The right wing radical Tea Party and its support media (the likes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh) constantly employ slogans and fear tactics with the intent of demonizing Democratic (progressive) ideology. One of their favorite pitches is that President Barack Obama and the Democrats are pushing us into socialism. Not true.
The irony of this tactic is that so many of this party’s leaders and their base are Christians. Many feel they are "born again" and will inherit God’s Kingdom. Do they ever stop to think and realize that God’s kingdom will not be a capitalistic society where making wealth and personal gain is the primary driving force? No! It will be a social order of sorts where those present will be living the principles of the first two great Commandments and the Golden Rule. Reference Matt 22: 37-40, Mark 12: 29-31 and elsewhere in the New Testament. They will love, serve, and honor a Sovereign God Creator; and they will be loving, teaching, serving and taking care of each other.
The model for this social order is portrayed in Acts, chapters 2 and 4, where at the time of Pentecost, the 3,000 saints strived to have all in common, the rich selling their possessions to share their wealth with the poor and needy saints. i.e. they loved and took care of each other in compliance with the Second Commandment and the Golden Rule. To you non-Christian readers, please be reminded that all major religions throughout the world have their version of the Golden Rule. All are basically identical in content and serve the same purpose as the Second Commandment.
The Lord Jesus Christ’s teachings in the New Testament made it clear how hard it would be for a rich man to enter into his kingdom. Reference Matt 19:23-24 ... A rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven ... it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle ... Also the parable of Lazarus and The Rich Man (Luke 16:19-31).
The point being that the difficulty for the rich to enter God’s Kingdom is because of inherent greed and selfishness (the more you get and have the more you want). This is the same driving force behind most of capitalism and is the reason it will not be practiced in heaven.
That being said, I, like most Americans including President Obama believe that God inspired our free enterprise system for this end time. I believe he did so because of its self-gain incentive. It best provides the motivation for development of the technology needed to produce the necessities of life essential for a vast population to exist together. However, I think he intended it to be administered within the auspices of the Second Commandment and the Golden Rule.
The fear tactic of crying socialism has no foundation. I know of no credible Democratic party member or party group that is pushing dominant socialism, a classless society, or suppression of wealth-growing potential for those already rich. Most Christian Democrats are aware that the Lord made it clear that to those who have been given much, much is expected. They are to be good stewards and do all they can to increase their wealth, but again within the confines of the Second Commandment and the Golden Rule, and then use their excess to help the poor and needy.
In support of this self-gain driving force, we all know there are many successful wealthy people who give generously to support various causes and to help the poor and less fortunate. Also there are many prosperous businesses that appreciate and respect their employees and pay them well both in wages and benefits. Both groups suppressing their inherent greed and selfishness.
I believe it was President Lyndon Baines Johnson who said that if capitalism is to work for the good of all, it has to have a blend of sociaism. I see only two controls favored by the Democrats that utilize this blend. 1. To ensure that proper and fair regulations are reinstated and imposed on the corporate arm of capitalism to keep greed and selfishness in check. e.g., outsourcing.
The second control is the "not-for-profit" regulations that our government maintains on cherished services and benefits that bless the lives of all our nations citizens. These include: our public education system, military, law enforcement, fire protection, judicial system, national, state and city parks, infrastructure (highways, roads, bridges, dams, etc.) Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public libraries, Postal service, and the list goes on; all "not-for-profit" except those requiring competitive bids or regulated subsidies. e.g., infrastructure, military hardware, weapons, NASA projects, FEMA, Medicare, and Medicaid. Once again all under government oversight to control greed.
If this next election puts the Republicans in dominate control of the Congress and the presidency, you can kiss these "blessings for all" as we now know them goodbye. In time, they will privatize every one they can in support of their free enterprise mantra "profit first." Then watch out for greed.
Kudos to the smart and insightful "Viewpoints" contributors who have expressed sound wisdom as to why austerity measures need to be put on hold and tax revenue from the wealthy increased — at least until this nation is back on the path to prosperity for all its citizens.
Hopefully by then Grover Norquist’s ridiculous anti-tax policy pledged by nearly all Republican congressmen will be deceased, as it is one of the main reasons for our dysfunctional Congress. Then maybe bipartisan debate and negotiations for proper and fair spending and tax reforms can be implemented to tackle the debt crisis.
DeFriez is a retired maintenance planning engineer and supervisor with ATK. He lives in Brigham City.