Ruminations on a Presidential Race – Compassion, Forced

Something to Share

Something to Share

Written November 2, 2008

I meet my good friend Dave about every Friday morning – have been for years. He told about his trip to a business convention in the Midwest a couple of weeks ago.

In a ride in a limo from the airport to his hotel, he and the driver got to talking. The driver said he was voting for Obama. Dave: “Why would you do that?”

The driver offered a couple of reasons.

Dave: “Suppose you decided you wanted to buy this limo company which employs you. You work your tail off to get it. You spend blood and sweat. You finally are able to own the company and have some employees. You start to earn $270 or 280K. Obama’s tax plan results in penalizing your success by taking more of your money.”

“Or think about this – the owner of the company you drive for gets a big tax increase under Obama. He comes to you and says he’s going to have to let you go and get rid of your car, because he can no longer afford to have you work for him.”

Driver: “I never thought of that.”

“Never thought of that.”

Ah, there’s the state of affairs upon which Mr. Obama and his like-minded comrades in the US Congress are counting. The State as God idea can be so appealing on the surface. Get the other guy who’s doing so well, who’s doing better than me, and who probably doesn’t deserve what he has anyway, and my life will be a little easier. Yes, the key to the success of this drive to “change” our country (change by itself isn’t automatically a good thing) is having enough people not really thinking.

Dave told another story about an acquaintance of his. They enjoyed a nice meal in a restaurant. The server had an Obama pin on his shirt. When the repast was finished, the man paying the bill said he appreciated the good work the server gave them, and he had earned a good tip. However, he informed the server that he was going to find someone out on the street who didn’t have any money and give the tip to him.

Whereupon the server gave a very puzzled response. “Why?” “I see you are a supporter of Obama. He also wants to do this – take away some of the money people have worked hard to earn and give it to someone who has less. So, I’m going to pay your tip to someone who doesn’t have the money.”

The report is that the server turned white and had nothing to say. I suppose he “hadn’t thought of that” either. Funny how lofty compassionate ideas get a little harder to swallow if they involve someone reaching into your wallet in an act of confiscation.

Hollow Compassion

That brand of “compassion” always has such a hollowness about it. “Trust us. We are going to be very compassionate to those groups of people we all know need help. Give us your money, and we’ll be sure to be help those poor folks who have nowhere to turn but the Beneficent State. (‘Course we’ll need a little extra for all the bureaucrats who we’ll have to hire to run this thing).”

That pesky other-people’s-money compassion idea keeps on raising its misguided head, but it’s louder and more insistent this time. “Let’s all have a little forced compassion, shall we? As long as we, the benevolent chosen ones, can use your dough and stay insulated ourselves from any of this messy personal involvement. We can’t be spending our own money on these things. We have loftier personal goals.” (just check some of these big-hearted folks’ personal giving records.)

Suppose I’m walking down 4th Avenue with a bag lunch in my freezing fingers. There’s a man sitting on a bench, looking a smidge short on sustenance. With some sorrow and sympathy in my heart for his plight, and with gladness that I can help, I offer him one of my two sandwiches. I am moved by some measure of goodness God has placed in me, and by the fact that I know I could be in the same situation myself. I can spare it; he needs it. He is grateful.

Another scenario to consider: I’m walking down 4th Avenue with a bag lunch in my freezing fingers. There’s a man sitting on a bench, looking a smidge short on sustenance. The Food Equalization Program Officer gives me a hard look. “Sir, as you can see, that man on the bench is a victim, through no fault of his own. And it just might be your fault, you exploiter you. What’s in that bag you are carrying? Hmmm, two sandwiches. I hereby am removing one of them and giving it to this man on the bench. If you refuse, I am going to confiscate your whole bag and you’ll also face a court of law.’

“OK then. I see you are willing to cooperate. I’ll take the sandwich. Oh, and I’ll need a couple of those cookies. I gotta eat too, and this is hard work.”

Which scenario leaves you and the recipient feeling better about life and having more dignity in the process? God gave the responsibility to be compassionate to His followers. Not to faceless bureaucratic institutions. Mr. Obama and his comrades are enamored of Food Equalization Programs. And plenty others they can dream up. The possibilities are endless and dreary.

Photo: Nonsense to Momsense blog

2 thoughts on “Ruminations on a Presidential Race – Compassion, Forced

  1. Pingback: Giving Does Not Cost | Matters of Worldview

  2. Pingback: Inflexibility | MATTERS of WORLDVIEW

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