The Life of Joe Republican

2004/09/24 at 15:34

Via Danklife:

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.

With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance — now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents becaus some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor. Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired.His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.

Joe agrees: “We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have.”

“Toss him the keys…”

2004/09/08 at 10:03

Someone commented as follows to a post on one of my favorite blogs:

As a Brit, what I find puzzling about this whole [U.S.] election campaign is why does Bush want to be President again? Look at the mess his country is in – the quagmire that is Iraq, the crumbling economy, the looming oil crisis etc. Why would any sane person want to continue to carry the responsibility for all that? Doesn’t Bush want to simply toss the White House keys at Kerry, tell him “It’s all yours now, buddy – may you have the joy of it!” and head off to settle down on his Texas spread to ride horses, shoot his guns and quietly drink himself into oblivion?

Very good question.

Political malaise

2004/08/31 at 08:25

For a couple of months now, I’ve felt depressed when I read news relating the presidential campaign. I have had this vague feeling of hopelessness. Apparently, my acquaintance Rafe Colburn has been feeling the same way. But he was able to pin down the reasons in his essay The futility of political involvement. He expresses my feelings, too.

Twenty-first centry threats

2004/08/18 at 16:59

In a campaign speech at a Boeing factory in Pennsylvania, George W. Bush said:

Another thing that’s interesting that’s happening at Boeing that probably you aren’t aware of, but you should be, is that Boeing engineers lowered the first ballistic missile interceptor into its silo at Fort Greely, Alaska. It’s the beginning of a missile defense system that was envisioned by Ronald Reagan, a system necessary to protect us against the threats of the 21st century. (Applause.) We want to continue to perfect this system, so we say to those tyrants who believe they can blackmail America and the free world: you fire, we’re going to shoot it down. (Applause.)
I think those who oppose this ballistic missile system really don’t understand the threats of the 21st century. They’re living in the past. We’re living in the future. We’re going to do what’s necessary to protect this country. (Applause.)

Gee, did Al-Qaeda get its hands on ICBMs? ‘Cause, you know, I thought the ‘Star Wars’ system was dreamt up to deal with 20th century cold war threats.

Shades of Grey

2004/06/10 at 09:48

Sojourners magazine has an interesting article on pro-life progressives. For these people:

Being a fully pro-life candidate, according to Allio and others, doesn’t mean just promising to work to make abortion illegal, supporting laws against certain procedures, or pledging to pack the Supreme Court to one day overturn Roe vs. Wade. (And for some, it means using methods other than legal sanctions to reduce abortions.) While some pro-life politicians take the so-called “seamless garment” approach, adding assisted suicide, the death penalty, and perhaps stem-cell research to the abortion issue, progressive pro-lifers tend to see the issue even more broadly than that.
“To be pro-life means also to work to eradicate poverty, to provide universal health care, to provide affordable housing, to be consistent on war and peace,” says Allio, whose office works on precisely those issues.

This reminds me of my friend Hildegard Wilke in Constance, Germany. She passionately feels that abortion is wrong, but she prefers to act in her sphere of influence–where she has a good chance of actually helping individuals avoid abortions. Instead of getting caught up in endless political debates (admittedly, the political situation regarding abortion is different in Germany than in the US), she avidly promotes use of contraception and the dissemination of information about the various alternatives to abortion. She volunteers at an organization that helps women in need and she stands on street corners giving out information on alternatives to abortion and information on contraception. The most poignant sign of her commitment came when when a new form of birth control came out: Hildegard felt obligated to try it herself so she could speak from personal experience about it.

In some ways I guess I am also a progressive against abortion. However, I don’t believe that abortion should be outlawed. I think the political debate over the legality of abortion is immaterial. Abortions will continue to take place as long as the motivations remain, whether or not the procedures are legal.

Like Hildegard, I believe that the only thing that will truly end abortion is to address the contributing social factors (mentioned in the quote above), to educate people on the alternatives and to promote values of individual responsibility (and to me, that definitely DOES NOT just mean telling a woman that if she got pregnant, it’s her responsibility to raise the child. In many cases, the responsible thing is to help the birth mother realize that she is not the best person to raise the child due to circumstances).

Body and Soul

2004/05/24 at 13:03

This entry from the blog Body and Soul covers about every thought I’ve had recently about the war in Iraq as well as many I haven’t had. It’s a lot to digest.

Taxes, taxes, taxes

2004/05/11 at 09:24

One of the issues on the local ballot this coming weekend is a proposal to create a new county hospital district [PDF link]. This morning, the local TV news played a short report about a group that opposes the district. The group’s sole argument against it, at least according to the very short report, is that they oppose having to pay more taxes. I have no patience for this argument as it has little or no intellectual basis. Give me an argument that you think the current system works well enough, that you oppose paying for public health care, anything besides simply the fact that you don’t want a new tax.