By Raymond Freeman 05/01/2014
Moral values are not piffling niceties for tweedy academics. The right’s values have cost this nation trillions of dollars in red ink.
Around $5 trillion will be added to national debt from the Iraq fiasco (Joseph Stiglitz, economist, Nobel Prize). That’s colossal: WWII cost around $4.5 trillion in today’s money (wikianswers). About $5 trillion will be added from cleaning up their mess from the Great Crash of 2008 (Stiglitz). And we’ve seen how Republican-driven legislation fueled Wall Street’s greed, which produced the Great Crash (Sharper Focus, “Shocked, Shocked”).
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, is named after Ayn Rand, a moral vacuum. Recalling his lying to fellow students prior to exams, he said, “I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic.” So lying to get ahead is just fine, especially for presidential elections, as John Kerry found out when he was “swift-boated.”
Conservatives’ greed is responsible for putting the greatest stain on America’s soul. The colonial occupation of Iraq killed and maimed at least 500,000 and made refugees of millions. Pope John Paul II condemned the invasion as “immoral.” Vincent Bugliosi examined how conservatives sold the war (and sold their souls to the devil) in The Prosecution of George Bush for Murder. Don’t read it. You’ll vomit. He chronicled horrendous values such as lying, greed, bullying, sliming, revenge, abuse of power and disregard for human life.
Bush told Katie Couric on CBS, “… One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.” No wonder. Bush eventually admitted that al-Qaida wasn’t linked to Iraq or Iraq to 9/11. So why did we invade? “The Iraq war is largely about oil,” said Alan Greenspan. Chuck Hagel agreed: “We didn’t go into Iraq for the figs.”
Bigotry is another value. Conservatives hate gays even though Christ never condemned them. Pope Francis asked, “Who am I to judge?” Sarah Palin smeared him as “kind of liberal.” The Duck Dynasty supremo blasted away at gays, pandering to millions of viewers. Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson laughs all the way to the bank.
Contempt for truth is rampant. For example, Palin’s adamant: “Go back to what our Founders and our founding documents meant — they’re quite clear — that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments.” She knows this David Barton pseudo-history is entirely false. (Even his conservative publisher squawked.) “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,” said John Adams, founder, president, 1797).
Another value is willful ignorance, as Palin certainly demonstrates: “Global warming, my gluteus maximus.” But she must know that oil pipelines are sinking into Alaska’s permafrost. It’s melting. People once kept quiet about their ignorance of science. They now flaunt it. I believe this willful ignorance stems from laziness and lack of moral fiber.
Utter selfishness is a core value. Mitt Romney destroyed the American Dream to make his fortune. Millions of jobs have been sent overseas for profit. Republicans pressed for China to be admitted to the World Trade Organization for this very purpose. Paul Ryan’s proposed budget in 2008 was utterly selfish. Even the revolting Newt Gingrich opposed it.
There’s no outrage against these revolting values. Instead, we get hypocrisy and corruption.
Hypocrisy was the human weakness most despised by Christ. Today, millions of Americans are ruined. So our fine conservative Christians fight for Christian charity for them, right? Certainly not. “Republicans fought for huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country. Hundreds and hundreds of billions in tax breaks for the top 1 percent and 2 percent,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind.,-Vermont. Republicans don’t give a damn about the plebs.
Former Republican Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, has been indicted on 14 corruption charges (though he’s innocent until proven guilty, of course). Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, may have used his power to exact revenge and to use Hurricane Sandy funds for extortion. He was shocked, shocked (like Capt. Renault in Casablanca) to find that his staff closed the world’s busiest bridge for a “traffic study” that nobody’s seen and never will. Christie’s not been formally charged (and may be innocent) but he went a bridge too far, politically. Neither he nor McDonnell is now a viable presidential candidate. Voters eventually draw the line on conservatives’ revolting values.
I’ve met a surprising number of decent (though misguided) Republicans. But I have advice for the rest. Consider this from Queen Elizabeth’s 2013 Christmas Day Message: “For Christians, as for all people of faith, reflection, meditation and prayer help us to renew ourselves in God’s love, as we strive daily to become better people.” Pope Francis said basically the same on Palm Sunday this year.
Conservatives, please reflect, and become better people by dropping your revolting “values.”