“Forgotten is Hamlet’s admonition: ‘Use every man according to his desert and who shall ‘scape whipping?’ The Tea Partiers seek a flail with which to scourge the underclass. But to hurt one’s neighbor is to hurt oneself: A larger, more deprived underclass impoverishes the middle and upper classes. Flagellation becomes self-flagellation.” Sanford Rose
Dolors & Sense
by Sanford Rose
In many respects, this seems logical.
Good people tend to be idealistic.
Idealistic people are attracted to causes.
Causes are prosecuted not by individuals, but by groups and institutions.
Groups and institutions are always more extreme and intransigent than the individuals who compose them. Their leaders are simply too afraid of being faulted for equivocation.
Yet the world is an equivocal place, and truth and justice are far more nuanced than ideologues acknowledge.
By deputing those who are unable to compromise to speak and act for them, some people who might not wish anybody harm end up harming a great many.
The intransigent Tea Partiers greatly damaged the country last year and could potentially damage it far more seriously this year.
And all their supporters want, say some, is to bequeath to their posterity a less indebted America—surely a good and praiseworthy ambition.
Another school renders a harsher judgment. It taxes the Tea Party rank and file with intended, not unintended evil. They are arraigned for deficits in empathy as large as the fiscal deficits their policies would putatively cure.
Agape* was never universal or even widespread. But it seems increasingly rare.
Hard times are freezing generous sentiments.
A generation brought up to feel exaggerated self-esteem now sees that self-esteem morph into quasi-narcissism.
Others, especially the poor, are viewed as less than independent beings deserving of basic rights, such as adequate health care.
Forgotten is Hamlet’s admonition: “Use every man according to his desert and who shall ‘scape whipping?”
The Tea Partiers seek a flail with which to scourge the underclass.
But to hurt one’s neighbor is to hurt oneself: A larger, more deprived underclass impoverishes the middle and upper classes.
Flagellation becomes self-flagellation.
Is that intended evil or just ignorance?
Is there a difference?
Not from the viewpoint of the victims.