Friday, October 04, 2013

Napalm narratives

As an astute observer of politics and the culture, I often find myself rolling my eyes at the seemingly endless stream of vapid chanting points. And certain vacuous narratives just make me angry, since they appear to be a cynical attempt to deceive consumers of social, print and electronic media.

With that, here are a few I feel need to die in a fire.

"If we don't increase the debt ceiling, America will be in default." There is no more egregious offender of this chanting point than President Barack Obama himself. At best, this is utterly misleading. As long as the United States continues to make its debt payments, the country will not be in default. As it stands right now, there is more than enough tax revenue to meet our debt obligations. Do you think for one second that the Treasury Dept. wouldn't prioritize revenue accordingly? Now where the problem lies is certain US agencies would fall short of funding. And I believe that's what has the President and his leftist cohorts most fearful. That is people might realize some of these agencies serve no useful purpose, thus support would amp up for permanent de-funding such entities. 

"Republicans and their supporters want to overturn Obamacare, which would deny people their inalienable right to quality healthcare." Well first of all, Obamacare has nothing to do with healthcare. The law itself is (allegedly) to ensure adults have access to purchase affordable health insurance. But just having insurance (specifically government run coverage) doesn't mean all treatments/procedures are covered, especially since un-elected bureaucrats get to determine the course of one's care. Secondly, something can not be a "right" if it infringes upon rights of others. That is why the Supreme Court ruled the individual mandate as a "tax". A law compelling commerce violates one's Constitutional rights.

Another angle is that those adults who choose to waive coverage are assessed a fine. That money in turn is used to subsidize coverage for those that would otherwise have higher rates due to lingering illnesses or preexisting conditions. Seems like a covert way to redistribute wealth, eh?

"Jesus Christ was a socialist/liberal. He healed the sick and prospered the poor. Therefore, He believes in free healthcare and wealth redistribution."

Now it's true that Jesus told a rich man (see Matthew chapter 19) to sell his possessions and give to the poor. But Jesus told the man this after said man was instructed to "obey the commandments" as the secret to having an eternal life. "But if you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me, " He said. But unlike socialism, the giving to the poor was not mandated. It was given as an instruction only after the rich man sought out Jesus and asked for guidance.

Jesus later shared the parable of the talents (aka bags of gold), which can be found in Matthew 25. A master left five talents with one servant, two with another and one talent with the third servant. The servants with the five and two talents, respectively, put their shares to work and thus their master doubled their shares. But the servant with the one talent hid his share and was subsequently accosted by the master. That one talent was then given to the servant with ten talents. Jesus went on to say "For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them." Again, if Jesus was truly a socialist, he would have commanded that those who showed faithfulness (and thus had the abundance) give their increase to the poor. Unlike socialism, Jesus's "ideology" is not anti-rich. Actually, it's more like pro-faithfulness.

"The Republican party is being taken over by the white, gun-toting, bible-thumping rednecks. There's no room for moderates anymore. Ronald Reagan wouldn't be able to make hay among today's GOP." If that were true, then how is it John McCain won the GOP nomination for President in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012? In '08, Mike Huckabee was the favorite among evangelicals, Fred Thompson more ideologically conservative and Ron Paul was far more constitutionally pure than McCain.

Then in 2012, you had Rick Santorum as the evangelicals' preferred candidate. And you can't get much more "gun-toting redneck" than Texas governor Rick Perry, yet his candidacy foundered in late January that year. Yet somehow, someway a guy who won a statewide election in Massachusetts (and passed a bill socializing medicine while governor) was the GOP nominee for President.

I'll certainly add more as I think of them. In the interim, please feel free to leave submissions in the comment section.


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