The Goldwater Institute versus Jesus

The concept of this blog is to address how my faith informs my politics. Recently, I’ve focused more on classic literature and some more amature scholar interpretations of Scripture. But, let’s get back to basics.

Today, the Goldwater Institute issued a called for consolidated elections. The first benefit of this plan is “that taxpayers throughout the state would save millions of dollars every election cycle if HB 2826 became law.” Interesting. I know that for similar reasons other folks have suggested ending the Presidential Preference Election–why should the state foot the bill for conducting elections for the political parties? But I wonder if this anti-worker organization has an ulterior motive for consolidating these elections. Oh, let’s look at the next paragraph.

“With more taxpayers participating in elections, taxpayers will have a better opportunity to reject bonds and other spending initiatives, which are typically sought by special interest groups who dominate the current off-cycle elections.” So, more difficult for special interest groups. They’re obviously bad. But, what does Goldwater consider a special interest group? They’ve worked pretty hard to allow corporations to dominate elections and to suppress the speech of union members and political candidates of average means. I wonder if they are talking about children as a special interest group. Oh, let’s look at the next paragraph.

“This will help prevent fiscal fiascos, such as occurred in March 2006 when fewer than 16 percent of Phoenix voters approved $900 million in new taxpayer spending during an off-cycle special bond election.” In case you’re keeping score at home, the fiasco is a 1% sales tax for education. Yes, the group that fights for the rights of corporations to buy elections and to silence the participation of working men and women in elections, believes that educating children is a “special interest.” Now, I disagree with them. But if only I had some historical figure on which to hang my point of view.

Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Matthew 19:13-14. So, to be fair, Goldwater is not so bad in thinking that children are a nuisance and a special interest group; the disciples thought the same thing.

Of course, this passage isn’t about funding. True, Jesus did actually say that we are judged explicitly on how we treat the least of these. But did Jesus ever specifically suggest that rich people should have to give their money to poor people? Oh, let’s look at the next paragraph.

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
“Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”
“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth

Matthew 19:16-22.

Moral of the story: Barry Goldwater is not the only figure that the Goldwater Institute’s policies are at odds with.

Leave a Reply