Richard Viguerie, and the gospel of wealth

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Sometimes, it’s better when people just make things plain. Richard Viguerie, in a commentary on Politico’s Arena blog, has made it plain.

And what “it” is, is the guiding principle of conservatism, whether written by Ayn Rand or voiced by Ron and Rand Paul. It could be called the “gospel of selfishness” – or the Gospel of Wealth. And it can be summed up with the phrase, “I am not my brother’s keeper.” Viguerie, a vanguard of old fashioned conservatism, explains:

For the 75-plus years since Franklin Delano Roosevelt began the New Deal, Democrats and their liberal allies, including many Republicans, made what in essence was a moral argument justifying the creation of the welfare state.

While there’s nothing in the Constitution about the federal government being your brother’s keeper, that’s in Genesis 4:9, not the Constitution, many Americans willingly went along with substituting the growth of the federal welfare state for family responsibility and the acts of private charity carried out by religious institutions and local authorities during the first 150 years of the Republic.

While conservatives decried the growth of the welfare state and pointed toward soul-searing dependency for the beneficiaries and fiscal ruin for the government as its logical conclusions, the liberal establishment built what it claimed was a moral consensus behind a dizzying array of federal welfare and human services programs.

Conservatives who objected to the alphabet soup of federal welfare programs from federal housing subsidies, to student loans, to aid to families with dependent children were shouted-down as crackpots, or mean-spirited or downright immoral.

Many Republicans were happy to go along with these extra-constitutional programs, even as they looked for ways to make them cheaper or more efficient, because after all it seemed like the right thing to do.

The problem is, once you abandon the Constitution as the law that governs government, and replace it with what seems like the right thing to do in the eyes of a few politicians, the evils the Constitution was enacted to guard against quickly manifest themselves.

In other words, the conservatism wants to take this country back to the 19th century and before, when there was no social safety net (and no women’s suffrage to permit bleeding heart females to vote for social welfare programs) – and the poor and needy threw themselves upon the mercy of the church or private charities. It was a time when things like orphanages and poor houses existed. A time when a man could hoard great wealth without having to worry about unions demanding more wages to cut into his bottom line; when child welfare laws and the 40 hour workweek didn’t eat into his potential for limitless profit. And when such a man wasn’t forced into the political strait jacket of “compassion” to assuage a conscience that really wasn’t all that guilty.

At base, conservatism wants to repeal the 20th century. And how can the be done? Viguerie explains:

Under President Obama federal taxes are to be collected because “fairness” dictates that they be collected from one group of Americans and redistributed to another.

Obama’s embrace of the tax code as a tool for confiscating wealth in the name of unconstitutional social leveling should come as no surprise – he ran on it in 2008 and has been talking about it ever since. Republicans must not only stand their ground against the Buffet Rule and other logical conclusions of Obama’s campaign of envy and resentment, they must begin to attack the entire premise of the welfare state before what’s fair in the eyes of Obama and a few Democratic politicians overwhelms the economic freedom our Constitution was intended to protect.

Viguerie isn’t alone in believing that the entire “welfare state” – its very premise, from Social Security to Medicare and Medicaid and even military pensions – which conservatives vigorously fought from the time they were introduced for those who fought the civil war on behalf of the union – must be fought, and undone. That’s also the premise of Paul Ryan’s plans, which would tax the poor to give more tax breaks to the rich – literally.

This isn’t a peculiar quirk of Mr. Viguerie. It is a widely held conservative doctrine – that the government should not force charitable acts upon Americans, and should do nothing to stand in the way of those who can amass great wealth, even if they do so by exploiting the work of others.

By the way, the income tax is a product of the 20th century, too. In the conservative vision, it too would disappear. And a frontier America, in which it was every man for himself, would return.

You can agree or disagree with the vision, but a more ones debate could be had if more people recognized it for what it is.

Read Viguerie’s entire commentary here.

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18 Responses to Richard Viguerie, and the gospel of wealth

  1. rikyrah says:

    you break it down like nobody else.

    just tell the truth on these folks.

    THIS IS WHO THEY ARE.

  2. Precious says:

    At the risk of you calling me crazy again, (which is your prerogative, although it waould be more honest and ethical of you to ask me not to post on your blog, I can’t pass this entry up without commenting on it.)

    I don’t see Barack Obama doing anything to stop the slide backwards. In fact, I think he is leading it at this time.

    He may pay lip service to a lot of brotherly love … His pen says something different and more akin to the conservative let’s rip the social safety net to pieces, take it away from the people … and feed the military/industrial and banking elites.

  3. Flo says:

    So Precious what does that have to do with Richard Viguerie???
    I guess you’re crazy again.

  4. Precious says:

    It has to do with Barack Obama being at the service of Greed and the Rich and Powerful. Some people just refuse to see reality while calling others crazy When there is no waay out … why not start calling others name. I have not called anyone any names. I have spoken truth to power. But, thanks again for your name calling. I had anticipated it so you came true to form.

  5. Flo says:

    I see, Precious. So you totally disagree with Mr. Viguerie, who complains that the President wants to take too much from the rich to help the middle class and poor. I disagree with Viguerie on the policy, but at least he has a better grasp of the facts than you do.

  6. Precious says:

    From the article, “conservatism wants to take this country back to the 19th century and before, when there was no social safety net (and no women’s suffrage to permit bleeding heart females to vote for social welfare programs) – and the poor and needy threw themselves upon the mercy of the church or private charities. It was a time when things like orphanages and poor houses existed. A time when a man could hoard great wealth without having to worry about unions demanding more wages to cut into his bottom line; when child welfare laws and the 40 hour workweek didn’t eat into his potential for limitless profit. And when such a man wasn’t forced into the political strait jacket of “compassion” to assuage a conscience that really wasn’t all that guilty. ” Which, Viguerie, or not, is really wehre Obama is leading the country to … Because … Viguerie ‘s claim that Obama wants to take too much from the rich to help the middle class and poor, doesn’t cut mustard.

  7. Flo says:

    Precious, where’s your mustard? . Your generalities about Obama (apparently claiming he is a Randian conservative) don’t cut it.

  8. Rupert says:

    Politico seems to have become quite the tool of the right; warming up the crowd for the Romney campaign featuring Paul Ryan style budgets. And of course blaming the President for the “welfare state.” Romney, Ryan, Viguerie bemoan using tax policy as part of social policy, but it’s okay to use tax policy for corporate welfare–oil company subsidies, for example– or lower capital gains tax rates for the affluent.

  9. Precious says:

    It is nice to have an alter ego Joy. Flo does a good job of it.

  10. Flo says:

    I just try to make a little bit of sense, to counter your nonsense.

  11. Precious says:

    You know … it doesn’t matter which or whose fast track lane to regression anyone takes … it doesn’t matter whether Obama takes the Bush route to regression, his very own, Viguerie or any Randian route. It doesn’t matter if at the end the route has gotten there via generalities or point by point … what matters is that Obama is on a regressive course, his own, or that of many others … we are being regressed to the times of no social safety net … and he is doing it full steam ahead. And of course, since you cannot really counter what I am saying you have also no other course but to use your own generalities to shoot down what I say, because according to you it is either, “crazy,” or it is, “without sense.” A route to discounting, whichever track you take, any thing I say.

  12. Flo says:

    You just proved my point, Precious. Thank you.

  13. Precious says:

    Of course. Twist it whichever way you like. That is what alter egos are about.

  14. Flo says:

    Precious, I’d say that the person (you) who equates Pres. Obama with Richard Viguerie, Ayn Rand, and any Bush, and says he is leading us to the elimination of the safety net, is the one doing the twisting. Viguerie himself in the article says totally the opposite.

  15. Precious says:

    Really? The point made by Joy-Ann in her posting and interjecting some of her thoughts in the article which she quotes, is to show”

    “plainly” how conservatism of a certain brand twhether written, “.. by Ayn Rand or voiced by Ron and Rand Paul. [] could be called the “gospel of selfishness” – or the Gospel of Wealth. And it can be summed up with the phrase, “I am not my brother’s keeper.”

    My point all along, is, and has been that Barack Obama, whatever you want to call his brand of brotherly love is one that is taking us on a regressive road back to a time when there was and there will be no social safety net for the poor, the elderly … no middle class … and only the rich, the banksters and the money elite will matter, or matter for Obama … despite his words in praise of brotherly love and doing the right thing for … ??? His pen, his actions and his intent is always to protect the rich, the bankster, the moneyed elite and to forget about all those whom Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream for.

    Now. Go ahead and twist whatever I have said in any way that you want to. I don’t expect any different from an alter ego whose job it actually is to twist and obscure.

  16. Rupert says:

    If I may suggest, I think Precious has badly mis-read the article. Joy Ann was not suggesting that the President has signed on to the Gospel of Wealth; that was about Mr. Viguerie’s article. And as another commenter said, Mr. Viguerie is totally at odds with the President, and all Democrats for that matter. Suggesting that the President’s policies are “regressive” just seems out of the blue to me. Which policies?

  17. Flo says:

    I don’t have to twist anything, P. What you say is false; and I’m not your alter ego. Are you joking with us or just deluded?

  18. Precious says:

    Never did I claim that you are my alter ego. Nor do I consider that you’d want to be mine. I am neither joking with you, and most importantly neither am I deluded … which is the only one thing that you keep hitting me with … when you have really nothing to hit me with. So, as you see … you keep on twisting and twisting and twisting the words I say.

    And never did I suggest that Joy Ann Reid suggested that the President has signed on to the Gospel of Wealth … I was pointing out that SHE was pointing out that Viguerie has made it plain that

    “the guiding principle of conservatism, whether written by Ayn Rand or voiced by Ron and Rand Paul. It could be called the “gospel of selfishness” – or the Gospel of Wealth. And it can be summed up with the phrase, “I am not my brother’s keeper.”

    And i was pointing out to her … that Barack Obama is not his brother keeper, and that while he likes to go on about how he is …

    the policies that his pen has signed on to …. well they really are not policies that indicate that he is his brother keeper.

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