Monday, October 3, 2016

What's So Wrong With Right?

I cannot stop thinking about the differences between right and left. I used to be extremely right-wing myself. I can understand how I was forced into this way of thinking, but what I cannot understand is why some people never recognize how much pain and suffering is caused by ill-conceived ideas such as assuming the worst of those on welfare. I used welfare to support myself, my wife, and my son while I went to college and it was an absolute life-saver. I am now quite established in the middle class and have likely paid enough taxes to afford all the support I ever received. I further cannot understand how it is Christians, of all people, who praise a God of mercy and love who make up the majority of the right. Well, actually, I wrote an entire book on that subject so I understand it just fine, but I still do not understand how some people refuse to critically look at their own beliefs. Willful blindness is amazing and terrifying.

Jesus taught a message of love toward the poor. The Christian right instead teaches disdain for the poor. They are lazy, as the story goes. The left sees them as just the opposite, of course-- they are filled with misfortune. I wonder how many from the right or left have actually even spent any time with the poor. This is one thing I can actually speak about through experience. I spent time with the poor. I befriended the poor. I did not merely hand out shoes, shirts, or pizza and walk away, I studied, walked with, and talked with the poor. I drove them to visit their friends and family. I loaned them my house. I bought them furniture for their apartments. I know the poor quite well--at least the poor of Kalamazoo, Michigan. I also know that I was the only one doing it. People "served" the poor, sure. They spent an hour serving up soup or hot dogs to any and all who would come, but they did not sit and dine with them as Jesus would have, and so many of these programs were done for the sole purpose of preaching and converting them to their faith rather than simply loving and caring for them.

Most of these poor people were mentally ill; they could not hold a job if they wanted to. They were not lazy, they were incapable. Of all the poor whom I found and spoke with, there were only three that stood out as abusing the system. Two of them were friends and simply found this lifestyle so much easier, though I have a hard time believing it was all that fulfilling. The third was presumably a drug addict, but I never confirmed this beyond the gossip. He seemed capable enough to me, however, so I do not suppose he ought to have been poor. Everyone else seemed to have the mental acuity of middle-schoolers or less. No sane person hanging out with these people would assume they were perfectly capable of getting jobs. The best that could be done for them would be to get them off the streets and provide something to occupy their time while they live out their days.

The right does not see any of this. They are entirely blinded to it somehow. It is the fault of the poor that we are in such a mess of a country. There are indeed those who abuse the system of welfare, sure, but somehow they miss the fact that the rich are abusing it a billion times over while the entirety of the poor comprises an overall small portion of our expenditures. Donald Trump, for example is likely paying zero dollars in taxes. Nothing. If he were paying some 30% in taxes like the rest of us, then our country would be in a much better position than it is now. And it's not just him. All the rich are avoiding taxes via loopholes in the tax code based upon their businesses. Back when our country was thriving the most, the rich had 70% taxes that they were actually paying. But the rich continue to feed the propaganda that if they get tax breaks and make more money, then they could make more jobs. And this leads me to another staggering question. How can the right be so duped by this? I simply do not understand how they can believe this.

How much money does one need to make before they finally start putting more of that into "making jobs?" Is it $10 million a year and every penny extra goes towards making new jobs? Maybe $10 billion? Heck, I would be opening my own shop with $10 million and yet the rich simply sit on it. Give it to me and more jobs will actually be created. It should be quite obvious that putting more money in the pockets of the rich simply puts more money in their pockets. Jobs are the last thing they create and only if absolutely necessary. They are already doing quite well for themselves and have no reason to create new businesses and new jobs unlike someone like me. And when things get tough, they keep their bonuses and high wages while laying off others who then become the poor that the right so despises. The fact that they're rich does not stop job loss. The economy controls jobs, not the rich, and the economy thrives by those who buy things: the middle class. The right should instead be despising the rich. How can they be so wrong about this? How can they possibly believe this tripe? It baffles my mind and I am miserably saddened by it. It hurts them and it hurts others. The country fails and flounders while they hate the poor, love the rich, watch America burn, and chant about how great of a country we are. What in the world is going on? I just don't get it and it grieves my heart.

So many people could be helped if they would simply soften their heart to the plights of others. But they've been so trained, I guess, to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps that they cannot fathom being in someone else's shoes. They cannot see what is going on in another person's life that may prevent them from holding a job or to see what drives a person to drugs or insanity. It is entirely impossible for them to love those less fortunate. Are they all bullies? Does it simply make them feel better about themselves? I just don't get it. The only thing I know is that they, too, have a problem which could use some help. I just wish I knew how to help them. I would love to help them see, but they do not hear facts despite being mostly capable-appearing individuals. They are somehow entrenched in their hate or disdain from the culture in which they grew. How in the world can this culture be changed? What can we do to open their eyes? Argumentation does not work since they are not interested in logic. So what would? What would help them see? Is their state similar to the state of the poor where nothing can truly help except to wait out their time? Is help simply outside the bounds of reality? Are they too far gone? I hate to believe so, but I just don't know.

I weep, knowing the pain and suffering caused by the right and the self-detriment of their condition. I know of no solution and it saddens me all the more. Why must they hate those in the most need? Why must they hold themselves higher than others? I have a stream of questions that may perhaps forever go unanswered. I simply hope that our culture can slowly change the next generation and the next after that while we see the right slowly die off in old stubborn age. But if their children grow within the same culture as the right, then they, too, will become the same. We mustn't allow the right to have an isolated culture apart from views of the left and experiencing the plights of the rest of humanity. Perhaps the best solution is inundating different experiences into our media. The right hates inclusiveness, of course, but perhaps this is why we do continue to progress. Our TV shows and music are perhaps the answer if our creative forces are so willing to make the difference. I have hope that they are and I see it quite often in the shows I watch. For this, I have hope for the future, but I still weep for the present, especially when so many of the left are just as blind as the right, picking their stance and ignoring what makes a person side with the right. No desire for understanding, just hate. I can understand this a little more, I suppose, but it is still ignorant and ill-founded to hate people who need help or to hate those who are beyond help. We are all in this mess together. We are all created by what goes on around us. I am simply glad that we appear to be progressing away from hatred however slowly it may seem.

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