Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marco Rubio slams Medicare and Social Security, claims they "weakened us as a people"

Give Republican wunderkind (if not quite as much of one as, say, Paul Ryan) Marco Rubio credit. He certainly knows how to go thick on the right-wing ideology and appeal to the red-meaters who want to roll back all that has been accomplished in terms of social and economic justice since the Great Depression.

I'm not sure he's all that bright, but he says the right things, including yesterday at the Reagan Library, talking about Medicare and Social Security:

These programs actually weakened us as a people. You see, almost forever, it was institutions in society that assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and your future because you had to. We took these things upon ourselves in our communities, our families, and our homes, and our churches and our synagogues. But all that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities. All of a sudden, for an increasing number of people in our nation, it was no longer necessary to worry about saving for security because that was the government's job.

Republicans eat up this sort of nostalgia -- once upon a time, in some idyllic conservative paradise, people were virtuous and there was no need for government.

Of course, such a time never existed.

Sure, way back when, before the New Deal and Great Society, some people saved for their retirement and some people took care of others in need, and there were charitable institutions just as there are now but it's not like it was all roses. There was massive suffering as well, a huge underclass that could barely survive, not just the poor but vast swaths of what constituted the "middle" class.

Not that any of that appears in conservative history books or anything. If you were poor, you deserved it. It was as simple as that.

But here's what Rubio and his ilk (i.e., Republicans, conservatives) miss: Programs like Medicare and Social Security weren't established to create dependency (or a state leviathan) but because people -- millions and millions of them -- needed help, and because only the government, a government of the people, was in a position to provide that help. It isn't like the private sector cared, and individual charity only goes so far even in the best of times.

Not that Republicans give a shit.

They have their delusional mythology and cruel and unusual ideology to uphold, after all, and they apparently wouldn't mind it if seniors were wallowing in their own feces in hovels without heat, children were begging in the streets and scouring garbage dumps for food, and the rest of the America that falls outside their right-wing "paradise" were sliding deeper and deeper into an abyss of abject hopelessness.

Good times.

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  • So, Rubio is a Darwinian? (snark)

    By Anonymous Lynne Larson, at 11:42 AM  

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