This is building up to a “Why I Don’t Like The Australian Right” in a day or two. Be warned.
A fair bit of this comes from one twitter, which, as part of my non-idiot-shaming philosophy, will not be linked.
#10: “Government is untrustworthy, except when it comes to military force”
Government is untrustworthy. But you know what? The most untrustworthy bit is the military, because that is what totalitarian states use to maintain control.
And yet somehow American right-wingers are hugely in favour of the military. Which is kind of hilarious given their opposition to food stamp welfare, which feeds no less than 5000 soldiers on active service.
#9: “Poor people are just lazy.”
In a country with full employment and sufficient minimum wage, yes, lacking a job would be a sign that you don’t want one.
Your country has neither of those things. You do not have full employment. Your minimum wage is one third what it needs to be to produce a living wage. The politicians you are voting for are fighting against fixing those things. Try some empathy.
#8: “America is a Christian nation.”
“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…” – the Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11.
Usually the people who spout this somehow miss that “sell all you have, and give it to the poor” is in theory a Christian teaching. See #9 and #7. (I say “in theory” because large Christian organizations never seem interested in actually practicing it to that degree, and large right-wing Christian organizations are more along the lines of “sell all you have and give it to ME”.)
#7: “Government aid creates a dependent class, unlike private charities.”
How? Faezress radiation? Why does one create that effect and not the other? People who need food are getting fed either way. Does the government’s involvement have some magical effect that turns otherwise decent human beings into leeches?
If I was starving, my response to being given food by the government would not be “sweet, I can now develop into a dependent class”. It would be “hell yes, now I don’t need to starve.”
Usually the people who say this are operating on a resentment that their taxes are being used to pay for this, which is why I don’t view it as honest – you’ve expressed a desire to pay less, you tend to assume everyone else will also pay less, exactly which programs do you expect private charities to cut to pay for the starving people you’ve dropped on them? Since you want to keep your money, why would you give it to charity rather than government when the sole difference is a thing that you made up?
(This one, incidentally, is complete bullshit. The vast majority of American welfare recipients are on welfare for less than two years. Hooray for zombie lies and inadequate fact checking I guess.)
#6: “Guns don’t kill people, people do.”
Which are tools that make killing easier.
Especially when it comes to killing multiple people, which is very easy with an assault rifle and very hard with a butter knife.
Hey, here’s an idea. How about legalising the possession and sale of nuclear weapons? After all, nukes don’t kill people – people do.
#5: “We need guns to protect ourselves from the government.”
The government that has more guns and bombs than you do.
And which you in fact vote against when they propose reducing the number of guns and bombs they possess.
Consistency isn’t your strong suit, is it?
#4: “Firing a soldier who commits racist harassment of his co-workers threatens free speech.”
No it doesn’t. He is perfectly free to continue being racist in the unemployment line.
Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences. Nor does it entitle you to harass your co-workers, which is grounds for sacking in literally any other career in existence. Why should the military have to keep on douchenozzles when any other industry is entitled to give them the boot?
#3: “There are able-bodied people on food stamps!”
You do realise that 100% employment does not exist, right? So occasionally people who are not disabled will not be able to find employment? Would you seriously prefer them to turn to crime rather than seek out welfare? Because for reasons we’ve already discussed, it’s pretty clear that under your strategy they won’t be able to get help from the now overworked and under-financed private charities. You don’t like the tiny tax expenditure they cause you? How much will you like your increased insurance premiums when someone steals your TV to buy food?
Jokes aside, this is a symptom of a larger problem I see infecting right-wing politics today: “it is better for ten innocents to suffer than one guilty person go unpunished.” You see it in Abbott’s and Rudd’s boat people plans, in which dealing with people smugglers at the cost of their passengers is A-OK. (That their plans are worthless for this purpose is a thing I will get to later this week.) You see it in the idea that one welfare abuser automatically invalidates the whole system. I would rather have my tax occasionally go to help people who don’t deserve it than that it never go to people who do.
(Well, okay, I don’t pay tax at the moment because I can’t find a job that pays enough to get taxed, but you get the idea.)
This is not justice. It’s the exact opposite of justice. People complain when a few jerks ruin it for the rest of them because that should not happen; it’s so much worse when what’s at stake is starvation.
#2: Opposition to gay marriage.
I absolutely despise the idea that my gay sibling should not be permitted to marry whoever they like because of some idiot with his head up his backside. Case closed.
#1: “Champions of small government”
Did you perhaps nap through the entire Bush administration? You know, the guy who overrode as many checks and balances as possible? Nice going dudes. I’ve never been so glad to not live in your country as I was between 2001 and 2008.
Yeah, the next few weeks are probably not going to be fun for you guys, because:
a) With the election coming up, I’m thinking about politics more;
b) Thinking about politics usually makes me angry, because of how atrocious it gets sometimes;
c) When I’m angry, I usually vent it, and my parents are deeply bored of me venting to them.
On a brighter note, I would like to remind you that echidnas are the most adorable creatures ever. That waddling gait of theirs is surprisingly cute.
– OSM out