Posted: 03/07/14 19:26
by Dave Mindeman
Rep. Tara Mack of Apple Valley spoke at CPAC today. Why? Because she was one of the 10 under 40 Honorees for CPAC. She gave an 8 minute speech and if you're curious, you can see it here....
Mack Speech At CPAC
Mack made a case for compassionate conservatism. Many of you remember that this was the theme of the 2000 election that brought George W. Bush to the White House. Somewhere along the way, compassionate conservatism morphed into tax cuts for the wealthy and endless war....but in a "compassionate" way.
Tara Mack bases her conservatism on her faith. Her husband is a minister at River Valley Church in Apple Valley. She is a faithful Bible study participant and mentions her faith frequently.
She gives lip service to caring about all individuals....but do the deeds follow appropriately?
When you make decisions in the legislature, especially on controversial topics, your compassion has to make choices. She bases her choices on Republican philosophy. Business over the workers. Anti-choice over reproductive rights. Taxpayer over the poor. Business over the environment.
Mack's type of compassion doesn't cover everyone. When the GOP led legislature decided to put an amendment into the Constitution that would forever ban same-sex marriages, Mack's compassion didn't extend to those same-sex couples. In fact, she was one of the 13-12 majority votes that sent the Marriage Amendment to the floor of the House and from there to the November ballot.
And even though the Minnesota voters spoke in the negative on that measure, she again halted her compassion by voting against the legalization of same-sex marriages during the last session.
She supported Gov. Pawlenty's unallotment that took away health care from GAMC recipients. She supported the draconian cuts that the GOP "no new taxes" budget forced onto many of the poor who have no voice in the legislature.
In her speech, Tara Mack talked about how a professor of hers offended her sensibilities when he said, "Without the government, the individual can do nothing."
She strongly disagreed. She said it is always the individual over government. And yes, the individual can do great things if given the resources. If given an advantage by birth. If allowed to get a good education. If the rules favor them.
But what about everybody else? The immigrant trying to better themselves. The ghetto child trying to escape to a better education. The single mother who doesn't get child support and works minimum wage. The homeless living in cars.
Those are the people who need that compassionate conservatism. And that means a compassionate government. Because otherwise they are invisible. They are a whitewashed statistic. A health care disaster waiting to happen.
Tara Mack thinks that compassion is the key. That there is the power of prayer. That the answer to everything is individual initiative.
Mack doesn't consider that government is often the compassionate answer for a number of individuals. That the rights of the individual are more important than one particular belief system. That the answer to prayer could be a government program. That everybody counts or nobody counts.
Tara Mack thinks she has the answer to the unfortunate stereotype that Republicans don't care.
She cares. I don't doubt that. But her solutions are misguided and narrow. Helping individuals requires opportunities that are not naturally occurring in our society.
Government has to help. Someday maybe Tara Mack will get that.