Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

October 16, 2012

WE THE PEOPLE: A new spin on the Midas touch

By Clyde Ussery
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — “If there‘s one place God should not be, it’s on money.  One is a supreme, all-powerful entity that Americans worship above all else.  And the other is God.” – Bill Maher

How many ways and how many times does a person have to tell you that you don’t matter to him before you understand you don’t matter to him?  The man who wants to be President of the United States has written off nearly half of its citizens as moochers, people who just want “free stuff.”  Mitt Romney made a fortune destroying working class jobs and stashed his profits in overseas tax havens.  Now he mocks Americans who depend on Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans benefits as refusing to take responsibility for their own lives.  Yet despite his obvious contempt and disregard for them, many of these people will go to the polls and vote for him. 

It seems to me that it would be difficult to convince the public to vote for politicians who favor big corporations and the wealthy at the expense of middle and working class Americans.  But, bless their greedy hearts, conservatives have met the challenge with amazing success. They simply changed our traditional values by changing their meanings.  American values of fairness and justice for workers has been changed to the conservative values of greed and materialism for the wealthy.

Wealth, we are told, is a sign of virtue and hard work.  By twisting words around, conservatives have made union members, government workers, and teachers look like greedy, selfish blood suckers.  And the wealthy are made to look like social workers who provide jobs for the masses.  Fairness is not on the conservative list of virtues.

To help conservatives feel good about taking ruthless advantage of working Americans, some self-serving religious leaders have put a new spin on the Midas touch.  As a result, some people seem to believe deep in their hearts that Jesus wants to give America’s rich people a tax break.  They have been told repeatedly that the rich rightfully deserve to keep as much money as they have “earned.”  They are deliberately misled and often rely on the word of somebody one feather short of a war bonnet.

These days you don’t hear much about selling what you have and giving to the poor.  And what Jesus said about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God probably has been edited out of the conservative Bible.  It’s easier to redefine moral and religious standards than it is to change behavior.

So what will Mitt--whose wife is concerned about his mental well-being if he becomes president—do if elected?  How will his policies affect real people?  Hard to say since he can change his position in mid-sentence, and often does. Other than killing off Big Bird, his policies are just too complicated for a bunch of losers and freeloaders to understand, so just trust him. One thing we can be sure of, though.  He will not be an advocate for the poor and needy or a champion of fairness for working Americans.

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This column represents alternative thoughts to other published columns in the Crossville Chronicle. “We the People” is published each Wednesday. Opinions expressed in “We the People” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact John Wund, editor, at