people not showing up for minimum wage jobs.  If you want to earn more, find a better job or create your own.  And if you can't do that, find a charity.  Forcing me to pay employees more is not better than taxing me and giving it to them.  Both are reprehensible actions.
7.  The fact that religion is the basis for some laws does not make it a bad law.  So while I agree with the concept as you are trying to present it, it's still meaningless as the topic should be whether or not the law has merit.
8.  Public acceptance and infringement on a person's rights are two different things.  If you will stop conflating them, then you would agree they do have the same rights.
9.  Why don't you present what you would like to see and explain how it will be administered and funded?  Come on buttercup, quit whining and talk about how it could be better.
10.  The bottom line is always part of the equation.  Else how are these companies going to stay in business and afford unnecessary taxes and minimum wage laws?  Enforce the laws.  Prosecute companies that break the law.  But if you're going to do so, your case needs to include more than how you feel they have behaved and actually contain facts.
11.  Now you begin to show the rant that you've been holding in.  Given that I doubt you know the definition of fascist, I am curious as to whether or not you can show how our government is becoming fascist with this administration.  Please be ready to explain why the actions you use as an example weren't considered fascism under the previous administration.
12.  If you can define and quantify this privilege of which you speak, then we can speak of dismantling it. And while you're at it, please explain how you plan to prevent anyone from being marginalized in the future.
13.  Please produce legislation that focuses on keeping guns out of the wrong hands.  After all, if that was really the goal we wouldn't keep seeing attempts to ban assault weapons altogether, would we?
14.  If you want to be called Charles and your name is Chuck, no problem.  If I interact with you enough where I bother to remember your name that is.  If I don't, it's not a crime, it's not hate, it's not targeted, it is quite simply that I don't interact with you enough to care.
15.  I'm all good with sustainable energy.  You should encourage the billionaires to continue to invest in oil and coal though.  When the market proves you right, they will lose those investments.  And just like that inequality is also being solved.
16.  Women are a separate class of human.  Denying that is a fundamental flaw of the progressive mind.  Understanding that their are outliers in both sexes, there are some general traits that are most common in women and men.  If Joe and Jane have the same job and raise time comes around, is it wrong to give Jane a larger raise if she is willing to work more overtime and travel more frequently than Joe.  Why should it be your business what an employer and an employee agree upon in terms of wages? 
Bottom line is I'm a libertarian because I think you and the government should stay out of my business unless my activities harm you.  Don't force me to support your causes through the power of government force.  If you have a truly worthy idea, it shouldn't require government force anyway.  That doesn't mean I think the old, sick, lame and crazy should be put down, but that doesn't mean that the mere fact that they breathe gives them claim over what I have earned.  In other words, no matter how strongly you feel, you should not have the right to take from someone else to enforce your personal beliefs.  You believe it, you do it with all the help you are able to raise from other people voluntarily.
I'm not surprised the author is unknown.  I wouldn't stick my name on that tripe either.
Thank you to the person who wrote the rebuttal.  I still plan go sit down with this piece and add my own thoughts point by point.  You did a lot of the work for me.  I see many of my liberal friends loving and praising this hit piece on conservatism. The logic is not in it but it soothes the soul of those who value intent over results.

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