May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Sunday, January 6, 2013

How Republicans Can Win Back the Culture and Political Seats

Giving a leg up, not a hand out.

The last presidential election was won by the Democrats by their campaigning on the ideas of envy and empathy. It was Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" writ large. It was the tipping point where feeling trumped information, knowledge, and from that, who was most likely able to address those issues effectively, was tossed out.

This nation rejected a man with a proven track record of personal and business financial success, of organizational success, to a man-child with a knack of getting others covering for him even with a record of failure. This nation decided to go with the guy who says he cares about people when he's never done anything to show that. We rejected the guy who through his actions, personally and professionally, has helped thousands, if not millions of people.

In my job, mostly customer service, the idea of "empathy" for the customer is emphasized; not sympathy. This is a huge misuse of the word, and irritates me to no end. It's become a double down term for sympathy. Empathy is the complete substitution of one's emotions\feelings into another. The idea comes from the German "einfuhlund", where one projects one's own feelings onto inanimate objects, i.e., how a painting or sculpture makes you feel. That grew into the usage of entering into another's experience to understand them, which is okay, but now it has become a political tool.

By using it, the Democrats portray themselves as the party of compassion, even though their policies create more poor, more dependence on the State, and diminishes liberty. George Bush II created the term "compassionate conservatism" to counter that notion, and it became something to be mocked by the Left, and refuted by Conservatives.

Making people dependant is not compassionate. It's the old saw about teaching a person to fish rather than giving him fish. What Obama is doing reflects what Libertarian Harry Browne has said, "Government is good at one thing: It knows how to break your legs, hand you a crutch, and say, 'See, if it weren't for government you wouldn't be able to walk'."

Conservatives must continue to guide the RINO controlled Republican Party to the original ideas of sympathy and compassion.  Earl of Shaftesbury [18th century] on compassion:  “To compassionate, i.e., to join with in passion,” ...  “ .  .  . to commiserate, i.e., to join with in misery. .  .  . This in one order of life is right and good; nothing more harmonious; and to be without this, or not to feel this, is unnatural, horrid, immane [inhuman].” Adam Smith pointed out what we all have in common, rich and poor alike, is “the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange”; and through that better themselves.

The earliest charities, a Christian, not government or pagan idea, were based on the idea both the provider and the recipient of help benefitted. There were a lot of "societies"  and "associations" to help the poor, most notably in England. The poor, abandoned children, the sick and dispossessed, the invalids. There were corruption and exploitation to be sure, but overall many were helped, and both the givers and receivers benefited.

Then governments decided to offer insurances against hardship, usurping the helping hand and replacing it with the giving hand. Welcome to Marxism, where the State, not caring people help each other; the Christian ideal where both bodies and souls benefit. It all becomes about things, the material. Obama and the Democrats can claim they "empathize" so they give people in trouble stuff.  Republicans must re-present themselves as the Party that can show people how to get stuff for themselves, and from that help others to do the same, and their spirits are better for it too.

From Augustine's (The City of God, Book XIV, Chapter 28):
Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self. The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord. For the one seeks glory from men; but the greatest glory of the other is God, the witness of conscience. The one lifts up its head in its own glory; the other says to its God, You are my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. In the one, the princes and the nations it subdues are ruled by the love of ruling; in the other, the princes and the subjects serve one another in love, the latter obeying, while the former take thought for all. The one delights in its own strength, represented in the persons of its rulers; the other says to its God, I will love You, O Lord, my strength. And therefore the wise men of the one city, living according to man, have sought for profit to their own bodies or souls, or both, and those who have known God glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened; professing themselves to be wise,— that is, glorying in their own wisdom, and being possessed by pride—they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. For they were either leaders or followers of the people in adoring images, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. [Romans 1:21-25] But in the other city there is no human wisdom, but only godliness, which offers due worship to the true God, and looks for its reward in the society of the saints, of holy angels as well as holy men, that God may be all in all. [1 Corinthians 15:28]

I'm convinced this country is degrading and becoming increasingly uncivil and barbaric because, like ancient Israel, we've turned our back on God.

And in the Literal Commentary on Genesis (XI, 15,20) Augustine writes:
These are the two loves: the first is holy, the second foul; the first is social, the second selfish; the first consults the common welfare for the sake of a celestial society, the second grasps at a selfish control of social affairs for the sake of arrogant domination; the first is submissive to God, the second tries to rival God; the first is quiet, the second restless; the first is peaceful, the second trouble-making; the first prefers truth to the praises of those who are in error, the second is greedy for praise, however it may be obtained; the first is friendly, the second envious; the first desires for its neighbor what it wishes for itself, the second desires to subjugate its neighbor; the first rules its neighbor for the good of its neighbor, the second for its own advantage; and these two loves produce a distinction among the angels: the first love belongs to the good angels, the second to the bad angels; and they also separate the two cities founded among the race of men, under the wonderful and ineffable Providence of God, administering and ordering all things that have been created: the first city is that of the just, the second is that of the wicked. Although they are now, during the course of time, intermingled, they shall be divided at the last judgment; the first, being joined by the good angels under its King, shall attain eternal life; the second, in union with the bad angels under its king, shall be sent into eternal fire. Perhaps, we shall treat, God willing, of these two cities more fully in another place.
 Obviously the second city are the Leftist\Democrats of the second love. Conservatives and Christians must talk about and show they are for the common welfare, to provide peacefulness and truthfulness, to offer those things that are important to them, to others. This is politics too, and there must be some hard hitting at the same time. 

Conservatives and Republicans must talk about what caring and charity are, what empathy and sympathy are, invoke those Christian values, while at the same time avoid directly mentioning them. Look at what Leftists/Democrats have done by changing the language and using that as the foundation for creating a mindset for a majority of citizens that being dependant on the State is not only a good thing, but something desirable. Under the guise of Empathy they demean the human spirit and create dependency and a majority are okay with that. That, without once mentioning their totalitarian intent.

If those that put self above others, exploit them, diminish them, enslave them and convince citizens this is a good thing for them, why can't those that put the common good first, convince citizens that helping themselves and others is to their benefit?  Christians and Conservatives, by putting God first, will have the winning hand again.

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