The New York Times’s “cramped vision”
posted at 7:08 pm on August 12, 2012 by Libby Sternberg
The usual suspects are rending their garments over the selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Witness the New York Times editorial, Mr. Ryan’s Cramped Vision (a title that has to take a prize for irony, n’est ce pas? The New York Times complaining about someone’s narrow view of the world? Have they no mirrors at the Gray Lady offices?).
In this piece, the paper’s opinionaters are so distraught over the selection of Ryan for vice presidential candidate that they are forced to side with Catholic bishops who’ve objected to the Ryan budget. (NYT ♥Catholic bishops—when did this happen?) And, of course, while the Times’s editorialists worry about the underprivileged under Scrooge Ryan, they tsk-tsk over the bounty he will provide for the wealthy:
All of this will be accompanied, of course, by even greater tax giveaways to the rich, and extravagant benefits to powerful military contractors. Business leaders will be granted their wish for severely diminished watchdogs over the environment, mine safety and food quality.
“Tax giveaways?” For the love of God, can we please get rid of dishonest euphemisms like this? A tax break just lets you keep more of your own money. It doesn’t take money from some unsuspecting naïf and hand it out to a wealthy fat cat in a cutaway and top hat. You might not like that fat cat having so much money, but guess what? It’s not your money, and it’s not your judgment to make. Stop thinking of the economy like it’s a Monopoly game, for crying out loud. Can’t we at least expect that level of sophistication from the “paper of record?”
But, wait, there’s more. The Times ends their wail with:
Mr. Romney had already praised the Ryan budget as “excellent work,” but until Saturday the deliberate ambiguity of his own plans gave him a little room for distance, an opportunity to sketch out a more humane vision of government’s role. By putting Mr. Ryan’s callousness on his ticket, he may have lost that chance.
A “more humane vision of government’s role”? “Mr. Ryan’s callousness?”
That’s in the eye of the beholder, NYT. From a conservative’s vantage point – even from some liberals’ view – it’s the height of callousness to ignore the fiscal challenges our country faces. And it’s grossly inhumane to continue funding programs that do not open the door to opportunity but instead stymie initiative and self-respect. And…asking other people to fund these ineffective programs is not compassion, unless you’re using a relativist definition that takes into consideration how self-righteous the “takers” feel when purloining neighbors’ cash for their “good deeds.”
This compassion/humane argument always steams me. It’s as if liberals like those at the New York Times are rock solid sure that their approach confirms how compassionate they are, and anyone who disagrees and wants to try other ways to help those in need…is just a scurrilous scumbag who wants to reap profits instead of helping people. Nice caricature. Makes disagreements so much easier when you can smugly assume the mantle of virtue while portraying your adversaries as heartless profiteers.
Whenever I’m confronted with this kind of reasoning, I end up thinking of …drivers who annoy me by waving on left-turners while backing up traffic.
You know the type. You’re sitting in a long line at a light, and someone up ahead gets the notion to “help” an oncoming left-turner by stopping and waving them through the intersection, even when doing so might create a hazard for the turner.
The waver has no idea who is more deserving of moving forward. For all he knows, the line of cars behind him might contain a mother rushing a sick child to the doctor, or a father hurrying to see his daughter in a school play or even a spouse hoping to make it to the airport before her loved one flies off for a deployment…and the left-turner could be a drug dealer on his way to his latest score. No, all that matters to the waver is how good he feels about himself for doing something “nice” for someone else.
That’s what these noxious editorialists are like. They assume because they think the action is humane and compassionate, it must be—after all, they’re thinking of it! And they’re good people! Break out the champagne! Who cares whether the policies they advocate actually work to bring people out of poverty into opportunity? What really matters is how good these do-gooders feel about themselves.
That’s a “cramped vision,” if ever there was one.