“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” – Psalm 82:3-4
I read an account a while back of Ronald Reagan’s early dealings with Congress over taxes and spending. The Democrats had long been the party of largess, spending more and more on their social programs to “help” the underprivileged. The Republicans, on the other hand, had become the party that demanded tax hikes to pay for these programs, so as to balance the budget. This, obviously, was a losing political proposition. The Democrats were seen as helping and the Republicans seen raising taxes.
Reagan took a different approach. He would push to cut taxes. Let the Democrats deal with their spending programs. If they wanted to spend more, let them raise the taxes. By and large, it worked. The Republicans became the party of tax cuts and the Democrats the party of big spending. Now, the results weren’t a panacea – we’re still dealing with the ramifications of massive budget deficits. Politically though, the strategy had the effect Reagan wanted.
Reagan refused to accept the common narrative of the day – he knew different.
Freedom-minded folks have faced the same type of narrative regarding help for the needy. To progressives, the only reasonable means of helping is via government programs. Those who oppose such programs have faced a continual harangue that they care nothing for the downtrodden.
To this I suggest a change of strategy is once-again in order. The freedom-lovers have it right, in my opinion, but arguing from the defensive is rarely successful. It’s more appropriate to point out the affliction, the oppression, the injustice that often accompanies these policies. And this, we shall endeavor to do.
Obviously the list is long and the implications are far reaching. But, as a teaser, consider the impact of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” on inner-city African American families. You’d have to look far and wide to find a better means of oppression.
“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”