Take This Love and Shove It

Recently by Becky Akers: Making Hash of the TSA

Discussing Obamacare with the US House of Reprehensibles this week, Mississippi's Republican governor, Haley Barbour, said, "Believe it or not, we love our constituents as much as you all do, and we want to do right for them…"

Is the man an imbecile, ignorant of the English language, or both?

Dictionary.com defines "love" as "1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. 2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend. 3. sexual passion or desire."

If Hal and his fellow thugs feel such sentiments for their victims, I think I speak on behalf of us all when I say, "Get a grip, buddy, that's disgusting – and for sure it ain't requited." But obviously they don't: what they harbor instead is lust. Love seeks to please the other; lust exploits the other to please the self. Love exalts and advances the other, often at the expense of self; lust exalts and advances the self at the other's expense. Call me unromantic, but a guy with his foot on my neck is a loser lusting for power, not a lover.

Indeed, we might easily confuse politicians' "love" with a farmer's for his hogs at butchering time. Thanks to Our Rulers, 4439 Americans lie dead in Iraq, we'll "pay more taxes in 2010 than [we spent] on food, clothing and shelter combined," the Transportation Security Administration gate-rapes us at airports, and "1 in every 32 [American] adults" is "on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole … " And those are just a few from government's infinite list of evils.  What the bozos in office show us is about as far from love as John Edwards was from a faithful husband.

I have long puzzled over the fallacy of the "caring" politician. It's such an absurd contradiction in terms – sorta like a "compassionate serial murderer" or a "thoughtful thief" – that you'd think even the public schools' semi-literates would scorn it. And yet some taxpayers crave these warm, fake fuzzies from their predators; let a ruler cry crocodile tears, and he can plunge his hand into their pockets and nose into their lives as deeply as he pleases.

Heck, he can even slaughter families at a religious compound or shoot mothers holding babies so long as he prattles "Ah feel yer pain" (and why wouldn't he? He inflicted most of it. Speaking of Beelzebubba, weren't his wife's comments on another murderous dictator earlier this week a hypocritical hoot? How lucky for this criminal couple that meddlesome foreigners didn't "[work] to translate the u2018world’s outrage into action and results'" when their administration was gassing Waco). Only morons believe sociopaths professing affection as they lie to, rob and murder us.

Serfs who look to Our Masters for love are lookin' in all the wrong places. Ditto for those who seek it from entrepreneurs and businessmen. These stalwarts of the marketplace operate out of self-interest – and be happy they do. Self-interest, like the perfect love St. Paul describes in I Corinthians 13, never fails: your parents may disown you, your spouse divorce you, your friends scold and shun you, but an entrepreneur will accept your money every time. After a nasty fight at home, you can head to the nearest restaurant – or, depending on the severity of the squabble, the nearest hotel – and know that a friendly welcome awaits though your kin aren't speaking.

That's part of the market's magic. It persuades – but never forces – folks with little in common, from other sides of the world, of various temperaments, languages and ethnicities, to get along as harmoniously as a loving family. Nor does it allow even momentary departures from that standard. The entrepreneur who offends his customers as frequently as your in-laws insult you will soon declare bankruptcy.

So praise God for the market's "invisible hand"! Effortlessly and without thought on our part, it transforms self-interest into a facsimile of genuine love. Like a newborn's doting mother, the successful businessman anticipates and fills our needs. He's as generous as your best friend on your birthday, selling us what we want at a good price. He overlooks our shortcomings as would a beloved aunt, happily dealing with us though there's dirt under our fingernails or stains on our shirt.

No wonder the State's jealous. Nor should we be surprised that it attacks the market with regulations and restrictions, anti-monopoly and minimum-wage laws, compulsory unionism and corporatism. And yet the wounded market struggles to provide us with all good things, necessities or luxuries, like the most loyal of friends.

What a contrast to Leviathan's "love"! Though it speaks with the tongues of men and of devils, government hath not charity.

March 5, 2011