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Friday, June 22, 2007

Being Against Poverty

Why is it so hard to believe that a guy who grew up poor in one of the poorest regions of our country who pulled himself out of that poverty--at least as he sees it--by fighting for little people being abused by powerful people would want to end poverty.

I'm not sure the Edwards has the chops to win the Presidential Election, but I think he does want to help poor people, really. Why such an obsession with disproving this? As mentioned in the earlier post, I really think the President wants to further his Christian ideology. I don't think it would be fruitful to search to challenge that.

Weird.

4 comments:

Juris Naturalist said...

Indeed,
Much effort is wasted on attempting to disprove Edward's intentions. I believe this is because the contenders have alternate agendas. They want those same resources to go to the military industrial complex.

A better argument is that efforts to alleviate poverty through the state are inefficient at best.

Poverty is not the responsibility of the state, it is these" ourselves, never to adopt an "I gave at the tax booth" attitude again.

Matt Dick said...

The current arguments against Edwards' sincerity strikes me as exactly the attacks on George Bush Sr. as not being manly enough. It's elevating a superficial characteristic to the value of it trumping objective evidence.

Bush Sr. has a highish, nasally voice which could be seen as not deep and manly. He was also the youngest fighter pilot in the Navy, shot down once, head of the CIA, captain of a College World series baseball team, Vice President and President of the US. He pretty much rose to the top of every one of the manliest professions that lives in the hearts of teen males.

Edwards is very pretty and is now enormously rich. That can be elevated to make him seem carefree and insincere. In fact he had a very humble upbringing, had a child die in an accident and now is struggling with his wife dying at a horrendously young age for such a thing. In this case, he is in the perfect position to be an effective advocate for the less fortunate -- he can empathize, sympathize, and can wield enough power to do something.

He's just so pretty.

JimII said...

Juris naturalist,

How is poverty not the responsibility of the state? The general welfare is the reason for participating in a government.

On the God's Politics blog you've suggested a couple of times that caring for the poor is the exclusive province of the Church. I think that is a wonderful notion. I think that when the church addresses the poor we realize that giver and receiver are bettered by the action. However, there are a couple of sticking points for me.

1. The scripture is full of prophets advising kings to care for the poor. It is pretty undeniable that the religious tradition from which we come recognizes the need for the state to address poverty. And Jesus completely reinforced this idea. There is no separation of church and state in Christianity. That's a purely American idea.
2. Charity has nowhere near the capacity to handle the poor that are created by capitalism. Capitalism is awesome, but we can't let people starve while we ramp up our charity system.

So, let's make a more robust Christian charity web. Let's lift people up and be lifted up in the process. Then when the welfare roles are empty, we can talk about removing the social safety net.

JimII said...

Matt,

You are SOOOOOOO right. I've often used the "George Sr. is a wimp" idea as an example of how stupid and false narratives can take over our public discourse.

Ug.