Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Admiring the Unadmirable

Hot Air's Ed Morrissey informs us that Judicial Watch has finally been able to obtain from the FBI unredacted files on the late Senator Ted Kennedy. They're not pretty. Add to what's in these files the Senator's chronic cheating while in college, his deplorable conduct at Chappaquiddick, and what he's widely believed to have done with former senator Chris Dodd and a waitress at the La Brassierie restaurant in D.C., and one can only be deeply disappointed that so many liberals consider this man to be something of a political hero.

The irony is that Kennedy is an icon in the liberal pantheon while Richard Nixon, whose offenses were no worse, and perhaps much less so, is a villain.

What is the standard by which we judge the quality and character of our leaders? Is it simply their ideological allegiance? We ought to be much more fair-minded, more objective, more honest than that. Otherwise, how credible is our opinion?

Perhaps we should ask ourselves, when we read about how any particular leader on our side of the political spectrum has acted, what we would think if we read the same thing about someone on the other side. Would we give that person a pass? If not, we shouldn't extend one to the guy on our own side either.

I find myself wondering about this with respect to my fellow conservatives almost anytime I hear Sean Hannity's radio show. What would his conservative admirers think if some liberal talk show host was as rude, arrogant and just plain dumb as Hannity often is (I'd add pompous, but compared to Bill O'Reilly, Hannity's pomposity fades almost to zero)? I think they'd be outraged, as they often are by Chris Matthews and other hosts at MSNBC, but Matthews is just a liberal mirror image of Sean Hannity.

To paraphrase Martin Luther King let's measure people by the content of their character and not by the color of their ideology or the political party to which they belong. Let's judge them by the same standard by which we judge the people on our own side and vice versa.

One More Story

I didn't want to do any more posts on this topic for a while, but when I read this I thought I should share it. So here's one last story from a reader about how broken our welfare system is:
I also work in the medical field posting payments and am blown away at the number of people on government based insurances. With that said, I am not saying it is right or wrong, but I feel that the government needs to crack down more on this issue. I have a Unison [state insurance benefit for children] for my oldest daughter right now as a third insurance because last year she was placed into an eating disorder hospital that I later found out was out of my network (for her father's and my insurance) so I was recommended by the hospital to try to apply for Medical Assistance. After much reservation I did it only as a last resort. I do have to say in my situation, it was a good decision because I have been able to qualify for intense one on one and family therapy that I could only receive through Medical Assistance.

I received my renewal notice from the government at the beginning of the year and I filled the paperwork out completely. I have a very dear friend (that receives help from the government) read over my paperwork to make sure I had all of my information correct and included and some of the things I included she told me, "Don't include that, it's none of their business how far you go to work or how much you get in child support". I told her that I needed to include all of that because they have a right to know if they are helping me out.

The very dear friend that I am talking about lives in Section 8 housing, is raising 3 kids alone (the fathers are either in jail or give no support), working full time and goes to school part time. She receives food stamps, repair bills on her car (they reimburse a certain amount of money every 6 months depending on the extent of work that needs done, regular maintenance is not included however), and other benefits. I don't have an issue with the benefits she receives because she is working and taking care of her kids. What bothers me is that her kids always have new Nike shoes, new clothes (from stores such as Aeropostale), and she also buys herself fancy purses. I know that everyone should be entitled to buy things, but if she is receiving all of this assistance, how is that fair to people that are barely making it without the assistance?

I have one last thought on the system and people taking advantage. Most of the women in my husband's family are on public assistance and disability. Some of them have children that are disabled, some of them have disability on themself. This bothers me because all of his female relatives except one are perfectly healthy and ok to get a job, they just choose not to because it's easier to sit at home and collect their money. The majority of their reasoning is they are obese and can't work. I have an issue with that because there are a lot of people that are obese that are working every week. The family member that has the children with disabilities, I have major issues with because the kids are taken care of, but she's out playing Bingo every week, bought a big screen TV, and is always blowing money. She is also unemployed and needs to get a job, but doesn't want to. I guess I just want to know, when is the government going to step in and do something about the people that take advantage of the system?

In closing, I might sound like a hypocrite because I have a government insurance, but that is the only government assistance I receive. I did not apply for food stamps or anything else because I feel that I can afford groceries and such on my own and there may be someone else out there more deserving than me.
I think it can be said that our country has sacrificed justice to an ersatz compassion. It's a travesty that taxpayers, sometimes working two or three jobs in order to support their families and to achieve a piece of the American dream, are required by our government to also subsidize people like this reader's relatives.