Saturday, November 22, 2008

Could it Be? Bush Truly is a Compassionate Conservative.

"Is compassion beneath us? Is mercy below us? Should our party be led by someone who boasts of a hard heart? I am proud to be a compassionate conservative. I welcome the label. And on this ground, I'll take my stand. [...] I am running because my party must match a conservative mind with a compassionate heart, And I'm running to win." -- Presidential candidate George W. Bush
Well, we know for sure that four words are true, "I'm running to win." But what about the rest of this quote?

It seems as if the era of George W. Bush, the "Compassionate Conservative", never began as we found out, very early on, that President Bush wanted our poor, our sick, our elderly, and even our soldiers to fend for themselves against all odds. Health care and retirement security became luxuries. Meanwhile, he created billions in new tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Nevertheless, if you ask most conservatives if President Bush lied, thhe would tell you, that he didn't because as Myron Magnet wrote, in the article Compassionate Conservative or Cowboy Capitalist,they have a different idea of what compassion is and it goes something like this:
Implicit in compassionate conservatism was an epochal paradigm shift that is now all but explicit. Taken together, compassionate conservatism’s elements added up to a sweeping rejection of liberal orthodoxy about how to help the poor, which a half-century’s worth of experience had discredited. If you want to help the poor, compassionate conservatives argued, liberate them from dependency through welfare reform, free their communities from criminal anarchy through activist policing, give them the education they need to succeed in a modern economy by holding their schools accountable, and let them enjoy the rewards of work by taxing their modest wages lightly or not at all. For the worst off—those hampered by addiction or alcohol or faulty socialization—let the government pay private organizations, especially religious ones, to help. Such people need a change of heart to solve their problems, the president himself deeply believed; and while a clergyman or a therapist might help them, a bureaucrat couldn’t.
After eight years, it's safe to say "compassionate conservatism" did not work. However was it a lie? Or was it just politics... a political strategy that revolved around code words, dog whistle politics, and double speak that used Jesus Christ to uphold everything from vengeance to violence?

While you decide, consider this. Bush's use of the phrase, “compassionate conservative”was derived from a book called The Tragedy of American Compassion, by Marvin Olasky. This book takes a look at the late 19th century where there were no social nets for the poor or any type of government assistance, all the while, emphasizing the undeserving poor.

The author, Marvin Olasky, editor-in-chief of the World Magazine, who was also a Bush campaign advisor, and who has been associated with groups like the Council for Biblical Man and Womanhood and other organizations that blame society's predicament on feminists, homosexuals, the media, college professors, etc., leaned toward absolving society's institutions of any responsibility for the well-being of its weakest members in his book. He completely ignored the reality of the "working poor" and the surging profits of those at the top while those in the middle and the bottom were subject to massive lay-offs and downsizing aimed solely at making rich stockholders richer. In other words, Olasky blamed poor people for their problems.

The word compassion is defined as "a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering." Maybe Bush didn't lie at all, rather he targeted his "compassion" to those who needed it least...the criminally wealthy. He's not lying because he knew all along that they would, one day need his "compassion" more than ever, thus, the reason he's so anxious to bail them out now. He knew that, down the road, the criminally wealthy would be stricken by the "misfortune" of getting caught.


Anonymous,  14:45  

Are you nuts? Compassionate conservative, my ass! By its very definition, you can't show compassion to someone who is not suffering and the Wall Street crowd is NOT suffering in the least. Getting caught with no consequences is not suffering.

Please stop posting such rubbish.

BENITO,  20:36  

No matter how you define the word, it's almost impossible to call George Bush compassionate.

I guess you could feel compassion for wealthy people who get caught being greedy. But the wealthy people in question experience no consequences. Where is the suffering?

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