The end of ‘compassionate conservatism’?

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(RNS) Just three years after George W. Bush left the White House, compassionate conservatives are an endangered species. Is this just a case of the Republican Party wanting to distance itself from the Bush years -- or is compassionate conservatism gone for good? By Amy Sullivan.

  • Mike Morgan

    “Compassionate conservativism” – an oxymoron.

  • clduckett

    The Republican’s have hijacked so-called “Christianity” for political gains, anticipating the Christian voter base will be too lazy, too complacent, or too ignorant to question the Republican message, political bait-and-switch tactics, or unproven claims. You can’t blame the Republicans though, because this was a brilliant move on their part.

    The Christian base has proven itself to be rather lazy, complacent, or ignorant when it comes to actually doing the hard and often painful work of drilling deep to examine the historical / sociological / political roots of their own Bronze Age religion. This, of course, is human nature. It is always easier to merely repeat what one has been told rather than to diligently question, practice critical thinking, and test the veracity of the source material.

    The Republicans, knowing this, will take full advantage of this particular mindset and therefore are free to say just about anything they want–even outright lies–knowing the Religious Right will swallow it hook-line-and-sinker without bothering to push back. (The Republicans have long understood this about their voting base: “If they don’t push back at the pulpit, they sure as blazes aren’t going to push back at the stump.”)

    In other words, it’s easy to sell someone on the Easter Bunny if they have already bought into Santa Claus, even as this sell completely turns the Christian message on it’s ear–DON”T heal the sick, DON’T help the homeless, DON’T feed the poor, DON’T give away all your possessions and come follow me, and the love of money is the root of all GENEROSITY.

    By buying into the Republican’s claims, the Religious Right can tell themselves they voted on the side of “God and Country” even if reality bears out the very opposite. Meanwhile the rich get richer, the poor get poor, the sick get sicker, and the Republican party is laughing all the way to the bank while continuing to bemoan the evils of “socialism” and the horrid liberal agenda of daring to help those in need, the infirm, and the less fortunate.

  • ronwagn

    The best way to help someone is to teach them to help themselves, and lend them a helping hand. Temporarily. We have developed a welfare class that is better off than low income working class people. People will not work without motivation. We help with food, shelter, medical cards, cell phones, etc. etc. For those who really cannot work at all, that is good. Unfortunately, most of us know of someone who could do valuable work, but is living on the dole. Even that wouldn’t be so terrible if we could afford it. We cannot. We are broke, and going the way of Greece. We need to encourage the work ethic, not the welfare ethic. That is truly the Christian way. Welfare addiction destroys true self worth, and undermines the role of the church in society.

  • didutz

    I hope that the debates about this project.. had good results in the end, because this type of situations..have to be certainly avoided.
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