In Need: Can government help its helpless citizens?

08Aug08

I consider myself politically neutral these days, despite having been both liberal and conservative in the past. Something that always attracted me to the Democratic camp is how they seem to genuinely feel for the poor among us–something that seems to be a very Christian idea. Unfortunately, I soon realized that a big portion of their solution to the problem seems to be throwing money at the less-fortunate.

First of all, I don’t believe that’s a viable solution because I don’t believe money improves anyone’s lives. I really think we need other people who believe in us and who can encourage us genuinely–something I don’t believe a government is capable of providing (because a government can’t tell people to go love people in need of love). No amount of money can do that. This goes to show just how powerless a government can be when it comes to actually making a positive difference in the world.

Secondly, the Republican solution seems to rely on giving tax breaks to the rich and relying on complicated economic trickle-down effects to get money and resources to the poor (which, again, I don’t believe solves the problem). It honestly appears as if many in this camp are using this solution as an excuse to be greedy and cling to their moneys (which is interesting because that makes it seem that Jesus would side with the “godless liberals” over the Religious Right–although Jesus never seemed to fit in well with the religious folks). However, I do agree with the conservatives in that [I believe] it isn’t the government’s job to take care of the needy–it’s the Church’s.

So I love the passion for humanitarianism (a very Christ-like quality that doesn’t seem to occur too often in the Religious Right) but I also feel like their methodology is wrong. But to their credit, (and realize I’m not saying this is true of all liberals) if I didn’t believe in God, I wouldn’t trust the Chruch for much anyways–the next viable option would appear to be the government.

On the flip side, I believe the conservative side has the right intellectual idea, but they seem to lack the compassion to actually care about the needy in the ways that their God does (so it’s kind of funny to me the godless liberals seem to follow God better than the Religious Right–which leads me to believe that perhaps the “godless liberals” have a confused idea about God because of how us “Christians” represent Him).

So to awkwardly tie-together this loose, airy post… Basically I don’t believe it is the government’s responsibility, I admire the liberals’ passion, I am disappointed in the conservative camp for not feeling more emphatically on the issue (especially those who believe God would only ever vote Republican), and I think it would be ephing sweet if we all would stop arguing and handle this without going through the ever-complicated middle-management that is our government. That is to say, if the religious and non-religious, liberal and conservative, etc would take care of the problem through private organizations (who would be focused on the actual problem) and unaffiliated with any church or political movement or some other means. The end.

So I’m writing this on 10/08/08: It seems to me lately that the welfare system may only be 10% effective and the rest may be “wasteful”, but if you think about it, that 10% is still getting used and it’s not like the rest of us need that additional money anyways. I mean, if you have a car you’re among 8% of the world’s most elite population anyways. Moreover, if we were really interested in efficiency, we could always take a little more time and ensure that that money gets used effectively by buying necessities for the needy. So I guess I’m now okay with the Democrats’ passion and their methodology on this issue.

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