Evans Liberal Politics September 7, 2012 The Best in Liberal Christian News and Truthful US Politics The Basic Lack of Patriotism of Romney’s Position That Taxation is a ‘Burden’ on the Rich With News and Analysis from the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and Quotes and Video from Obama’s Acceptance Speech Evans Liberal Politics, September 7, 2012, by Paul Evans: Republicans are very fond of speaking about patriotism, and often imply that liberals or Democrats are not as patriotic as they are. To me, the basic test of patriotism is actual citizenship. By this I mean a participatory citizenship in the government and life of our nation, in all the ways in which we all support each other in our association and relation to each other. In some regards, Republicans are very patriotic people. Many Republican families, perhaps disproportionately, at least in my President Obama Acceptance Speech small town, send their children off to fight for 2012 DNC (Full – C-SPAN) the ideals of the United States in overseas wars. Such patriotism is not to be discounted. But overall, what does it mean to be a good citizen? Wikipedia states that: "Many thinkers point to the concept of citizenship beginning in the early city- states of ancient Greece, although others see it as primarily a modern phenomenon dating back only a few hundred years. Another view is that the concept of citizenship arose with the first laws. Polis meant both the political assembly of the city-state as well as the entire society. Citizenship has generally been identified as a western phenomenon. There is a general view that citizenship in ancient times was a simpler relation than modern forms of citizenship, although this view has come under scrutiny. The relation of citizenship has not been a fixed or static relation, but constantly changed within each society, and that according to one view, citizenship might “really have worked” only at select periods during certain times, such as when the Athenian politician Solon made reforms in the early Athenian state. "Historian Geoffrey Hosking in his 2005 Modern Scholar lecture course suggested that citizenship in ancient Greece arose from an appreciation for the importance of freedom. Hosking explained: It can be argued that this growth of slavery was what made Greeks particularly conscious of the value of freedom. After all, any Greek farmer might fall into debt and therefore might become a slave, at almost any time … When the Greeks fought together, they fought in order to avoid being enslaved by warfare, to avoid being defeated by those who might take them into slavery. And they also arranged their political institutions so as to remain free men. —- Geoffrey Hosking, 2005. To Republicans, you would think complete absence of taxation, or at least a flat tax, and lack of regulation or other government “burdens” is what defines “freedom.” But is that real citizenship? Isn’t citizenship not just complete freedom to do as we wish, but rather involves our relation to our fellow man? So that in order to be good citizens, we need to arrange relations, in this case through the agency of our government, relations to our fellow man which are NOT free of requirements on us that have a personal cost? Isn’t trying to live without the personal costs incumbent on us as citizens of a free democracy a failure of citizenship? Please Share Evans Liberal Politics With Friends and Contacts (Use the handy icons below each post) (For a good idea of just what Romney will really do insofar as the middle class is concerned, see The Romney Definition Of Rich, The Huffington Post, September 5, 2012, by Deborah Solomon, and see just how much you trust this man and if you really want to place your fortune under his tender mercies.) As citizens of the free and wonderful democracy which the United States is, we have a relation to our fellow man which is so far as I can see best defined perhaps by this word citizenship. In fact, citizenship is the word that President Obama used in the acceptance speech (text and audio) he made to accept the nomination for Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, as a defining moment in the speech. He was quite simply stating what is great about our nation, but also what the obligations we have to each other are. Please Help Our Children Visit Gloria’s Cottage Website Just Click the image below Citizenship in the United States has traditionally (Secure Donation via PayPal) involved ideas like supporting each other when we are unemployed, helping each other in our faith lives, helping the government build the roads, bridges and infrastructure both locally and nationally which allows the commerce by which we live, and helping each other in retirement and illness and also in time of war. These are basic relations which each of us has to each other via the agency of the government, and is in fact the whole rationale behind government in the first place. This is the basis of citizenship: to participate in the local, state and national relations we all have to each other. Every time I hear Republicans speaking of the “burden” of taxation on the rich, I immediately think of how far that falls short of the basic definition I have of what it means to be a citizen of America. To denigrate taxation, or attempt to shift the burden of it away from those who can easily afford it onto the overburdened backs of working Americans is a failure in basic citizenship, and it is not patriotic at all. It fails the test of a basic understanding of what citizenship means, because it is a failure to live up to the relation we are all supposed to have to each other as citizens of a great, fair and caring American society and government. The San Francisco Chronicle summarized Obama’s appeal to Americans in his convention address: (Obama) whittled the election down to a choice, spelling out his vision of how to create economic opportunity for all, and warning that Romney would restore trickle- down ideas that Obama says were quietly gutting the economy for years before crashing it completely. The president offered a rousing defense of good government and how Democrats see the world. He made a case for citizenship over cynicism, part of a broad appeal to independent voters who want Washington to work better but loathe its growing cost at their expense. “We insist on personal responsibility and we celebrate individual initiative. We’re not entitled to success,” Obama said. But he added: “We don’t think government can solve all our problems. But we don’t think that government is the source of all our problems.” The fact that the President felt he had to tone down his appeal to good citizenship by mitigating it with his agreement that government cannot do everything is a measure of how far Republican ideas about downsizing government and reducing taxes have infiltrated the political thought of the nation. Obama must reduce the perceived “burden” on the well-to-do in order to have a chance to win their votes. And that’s sad. It means that Americans do not really, in their hearts, want to pay the costs of being good citizens, if they must cut out one vacation a year, or put off that home remodeling. This is not what good citizenship — or patriotism — is really about, is it? Rich folks who feel this way are not truly patriotic, certainly in this sense. So next time you hear a Republican candidate complain about the burden of high taxes, or big government, ask them just how patriotic they think that is, and do use the word “citizenship” in your argument. Obama made good citizenship a keynote of his nomination address. In this regard — and a progressive system of taxation is a basic relation we have to each other as citizens — Republicans are not patriotic at all. Download this article as a Word (.doc) document, here. See In Democratic convention speech, Obama vows ‘our problems can be solved’ — with more time, The Washington Post, Published: September 6, Updated: Friday, September 7, by Dan Balz and David Nakamura: CHARLOTTE — President Obama appealed to the nation Thursday night for another four years in office, asserting that his policies are slowly returning the country to economic prosperity while arguing that his Republican opponents would pursue a course that would set the country back and harm the well-being of middle-class families. Obama said the choice between him and Republican Mitt Romney represents the clearest in a generation, a choice between sharply contrasting visions and political philosophies. But after entering office in January 2009 amid outsized expectations, he cautioned that the path he offers may be hard but will lead to “a better place.”… …Obama’s speech wrapped up a Democratic National Convention that combined a withering critique of Romney with a defense of the president’s record that Obama’s campaign team hopes will tip a closely fought election in their direction by November. Obama was aided immensely by the other two major speakers, first lady Michelle Obama and former president Bill Clinton. See Per Gallup, Obama approval ratings surge during convention (and his lead grows), Daily Kos, September 7, 2012, by kos: After holding a steady 47-46 lead for eight long days in the Gallup daily presidential tracker, today’s numbers shockingly moved when Pres. Barack Obama extended his lead to 48-45. This poll features a seven-day rolling average, so 1/7th of the sample hadn’t seen Mitt Romney’s convention acceptance speech. Tuesday night calls were made before the DNC’s prime-time coverage began. Thursday night calls were made before Obama spoke. So 2/7th of the sample is post-Michelle Obama, and another 1/7th is post-Bill Clinton. I hope that all made sense, but bottom line, it won’t be until next Saturday that we have a full post-conventions sample. So these numbers are extremely preliminary. HOWEVER … Gallup is also tracking Barack Obama’s job approval numbers, and these numbers are based on a three-day sample. Paul Evans: The job approval changes over the last two weeks are startling. Two weeks ago (Aug. 25th-27th) Obama had a generally poor job approval poll of 43% favorable to 48% unfavorable. One week ago, roughly (Aug. 31-Sept. 2) the numbers showed 45% favorable to the same 48% unfavorable. But as of Sept. 4-6, Gallop shows Obama’s favorable rating at 52% and unfavorable rating at 43%. That is an astonishing change, especially considering that while it does reflect most of the DNC speeches, there has been no chance for a favorable post Obama speech bounce. Real Clear Politics in it’s average of polls showed Obama and Romney in a dead heat, both candidates at 46.8 percent, on September 4th. Today the RCP average of several polls show Obama up by 0.7 percent nationally (polling over Aug. 22 – Sept. 6), 47.0 to 46.3 percent. Obama can expect even better figures after the numbers start reflecting a bounce from his speech. Moreover, a near-tie nationally does not reflect the situation in crucial swing states where Obama, despite a new ad blitz by Romney, still leads in enough crucial states. CNN’s Election Center shows Obama leading in the race for electoral votes 237 to 191, with more votes leaning to Obama than to Romney, and 110 still basically undecided (including leaning states) altogether. See David Plouffe: Obama Campaign Has Momentum After Democratic Convention, The HUffington Post, September 7, 2012, by Michael McAuliff: A number of analyses — including The Huffington Post’s own Electoral Outlook — foresee a race that’s relatively close in the likely popular vote, but nevertheless hands Obama a sizable electoral college victory. See Tweets From Last Night: DNC Day 3, The Washington Post, September 7, 2012: @gov: A new record political moment on Twitter: @BarackObama drives 52,757 Tweets per minute. Over 9 million Tweets sent #DNC2012. See Plan Like Romney’s Would Tax Rich Less, The N.Y. Times, August 1, 2012, by Catherine Rampell. See Romney tax plan would burden lower earners, analysis says, The Seattle Times, August 2, 2012, by Lori Montgomery of The Washington Post: "An analysis of Mitt Romney’s tax plan found that millionaires would get an $87,000 tax cut, while for 95 percent of the population, taxes would go up by about 1.2 percent, an average of $500 a year." — other analyses of the tax cuts millionaires would get are at a much higher figure. See How Romney’s Tax Plan Could Raise Middle-Class Taxes, ABC News, August 3, 2012, by Amy Bingham. Also See ‘Ask Osama bin Laden if he’s better off than he was four years ago’, The Hill, September 6, 2012, by Julian Pecquet.
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