Monday, March 14, 2005

The Myth of "Personal Responsibility"

Well maybe it isn't so much a myth as it is yet another right-wing propaganda slogan or concept that many Democrats feel somehow compelled to mimic.

Such was the case with last week's sorrowful meltdown on bankruptcy by Democrats in the U.S. Senate.

As the data gathered by the Left Coaster seems to indicate, campaign cash from the credit card cartel was unlikely the main reason why so many Democrats wilted on the roll call (Delaware's Biden and Carper, and SD's Johnson aside). Those Democratic senators who have offered an explanation as to their vote used the same "personal responsiblity" canard that has been used by conservatives to justify everything from welfare "reform" to abortion restrictions, abstenance education, Medicare cuts, Social Security "reform", and just about every other item on the cultural war itinerary.

I know the "consultants" say the phrase "personal responsiblity" is a winner in their focus groups, but as for policy, the phrase stinks. I wish Democrats would stop using it. Better yet, whenever it surfaces from some Republican talking points memo Democrats should counter by demanding corporate "responsibility" from the business world and political "responsibility" from the Administration--a gang known far and wide for their refusal to admit mistakes and lies--and from Republican members of Congress who, when the going gets tough, change the House rules to protect themselves from ethic charges.

It's high time Democrats made the phrase "personal responsibility" walk the plank. It's a conservative buzz word used as a wedge for their narrow, anti-individual welfare agenda, which we are not obligated to assist them with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Absolute Personal Responsibility as conservatives promote it is a non reality. We are all, to an extent, victims of our circumstance. A person born into a happy functional family is far more likely to succeed in life than a person born into a dysfunctional family. This obvious example alone is enough to smash the Myth of Absolute Personal Responsibility, yet the same holds true when extended to groups and even races of people.