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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Steve Blow on hateful rhetoric

No, America has not become 
the land of the freebie
by Steve Blow
I hope they are just sore losers. Because the only other explanation 
is massive ignorance.
A steady refrain in the last week is that Barack Obama’s re-election 
proves we’ve become a nation of lazy parasites.
I first noticed it just a day or two after the election in a column by 
our own op-ed columnist Mark Davis. He said he didn’t blame the 
GOP defeat on Mitt Romney. “But I lament a country where the 
middle class is more attuned to government benefits than the work 
ethic that was once our nation’s engine,” he wrote.
And as a piece of writing, it has a nice ring to it. The only thing
missing is the ring of truth. What overwrought nonsense.
I daresay that most people reading this right now are members
of the middle class. So let’s take a littlesurvey: Have you traded
your work ethic for a government check?
Of course not. And neither have your neighbors. Neither have the
vast, vast majority of Americans — rich, poor and in between.
But day after day, letters to the editor showed up with the same
sentiment. “Our new normal is that of the social welfare states
of Western Europe with people looking to the government for
their salvation,” an Allen man wrote.
“The people have spoken. Welfare checks, food stamps and
free cellphones are more important than freedom and opportunity,”
a Dallas man wrote the day after that.
It was reflected in my emails, too. One message was titled
“The Lesson of the Election.” And it began: “Santa Claus is always
more popular than hard work.”
On my Facebook page, a reader posted: “Truth = People Want
Free Stuff = Obama Victory.”
But the last straw for me was, of all things, a limerick.
I had enjoyed the clever dueling limericks in the Saturday
papers during the campaign. And this past Saturday, the
Obama backer wrote a nice wrap-up rhyme calling for citizens
to unite and work together. And the Romney supporter wrote:
The way it turned out shouldn’t stump us,
The way that they’ve grounded their compass
’Cuz the left sees authority
With hefty majority
Now layin’ around on their rumpus.
Where in the world does this idea come from that we’re
suddenly a nation of slackers, all getting by on the Obama dole?
I guarantee it doesn’t come from anyone who actually works with
the poor and the struggling.
If rampant laziness and easy government money are a problem,
Larry James ought to know it. He gave up his comfortable, suburban
Church of Christ ministry 18 years ago to work full time with the urban
poor. He’s CEO of CitySquare, formerly Central Dallas Ministries.
And he says: “That’s ridiculous. It’s just not true. It’s all mythology —
‘welfare Cadillacs’ all over again.”
Even for the elderly and the disabled, government support is meager,
James said. For everyone else,government assistance is rarer and
harder to get than ever, he said.
“I don’t know where these people are coming from. What programs?
What freebies? What golden goose? It’s not based on anything that’s
true,” James said.
Are there some who take advantage? Who are lazy? Of course.
“But the one thing I have learned in 181/2 years is that laziness and
sorriness are spread at about the same depth across the socio-
economic spectrum,” James said.
“I have met some lazy and sorry poor people, and I have known
some lazy and sorry rich people, too.”
James said the larger problem he sees in our society isn’t a
breakdown in the work ethic but in compassion. “It’s a failure of
community. It’s a failure to feel a connection,” he said.
So don’t fret. America is still a nation that works. But is it still a
nation that cares?


Anonymous said...

You people are so gullible. Obama has said he wants to fundamentally change America. He thinks America as founded is wrong. He wants more power in the hands of the government and less in the private sector. The more entitlements he can give, the better off he thinks he will be as for as his legacy is concerned. He wants to change the "unfair evil capitalistic system" to a system where everyone is equally poor. Of course, if he wants to give away freebies, most people will gladly take them. Do you remember the woman who thought she would get a free kitchen and wouldn't have to worry about her mortgage anymore? Not to mention advertising food stamps. He wants his legacy to be as the one who changed America. He wants a redistributive welfare state, he wants America to "go over the cliff" because that would further his agenda. It looks like he will get his way. God help us all.

Anonymous said...

Now the government is considering attacking our 401K.
Anything to attack the people who planned for their retirement, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Well said Anon 15:00

Anonymous said...

Larry, maybe your "social justice" liberals should take a lesson in compassion from conservative Republicans,who give far more to charity than liberals. This does not include giving to their church either. This from the book, Who Really Cares by Arthur Brooke. Just sayin'..

Anonymous said...

That's Arthur Brooks

Anonymous said...

Check the history of Hw 401 K came about and how the expansion put an end to real pensions that hurt labor and widened income gap. The real change came 30 years ago when US forgot its past commitment to compassion and equity.h

belinda said...

Larry, i'm having trouble viewing all of your post - words are running into the green area on your site. i've tried Explorer and Firefox. do you have a link where i can read this article?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of hateful rhetoric, those people on Staten Island should just calm down from their explosive meeting last night and be grateful that Obama fixed everything.

Kristen B said...

We're a discouraged nation. We've been put through the ringer, the world focuses on negativity, and there's no break to be seen for many many people in this country.

It reminds me of this video I recently came across-- it's a cute little song about how Jesus and his followers actually Occupy Jerusalem.

Anyways, here it is:

Which, it has a point.

Anonymous said...

Wise words. Steve Blow, that is. Not most of the comments, which are just spewing this same, sad, tired rhetoric Blow decries.

Anonymous said...

Steve should change his last name from exhale to inhale.