The GOP, the party of personal responsibility, is the new "Occupy" victim

posted by Jeff | Saturday, November 9, 2019, 8:33 AM | comments: 0

Remember the whole "Occupy Wall Street" thing back in 2011? The short story is that a bunch of unorganized people camped out in a park in Manhattan's financial district to protest a vague set of concerns over wealth inequality, corruption in the financial system and other vaguely immortal behavior rooted in capitalism, but not capitalism itself. There is historical precedence that shows wealth inequality destabilizes or destroys societies, so that's a valid concern, but you have to consider at what point it's a problem, and how desperate the people at the bottom are. And certainly, as we began recovering out of the great recession, it was clear that greed and a lack of regulation and accountability made that happen.

But where the protest came from was a disorganized sense of entitlement and victimhood. It was composed largely of white, middle class college educated people with expectations that a degree meant they didn't need to work their way toward success. This still goes on today to an extent, where people who took out $300k in student loans will never get ahead because, well, they borrowed $300k for education. Like I said, there are bona fide issues to address about "the system," but if your reason for challenging it is that you feel like a victim and you're entitled to something, I have a really hard time getting behind that.

In the days of Ronald Reagan, he led the GOP with something often branded as "compassionate conservatism," which suggested that government would work with philanthropic organizations to alleviate poverty, and generally be sensitive to the plight of the poor, but not be solely responsible for lifting people up. It encouraged people to take responsibility for themselves to advance in life. Now, this is the same period that brought us "trickle down economics," the theory that investment and wealth building at the top raises all boats, but we've seen for the last 30+ years that doesn't work. And taking responsibility for yourself is also a nuanced problem, as environment and birth lottery still drastically affects outcomes. But the core tenant of the party, that you are responsible for you, is still a good value to adopt, even if there's a ton of nuance around its practice.

The GOP has since become the Occupy movement, entitled and claiming to be a victim. It supported a president that it knew was immoral from the start. Now that he has, in office, broken laws with mounting evidence, it believes that it has become a victim of the "Dems," the free press and phantom conspirators. Even if all of that were true, it doesn't change the fact that the president has acted illegally. You can't do things that are wrong and be the victim. If you get a speeding ticket, you can't blame the cop for speeding.

No one is trying to "overturn" the election. If the Senate would in fact remove the president, and I somehow doubt it will, Hillary doesn't become president, Mike Pence does, the other guy you voted for. The House is doing exactly what the Constitution outlines. All this nonsense about not being "fair" to Trump is not real. He gets to defend himself in a Senate trial. The House acts more as a grand jury investigation, and to that extent, has adopted the same rules the GOP outlined for Clinton's impeachment. The accused isn't entitled to anything in the investigation phase anyway. Read the Constitution.

The Mueller Report made an extensive case for obstruction of justice, which for some reason the House did not act on. Now their own investigation has mounting evidence that the sitting president attempted to pressure a foreign government to investigate a political rival in exchange for aid. It's not ambiguous. The president and his party are not victims here.

Nut up and face the music. Take responsibility. That's what Reagan would have wanted you to do.


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