Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chile is NOT a tea party nation

If there is one quiet lesson to be learned from the inspiring way that Chile pulled together to locate, care for, and rescue 33 miners, it is a lesson which flies in the face of Tea Party nostrums.

Chile has demonstrated how a society cares for those in need.  It did not spare "many millions" in organizing a world class relief and rescue effort, which went off not only without a hitch, but left the whole world in tears and hugs, with a sense of what human caring and solidarity and trust is all about.

Had the Tea Party been in charge, there likely would never even have been the initial efforts (20 probes or more) to locate the miners.  No, the tea party folk would have told us:  "If these folks want to be rescued, it's up to them to find their own way to do it."

Tea Party folk would then have comforted themselves with philosophical words about how the government has no business meddling in the private lives of others.   They would have waxed eloquent over how wonderful it is to ensure the safety of oneself and one's family, perhaps heaping blame on the workers for not ensuring their own safety ahead of time, and advising the grieving family members to buck up, be strong, and each go their separate ways, firm in the knowledge that the government had not meddled in their lives.

Chile chose a different path.  And we know how the entire world watched in awe and wonder, with a common sense of humanity and decency and joy, at how humans care about each other and will do almost anything to save lives and promote health and welfare.

Think of these two ways of being.  The Chilean way.  The Tea Party way.  Which of them demonstrates the human spirit at its best? That is the way to go.

It's a simple parable.  Go and do likewise....

1 comment:

Alan said...

Neither is the United States a teabagger nation. They make up less than 20% of the population, though they get a lot of notice because they're incredibly noisy. (I mean that in both the volume sense and relative to the amount and quality of signal they produce.)

Libertarianism is as meaningful as a badly raised three-year-old jumping up and down in the living room yelling "Me, me, me!" while adults are trying to have a conversation. And I apologize in advance to any three-year-olds who feel slighted by the comparison.

If they were serious, if they truly believed what they claim, they'd "go Galt" as they perpetually threaten to do, leave civilized society, and go take up residence somewhere where they would necessarily begin from scratch, drilling wells, grading and paving roads, and all the other things needed for their ideal society.

They won't.

They're a bunch of freeloading thieves at heart.

Any libertarian who was sincere would first renounce anything and everything society provides them before demanding that others give anything up.

The "ideal" of libertarianism is at best staggeringly ignorant, and at worst cynically malignant. And its defenders will no doubt claim that it's because it's never yet been tried in pure form.

Didn't we hear that about Soviet-style Communism? How'd that work?