It seems to me that the Democrats have been able to define themselves as the compassionate party because we have let them re-define compassion. What do I mean? They have convinced the American people (Democrats and Republicans) that voting for the government to take money from the many (or the rich) and giving it to the few (or the poor) is really what compassion is all about. Republicans have largely been ineffective at revealing the flaws in this logic. In fact from where I sit not many have tried. Rush, I think, has been the best at it because he has lots of time to explain things thoroughly. He has really gotten me to think and it has made me angry at Christians in particular for closing their eyes to abortion and walking hand in hand with the Democrats because Christians see compassion as their Christian duty. But is compassion as defined by the Dems true compassion?
Republicans know that it is not, but they are afraid to hit this point head on. They don’t want to be seen as attacking compassion. They need to show that it is really a false compassion. True compassion is when I see a need and fill it. It is not when I vote for someone who will pass a law that will empower the government to take money from someone (not me, assuming I’m not rich) and give it to someone else (not me, assuming I’m not poor). This might make a voter feel good, but is it really what Christian compassion is all about? No, of course not. Especially when we judge the good done by the real result.
For instance, welfare and public housing. Welfare has ruined the black family. Can anyone really dispute this? Before welfare the black family was intact, now it is not. Of course I’m speaking of the black family within the welfare community. Out of wedlock births and crime are systemic problems largely created by welfare. Is that true compassion?
And we can apply this to the healthcare debate as well. Is true compassion a government program like Medicaid and Medicare or a private enterprise like the Shriner’s Hospitals? Medical care given for free by medical professionals and medicines given for free by drug companies is what true compassion is all about. We do this well in America. Medicaid and Medicare do pay for the care of lots of people who need it, but now money is tight and getting tighter and Obama’s main focus in this talk of healthcare reform is cost control – not quality care. With the Shriners the main focus is quality care and it is financed by generous donors individual and corporate and rightly encouraged by our government with the charitable tax deduction. With the government health plan we hear talk of reigning in those doctors who order unnecessary tests and procedures. Yes, they say, this is how we are going to pay for our program – by cutting waste. Somehow a government that cannot manage to cut its own waste is going to make sure those doctors and hospitals cut their waste and they will do it by cutting fees as they have already done with Medicare. Because they are so compassionate.
So, Republican leaders, please, please, take the bull by the horns here and define true compassion! Stand up for what you know is right! Don’t be content to just vote ‘no’ and lay your head on your pillow thinking you have done all you can do as we usher in a new era of government control over health care. Please get out there are work with those who are standing up against this to change public opinion. Get to the root of the issue and take back the moral high ground! It may not be too late.