Article Comment 

Steve Mullen: Squeaky wheels — or worst of the cart?

 

Steve Mullen

 

One thing can be said about the health care debate: Watching it makes me ill. 

 

While I''ve tried to read up, I''m no expert. Another disclaimer: I''m a middle-of-the-road guy as far as politics are concerned -- I tend to like things that politicians in each party say from time to time. I imagine the majority of people are like me; not caught up in the fringe on either left or right. If the Red Sox are on TV, I''ll watch; I''ll watch the Yankees too. Rivalries aside, it''s all baseball. 

 

We middle-roaders are a level-headed bunch. We don''t tend to shout, or shove.  

 

We''re not the squeaky wheels. But there are plenty of squeaky wheels out there, and they are dominating the discussion. They''re getting all the grease. 

 

 

 

Bad form 

 

Reforming health care is a huge, very personal, very scary thing for lots of people, myself included. And it is being proposed during a time of extreme personal uncertainty for many of us, if not most of us. Is my job safe? Can I pay my mortgage/rent next month? And, if I do lose my job, what will I do about health insurance? 

 

It was right of Congress to put the brakes on things, and take time to explain to us what it''s all about. 

 

But that hasn''t been the focus, at least not so far. Turn on the TV, and you see angry people shouting, holding up signs, shoving each other, shouting down congressmen with chants of "tyranny!" 

 

One person was spotted outside an event with the president wearing a sidearm. Are people going to bring weapons to meetings about health care?  

 

Another person defaced a sign at a Democratic congressman''s office with a swastika.  

 

No mind. This is free speech. Guns? So what -- we''re exercising the Second Amendment, right?  

 

It''s still bad form. 

 

 

 

''Nazis'' among us 

 

As a middle-of-the-road person, I accept that the president is an American citizen. I consider him the leader of a democracy, and would bet lunch we will still be a democracy when he leaves office. I don''t think he is a socialist, or a communist, or a "communist McCarthyist," or a fascist. The president has been labeled all of these things, in a steady drumbeat, from the time it became clear he had a chance to win the presidency. Several days ago, during a church meeting, a Tupelo preacher called Obama''s form of government "messianic stateism," a label that deserves points for creativity.  

 

That''s all too soft, though. Some folks are just coming right out and labeling Obama and the Democrats Nazis. Straight-up Nazis, ready to shuffle the elderly off to death camps.  

 

Of course, he isn''t the first non-Nazi president to be labeled such. 

 

Rewind a few years. Remember Cindy Sheehan? She did most of the squeaking during the Bush administration. And squeak she did. Is it wrong to call her fringe? Amid calls to impeach the president, she ran against Nancy Pelosi for being too conservative, at least on the war. For all the outrage over Obama and Democrats being labeled Nazis, Sheehan and the far left did the same.  

 

That''s just where we are -- each side calling the other Nazis.  

 

It''s bad form to liken the president to Hitler, as Rush Limbaugh and Cindy Sheehan do. It''s bad form to shout down a U.S. senator, no matter what party he or she is in.  

 

Yes, it''s free speech, and it''s bad form.  

 

 

 

The worst wheel 

 

"The squeaky wheel gets the grease" -- I wondered about the origin of the phrase. Many sites on the Web attribute it to Benjamin Franklin. 

 

The phrase seems neutral, on its face. Is it right to squeak or not? You could read it either way. But right or wrong, you are appeased. 

 

I did a little more looking. It turns out that Benjamin Franklin''s original phrase was: "The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise." Over time, it morphed into its current, more ambiguous form. 

 

Franklin''s original statement is a little less neutral. Being the "worst wheel of the cart" doesn''t appear to be something of which he approved. 

 

Would Franklin advocate vigorous debate? Surely. Shoving each other, or shouting for the express purpose of drowning out another point of view? Doubtful. 

 

 

 

Get to the facts 

 

Some may hope that all the squeaking about health care drowns out any substance -- whether you are Republican or Democrat or independent, whether you feel health care reform and the legislation being proposed is a good idea or not. All the squeaking makes it tough to get to the facts, and talk about them in an honest, civil way. Maybe those making the most noise have already formed an educated opinion. But the noise makes it tough for others to do the same. 

 

It also makes it nearly impossible to find this starting point: This legislation, like most, wrong-headed or not, was proposed to try and help people. We can either believe that, or believe it''s a scheme to do God knows what -- bankrupt the country on purpose I suppose.  

 

If some of it is a good idea, fine, let''s keep it and discard the rest. But let''s talk about it -- not about death camps and Nazis. That''s noise -- the squeaky wheel. 

 

I''m tired of paying for the grease. 

 

Steve Mullen is managing editor of The Dispatch. Reach him at smullen@cdispatch.com.

 

Steve Mullen is Managing Editor of The Dispatch.

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment Thom Geiger commented at 8/12/2009 2:07:00 PM:

Steve Mullen: "I'm a middle-of-the-road guy as far as politics are concerned"

If someone characterizing President Obama as a Socialist is "bad form", what is it to label angry, worried and concerned citizens who, regardless of the non-violent method in which they express their feelings, as "unAmerican", as speaker Pelosi and the DNC have done?

Steve Mullen: "Yes, it's free speech, and it's bad form."

I don't know how old you are, but I was at Lee High when Birney and several of his siblings were there, and I can remember (as should they) the marches, protests, boycotts, shouting, sign carrying, sit-ins, chaining one's self to doors and buildings, all in the name of Civil Rights, Roe vs. Wade, equal pay for equal work, desegregation, the Vietnam War, most being done by Democrats and what conservatives call hippies and left-leaning liberals. But it was all free speech and free assembly, and I supported it all.
Free speech, free assembly and our other rights and freedoms are not freedoms and rights only when they are convenient for you, me, the President, Congress or the national media. It is a right/freedom or it isn't.
I'm not going to try to speak for anyone but myself, but I am (and have been since the beginning of this health plan debate) upset and angry that the President tried very very hard to shove something through Congress and down the throats of the American people, without anyone having read or fact checked the legislation. Most Congressional members hadn't even read the drafts.
Now, here locally, the opposition to the plans that are out there is being characterized not only as unAmerican, but racist, which is makes me the angriest. If you want to chastise someone for bad form, that old tired charge is losing any meaning today.
I, for one, am waiting for some of that "middle-of-the-road" press coverage and journalism to start showing up at the Dispatch.

 

Article Comment Webster commented at 8/14/2009 8:18:00 AM:

Steve-

Painting swastikas on your own building could be considered free speech. When you do it on property you don't own, it's called vandalism, or even terrorism, depending on what's written.

 

Article Comment Thom Geiger commented at 8/14/2009 12:39:00 PM:

Who exactly is 'you'?
Perhaps you should speak to this person;
"Man pleads guilty to racial threat using fake Facebook account"
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/08/13/facebook.racial.threat/index.html?section=cnn_latest

 

Article Comment Matt commented at 8/14/2009 12:47:00 PM:

Bear
Do you really believe Obama is gathering names of enemies? LMAO Obama was wanting to be able to get a feel of the questions people in America have. It was meant to help with the debate. It was not meant as a tracking device for people who disagree with him. I think you crazies on the right have confused Obama with "W" and Cheney. How fast we forget warrantless wiretaps.

 

Article Comment Matt commented at 8/14/2009 12:58:00 PM:

Bear
Where do you think we would be with no major banks in the U.S. and GM dissolved? Who was involved in the first bank bail out? I just can't help but wonder what type of world do these people want to live in? Do you want to live in a two class system where 95% of people are poor and 5% are super wealthy? We must have healthcare reform. The vast majority of people that live in our great city cannot afford a thousand dollars a month for healthcare and that is where we already are. I really would like to know if people really don't want the poor among us to be well taken care of. We as a country do have great health providers but the greatest Dr. in the world is of no help if you can't afford to go to him. I can't understand how people that won't be affected negatively could not want others to be affected positively.

 

Article Comment KJ commented at 8/17/2009 1:38:00 AM:

"First they came for the Terrorists, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Terrorist. Then they came for the People Boarding Planes, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Person Taking a Flight. Then they came for the People Making Phone Calls, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Person Using the Internet. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me."

 

Article Comment bear commented at 8/17/2009 2:30:00 PM:

HELP, SEND A LIFEGUARD!!! MATT IS DROWNING IN THE KOOL-AID. I suspect Matt you are in your early 20s with no real job.

 

Article Comment Jamie commented at 8/17/2009 7:30:00 PM:

Matt,

Do you honestly believe that the average guy won't be affected by this plan?

How naive!

 

Article Comment Why so Angry? commented at 8/17/2009 10:54:00 PM:

It amazes me how passionate and misinformed people are on the issue of healthcare. Whether the Far Right wants to admit it or not, we already HAVE national healthcare. Almost half the people in America already are covered by some type of national health care -- it's called Medicare, Medicaid, veterans and military retirement health care...and there are others. Combine those programs with Social Security (another social program)and there is no doubt that we are a country that cares for its citizens.
Is this costing a lot of money? It sure is, but there are still too many people falling through the cracks and suffering needlessly...just ask the 50 million people who have NOTHING.
From what I have been able to sort out, for those that are pleased with their insurance and healthcare...you can keep it. For those families that earn less than $88,000 (a typical family of four), the government will help pay for healthcare. If your family earns much less than that, the government will pay a larger percentage to make sure it's citizens have healthcare. Only businesses that employ 10 or fewer employees will initially be able to participate in the public option. Over a period of time, this figure will increase to businesses with 30 or fewer employees.
I do agree with some of my far right and left counterparts to a certain degree...not enough REAL information and debate has taken place...until now. President Obama should not have tried to jam this down the throats of the American public without proper input from "we the people."
There are many people living at or below the poverty level in the South, and especially here in Mississippi. There are also many people in line TODAY to go bankrupt over medical bills they will never be able to pay...which will only suppress their lives even more and add to their misery. This whole battle seems to be more and more between the haves of this country and the have-nots!!
I appreciate the views of the folks who take the time to share their opinions here...that's truly American, but do we have to riducule poor old Matt? Yes, Jamie...the average guy will be affected, he or she will have insurance.

 

Article Comment Jamie commented at 8/17/2009 11:29:00 PM:

What amazes me is that people are so ignorant. The previous poster is right on one issue only. We do have portions of healthcare that are government run. He mentioned Medicare, Medicaid, the V.A...

Medicare is bankrupt. Ask anyone who has been to a VA hospital about the substandard care they have recieved. Government has proved that they can't run these portions of healthcare, why would we give them a chance to ruin it even more?

I am halfway thru reading this bill. (I am reading the full bill, not the abbreviated ones you can find online). Before you believe the talking points that Obama spews at his "town hall" meetings, read what the actual bill says. You cannot go solely by what the libs say because they have not read the bill.

 

Article Comment Why So Angry commented at 8/18/2009 12:10:00 AM:

Thanks for your reply, Jamie...and for the insult to all the "ignorant" people out there. Sure...Medicaid, Medicare, the V.A., Social Security, and many other social programs are BANKRUPT. Unfortunately, every program (no matter what it is for) will be bankrupt for generations to come. Our so-called leaders, Republican and Democrat, have made sure of that, but fortunately we STILL live in a country of amazing wealth. Those that "have"...like people making over $250k per year and more are going to have to pay more...period.
Whether you or anyone thinks that social programs are flawed would be absolutely correct...they are, but what would happen if there was NOTHING??? My guess is that the America we at least have now would not be the country it is today. There would be millions of people out on the streets pillaging those that "have."
Our country is a MIXED CAPITALIST society. It is the duty of our government to regulate industry and to provide services for it's citizens. Healthcare for citizens is something that needs to be worked out so that those among us that are the neediest will have some type of an opportunity to better themselves.

 

Article Comment Matt commented at 8/18/2009 4:09:00 PM:

Bear
I am 27 and run my own successful business sir.

 

Article Comment matt commented at 8/18/2009 4:21:00 PM:

Jamie
Whats funny is that most of the people that don't want healthcare reform are the exact people that probably truly need it. I can afford a thousand or even 2 thousand a month if it goes that high but most mississippians cannot. If government healthcare is so terrible why don't you and your friends on the right just abolish social security medicare and the VA? We can just go back to a time when old people can just work until they die and bring our average age of death to about 55. And if you can't afford to go to the doctor you just die. That seems like what most of the people on the right would love. I however have compassion and know that not everyone or every situation is the same. There are wealthy people out there that are forced into poverty because of a medical issue. If you are poor you go to the ER. The ER overcharges you as much as possible. Just for an example I was recently sick on a sunday and had to go to the ER. The Nurse Practitioner charged me $350 just to write me a prescription. I do have insurance though so my insurance company only allowed a charge of $75. So I received the same care as someone uninsured for $75 that they would have had to pay $350 is that fair?

 

Article Comment Jamie commented at 8/18/2009 11:31:00 PM:

It is absolutely NOT the duty of the government to take care of its citizens, nor is it my duty to pay higher taxes to care for those who choose not to work. That's the problem with the liberal viewpoint. It is not based on the constituion of our country. According to the constitution,government is to play a minor role. Every person has rights...the right to vote, the right of free speech, etc. Those rights do NOT include the right to free cell phones, free cash for clunkers, or the right to force me to pay for your healthcare!

I do believe that there need to be some changes. Healthcare should be less expensive and more available. But instead of socializing yet another program, what about some tort reform, incentives for doctors, regulations?
Or why don't Pelosi, Reid, and Obama pool their millions of dollars and build a bunch of free clinics.

 

Article Comment Why So Angry commented at 8/19/2009 1:18:00 AM:

Jamie, I do not know which country you think that you are living in, but you certainly need a refresher course on the history of our country and the role of government. For you to say that it is "absolutely NOT the duty of our government to take care of its citizens" is one of the most ignorant things I have ever heard in my life.
I am neither a liberal or conservative...just a citizen like you, but I guess I will be damned no matter what in your eyes. Since when have we ever NOT lived in a country that does not care for its neediest citizens...SINCE WHEN!!!
Just for the record...we (the USA) are not a purely capitalistic society. We live in a mixed capitalistic nation. There ARE elements of socialism in our country...and for a damn good reason. Thank God every day that we are NEITHER purely a capitalistic or socialistic society! As far back as 1754, capitalism was defined as "the state of one who is rich." I happen to be one who truly believes that our country is in the shambles it is in today because of the rich and powerful few.
Jamie, I am sure that you are probably a good and decent Christian, but do you really believe this country would be better off without social programs for its citizens? No Medicare, Medicaid, V.A. benefits, Social Security, and the lists go on. Instead of 50 million people without any healthcare, there would be at least 150 million people out in the streets knocking on your door for a crumb to eat. Most of the people I know that are unemployed or poor did not ask to be that way. You cannot put a gun to an employer's head and force that person to give you or anyone else a job. There are millions of people out of work because there ARE NO JOBS to be had. Maybe if everyone was hardwired just like you this world would be a better place...but it is NEVER going to be that way. Our country, government, and citizens have a duty to its fellow citizens to help one another...some might even call that LOVE.

 

Article Comment Why So Angry? commented at 8/19/2009 1:54:00 AM:

I guess we should scratch this off of the Statue of Liberty:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore;
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Jamie, whether you think times are tough for you or not, or believe that you have not enough...always remember, you are the epitomy of what it means to be an American Supremicist. You are obviously white, Republican, employed, and sneer at those whom you believe to be truly lazy and good for nothing. Who are you to judge the hearts, minds, and souls of those citizens living in poverty? The only thing I get from your posts is that you do not give a damn for anyone but yourself! You are so narrow minded to make such horrible judgements of millions of American citizens. America was once known as the land of opportunity, but for millions these days it has become the land of opportun-NOT!! We will all die some day...fortunately we do (for those that believe) have God to sort out the mess.

 

Article Comment Jamie commented at 8/19/2009 7:44:00 AM:

Why so angry,
why so angry?

Argue this,
If any would not work, neither should he eat. II Thessalonians 3:10

 

Article Comment Thom Geiger commented at 8/19/2009 12:52:00 PM:

"...whether you think times are tough for you or not, or believe that you have not enough...always remember, you are the epitomy of what it means to be an American Supremicist. You are obviously white, Republican, employed, and sneer at those whom you believe to be truly lazy and good for nothing. Who are you to judge the hearts, minds, and souls of those citizens living in poverty?"

Oh Lord, the supremacist accusation again. The racism accusation is losing it's impact every time we hear it. It looks like someone, while confronting another's right to just others, has just judged the other person to be what? A white, Republican, employed American Supremacist. Irony of ironies.
What is being talked about is the same concept that funds just about every social program in this country, the idea of (as a friend of mine likes to say) taking from people who have something (land, property, money) and giving it to people who don't have those things. What is being talked about is legislating charity, which, by the very doing, destroys the meaning of charity altogether. Charity is by choice, not by force. If anyone, President Obama, Travis Childers, anyone wants to take something from one citizen to give it to someone else, they should admit what they are wanting to do and drop the moral and religious arguments. It is hypocritical and disingenuous.

 

Article Comment Why So Angry commented at 8/19/2009 2:26:00 PM:

"Oh Lord, the supremacist accusation again. The racism accusation is losing it's impact every time we hear it."
That's right, Mr. Thom Geiger...the racist card. If the shoe fits...wear it!!! People like you always thinks that it is getting old and losing its impact...but for many, it never has or will. Let me guess...you are white, Republican, been employed or retired by now, sing sbout the love of Jesus every week in your church, keep Fox News Channel on 24 hours a day, and pre-occuppied with bashing anyone here on the computer that has a view that is other than yours. I read your idiotic views on here all the time! You are the GREAT White American Supremicist as well. Thank God the people of Lowndes county are wise enough to not elect you to any position of power. What are you going to run for next...dog cathcher??
As for work, Jamie, where should all the lazy people line up to get a job? Are you hiring?
I also remember that LOVE was and is the greatest commandment. Where is your's? How many times are you to forgive your brother? Riddle me that?

 

Article Comment Jamie commented at 8/19/2009 4:10:00 PM:

Here's a riddle....have you ever been employed by a poor man? Rich men give jobs. There will never be enough jobs as long as the government keeps taxing business owners.

PS. I can love someone without supporting them. Remember this, Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. As long as we keep spoon-feeding some Americans, they will continue to expect to be taken care of.

When anyone plays the "race card" they instantly lose credibility. It's been done before.

 

Article Comment bear commented at 8/19/2009 4:43:00 PM:

Sir, you need the refresher course. Where in our constituion is the gov't granted authority to regulate industry? At what point in the constitution does the gov't find the authority to levy taxes for social engineering. The answer-nowhere. The gov't is charged with maintaining the public defense through tax dollars. That's it. At what point will you liberals stop crying for the ills of society, and the inpoverished. Your "Great Society" has been throwing money at the "less fortunate" for over 40 years, and guess what-it's done absolutely no good. You have created an attitude of entitlement in two generations of able bodied citizens. They will laugh in your face when you ask them to contribute anything to the system that provides every sustainable necessity of life. No, you sir, are wrong. In regard to your Statue of Liberty remark-ask any immigrant who came to this land of opportunity, through hard work built a life for himself if he is willing to give up a portion of what he has worked for to support a man who lies around all day. His response will be a resounding "Hell, no!"
You also need a history lesson-this nation was a true capitalist society until your hero FDR prolonged the Great Depression with his tax hikes and social engineering. It was the tax cuts of Eisenhower that subsided that fiasco. Open a book, turn off MSNBC. As it has been so simply but perfectly said-this is America-love it or leave it.

 

Article Comment bear commented at 8/19/2009 4:43:00 PM:

Sir, you need the refresher course. Where in our constituion is the gov't granted authority to regulate industry? At what point in the constitution does the gov't find the authority to levy taxes for social engineering. The answer-nowhere. The gov't is charged with maintaining the public defense through tax dollars. That's it. At what point will you liberals stop crying for the ills of society, and the inpoverished. Your "Great Society" has been throwing money at the "less fortunate" for over 40 years, and guess what-it's done absolutely no good. You have created an attitude of entitlement in two generations of able bodied citizens. They will laugh in your face when you ask them to contribute anything to the system that provides every sustainable necessity of life. No, you sir, are wrong. In regard to your Statue of Liberty remark-ask any immigrant who came to this land of opportunity, through hard work built a life for himself if he is willing to give up a portion of what he has worked for to support a man who lies around all day. His response will be a resounding "Hell, no!"
You also need a history lesson-this nation was a true capitalist society until your hero FDR prolonged the Great Depression with his tax hikes and social engineering. It was the tax cuts of Eisenhower that subsided that fiasco. Open a book, turn off MSNBC. As it has been so simply but perfectly said-this is America-love it or leave it.

 

Article Comment bear commented at 8/19/2009 4:43:00 PM:

Sir, you need the refresher course. Where in our constituion is the gov't granted authority to regulate industry? At what point in the constitution does the gov't find the authority to levy taxes for social engineering. The answer-nowhere. The gov't is charged with maintaining the public defense through tax dollars. That's it. At what point will you liberals stop crying for the ills of society, and the inpoverished. Your "Great Society" has been throwing money at the "less fortunate" for over 40 years, and guess what-it's done absolutely no good. You have created an attitude of entitlement in two generations of able bodied citizens. They will laugh in your face when you ask them to contribute anything to the system that provides every sustainable necessity of life. No, you sir, are wrong. In regard to your Statue of Liberty remark-ask any immigrant who came to this land of opportunity, through hard work built a life for himself if he is willing to give up a portion of what he has worked for to support a man who lies around all day. His response will be a resounding "Hell, no!"
You also need a history lesson-this nation was a true capitalist society until your hero FDR prolonged the Great Depression with his tax hikes and social engineering. It was the tax cuts of Eisenhower that subsided that fiasco. Open a book, turn off MSNBC. As it has been so simply but perfectly said-this is America-love it or leave it.

 

Article Comment Why So Angry commented at 8/19/2009 7:19:00 PM:

I guess we will just have to argue until the cows come home...Bear, Jamie, and Mr. Geiger. Why don't you, Bear, pack your sh*t up and move? I am not going anywhere...and will die as an American. I happen to be Christian (Southern Baptitst), white, come from a hard-working immigrant family, am a middle-aged father of three, college educated, and for the last 23 years of my life have either owned, supervised, or managed businesses. I have traveled and lived all over our country and am very familiar with the way people live in different regions of the USA. I have never collected any type of public assistance my entire life...and it sounds as though none of you ever have either, and I count that as a blessing. I am concerned for this country and what is happening every bit as much as you are. I refuse to be Republican (although I used to be until Bush II..second term) and will NEVER be a Democrat either. I am a citizen doing my best to collect information and make my own decisions.
Where I get upset is when I hear people like you say things that are very narrow-minded, steroetypical, and ethnocentric. What you happen to be preaching is what is known as Social Darwinism...maybe you should look it up. It has been a problem in this country for as long as people have been rich and powerful over others.
Like I said...I am not leaving anything and going anywhere. I am here to stand up and argue with you tooth and nail. Martin Luther King once said, "The most dangerous people are those who choose to be sincerely ignorant and conscientiously stupid." If you think that everyone should think, feel, live, and be like you...that is wrong and unrealistic. For every person you think is a lazy bum, a waste, no good, and you think you alone are supporting...I see TREASURE and will do my best to share what I have...my clothes, my taxes, my money, and anything else! But until I am able to determine...case by case by case...who the real deadbeats are, I will not pass judgement on anyone...especially from the window of my car as I pass through poverty stricken neigborhoods or with my remote control in my hand watching television. Sure, I believe there are deadbeats out there raping us all...but I fear people more like YOU than those bums any day.

 

Article Comment Why So Angry commented at 8/19/2009 10:36:00 PM:

From "All About Science."
What is Social Darwinism?

Herbert Spencer, a 19th century philosopher, promoted the idea of Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is an application of the theory of natural selection to social, political, and economic issues. In its simplest form, Social Darwinism follows the mantra of "the strong survive," including human issues. This theory was used to promote the idea that the white European race was superior to others, and therefore, destined to rule over them.

At the time that Spencer began to promote Social Darwinism, the technology, economy, and government of the "White European" was advanced in comparison to that of other cultures. Looking at this apparent advantage, as well as the economic and military structures, some argued that natural selection was playing out, and that the race more suited to survival was winning. Some even extended this philosophy into a micro-economic issue, claiming that social welfare programs that helped the poor and disadvantaged were contrary to nature itself. Those who reject any and all forms of charity or governmental welfare often use arguments rooted in Social Darwinism.

At its worst, the implications of Social Darwinism were used as scientific justification for the Holocaust. The Nazis claimed that the murder of Jews in World War II was an example of cleaning out the inferior genetics. Many philosophers noted evolutionary echoes in Hitler's march to exterminate an entire race of people. Various other dictators and criminals have claimed the cause of Social Darwinism in carrying out their acts. Even without such actions, Social Darwinism has proven to be a false and dangerous philosophy.

Scientists and evolutionists maintain that this interpretation is only loosely based on Darwin's theory of natural selection. They will admit to an obvious parallel between Darwin's theory of Natural Selection and Spencer's beliefs. In nature, the strong survive and those best suited to survival will out-live the weak. According to Social Darwinism, those with strength (economic, physical, technological) flourish and those without are destined for extinction.

It is important to note that Darwin did not extend his theories to a social or economic level, nor are any credible evolutionists subscribing to the theories of Social Darwinism. Herbert Spencer's philosophy is only loosely based on the premises of Darwin's work.

However, according to evolutionary theory, nature is a "kill-or-be-killed" system. Those that cannot keep up are either left behind or cut off. If evolution, through chance, is solely responsible for life as we now know it, why should that process be countered? If "survival of the fittest" or "kill or be killed" cannot apply in what we define as "decent society," then, which is wrong, society or evolution? If neither, then how do we explain morality, charity, and compassion? Why drain resources from the strong to support the weak? Certainly, we should be charitable and help those in need.

Though Darwin did not promote Social Darwinism, basic evolutionary theory raises some nagging questions


Bear, Jamie, and Mr. Geiger...you are Social Darwinist...and your ideology matches the above description as well. Your views of the poor and impoverished stink with being the cultural, economic, and religious elite.

 

Article Comment bear commented at 8/20/2009 7:24:00 AM:

"Angry", thanks for the article, even though I already told you I was familiar with the concept. Good for you-you've mastered copy and paste.
The real issue is that you haven"t said where the constitution provides the gov't the authority you say it does. You and your ilk wish to transform the greatest nation on earth to a socialist wasteland. Where is the Soviet Union today? The dream of an egalitarian utpoia is a crock and never works. There will always be those who fall through the cracks. Our current system, and private and religous charities do a good job. You're right,Social Darwinism has legitimacy. Cream rises to the top, my friend. That's nature. If you can't understand that it is not right to play Robin Hood, and take what I have worked hard for to support someone who refuses to work, and is quite content to suck from the gov't teet-then you, sir, are a a moron.

 

Article Comment Why So Angry commented at 8/20/2009 10:13:00 AM:

Here is your answer...Bear:

Article 1, Section 8:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Did you see the word welfare, Bear?

Welfare
welfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being.

Bear, we all have a moral and Christian (if you are one) obligation to see to the welfare of our fellow man. Jesus never said anything about, "the cream rises to the top." For those who would take, but not give...their day as the users they are numbered no matter what. Like I said earlier, we will all die...and God will sort out the mess. In the meantime...you sir, are an idiot, Social Darwinist, and the Great White Supremacist. I am glad you wear your badge so proudly.



 

Article Comment Why So Angry commented at 8/20/2009 10:36:00 AM:

Hey Jamie, do you think God loves us without supporting us? Is that in the Bible? Maybe you should try loving your neighbor as you do yourself??? You would be surprised at what you would truly find out.
I am not here to say that there are not those with evil intent, I am sure there are many. I am sure Hell will be big enough to fit all those folks, but there are many people who are so stuck in poverty due to employment, bigotry, racism, and socio-economic reasons. It is our duty to right wherever there are wrongs...not label people as worthless.

 

Article Comment Jamie commented at 8/20/2009 10:39:00 AM:

Jesus said, If any would not, neither should he eat.


Do you think Jesus is a social darwinist?

You are laughable. I'm done with this. Some people are too far gone to help.

 

Article Comment Why So Angry commented at 8/20/2009 12:13:00 PM:

Nope...I do not think Jesus is a Social Darwinist, but I do think you are...and that is what I think is laughable. For me and people who are like-minded, we will stick to the two greatest commandments:
Love God first and foremost.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Perhaps you should be more concerned about WHY people "would not" and be part of the solution instead of labeling poor and needy folks as the dregs of society. The MEEK shall inherit the Earth...not the cream that rises to the capitalist top(you know...that state of one who is rich).

 

Article Comment bear commented at 8/20/2009 6:32:00 PM:

"Angry"-one thing you and I agree on is what Christ said was the greatest commandment.
The constitution's use of the word welfare is not in the context you are using, and I think you're smart enough to know that.
Here's the thing, if you and all the wealthy Hollywood liberals want to provide healthcare-great-set up a trust fund for them. Don't mandate that those of us who don't to participate.
Look @ how the Democratic party is imploding over this issue. It won't pass Congress. That's that.

 

Article Comment Wht So Angry commented at 8/21/2009 11:26:00 AM:

You are wrong again, Bear. You have what can only be described as blessings in your life that many others can only imagine...and you label "those folks" as waste because they are unlike you. You are a Social Darwinist, a racist, a bigot, an elitist, and obviously do not understand anything of how socio-economics have an effect on the conditions of human life. I guess you really are "the cream that rises to the top."
It's laughable to me how you love God, but yet not your fellow man. I wonder if God is keeping a running count on the mercy he is showing you...the poor pathetic soul you are.

 

Article Comment bennet commented at 8/21/2009 4:51:00 PM:

Why so angry,

I find it ironic that you babble on and on about being a Christian and not judging your fellow man. That is all you have done in each of your posts. You use foul language and call these people names, simply because they don't agree with you.

I do not agree with them either but you come out looking like the "poor pathetic soul" because you resort to profane language and name-calling.

A word of advice... If you want anyone to take you seriously, pad your defense with facts, not emotion.

 

Article Comment Why So Angry commented at 8/21/2009 5:39:00 PM:

Thanks for reminding me, Bennet. Two wrongs do not make a right...and I apologize to you and them.

 

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