Jim Goetsch: Sociopaths? Really? | TheUnion.com

Jim Goetsch: Sociopaths? Really?

It is so refreshing to find a couple of writers, Jon Peck and Joan Keyes (Other Voices: The camouflage of conservative social issues March 17, The Union), whose apparent vast experience with the Republican Party allows them to define us so well in a single sentence: “The Republican Party has a single over-arching goal: moving as much wealth to the top as possible.”

Imagine the research they must have done to be able to so concisely define the millions of us who hold a variety of conservative (and even liberal) views at all levels of the economic ladder into a single exquisite sentence.

After detailing a long list of items that the new budget will supposedly not cover, they have the foresight to predict more homelessness, health challenges, and poorer education for young people because of these excessive cutbacks. Apparently, Republicans don’t know or care that these problems will be eliminated if we throw enough of our taxes at them.

But even more to the point, these would-be editorialists sum up the feelings and attitudes of Republicans in two additional incredible sentences: “Republicans who ignore these ill effects … live in never-ending state of anger that there are poor people in this country who get to spend any amount of time experiencing any emotion more pleasant than misery. There’s a word for that, and that word is sociopath; and the sociopaths seem to be running things these days.”

Putting down whole groups of people without knowing anything about them, is of little value to the rest of us.

Apparently these two very perceptive writers have a deep understanding of mental health and its pervasiveness throughout all levels of Republicans in this country and in this neighborhood.

I have found that those who accuse others of certain behaviors, often exhibit the same behaviors. Could Jon and Joan be living in a never-ending state of anger that sees only the half-empty glass rather than the half-full one? Could they possibly have any Republican friends from which to derive their opinions, or do they simply avoid these sociopaths entirely?

Let me suggest to Jon and Joan that they take a more positive look at the world than the one they are perceiving through the imagined vindictiveness of uncaring Republicans.

Are you aware that many (if not most) Republicans are not wealthy, and have the same economic challenges as most Democrats, Libertarians, and Undecideds?

Are you aware that the wealthy (including Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Undecideds) pay most of the taxes that support our country, insuring that the very poor pay nothing — based on the progressive nature of our tax system?

Do you understand that a reduction in the percentage of taxes paid by an individual is based on how much he is paying now — naturally the wealthy will find their taxes reduced by more than the bottom level of those who pay taxes?

Do you want to drive the wealthy (or the large companies) out of our country so we can’t benefit from the higher taxes they pay?

Are you aware that many Americans who are classified as “poor” by the U.S. government would be middle income globally (according to a 2015 Pew Research Center analysis)?

Are you sure that the budget cuts you decry are impacting successful programs, or could it be that much of that investment in the past has not been put to good use and should be cut back?

Have you looked at what the proposed budget will support, rather than what it will not?

Ultimately anyone can allow himself to be disappointed with his lot in life, if he looks at what he doesn’t have in comparison with others. Putting down whole groups of people without knowing anything about them, is of little value to the rest of us. This op-ed didn’t lift any of us up or attempt to set a tone of getting along with others.

I was the oldest of 10 children in a blue-collar family where my mother constantly compared our situation with families having fewer children, higher incomes, or better careers. Our family was poor, and my mother believed the wealthy were depriving us of opportunities. She was a Democrat whose beliefs I didn’t share.

I decided early on to envy no one and avoid blaming others for my situation. Through education, good choices, and hard work, I lifted myself out of that poverty.

I now appreciate Republican principles, which have nothing to do with “moving as much wealth to the top as possible.” I certainly don’t view myself as a “sociopath.”

Jim Goetsch lives in Lake of the Pines.

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