Friday 21 September 2012

I've been on food stamps and welfare, did anyone help me out? No.

This is so damn funny. But it is also something more important: it is representative of the twisted logic of the far right as represented by the Tea Party, an ideology which has now taken over the Republican Party.

On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was dissecting Mitt Romney's 47% gaffe pointing out how Mr. Romney was misrepresenting the number and insulting a lot of hard working, albeit not well-off people, including veterans and the elderly. He ended the segment by showing the following clip of the actor Craig T. Nelson being interviewed on the Glenn Beck Show on May 28, 2009.

Uploaded by pyrogamer on Jun 18, 2009
Craig T. Nelson on Government Aid
Coach gives us all a lesson in how personal responsibility beats government intervention. "I've been on food stamps and welfare, did anyone help me out? No."

Over the past couple of years, it is this type of logic which has been used to criticize President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. It is this type of logic which has used to explain how America is going to hell in a handcart and everybody has to do something about it immediately. It is this type of logic I have heard over and over again which makes me wonder if the Tea Party, Conservatives in general and perhaps the entire Republican Party have completely lost their minds. Do you people just open up your mouth and say whatever comes to mind with absolutely no regard as to whether or not what you are saying passes the smell test?

The Right bandy about such scary terms as socialism or wealth distribution whenever they talk about government policies of taxation to pay for benefit programs. They use these terms to paint a picture of America as a socialist state as if the United States will someday be another Russia under communist rule. Any notion of all citizens working together for the greater good of the country and all people has been thrown out the window to be replaced with a dour assessment of America's individualism being trampled on by big government.

Mr. Nelson, with all due respect, just where the f**k do you think food stamps and welfare come from? Are you insane? Gee-sus H. K-rist, the purpose of a country is to support its citizenry in a time of need and what the hell do you think food stamps and welfare are for crying out loud?

Okay, I'll calm down. *sigh* The Right isn't connecting the dots. They see a problem but they seem to be incapable of seeing the cause, the true cause of the problem. I have talked with these people face to face and have realised there is no point in trying to discuss anything in a logical, rational manner. "I've been on food stamps and welfare, did anyone help me out? No." These people think they are not being helped. These people do not see this as part of "the system" which the United States government, the representative of the people, has put together to help the people. For some unknown reason, they do not see this as "wealth distribution" or "socialism"; they just see it as "being there".

Years ago I watched a documentary on white supremacists in the United States. At one point, the TV interviewer sits down with a gentleman who turned out to be fairly articulate. The interviewer asks some questions about the group, the movement and beliefs behind white supremacy and this gentleman intelligently answers the questions. The problem was that everything, the movement, the philosophy, the beliefs was based on the idea that the white race is better than all other races. You had to accept that idea for everything else to make sense. If you couldn't accept that idea, the whole thing was totally absurd. Of course this gentleman had various references to back up the premise, quotes from the Bible, writings of various authors, etc. but it all came back to this one idea: the white race is better than all other races. There is no empirical evidence to support such an idea but this gentleman believed it anyway. It was a leap of faith.

The Right want to vote Republican. It doesn't matter if Craig T. Nelson utters absurdities. It doesn't matter if Mitt Romney's 47% remark is unfair. It doesn't matter if Conservatives lie to make a point. The Right is going to vote Republican. Period. This isn't about debating the issues to work together to solve a problem. No, this is about voting Republican no matter what. It is a leap of faith. I'm Republican; I vote Republican. Have I read the Party's platform paper? Probably not but I'm voting Republican anyway. I support my party.

The Republican Party clearly laid out their plans for the future in their policy paper The 2012 Republican Platform. (see my blog: The 2012 Republican Platform: Are ya scared yet?) If you are a woman, you should be outraged. If you are a single mother, you should be petrified. As long as you are white and want to be a stay at home baby making machine, you're all set. But if you want to be one of those highfalutin career gals like on Sex And The City living an independent, self-sustaining life including sex out of wedlock like that slut Sandra Fluke, well, you're in trouble. I have to ask how you can be a woman and vote Republican. If you vote for the GOP, you are voting against abortion, against birth control, against sex education, and against the right to control your own body. I repeat: how you can be a woman and vote Republican? (see my blog: Rush Limbaugh: That's spelled with one F and one U)

I looked at some of the more absurd leaps of logic (leaps of faith) being made in the Republican camp recently. (see my blog: The Right isn't wrong; they're nuts!) In a discussion about the GOP's policies, I ran across an exchange between two female commentators.

Guerilla Mom
I care about reproductive freedom and choice. I care about women not backpedaling 40 years. I care about women's health and safety. I have to care most about this, because the GOP is using it as their poster cause. Any woman isn't totally disgusted by the GOP's complete disregard for our basic human right to control what happens in our bodies is not paying attention.

Cindyhuber, obviously a Conservative, responds:
You're kidding right? Seriously? The economy is in the tank, the country's dollar is circling the drain but according to you, this years entire election is all about the "VAGINA..." If I didn't think you were serious, I would laugh my butt off...

On Twitter, I ran across the following comment:

Hey @SandraFluke? I'm not worried about what's below my belt. I'm worried about the direction of the economy and my country.

How can a woman vote Republican? Because the economy is more important apparently than their vagina. Of course if you're married and don't need an abortion, if you're married and don't need birth control, if you follow an abstinence only program and think that's enough for your children, if you're in a financially secure position and can afford to buy health coverage for you and your children, any of the GOP proposals don't seem to affect you personally so why should you care? Let's focus on the economy. The problem is that if from a bigger picture the GOP has completely screwed things up on women's issues, why in God's name would you think they would have any good ideas about the economy?

Final Word
"I've been on food stamps and welfare, did anyone help me out? No." I just have to shake my head. The Earth is flat and was created six thousand years ago. 72% of Americans believe in angels. (2009 Harris Poll) Why am I not surprised?

After having read over the policy papers of both parties (The 2012 Republican Platform and The 2012 Democratic Platform), there is no doubt in my mind that the Tea Party and the far right have taken over the GOP. This is no longer a vote between Republicans and Democrats; this is a vote against the extreme right end of the political spectrum. Here's my worry.

A country represents you the people, the collective we. The sum is greater than the parts. United we stand, divided we fall. By helping one another, the entire country is better off. The collective we benefits. Food stamps and welfare are programs set up by the collective we to help itself. If the Right keeps hammering home terms like socialism and wealth distribution, the country may stop supporting its citizens. The country may lose sight of the objective to help each and every citizen reach their potential.

Nobody helped you out? Yep, just ignore the food stamps, welfare and a host of other benefits that come from living in America. Yep, nobody helped you out. It's a leap of faith.


Wikipedia: Craig T. Nelson
Craig Theodore Nelson (born Craig Richard Nelson; April 4, 1944) is an American actor. He is perhaps best known for his Emmy-winning role as Hayden Fox on the TV series Coach, Deputy Ward Wilson in the 1980 film Stir Crazy, Steve Freeling in the 1982 film Poltergeist and Mr. Incredible in the 2004 film The Incredibles.

Fox News - May 29/2009
Craig T. Nelson on 'Glenn Beck'
transcript from "Glenn Beck," May 28, 2009.

The Daily Show - Sep 19/2012
Chaos on Bulls**t Mountain - The Entitlement Society

link for viewers in the United States

link for viewers in Canada

Taylor Marsh - Sep 18/2012
Damage Overload: Did Mitt Romney Just Elect Barack Obama?
You’d think we’d be prepared for the last 24 hours, which included Romney believing it’s best to leave the Middle East “unsolved,” and where we not only hear Mitt Romney discount 47% of the American populace who votes, but insult almost half of the American people as “victims,” then imply he’s not interested in speaking for them if he were president.
This is the perfect example of the ugly politician who resents those who won’t support him, while feeling superior to them because they are less. This is clearly represented by Romney’s belief that he won’t ever get half the American public to believe in what he wants to do for America, which to me boils down to doing something to change America for those on his side, while stuffing the policies down the throats of those others. It’s classic us versus them Republican politics.

Uploaded by salamfall on Oct 21, 2008
YouTube: Joe the Plumber " I once was on welfare, my parents twice!"
Joe the Plumber " I once was on welfare, My parents twice!". My question to Joe is " Where do you think welfare money comes from?", if taxpayers money helped you climb the social ladder, once you are pretty high up there shouldnt you return the favor, Selfish Joe.

Uploaded by mykallb on Jun 13, 2009
YouTube: Craig T Nelson 1 on 1 w/ Sean Hannity
Oddly enough, Mr. Nelson sounds a tad more rational in this interview. Nevertheless, he demonstrates a great deal of confusion about the issues he raises. He doesn't seem to understand the bigger picture and the actual cause of the problems he expresses concern about. He's a Republican who votes Republican and sees the current Democratic administration as the cause of all the current problems with no regard of what has transpired over the past decades to contribute to the current problems even what the previous Republican government did to exacerbate the current problems.


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