Based on relationship
Last month, I suggested that personal identity has shifted from relationship-based to market-based notions of success and that this shift contributes significantly to our political strife. Today I suggest that this shift has been driven by the political right.
Libertarianism with its emphasis on extreme personal freedom and rugged individualism within the marketplace--raw capitalism, let's call it--has taken over the GOP. This value system leads many to feel undervalued or left out. The schism within the GOP between libertarian/capitalist values and traditional conservatism with its focus on family and community relationships has led directly to Trumpism, which attempts to fill the void by emphasizing class or race as a basis for identity.
Democratic ideals have changed little from those well-articulated by Mario Cuomo in the mid-1990s when he likened society to an extended family stating that we should provide for the education, clothing, feeding, health care and housing of members of our family. One can argue about whether large-scale social programs are effective, but few would argue with the principle of helping others. We used to agree on helping each other and differ on the means to achieve this.
Our biggest threat is not socialism, but elevation of libertarian capitalism to a moral rather than an economic system. This criticism is not anti-capitalist because capitalism thrives best in a society based on traditional moral values of caring.
Religion is not the remedy because those parts of the country with the highest degree of religiosity are those with the highest rate of "deaths of despair": suicide, and deaths from substance abuse, specifically more rural areas. Let's all recommit to relationships and social responsibility as the bedrock of society. These values transcend party.
Solve issues together
It seems Republicans have always been opposed to entitlements, yet our governor has stopped the added monthly unemployment benefits to those who need it the most. All in an effort to force people to go back to work for starvation wages so someone can own a hamburger stand, all this when maybe only 30 percent of the people are fully vaccinated.
This is on the governor. This is the very definition of entitlement. What about helping with child care, which is almost impossible to find, or help with transportation, health care, etc.? Work with small-business owners and potential employees. Let's solve these issues together. What would it hurt? I was in the staffing business for 30 years and it's just not this hard.
Hot Springs Village