Today’s vote on the “Dream Act“ in both houses of Congress will give a us a clear indication. Are there any conservative Republicans who still harken to that call of Ronald Reagan and President G.W. Bush? We will see.
I tend to think Compassionate Conservatism has been slain by the new tea-drinking “Kick-Ass-Conservatives” let by loud women from northern states. This new group contends that we can have no compassion for law breakers or their children. Seems their bible has be amended to say “Do unto others as you determine they deserve” and “hate your enemy and git ’em before they git you.”
For several years I had believed in the illusion that conservative politicians could both care about: lowering taxes AND raising opportunities for the poor, being pro-life for both the un-born AND the born, rewarding hard work and personal responsibility for both the native born AND the immigrant, and by recognizing that racism could be both a lame excuse for personal responsibility AND YET is a real reason for educational and economic disparities and for the daily struggles of persons of color.
Let me be clear, I know many conservatives who are compassionate. People I highly respect have shown me how the above views can co-exist in a singe person. Yet I have begun to believe politicians are not able to rise about the rancor of bi-partisan polarization to support a broad-base of issues that do not align with the pre-assigned positions of their political party. For the record I need to say, Democrats are typically no better.
I lost faith in Compassionate Conservatism after the election of Tim Pawlenty. He talked good during his campaign and his visits to North Minneapolis, yet once he was elected, his allegiance to the Tax Payer League called him to turn his back on my neighborhood and others like it. Now he want to be president…..
So today I hold my breath, hoping there are ONE or TWO conservatives who have not drunk from the angry tea-pot and will demonstrate compassion to the millions of kids who only want the opportunity to live in and contribute to the country they have come to love and call their own.
Can compassion triumph over political passion?