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Old 07-25-2019, 10:33 AM
steronz is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oh-hiya-Maude
Posts: 5,317
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Sometimes you can't do anything. The rest of the time, you can.
We're back to a platitude, then. "People have some degree of control over their lives, unless they don't" is hardly a profound principle to build a political philosophy on. It's a statement that nobody could possibly disagree with.

Let's not pretend, though, that this simplistic way of looking at personal responsibility is how conservatives use that phrase.

Originally Posted by Mitt Romney, 2012
There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.

And I mean the president starts off with 48, 49, 4— he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. 47% of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes — doesn't connect. So he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich.

I mean, that's what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
This goes well beyond personal responsibility as a positive character trait, or simplistic ways of looking at self-determination. Romney's version of invoking personal responsibility seems to serve two purposes.

1) It's used as as invective, incorrectly conflating people who don't pay federal income taxes with all Democrats and excoriating them for lacking character, and
2) As I've stated in my thread title, an absolution of responsibility. It's not Romney's job to worry about other people, he says.

So I ask again, how does this concept translate to policy, except to absolve people of the responsibility for caring for their fellow citizens?

Last edited by steronz; 07-25-2019 at 10:36 AM.