I have a keen interest in military strategy and tactics. Probably because I'm a political strategist and tactician. Wednesday night, I watched a documentary on the Military History Channel about the Battle of Leyte Gulf in World War II. The unselfish actions of U.S. sailors there prevented a military disaster and demonstrated what was great about the Greatest Generation.
General Douglas MacArthur had just landed his invasion force in the Philippines in October of 1944. A large Japanese naval fleet, including the biggest battleship in the world, the Yamato, was bearing down on Leyte Gulf to destroy our invasion forces on the beach. The only American naval force available to stop the attack was a small task force of destroyers and escort carriers called Taffy 3 (Task Force 3).
The large Japanese force dwarfed and outgunned Taffy 3 but the Americans blunted the attack by sending three destroyers up against big Japanese battleships. The small destroyer force was able to slow down the larger Japanese fleet long enough for the main American fleet to ride to the rescue and save the day. In the process, the Japanese sunk all three of the destroyers and hundreds of brave, young American sailors went down with their ships. But the selfless dedication of the men in Taffy 3 saved MacArthur's invasion force from total destruction.
There's a world of difference between the selfless sacrifice of Taffy 3 and the Republican Party. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center shows that only four of 10 Republicans believe that government has a responsibility to help people who can't help themselves. In contrast, six out of every 10 independents and three out of every four Democrats believe that government should step up to help down-on-their-luck Americans. Republicans weren't always this selfish. In 1987, six in 10 Republicans wanted government to work for the common good.
The GOP slogan for campaign 2012 should be "Every man for himself" or "Women and children last." Republicans of course, make exceptions for their sugar daddies. If you're a banker or a billionaire you can count on a lot of help from Republicans in power. If you're unwed mother in need of prenatal medical care or a poor hungry kid in need of a school lunch, you can forget about any help from the GOP Mean Machine.
The Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan budget clearly illustrates the party's fiscal philosophy. The GOP budget cuts aid for prenatal care, school lunches, and child healthcare. The Republican proposal is careful, however, to protect tax breaks for the 1 percent. The best example of the cruelty in the GOP budget is that it cuts federal aid to help seniors pay for home heating oil while it maintains $4 billion dollars a year in federal tax freebies for the oil companies. If you have filled your tank recently you know big oil doesn't really need the money.
My political philosophy comes from Hubert Humphrey, who said, "The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those in the shadow of life, the needy and the handicapped."
If my belief in these words makes me a bleeding heart liberal, let me bleed.