Common Sense Rules for Compassionate Conservatives

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Liberal media is full of recriminations about who should have done what, and when, and why the Federal government miserably failed to do its job. Most of the talking heads want to blame President Bush, personally, for just about everything from global warming to the levee failures and the gas shortages.
I agree that our emergency agencies like FEMA do need to demonstrate more competence than we have seen recently, considering all the Federal tax dollars we give them. It is the basic responsibility of our elected officials at all levels – local, state and Federal – to provide for the common defense, whether the threat to the general population comes from an act of war or an act of God.
Implicit in the foregoing discussions is the now nearly universal assumption that the Nanny State is somehow supposed to provide cradle-to-grave security for each and every person, and that we are all rightfully entitled to it. Most Americans alive today have grown up inside this socialistic Nanny State. It started in the 1930s with FDR’s New Deal and continued through LBJ’s Great Society – which actually became even more bloated under both the Nixon and Reagan Administrations. Now re-emerging as Bush and Company’s so-called Compassionate Conservatism, the Nanny State has become too well entrenched ever to be dislodged. Our willingness to ascribe salvific qualities to the Federal government is here to stay.
Nevertheless, I also think we need to take another look at the role of individual responsibility. We are faced with some tough decisions in our society today. Gas prices are rising, education costs are soaring, and the degree to which the average American has become increasingly dependent upon on the government is really quite staggering.
Did you read in the news reports that many of the people stranded down in New Orleans could have left before the floodwaters hit, but they were waiting on their Welfare and Social Security checks to come in the mail? That’s how deeply the pernicious Entitlement Mentality has become ingrained in modern society.
Well, I think that when you receive something for free, there should be some common sense restrictions on how you live. When I was growing up, if I borrowed my parents’ car, there were things I could and couldn’t do. If I broke their rules: no car.
Similarly, those who receive government help should be held to certain basic requirements.  They should have a real job, for example, or be out every day actively looking for one. McDonalds is always hiring – just look at their signs on any street corner. Minimum wage sure beats no wage.
After that, those living on the public dole should be held to standards of personal pride and respectability. Their yards shouldn’t be unsightly and all grown up with weeds. Their houses shouldn’t be peeling paint, or their windows unwashed. Assuming they aren’t just wandering around the streets, these people should also have to take a bath every few days, put on clean clothes, and even keep their hair trimmed neatly. After all, cleanliness is next to godliness, as the old folks used to say back before the Federal government took over being our savior.
What? The ACLU will go to court to protect these deadbeat bums’ Constitutional right to privacy? Well, I guess we can’t have everything.
There are three things that people certainly should not have if they’re on Welfare. If you are down on your luck and trying to save money to better yourself, then you shouldn’t be wasting money on frills like cigarettes, or alcohol, or satellite TV. The hard-working people of America, who have to scrimp and save to make ends meet, should have whatever luxuries they can afford. But they shouldn’t have to provide those luxuries to the lazy slackers.
Likewise, any type of drug abuse should get you cut off from all government handouts, immediately. I support Zero Tolerance drug policies, no matter how loudly the Liberals squeal. Already, drug dealers don’t qualify for student loans to go to college. So why should we support these junkies’ drug habits, while they lie around the housing projects and won’t work?