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Should Republicans be Arrested and Jailed?by Daniel Johnson, Deputy Executive Editor
The short answer is "Yes". The long answer is "Of course."
(Calgary, Alberta) - The short answer is "Yes". The long answer is "Of course." The definitive answer is: "In many, if not most cases, they should be rounded up, stripped of their citizenship and deported to Madagascar".
One of the most famous sentences in the English language is the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
These are restricted rights, not always available to every American (blacks did not have access to them, even in theory, until the 1960s--Nearly two hundred years later--no rush) and today Republicans (and conservatives in general) are working flat out to deny those rights to a majority of their fellow citizens—a crime against humanity by any definition.
This hypocrisy is built into the American DNA—both political and cultural. Thomas Jefferson was a wealthy Virginia slave holder who owned hundreds of slaves. Calling attention to this contradiction, English abolitionist Thomas Day wrote in a 1776 letter:
"If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves."
Without “life” and the potential or ability to maintain it, the other two rights are meaningless. In this article, then, I am going to focus on “the pursuit of life” and the egregious Republican denial of that right.
The key aspect of life is health, which gives Americans the potential to live a long and fruitful life (barring accidents or being shot to death by an armed fellow citizen). Republicans want to pursue life, liberty and happiness for themselves, but passionately deny it to their more vulnerable fellow citizens.
Contemporary Republican hypocrisy is that the very people who are seeking to repeal President Obama’s “Affordable Health Care Act” are the very same people who have complete taxpayer paid, guaranteed, lifetime, gold plated, no questions asked, no cost too great for the American taxpayer to bear—-health, dental and vision care for themselves and their spouses until their dying breath.
All members of Congress, (current, retired or booted from office), Supreme Court justices, all living Presidents, Vice Presidents, never, ever have to create their own “death panel” by having to choose between food and seeing a doctor; between paying the rent or filling a prescription, no matter how vital.
You won't see the any of these people having a bake sale or putting out begging jars to pay for the medical bills of their children. They have absolutely no problem with socialized, universal health care for themselves and their families; it's only the American taxpayer, who actually pays and is denied. In this mind boggling hypocrisy millionaire Republicans on Capital Hill are all at the public trough, while denying the very people who pay their luxurious salaries and health care and lifetime pensions.
On May 10, 2012, the selfsame Republican controlled House broke faith with the American people. As a resolution to the debt-ceiling crisis last year, Republicans agreed to $109 billion a year in automatic spending cuts — half from defense, half from the domestic side. But Republicans are now are trying to make all of the cuts on the domestic side.
The Affordable Health Care Act is the only thing protecting the nation from an imminent surge in the number of Americans who can’t afford essential care—estimated at more than 50 million today.
Republicans want to increase the military budget (presumably so they can invade Madagascar) and make inhumane, draconian cut to domestic programs. In a 1953 speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower said:
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."
To demonstrate how much American society has degraded over the last half century, consider this: If Eisenhower were attempting the Republican presidential nomination, he would be booed off the stage; in fact, he would not even be considered a Republican. Ditto for Ronald Reagan.
Republicans (conservatives), en masse are a greater threat to America’s future than Al Qaeda. I could cite many more instances to make the case, but the particularly egregious example of Republicans overtly denying universal health care to millions of Americans who desperately need it, rises to the top in considering the Republican’s dismantling of America's progress of the last half century.
Societies exist and can be stable because of what 18th century French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau (who significantly influenced the Founding Fathers)-—called the social contract; A simple example of this complex reality is the world of driving. Everyone who gets behind the wheel implicitly agrees to obey the basic rules—drive on the right, at or below posted speed limits, halt at both stop signs and red lights, slow down in school zones, don’t drive while intoxicated, and so on. People who violate this social contract can end up in jail.
What the above examples all have in common are violations against a common good. American society is actually the opposite. Citizens do not explicitly agree to allowed courses of action, but rather agree to courses of inaction within the framework of the Constitution.
There is a fundamental, easily stated difference between Canadians and Americans--the philosophy of personal privilege: Americans believe that unless they are specifically prohibited from doing something, it’s their right to proceed; Canadians believe the opposite. It is the supremacy of the individual over the collective in the United States and the opposite in Canada (and most of the industrialized world).
Conservative writer David Brooks sums up the American social dilemma:
"We are a democratic, egalitarian people who spend our days desperately trying to climb over each other.”
To hell with the social contract!
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Daniel Johnson as a teenager aspired to be a writer. Always a voracious reader, he reads more books in a month than many people read in a lifetime. He also reads 100+ online articles per week. He knew early that in order to be a writer, you have to be a reader.
He has always been concerned about fairness in the world and the plight of the underprivileged/underdog.
As a professional writer he sold his first paid article in 1974 and, while employed at other jobs, started selling a few pieces in assorted places.
Over the next 15 years, Daniel eked out a living as a writer doing, among other things, national writing and both radio and TV broadcasting for the CBC, Maclean’s (the national newsmagazine) and a wide variety of smaller publications. Interweaved throughout this period was soul-killing corporate and public relations writing.
It was through the 1960s and 1970s that he got his university experience. In his first year at the University of Calgary, he majored in psychology/mathematics; in his second year he switched to physics/mathematics. He then learned of an independent study program at the University of Lethbridge where he attended the next two years, studying philosophy and economics. In the end he attended university over nine years (four full time) but never qualified for a degree because he didn't have the right number of courses in any particular field.
In 1990 he published his first (and so far, only) book: Practical History: A guide to Will and Ariel Durant’s “The Story of Civilization” (Polymath Press, Calgary)
Newly appointed as the Deputy Executive Editor in August 2011, he has been writing exclusively for Salem-News.com since March 2009 and, as of summer 2011, has published more than 160 stories.
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