anti-tax extremism, commonality, democracy, G. K. Chesterton, nationhood, obstructionism, social programs, The Tea Party, US Economy, WordPress
Occasionally, WordPress suggests topics to blog about. Destructiveness, or something to that effect, is one of these topics.
What I am seeing at the moment is a nation, namely the US, who has a fine administration, but where Tea Party members and hardline Republicans are putting obstacles in the path of this administration in the naïve expectation that getting rid of the Democrats will magically eliminate America’s economic woes.
First, the current administration had nothing to do with the debt. That debt was incurred by a former administration (who had inherited a surplus by the way) and it would still be there the morning after a Republican administration might, to the consternation of most of the rest of the world, be voted into office.
It appears to most observers that the world would prefer not to deal with a parochial and intellectually weak Republican administration.
So pay the debt and support President Obama’s stimulus package. Republicans messed up America and should be charged to pay for the clean-up.
But, don’t expect miracles. Given the size of the problem; given also anti-tax extremism, the problem will not be fixed overnight.
Second, Tea Party members and hardline Republicans don’t really care about the people, and, by extension, about their country. They only care about the rich citizens who fund their election campaigns. If they cared for the nation, anti-tax extremism would disappear. If they cared, the US would have a comprehensive social program. If they cared, these elected officials would repair the harm caused by natural disasters and rebuild New Orleans. If they cared, there would be food on every table. If they cared, at least certain jobs would be repatriated and many more would be created. If they cared, veterans would be employed and suitably housed. If they cared, they would respect the duly-elected President of the United States and work with his administration at improving the lot of the common man instead of making the rich richer. Finally, if they really cared, America might actually be a genuine democracy.
G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) writes that in a democracy, first, “the things common to all men are more important than the things peculiar to any men.” Second, in a democracy “the political instinct or desire is one of these things which they hold in common.” 
But they don’t care. Obstructionism is a game and, given what is at stake, the survival of America and the health of global markets, it’s an unacceptable game.
Where could I find a better example to shed light upon destructiveness?
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October 6, 2011
 Gilbert K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, “The Ethics of Elflandˮ (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1943), pp. 82-83.