Monday, April 30, 2012

There is nothing new underneath the sun. (sigh)

There is nothing new under the Sun 

Marathon Jewish Community Center’s library has a lot of hidden gems on the shelves.  I came across one just the other day. It was Harry Golden’s book Your Entitle’, and contains his columns syndicated and distributed by the McClure Newspaper Syndicate.  If he were writing these columns today, they would most likely appear in his blog.

Kohellet’s famous line, “There is nothing new beneath the sun. (1:9)” in the Biblical book Ecclesiastes came to my mind when reading his column “The conscience of Mr. Goldwater” ( page167)

The English conservatives recently won an election with promises to expand the program of the Socialists.  Like his British cousin, the American conservative whose own programs remain in vacuo finds his strength in the existence of such liberal programs as the New Deal, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and social security.  His strength is a strength by nostalgia.  Senator Goldwater opens his book, The Conscience of a Conservative, with the statement, “The ancient and tested truths that guided our Republic through its early days will do equally well for us.”  But the conservatives has no intention of abandoning or repealing the Securities Exchange Commission, the Tennessee Valley Authority, or social security, which are certainly no ancient and tested truths.  Thus they speak of the great “conservative” South, but let us see a minute.  In my State (North Carolina) there are one hundred and seventy-five thousand conservative Southerners who would not have electricity, telephones, refrigerators, washing machines, or television sets were it not for the “radicals” who instituted the rural electrification program.  Rural homes and farmhouses light up today for the simple reason that privately owned power companies could not possibly have stretched their lines to them without doing grave injustice to their stockholders.  For electricity and power stations these conservative Southerners were perfectly willing to let the Federal Government encroach upon their States’ rights.  The conscience of a conservative is no more than a dream, the same sort of dream that nourishes the segregationist, a dream of a past that cannot, and should not, be recalled.

Basically, the primaries are over.  Mitt Romney will be the Republican candidate facing President Barak Obama for the 2012 elections.  But after reading Golden’s article I saw that the more things change, the more things stay the same. Truly there is nothing new under the sun.

The Republican Party has lurched to the right led by the Tea Party.  Their strength is the strength of a false nostalgia. They have the ability not to confuse the issues with the facts. Remember some time last year at a Tea Party rally, some person held a sign that read, “Don’t touch my Social Security” not realizing that Social Security was one of the governmental programs the “radicals” put in place.  Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare helps those Tea Party members as well as almost every citizen of our country.

Despite the absence of any statistically significant voter fraud, Republican controlled states have enacted strict voter id laws.   In states like Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio new laws dampen the ability of citizens to vote.  Getting newcomers into the electorate has gotten more difficult. A required photo ID, shorter windows of opportunity for voter registration, and more complicated rules are regular features of these ID laws.  Of course these laws primary affect minority voters’ ability to exercise their constitutional right to vote. The only logical reason to prevent these people from voting is the fact that they would most likely vote for the Democratic Party candidates.  Under the banner of states’ rights, freedom is being perverted.   ID legislation doesn’t lead us to the dream of a better future, but the return of the nightmare of our past.

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