Jon Dougherty's The Commoner

Daily rants on the illogic of the political Left.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Jesse Jackson, Jesus and Housing

© 2004 Jon E. Dougherty
December 24, 2004

Leave it to the Rev. Jesse Jackson to lecture the Bush administration about Jesus, poverty and homelessness. Only a liberal, multi-million dollar, philandering shake-down artist like Jackson could not see his own hypocrisy when railing on these issues.

On Thursday Jackson, in an interview with MSNBC's Campbell Brown, accused the Bush White House of following economic policies akin the former Roman Empire – policies which left Jesus homeless.

Now remember, this interview was broadcast on MSNBC, so chances are good only a handful of people even saw the interview. But nevertheless, Jackson's hypocrisy should be countered whenever and wherever it's necessary to do so.

"In the last [Bush] budget, we cut housing again, and that was Jesus' dilemma. In Bethlehem, his family ended up homeless," Jackson ranted. "Rome was a wealthy country that left Jesus and Mary and Joseph, in a sense, homeless. He was born an at-risk baby."

Definition of "at-risk:" Anyone who takes this "reverend" seriously.

Then came the hypocrisy coup de grace. Jackson then suggested Bush should follow the anti-poverty policies of Lyndon Johnson.


First of all, the administration is following those policies. Bush and Republicans have funded—and continued to fund—each and every big-government socialist program to "fight poverty" begun under LBJ and still in existence today.

In fact, the administration, much to the chagrin of conservatives, has added funding to many of these line items. Guess Jackson hasn't been watching the news, though—otherwise he'd have known that.

Secondly, the truth of the matter is LBJ's so-called "war on poverty" has produced about as much success as the past two Democratic presidential candidacies. In the mid-1960s when he and his Democratic congressional cohorts sold the nation this bill of goods, poverty was about 10 percent.

Today it's still about 10 percent.

That has led most analysts to conclude that regardless of what kind of government anti—poverty programs taxpayers wind up funding, about 10 percent of the population is beyond help. They will always be poor, either because they're not capable of doing anything about it or don't want to do anything about it. The government will never wipe out ignorance, incompetence and laziness.

The poverty rate, which has remained relatively constant for more than 40 years, proves government is not the answer. Individuals ultimately must be responsible for their own destinies. Conversely, they should be lauded for their own successes as well as be held accountable for missteps along the way.

In lieu of that philosophy, however, I think a better solution—especially in this season of giving—is for liberals like Jackson to simply take more poor and homeless people into their own homes. After all, that's where charity begins—in the home—not in the halls of Congress or the cubicles of some bloated federal bureaucracy.

In the meantime, the mainstream media would do well to follow the lead of most Americans in ignoring Jackson's rantings as so much hypocritical hyperbole. It's hard to listen to someone lecture us about poor housing from the top balcony of a mansion.

Jon E. Dougherty is author of "Illegals: The Imminent Threat Posed by Our Unsecured U.S.-Mexico Border," and a correspondent for


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