Thursday, September 22, 2011

Greed Versus Wealth; and Those Pesky Nazi TEA Partiers

I'm increasingly frustrated by being considered greedy because I believe capitalism is the best way to help everyone at all levels of society.  I believe that statistics and history bear this out. 

I believe that socialist policies tear down a person's sense of self.  I believe that socialist policies and the dependence upon government largess enslave those upon whom such programs prey.

I heard something today on the radio that sums up well one of the intrinsic problems with current "anti-wealthy" rhetoric.  Whoever was speaking at the time said something like, "Wealth is not the problem, greed is the problem.  And greed is not isolated to the wealthy, nor are all wealthy people greedy.  So also, poverty is not somehow more righteous than is wealth.  Poor people can be greedy, too."

Marxist philosophy demands class envy.  Marxism thrives on such envy, and without such envy, Marxism cannot survive.  And yet, we who use such terms are considered fear-mongerers and name callers.

Speaking of name-calling, a high school Government teacher in Texas, Jonathan Bryant, called San Antonio Tea Party President, George Rodrigueza, a Nazi.  I have so many problems with this I don't even know where to start.  But let me list a couple anyway.

The salient points here, as I see them, are

  • Mr. Rodrigueza, San Antonio TEA Party president, is apparently part of a panel discussing the deportation of illegal immigrants. 
  • Specifically, Mr. Bryant, teacher at Kennedy High School in San Antonio, is asking about the possibility of teachers being responsible to report illegal immigrants. 
  • Mr. Rodrigueza, at his turn to respond, seems to agree with the sentiment of the previous panelist, that the law needs to be upheld.
  • But he adds that he'd also like if teachers would teach balanced content, and represent conservative principles to their students, instead of merely bringing a group of students with liberal placards.
  • Mr. Bryant says, "You can just say what you are, a Nazi."
  • After which he adds, "It's an objective observation, that's all." Then appears to strut back to his area, to the applause of the students.
1) Does Mr. Bryant really think Mr. Rodrigueza is killing millions of people?  Is he imprisoning anyone?  Is he engaged in any sort of thought control, euthanasia, or cultural purging as Nazi Germany did?  Mr. Rodrigueza appealed to the law of the land.  The law of the land of which Mr. Bryant is a citizen.  The law of the land which allows for free speech.  And the law of the land which allows for individual citizens, such as either Mr. Rodrigueza or Mr. Bryant, to become involved in changing those laws with which they disagree.

2) Does Mr. Bryant consider the response of Mr. Rodrigueza as "sins" of the same caliber as the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany? In context, then, requiring teachers to inform law enforcement of an illegal activityis on the same plain as fascism, genetic cleansing, and murder?  Or was it the request to teach conservative along with liberal principles that was the clincher?  I'm not sure to which part of Mr. Rodrigueza's response Mr. Bryant aimed his dart.

And does it not lessen the horrors of Nazi Germany to compare them to either opinion of Mr. Rodrigueza?

3) As a teacher, Mr. Bryant has the responsibility to be accurate.  He is using irresponsible name calling to sideline a public figure's opinions without staying the course and educating anyone on how Mr. Rodrigueza's opinions might be called Nazi.

One might argue that such a forum is not the time or place to do that, but I didn't get the impression that Mr. Bryant was inclined to explain at a later time. His smirk leads me to the perception that he was very pleased with the barb he threw.

4) And fianlly, as the President of the San Antonio TEA party group, Mr Rodrigueza represents the opinions of anyone else in the area who affiliates themselves with the TEA party movement.  The students Mr. Bryant teaches are of an age to be still under the care of their parents.  They ought not to have to be subjected to pejorative talk against various philosophies that might be part of such a child's upbringing.  By slamming Mr. Rodrigueza and his views, Mr. Bryant is painting as a Nazi anyone who agrees with either the individual opinion of Mr. Rodrigueza, or the TEA party group which he represents.

Now I realize that Mr. Bryant did not make his comment in the classroom.  And I also realize that teachers are allowed freedom of speech just as the rest of us are.   However, there were students present.  Mr. Bryant even pointed them out at the beginning of his comments.  He knew they were there.  Even if there were no children present who might agree with Mr. Rodrigueza, or from families who would support the goals of the TEA party movement, Mr. Bryant is still painting such students, in front of their peers, as Nazis or at least as affiliated with Nazis.

Not cool.

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