Updated: Aug 15
by J. Michael Atherton.
Social Security grew out of Democrat concern for citizens in need. In 1935 when our nation suffered from widespread economic decay, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law. Then, as now, people can fall into hard times through no fault of their own. It is not, however, the presence of poor people that measures a nation’s strength because we find impoverished people in every society. Nor does the number of billionaires indicate the greatness of a nation. After all, billionaires can take care of themselves wherever they live. We measure greatness by how well a nation cares for those in need. Truly great nations lift up everyone and make their whole population feel secure.
In contrast, Republicans opposed Social Security from the get-go. While 3% of the Democrats opposed it, they did so because it was not generous enough. Unsurprisingly a whopping 33% of the Republicans voted to toss those in need out in the cold. Republicans exhumed their usual horror stories. For example, Republican congressman John Taber whined that Social Security “is designed to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers, and to prevent any possibility of the employers providing work for the people.” His “solution” to the problems caused by chronic unemployment, the death of a parent and breadwinner, sickness, and old age was to let them fend for themselves.
We need to ask those who oppose Social Security what happens to people in need without Social Security. Their answer is grim. Through no fault of their own people in need often fall into crime, poverty, and begging, all of which cost MORE for society to address than Social Security. Nevertheless, such are the social conditions of a world ruled by Republican elite who dismiss the elderly, the injured, and the unemployed as unproductive, lazy, and inferior. They confidently but incorrectly predicted that if Social Security were passed it would undermine America by “destroying initiative, discouraging thrift, and stifling individual responsibility.” What a lot of hog slops! Things couldn’t have turned out further from their lunatic prophecies. Today Social Security forms part of America’s greatest heritage because it sustains social strength and security while it insures dignified living for millions of our fellow citizens.
If you think any person can at times need help; that a great nation cares for all its citizens and not just the wealthy; and that Social Security saves tax money by caring for those in need, then Thank a Democrat.
About the author
Mike retired from 30 years of teaching philosophy after 20 years of teaching a variety of subjects from elementary to graduate school. He served four years in the Peace Corps in Swaziland (now Eswatini), followed by marriage, first child, and PhD all at the University of Chicago. He and his wife Cynthia moved to Southwest Pennsylvania where she taught ecology and he taught philosophy while they raised two daughters. They moved to Dover in 2019 to be near their two grandsons in Maine. He has consistently found the Dems to be a group that publicly and privately follows their stated values: compassion, honesty, integrity, respect the dignity of all people, expanded freedom, responsible citizenship, promoting civil society, and protecting our environment.