Southern Motives

Republicans smash a sandcastle to beat the tideThey were destroyed by an idea.

Let me try to explain.

I spent $240 at a children’s clothing store the other day and it felt good. ‘Cause I’m a job sustainer when I do that. Then I went to the P.O. and spent another $11 to send the stuff across the country to a grand kid that’s having a birthday. The guy behind the counter was glad to see a job sustainer too.

Which makes me think that, again, we’ve allowed the conservatives to write the script. “Creation,” in the bi-polar world of the conservative, is partnered by “destruction,” as in “creative destruction.” So, consistent with never mentioning what they are actually about, “job creators” are actually destroyers. They destroy with the intent of jobs being created down the line, like the phoenix rising from the ashes.

In this instance, jobs are an ulterior motive. The immediate action is to destroy. When you come to think about it, that’s the same pattern we observe in the cold blooded killing of Troy Davis. That man was destroyed in the name of the ulterior motive of saving other lives down the road.

Conservatives categorize themselves as idealists because the idea or intent is all that counts. Any acts that follow are incidental and any moral value, if anyone cares to inquire, is assigned to the intent. Which, of course, is why the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The notion that what man thinks (his ideas or intentions) defines the moral value of his acts is a sign of extreme hubris, as is the notion that man is entitled to destroy what God/nature made, if only to demonstrate that man can do better.

Is it hubris/false pride or insecurity which gives rise to the impulse to destroy? Why knock down a sand castle? That the tide will claim it anyway is a hollow excuse from someone whose sense of shame is intact. People who kill in cold blood have no shame. Neither do the people who destroy jobs while claiming they’re creating them.

Is the bi-polar ordering of the world designed to deceive? I don’t think so. It just proves to be very useful for people incapable of putting thought into action. If one can’t act, then the idea has to be enough.

Expecting such people to carry out obligations is a big mistake.

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Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."