Progressive Compassion and Charity: Neither Compassionate Nor Charitable

There’s a misconception that’s been around for a long time regarding charity and it doesn’t exist by accident but by design. It’s the concept that liberals are charitable and conservatives are selfish and greedy. It comes from misinformation put out by liberals trying to rebrand themselves and their agenda to make it sound less offensive to the American mindset…and it’s worked very well. I’ve come across many conservatives as well as liberals who have accepted it as fact, even though it’s based more on the Orwellian concept of “Newspeak”, redefining words and changing language, than on truth. I heard these sentiments on a now cancelled local radio talk show, Speak Up Las Cruces, a while ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. The host, Keith Whelpley, was talking with a woman who’s very active with charitable activities in the community. He said:

 

“That proves to me charity isn’t a political thing. Progressives like to institutionalize it in the form of laws and federal dollar handouts. That doesn’t mean they’re more compassionate. Conservatives tend to want compassion to be organic. They don’t want it institutionalized. In both cases it gets the job done but this is a community that really cares and it should be proud of how it does kind of take care of itself.”


Now, his actual point was to talk about how he’d witnessed impressive acts of charity from conservatives. Whelpley is a liberal. He has proven himself to more fair and open to truth than many liberals, but he is still firmly anchored in the socialist narratives of the left. He’s the kind of liberal who has been well indoctrinated, as opposed to the ones who actively, purposely indoctrinate others. Because of his indoctrination, his words echo regularly with false narratives, such as that charity can somehow flow from the fount that is liberalism.


 

Let’s break down what he said:



 

“That proves to me charity isn’t a political thing.”

 

That’s true. Charity is supposed to be a matter of heart and conviction, but liberals use charity as a political tool; alter its meaning and try to use it as a bludgeon to beat up conservatives. According to the left, conservatives only care about themselves and amassing wealth at the expense of others. This position relies on accusations that just aren’t true and a perversion of the word, ‘charity’.

 

“Progressives like to institutionalize it in the form of laws and federal dollar handouts. That doesn’t mean they’re more compassionate.”

 

I agree with that second part. It really doesn’t mean that progressives are more compassionate. In fact, if you take a look at what liberal ‘compassion’ is made of, you realize that there is nothing compassionate about it at all. The soft words he used actually don’t sound so bad until you take a look at what they really mean. He is talking about the fact that liberals want to label government programs and handouts as ‘charity’, but that’s really about as far from charity as you can get. The truth is you cannot institutionalize charity. What you can institutionalize, and it’s what progressives have had a great deal of success with, is theft. All pretty words, over-intellectualized arguments and political double-speak aside, what the left calls charity is actually very simple to understand. It’s the act of taking money from one group of people (mainly through taxation), deciding who has a need that makes them worthy of that money and then giving it to them. The liberal approach versus the conservative approach can be illustrated like this:

 

Let’s say you’re walking down the street and you see someone you identify as being in need (veteran, homeless person, single mother unable to feed her kids, etc.).

 

As a conservative, you would recognize the need, reach into your own pocket to give your own money or reach into your own schedule to give your own time, or both. Maybe you decide to contact other people to let them know about the need and they step up to help, too. It’s simple, personal and honest.

 

But as a liberal, you’d see the need, find someone else walking down the street dressed nicely and demand that they give you their money so you can help the first person. To follow along with the level of government coercion that liberals rely on to enforce their programs, you’d probably do it at gunpoint. Ideally, you’d want to find a cop to actually perform the shakedown for you. Ultimately, what liberals refer to as charity involves coercion by force, namely the force of the government and legislation, brought to bear. It is neither charity nor is it compassionate. It turns the person who the funds come from into essentially a victim of robbery and the person in need into a receiver of stolen goods who eventually becomes dependent on those goods. It should be pretty clear, following this line of thought, how those in the middle are defined.

 

“Conservatives tend to want compassion to be organic. They don’t want it institutionalized.”

 

While I’m not sure exactly what he meant by this, ‘organic’ would normally mean that conservatives want compassion (charity) to just happen on its own. <Poof!> Let’s be clear. We don’t want or expect to sit around and hope that someone somewhere will get inspired to help someone out of the blue. True conservatives believe that charity must begin and end with each and every one of us as individuals. That means it’s the responsibility of each of us to give and do for those we recognize as being truly in need. This is very problematic for liberals because an individual with a job who is very aware of the time and effort it requires to acquire the money they have is going to have a very different definition of ‘worthy’ than the government would. In other words, by the liberal standard of ‘institutionalized charity,’ someone of working age who is able to work but chooses not to can be considered just as worthy as others who are unable to meet their basic needs. When a person with real disabilities or who is looking for work but still needs to take care of their family in the meantime can’t get enough to take care of their basic needs, then liberals claim it’s a case of not enough funding in the system. Their response at that point is to take even more from the employed. It will never even occur to them to try to reform the system or even refine the definition of ‘worthy’. They’ll especially focus on taking from the wealthy, those who are working, making money and creating jobs and, for good measure, they’ll also vilify them and target them for higher and higher taxes, taking more and more from them that they would’ve been able to use for creating businesses, hiring others and simply buying things and feeding our consumer based economy

 

“In both cases it gets the job done…”

 

That’s simply not true. The liberal approach is so much like trying to get a $1.50 soda out of a vending machine by throwing $20 in change (that you got from someone else) at the slot and hoping enough will make it in to get what you want out of it. It doesn’t get the job done. It jus throws away money and, very likely, won’t even get a single coin in the machine, much less enough for a soda. It’s the conservative approach that actually gets the job done, like actually pulling $1.50 out of your pocket and putting it in the machine by hand, precisely and deliberately. In other words, identifying specific problems and executing action specifically aimed at those problems.

 

The problem is that, when government tries to discern need and worthiness, it will always fail because, in order to do that, you need discernment. Only individuals possess that particular ability. Government may be of, for and by the people, but it simply doesn’t possess the human characteristics necessary for discernment. Instead, it uses formulas, guidelines and sliding scales…the sorts of things that notoriously give incomplete pictures and can result in false conclusions, whether intentional or not.

 

In a speech delivered at Hillsdale College, William Voegeli said,

“…the real point of liberalism is to alleviate the suffering of those distressed by others’ suffering…”

The focus of progressives is their own feelings. Because of this, they really don’t put much value on whether the programs they advocate for even work or not…and, most of the time, they don’t. It’s more important to them that they did something, whether it makes any positive difference or even if it caused harm, either to those they claim compassion for, or others. When your focus is so intensely on yourself, your actions are nothing but selfish and ego-centric.

 

The results of liberal “charity”:

 

  • Commerce is slowed because of a lack of consumer confidence and fear of how much the government will decide to take.
  • There are less jobs available and fewer new businesses because those who would’ve created those jobs don’t have as much money to do so and no confidence that they can survive more of the same in taxation.
  • Those who have jobs keep less of their income and that creates financial hardships which can lead these people to find themselves in need, too. They then either suffer through on their own or they use government assistance and stress the system further.
  • Those who are capable of working but choose not to are encouraged to keep doing what they’re doing. After all, if your needs are being met by others and you don’t particularly have a drive to excel, then the status quo is enough to keep you happy.
  • There is less available to help those in genuine need because the system is stretched by the sheer number of people who simply qualify for assistance.

 

In essence, the liberal version of charity has as much in common with actual charity as bait in a trap or a worm on a hook has with a meal. It’s a ruse designed to ensnare and subjugate. Once you become dependent on socialized government, it becomes easier and easier to sink deeper into that dependency and harder and harder to break free of it. Charity is not supposed to become a crutch or a lifestyle as the liberal/socialist agenda desires. It’s supposed to be a chain reaction of good will, designed to give a hand up to one who is in need and who will then, once they’re in a position to be on the other side of the equation, provide that kind of help to another in the same sort of circumstances. It’s the practice of human compassion and kindness passed from one person to the next. Liberals can claim charity as the motivation behind their actions all they want, but saying it doesn’t make it true. Charity is action that illustrates selflessness while liberalism is founded and grown in an atmosphere of selfishness and control.
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