Buzzfeed recently offered readers a peek into the bottomless well that is right-wing hypocrisy. “Republican Senator Who Voted To Defund NPR Says He Listens To NPR,” reads the headline, “He declined to mention that on the show.” Arizona Senator Jeff Flake is evidently a fan of cerebral upmarket radio programming, but also voted to defund the media organization.
You know, it’s almost as if he knows one of these positions has absolutely nothing to do with the other. I enjoy NPR. I believe NPR, a network that boasts an audience in the tens of millions, can compete without taxpayer funding. You see: those are two distinct and non-conflicting sentences. But you know the drill. Distinctions are distracting. If you fail to support the Fair Pay Act, deep down you believe women are nothing but baby-making automatons. If you oppose nanny-state intrusions, you’re probably cool with fat kids and their diabetes… and so on.
“I am afraid that Chairman Ryan’s budget reflects the values of his favorite philosopher Ayn Rand rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Father Thomas J. Reese of Georgetown wrote in a Huffington Post attack aimed at Paul Ryan not so long ago. “Survival of the fittest may be okay for Social Darwinists but not for followers of the gospel of compassion and love.”
You recall the Bible passage, do you not? Then the Lord said to Moses, “Smite the supply sider. I will utterly blot out the memory of all who back block-grant funding from under heaven”?
It’s refreshing, then, to hear would-be fusionist Rand Paul point out the distinction libertarian critics will not. At Robert P. George’s The American Principles Project last week, Paul argued that a dose of libertarianism would not only help the GOP broaden its base, but that it was philosophically compatible with social conservative values.
“Libertarian and liberty doesn’t mean libertine,” he explained. Paul might have added that libertarianism isn’t synonymous with “uncharitable” or “selfish” or a “Social Darwinist,” either. He might have argued that libertarianism would do a lot more than just help orthodox Christians politically. It may even be the most conducive political philosophy for them to thrive…
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