Cennamology Chief Editor
As a manager of a young, two-month old blog site, I often post my articles on other political websites in order to promote Cennamology's articles. One troll on Politico.com going by the moniker "Whitey" responded to my recent article criticizing Republicans for thinking the poor have it easy with this piece of uneducated, grammatically incorrect blather:
"Or maybe [we think the poor have it easy] because leftist trash, like yourself, thinks you are entitled to the fruits of another persons labor."
When a right-wing blowhard has to resort to name calling, you know he has no argument. This troll, who has never met me before, thinks that I feel entitled to other people's money. I do not. Not one bit.
I have a question for all the conservatives out there who believe what "Whitey" (what a perfect Republican name) said: Have you ever encountered a liberal who has demanded that you give him or her your money? Not asked, but demanded?
I am guessing that most of the law-abiding people who ask you for money do just that - ask. They do not demand. Charities dedicated to almost every cause in the world ask you for money, and if anybody asks you for money on the street or at a train station ask you for, at most, five bucks.
Also, hard work is not a conservative value (or a liberal value), it is a human value. It is human nature to search for a purpose in life - a purpose of hard work an individual pursues in order to live a meaningful life. This desire for meaning through hard work is present in the human mind regardless of political ideology. Conservatives and Republicans need to stop acting like hard work is a trait exclusive to them because it's insulting to all people with progressive values and beliefs who exercise their hearts, minds, and bodies to their fullest extent every single day.
Now about entitlements - conservatives love "entitlements" in a more literal sense of the word, just as much (if not more) than liberals and progressives do.
Social conservatives believe they are entitled to dictate to other people whom they have never met who they can and cannot marry. They believe they are entitled to the government transcribing their religious beliefs into law to interfere with the lives of loving LGBT couples and their families. No matter how hard LGBT Americans work, no matter how much money they pay in taxes, and no matter how many children's lives have been turned around for the better after getting adopted by an LGBT couple - social conservatives will always believe that they are entitled to have the government submit to their will and impose their ideologies on the private lives of people who are different from them.
Social conservatives also believe they are entitled to stick their noses into the healthcare decisions of their female employees, worried that their religious beliefs are in jeopardy if they do not micromanage women's health plans. If a female employee has something covered in her health plan that the employer "sincerely believes" are contrary to God's will - the employer will run to the government demanding that their religious beliefs be given preferential treatment under the law over the healthcare needs of the woman. The Supreme Court granted this corporate entitlement - paving the way for businesses to use the entitlement of "sincerely held beliefs" to impose their will on the employees whose views may very well not align with the boss's.
Many right-wingers also believe that they are entitled to do whatever they damn well please with our natural environment - that belongs to everyone, not to any one individual. They view the environment as an entitlement to exploit for every penny that they can get out of it - not as an entity that is the source of all life on Earth that must coexist in stability with humanity in order for our children and grandchildren's futures to be as fruitful as the lives of current and past generations.
The right wing believes they are entitled to pollute the environment as much as they want. As long as they make money for themselves, they do not care about the effects that their environmental damage has on everyone else. When the government tries to step in and make sure that our air, our water, our natural treasures, and our beautiful landscapes are being used in a sustainable way, conservatives whine about "burdensome regulation." How dare the government try to tell them what they can and cannot do to the environment that they are entitled to exploit without interference! Often times, lawmakers give in to these demands. Because of this, the environment and all the fruits it bears embody the most exploited "entitlement" system in human history - one that right-wingers have not shied away from mooching off of.
Another entitlements close to the heart of right-wingers is cheap labor. Big businesses fight against minimum wage laws because they believe that they are entitled to pay their workers as little as possible - and minimum wage laws prevent them from doing this. The success of companies is built on the founder AND all those working for him or her, and the best CEOs in America are the ones who realize that.
However, there are many who still feel they are entitled to pocket the vast majority of the revenue while passing on little to the workers whom their success would not have been possible without. These workers have earned fair wages. They do not demand these wages from the boss because they want to mooch off of his fruits - they are the source of the fruits. Opposing minimum wage laws is also the only way Republicans can simultaneously be anti-immigration and pro-cheap labor. And when corporations do not get the cheap labor they believe they are entitled to - they outsource to countries that will give them that entitlement.
Every tax break and tax credit for the wealthy and large corporations is perhaps the right-wingers' most favorite entitlement. The list of all these tax credits that only benefit the wealthy is too long to outline here - but they will all be defended by Republicans in Congress until they are blue in the face. And when the wealthy does not get the tax breaks they believe they are entitled to - they outsource (big surprise!) their money to offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands, Belize, and other tropical countries to avoid American taxes in what is arguably the most unpatriotic thing a CEO can do. So, if they do not get the tax breaks they believe they are entitled to, they proceed by showing us that they are not entitled to play by the rules.
So, next time your conservative friends criticize entitlements, remind them of all they believe they are entitled to. Programs that liberals defend, like social security, are entitlements because We the People have paid into them our entire working lives - and have earned those checks in the mail. Food stamps improve public health by ensuring that those less fortunate do not starve while being in between jobs - the program is not the poor stealing from the rich.
At the end of the day, this all comes down to a common problem for right-wingers - the persecution complex. Any government program that helps somebody else is akin to "leftist trash" stealing their money. But anything the government does (or does not do) to help those right-wingers is synonymous with "freedom" and "good government policy." Get over yourselves.