Republican Party exploitation of the poor

"Certain demands which arise within society are sometimes not examined in accordance with criteria of justice and morality, but rather on the basis of the electoral or financial power of the groups promoting them. With time, such distortions of political conduct create distrust and apathy, with a subsequent decline in the political participation and civic spirit of the general population, which feel abused and disillusioned" (Centesimus 47).

Thus says the Lord: For three crimes of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke my word; because they sell the just for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals. They trample the heads of the weak into the dust of the earth and force the lowly out of the way. Amos 2:6-8

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The Republican Party has engaged in a deliberate campaign of demagoguery and demonization of the poor since the days of Nixon. The poor have been pictured as being solely responsible for their own plight and government welfare programs have been accused of fostering dependency and social pathology, with little data to back up these claims and in fact, in the face of data that suggest that the opposite is true (Mollenkopf 658).

Further, the claim that the Republican welfare reformers are motivated ideologically by a worldview that holds that "limited government" is the best government (see Charles Murray's In Search of Happiness and Good Government) is belied by their continued willingness to shovel cash out the door in the form of Welfare for the Affluent and Aid to Dependent Corporations as well as their passion for tax cuts that increase deficit spending (as noted elsewhere in this paper, this converts a tax liability for the rich into a transfer payment to the rich).

Their alleged "concern" for the poor -- which is often cited as a primary reason, absent any financial considerations -- for welfare reform (e.g. see C. Murray Losing Ground) is contradicted by their refusal to consider structural issues regarding poverty (such as the issues described herein) --even those which have a foundation in classical liberal economy theory (e.g. economic regulation, urban renewal, deficit spending, and health care). Their focus is solely on the sins of the poor; there is no reflection or action upon the sins of the rich or the structures of society that oppress the poor.

This suggests that their concerns are motivated by avarice and gluttony, rather than a different vision of social justice. Their self-proclaimed "concern" for the poor is specious, self-serving, insulting, and demeaning to the poor. They are morally unprincipled louts, and it is a tragedy of historic proportions that at this critical time in the nation's history, we are cursed with such as our representatives in Congress.

Republicans have cooperated with the Democrats in extending the activities of the federal government into virtually all aspects of modern life. This has helped to create -- and is driving today -- the rapid growth of the anti-government movement, that in turn pushes the politicians into cutting poverty programs (thereby giving evidence of their "concern" for the deficit in an attempt to shift blame from the affluent to the poor for the budget deficit and to hide their party's culpability for the situation). The Republican Party is guilty of flagrant and corrupt and scandalous behavior, having been on the receiving end of billions in campaign contributions and lobbyist favors, which has been in trade for political favors received and granted. It is a situation that truly cries out to heaven for redress and justice (Shapiro 30, Toolan 7).

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