The Republican Presidential Debate: “Feeling The Pain”?
At a recent debate all six of the remaining Republican Contenders for President were asked “where should Americans feel the pain”? Each took turns beating the drum with cut and dry programs designed to inflict that pain, all on the poor and elderly. Cuts designed to reduce federal agencies that protect the environment, and enhance standards in education. The real cost, and pain, being inflicted on all Americans by the military and prison industrial complex was never addressed by any of the Republicans. Any except Congressman Ron Paul.
The only thing that’s been consistent in politics over the last one hundred and fifty years is the philosophy of the Republican party. From its first President, Abraham Lincoln, to its last, George Bush, the Republican party has been about one thing. Big Government.
History has also been consistent that no government is good once it grows too big and powerful. After all, if a government doesn’t intrude on our daily life, does it really matter what form it takes?
America is a republic, not a democracy, however occasionally we follow the idea of a Republic using democracy in the form of mob rule. The difference between a Republic and a democracy is important. In a pure democracy in which the law itself is up for grabs, the result is the minority is often victimized.
Muhammad Ali put his own liberty on the line over 40 years ago when he stood up to a tyrannical government by resisting the draft. Ali was a conscientious objector, and the best known to suffer a prosecution for his opposition to the Vietnam war. Sentenced to five years in prison, and fined $10,000 by a jury that deliberated less than 20 minutes, only to have the United States Supreme Court unanimously reverse his conviction five years later. Some may say it was the greatest of all Ali’s fights.
Patriotism is the act of standing up to the prosecution at grave personal risk, but the price one pays can be tremendous.
John O’Hara is an attorney. He lives in Brooklyn.
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