Monday, December 11, 2017
Commerce-An End In Itself To Republicans. A Means To An End For Democrats
I have been grappling with a simplified explanation for the essential difference between Republicans and Democrats in a discussion I am having with a family member. They are very bright but also very busy (doing commerce and family), so brevity, not one of my long suits, may be helpful.
I think I've found a good way to explain the difference some attribute to brain wiring, others to cultural or social influences. Here it is.
Republicanism is mostly about commerce. Commerce is viewed as a marker of personal success to Republicans; for some attributed to some kind of divine intervention to reward the "good" people. It is embedded in their theology. Other Republicans see such financial success as the reward for hard work, affirming the higher, better motivation among some of us to "succeed". They see poverty as a personal failure. In this culture, the way to financial success in through commerce. Some may find it through entrepreneurship, others through working in the corporate vineyards.
They all support government welfare for the corporate/business world and given the choice between the government prioritizing assistance for individual citizens, they choose assisting the corporate/business sector over individuals. Even though Republicans espouse individual, personal responsibility as one of their major values, corporations and businesses, collectives of several or many, take precedence when it comes to government and tax assistance.
Thus, Republicans idolize commercial and business leaders, titans if you will. The country clubs and gated communities are full of them and that is a great place to be to network into your own financial success. But even those living in modest exurban bungalows admire the titans. This is exemplified by Donald Trump's success in that voting sector.
Democrats, on the other hand, see commerce as a means to an end. The means is trade and exchange between people and organizations to generate income to be enjoyed by individuals/families and shared through taxation. Thus, Democratic public policy, while supporting capitalism, favors collective assistance via government to assist those in need of it. Children, disabled, elderly are examples. If theology motivates some Democrats, it is a mandate to assist the poor and less fortunate among us. If humanism is the motivator, it is the desire for a fair and just society favoring no privileged group as a means to a peaceful society with a minimum of conflict between competing groups.
This is the end for Democrats. If some with to strive for wealth, they are free to do so with the understanding that if success is achieved, some modest amount of it is to be shared, again to keep the peace and because it is just fair to do some sharing. That sharing takes the form of Social Security and Medicare for retired, disabled and healthcare for middle class citizens, which we all contribute to like an insurance premium. Other assistance is provided by taxes we all are asked to pay for healthcare for children and the very poor, CHIPS for other low income people, food assistance, financing of public education and post-high school training and education. Democrat icons are seldom business titans. Many of the most admired are those who strive for social and commercial fairness. This is exemplified by Democrats admiring leaders in social and reform movements like Barack Obama.
So, to my young family members, you indeed have a choice of association. Some may call it a tribal affiliation. I'm at peace with my choice. I hope you will be too.