Martin Luther King in his most courageous address stated that “war is the enemy of the poor." He continued to advance a critique of capitalism and he called for a reassessment of American values. His words ring true today as we witness the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his Republican cohorts advocate deep cuts of “tens of billions out of programs for the poorest Americans, particularly food stamps, along with health care for the middle class."
To preserve the bloated military budget the “House voted on Wednesday to cut 33 billion over the next decade out of food stamps." It would reduce benefits for 44 million people. With a callous, cavalier and arrogant attitude Sean Hannity of Fox News commented that rice and beans are cheap, available and adequate nourishment for the poor. His empathetic concern and dietary suggestions will surely alleviate the anxiety of the one in five children (16.2million) suffering from hunger. These cuts are incorporated in the 2013 budget written by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and endorsed by the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The Ryan plan and Mitt Romney’s endorsement of it are symptoms of a psychopathic world view that divides people into simplistic categories of good and evil, expendables as opposed to valued members of society. This view is derived from an elitist class orientation that dehumanizes those at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
To counter this destructive world view that creates mass poverty and the resultant “silent destructive dissolution of...(the) soul,” we must put forth a counter vision of ML King’s “Beloved Community” that is governed by the humanistic ethic of cooperation, interconnectedness and love. Another world is possible.