Nick Kristoff wrote an Op-Ed piece in the NYT for Thanksgiving (“Where is the Love?”) that focused on “…a conversation about empathy for fellow humans in distress,” pointed out the apparent lack thereof, and followed with the rabidly liberal observation that “…success in life is a reflection not only of enterprise and willpower, but also of random chance and early upbringing.” He then closed with the (socialist? communist? Christian?) remark that “…compassion isn’t a sign of weakness, but a mark of civilization.”
His musings struck me as reasonable and rather mild—appropriate observations on a day in which we give thanks for the good things that have come the way of some, but as per Mr Kristoff, not enough of us.
However, Mr. Kristoff’s editorializing that some in our society seem to have a slight deficiency in their sense of charity and empathy aroused a storm of indignation from the right, who countered with these devastating Thanksgiving Day rebuttals:
LD from Tulsa: “We need to let the poor know they have to start taking responsibility for their own actions.”
Gmason from Left Coast: “The problem is that the so-called compassion of the left has done more to harm the nation’s poor than to help them. All of your policies kill job creation and the opportunity to lift yourself out of the poverty. You undermine the moral fabric of our nation…”
Malucks from Malvern: “Depriving people of the dignity that personal achievement bestows is far more insidious than spreading around other people’s wealth.”
Al from USA: “Far to many are lazy and resentful of the success that hard work brings.”
Gene from Atlanta GA: “It is certainly true that born poor is a disadvantage…However, the majority feel like they are entitled to government health care, housing, food, etc.”
Jeff, from Goffstown, NH: “We see people who could work but chose to remain “on the dole” and who think nothing about it…I’m tired of supporting those that think they are owed a living just for being born.”
Smack! Bam! Take that, you liberal lefty you for daring to say we lack empathy and compassion! We have plenty of empathy—for ourselves! And we’re very compassionate for those who pay taxes! Other commenters felt moved to add their preferred alternative to providing food and shelter to those in need:
Walker in Bar Harbor: “Perhaps poor people should not have kids…”
De Ruiter, from South Central PA: “I am tired of paying for other people’s mistakes. Our government is using my hard earned tax dollars to pay unfit women to churn out large numbers of illegitimate, doomed to poverty children by a series of stray men who breed for a night or two and them move on to impregnate the next welfare woman.”
John Taylor from Millbrook NY: “If your income is below a certain level then you cannot have children. Additionally, if you are collecting any form of government subsidy then from the moment you start collecting you cannot have anymore children. Yes, this is crude and of course would have to be refined a bit…”
George Gharda-Ward MD, from Jacksonville FL: “How about forced sterilization. Let’s say that if a woman doesn’t have a household income of at least $40,000 by age 25 we just operate on them?”
Ah yes, the party that doesn’t like poor people, doesn’t want to have as many poor people, and explicitly states it doesn’t want them to breed, continues to fight with tooth and claw—to deny them birth control. At least they didn’t go so far as to advocate the solution to the problem of poor children that Jonathan Swift put forth in A Modest Proposal. Hope Michelle Bachmann never reads that.
Happy Thanksgiving—to all