If you’ve ever seen a movie or play about Victorian England – or read one of Charles Dickens’ masterpieces – you should know what the ideal Republican state would look like. Remember Oliver Twist asking for a second helping at the orphanage? The response was incredulous. A second helping? Had the child gone mad?
That’s exactly how Republicans see the world. But you don’t usually hear them admitting it as bluntly as State Representative Cynthia Davis of Missouri (photo at right) did recently. She makes no bones about her position on child hunger. She thinks it “can be a positive motivator” and should be encouraged.
The chairwoman of the state legislature’s Special Standing Committee on Children and Families outlined her philosophy in an attack on a government program that provides free meals to low-income childen during the summer. Here’s an excerpt from her newsletter:
Who’s buying dinner? Who is getting paid to serve the meal? Churches and other non-profits can do this at no cost to the taxpayer if it is warranted…. Bigger governmental programs take away our connectedness to the human family, our brotherhood and our need for one another…. Anyone under 18 can be eligible? Can’t they get a job during the summer by the time they are 16? Hunger can be a positive motivator. What is wrong with the idea of getting a job so you can get better meals? Tip: If you work for McDonald’s, they will feed you for free during your break…. It really is all about increasing government spending, which means an increase in taxes for us to buy more free lunches and breakfasts.
Liberal commentators like MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann were aghast at the Missouri legislator’s position. But why? I am sure they’ve heard many Republican politicians embrace the same philosophy, though not in those words. For decades, Republicans have fought against government attempts to make America a more compassionate society. They fought Social Security. They fought Medicare. They fought Unemployment Insurance. They fought the minimum wage. And they are fighting universal health care.
They want more tax dollars for weapons and the military, more “incentives” to business, more tax breaks for the rich. In their eyes the poor are undeserving and contemptible. Let them eat cake.