Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Shame of Greed


In every one of his speeches, and in many of his writings (he has written several profound books), Barack Obama encourages community, community-awareness, and community-action. He encourages Americans to think of ourselves as interactive and interdependent people. And he always makes a special effort to think of the poor and the middle class.
This "ordinary American" is something that the Republican Sarah Palin has tried to fake, but, due to her $150,000 clothing, make-up, and jewelry (she also paid a professional cosmetician $11,000 a week to make her look better), she has never managed to pull this one off; she has fooled almost no one. McCain has from seven to ten houses, and even he is not certain how many he owns. And the Republican Party has been the puppets of corporations for the last eight years, under the bush regime.
It is thus not at all surprising that the Republican Party has emerged, and continues to define itself, as the party of the coddled, spoiled, and rich elite. "Common, average" people are rare among them, and the poor virtually non-existent within Republican ranks. For decades, this party of greed and materialism has appealed to the lowest nature within human beings-- territoriality and survivalism.
In stunning contrast, Obama regularly calls upon people to exercise compassion through service; he even has a plan for National Service for young people, to help pay for college. In summary, Obama calls upon us, challenges us, to think of others as well as of our own families; we all stand together, not only as Americans, but as human beings.

This is a cohesion infinitely more powerful than mere money. Compared to this wise
and wide calling, the Republican focus on personal dollars appears as almost an illness, an unhealthy obsession. Indeed, greed has been the root of virtually every major conflict and war in the history of our poor little planet. It is time for all of us to seek to outgrow this childish, self-serving trend, and to give more to the poor. At the very least, if we do nothing else, we can support them in our hearts, prayers, thoughts, and actions. We can lift our political agenda towards compassion and away from the consuming and dreaded disease of greed.

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