With a strong desire for self-determination, they like the idea that everyone can take care of themselves just fine, thank you. That's how it starts. A simple appreciation for personal responsibility.
But then it goes too far. They begin to look down on the hard reality of people in need, hoping somehow that the free-market will work things out. But it doesn't take much faith to know that people with "good" genes and plenty of money will get what they need to live happily ever after.
But what about people who aren't keeping up? Families just now learning about education. People with mental illness. People in medical bankruptcy. People getting out of the Marines with arms missing. What are they supposed to do?
If you think the chasm between haves and have-nots is deep now, though, just look ahead ten years. The age wave is crashing with too many old people like me carrying a crush of guaranteed tragedy. Alzheimer's. Broken hips. Cloudy eyes. Incontinence. Cancer. Depression. Whatever. It's not going to be pretty, this slow motion tsunami.
You might have enough money to maintain your dignity getting old, but then again you might not. And one way or another, the government will have a role. The big question in whether that role can be fulfilled with excellence and grace. I say we should expect more from government, not less.
Which brings me to accidental Republicans.
Some of the Republicans I know are nice people who stumbled into their party once upon a time when it stood for something. They bought the free market fantasy of the Party of Greed with its tidy blend of wishful thinking about poverty, with its full faith in credit cards and the almighty dollar. But then they stopped thinking and closed their eyes. They went on automatic, confusing the world they wanted to have with the world that is . Without noticing, the slipped into a party of extremism. A party that starts wars recklessly. That abridges personal liberty. That doesn't care for those in need. Even when those in need are people they sent to war.
Some Republicans today still think George Bush is a great president. How can that be anything other than accidental? Momentum from a bygone error, taking us over a cliff.