Conservatives are against government, they see it as wasteful bureaucrats giving handouts – free healthcare, food stamps, welfare checks! Every government activity, in the eyes of the right, puts us on a path to socialism. The Republican solution to this problem? Demand more personal responsibility – people need to learn to fend for themselves. Yes, self reliance should be promoted, but we should not adhere to the belief that if you’re poor, if you’re on food stamps, if you can’t afford healthcare – it is unequivocally your fault. This may be true for some, but many times people fall into hardship, and it’s not their fault; in many instances it’s purely bad luck. But the narrow Republican worldview is, ‘Hey, if I made it without anyone’s help(except for growing up privileged with responsible parents, and a good education, not available to everyone) so can everyone else.’
Republicans, by and large, can’t sympathize with those who have fallen on hard times and require government assistance. Believing people on unemployment is not the result of the worst recession since the Great Depression, no, it’s because they made poor choices, and deserve to be punished. Therefore government shouldn’t waste its money on these ‘takers’.
There are some Republicans who hold this view, but have also gone against conservative dogma, most notably Dick Cheney and more recently Rob Portman, and endorsed equal rights for the gay community. Now, these two didn’t all of a sudden have a change of heart and realize every person, no matter what their sexual orientation may be, deserves equal rights. No, both have a child who is gay. And it wasn’t until someone close to them was adversely affected by Washington’s policies that they decided gay people should be treated the same as everyone else.
In one sense, it is good these politicians changed their stance on gay marriage because it puts us one step closer to a more fair and just society. But why can Republicans only empathize with the plight of individuals if they are directly related to them? We live in a world where groups and individuals are treated unfairly, are in need of help, or are just dealt a bad hand, and I hope politicians don’t have to be related to each minority sect, or every poor individual in order to evoke some type of sympathy.
Undocumented children brought here out of their control deserve rights not deportation. Youths unable to break the cycle of poverty due to violence and a poor education system deserve a second chance not a lesson in personal accountability. And individuals who merely run into bad luck deserved to be helped not be deemed as takers. Republicans can show compassion when it’s their kids; they should learn to show compassion for all their constituents as well.