Category: bernie sanders

Big donors to the Democratic Party care more about social issues like abortion than about equal opportunity for all Americans. This is why Democrats give low-income people just enough help to keep their votes, but not enough to lift them out of poverty. This is why Democrats care more about their rating with the Planned Parenthood Action League than about job creation. Would the Buddha be more approving of a society where people can make a living for their children or instead where they can abort their children at taxpayer expense?

matthewsatori:

The pro-life argument is simple. If we can’t trust a politician to defend the right to life, the most fundamental human right, then we can’t trust that politician on any other issue. One might disagree with that argument, but it’s worth noting that Buddhism has traditionally opposed abortion as the taking of an innocent life. Even if you support abortion, why should my tax dollars pay for it? All the major 2020 Democratic candidates support repealing the Hyde amendment.

All the major 2020 Democratic candidates support having an abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason, with our tax dollars paying for it. How is this a winning electoral strategy? Is this a mainstream position on abortion? Would the average person knowingly vote for this? Would the Buddha support such policies?

Are Democrats buying votes with promises of social programs? Would it be more wise and compassionate to instead grow an economy where people can make a living for themselves? Did the Buddha endorse socialism?

matthewsatori:

In the past, I have avoided discussing politics on this blog because I don’t want Buddhism associated with any one particular political view.

However, I believe people on Tumblr ought to know that the liberal political views often espoused by American converts to Buddhism do not define Buddhism itself. 

As reported by Tricycle, people from traditionally Buddhist countries might have opinions on a whole host of issues that American converts would disagree with vehemently:

Historically speaking, Buddhism has tended to support conservative status quo regimes in Asia, going all the way back to India. In the contemporary world, virtually all of the democratic countries with a significant Buddhist population are currently ruled by right-wing political groups.

Here in North America, there are large numbers of registered Republican Buddhists. Many of them are Asian-Americans, immigrants or the descendants of immigrants who fled left-wing violence in their native countries. One can only believe that Buddhists are naturally aligned with liberalism if no time has been spent among Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Chinese, or other Asian-Americans.  Anti-Communism drives many such Buddhists into the Republican Party, as does similar views on traditional values, economic policy, patriotism, and other issues.

One of the greatest disconnects with the Democrats is over abortion, which the Democratic Party supports and the Republican Party opposes. The belief that life begins at conception is nearly universal across Buddhist Asia, and the overwhelming majority of Buddhist monks, nuns, and priests believe abortion to be a violation of the first precept. This has led many Buddhist leaders in Asian-American communities to endorse Republican candidates.  At the same time, we have to be careful about stereotyping Asian-American Buddhism, a diverse phenomenon that also includes many Democrats and other liberals.

When we look at the wider picture, the chorus of convert Buddhist support for liberals looks less like a religious position, and more like a class and ethnicity one. Most convert Buddhists already supported a liberal political orientation before they became involved with Buddhism, and convert Buddhism draws heavily from a section of the educated, white, middle-to-upper class demographic that supports liberal candidates regardless of whether the individual believers are Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, or agnostic.  Naturally such people are attracted to elements of Buddhism that seem to resonate with liberal values, but it is worth asking how much of this is an inherent liberal bias within Buddhism, and how much is the process of picking and choosing which selects only compatible parts of Buddhism and leaves aside other, central practices and views that are less supportive of liberal positions.

Even within this demographic of convert Buddhism, there is reason to think that there are significant numbers of right-wing Buddhists who largely remain quiet about their views, perhaps from a feeling that they are actively silenced by the strident voices of their left-wing fellow practitioners. We can see evidence of this in the Pew Forum’s recent U.S. Religious Landscape survey. The survey is flawed, but one area it does manage to capture fairly well are precisely these convert Buddhists, who if anything are over-represented in the survey sample.  Even in this survey that skews in some ways toward the more liberal end of American Buddhism, we find that 18% of Buddhists are Republican in orientation and 44% consider themselves moderates or conservatives, not liberals…
https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/voting-buddhist/

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The belief that life begins at conception is nearly universal across Buddhist Asia, and the overwhelming majority of Buddhist monks, nuns, and priests believe abortion to be a violation of the first precept (non-violence). This has led many Buddhist leaders in Asian-American communities to endorse Republican candidates.

How can liberals be more tolerant, when they are so often intolerant toward the free speech of anyone who expresses a conservative opinion on any particular issue? Would the Buddha encourage such extreme partisanship?

More in U.S. Say They Are Better Off Than in Past Elections:

A majority of Americans believe they are better off now than before Trump took office. 

How is the left going to win over these people by insisting on taxpayer funded abortion and countless gender pronouns? 

The Buddha taught the middle way, and the left is getting more and more extreme.

Why is Donald Trump such a polarizing figure? He represents both everything that is great and everything that is wrong about America. Instead of fanatically hating or defending him, why not just respect the office of president and be thankful that we live in a country where even the low-income enjoy a higher standard of living than a vast majority of the world’s people? What attitude would the Buddha want us to have toward our country and president?

The pro-life argument is simple. If we can’t trust a politician to defend the right to life, the most fundamental human right, then we can’t trust that politician on any other issue. One might disagree with that argument, but it’s worth noting that Buddhism has traditionally opposed abortion as the taking of an innocent life. Even if you support abortion, why should my tax dollars pay for it? All the major 2020 Democratic candidates support repealing the Hyde amendment.

A Big Potential Problem for Medicare for All: Jobs:

Under Medicare for All, up to two million people would lose their jobs. Can we have compassion for these workers and their families? Can we use wisdom and compassion to look at the real-world implications of policy proposals?

Close The Gaps: Disparities That Threaten America:

According to the official U.S. Senate website of Bernie Sanders, “These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina” than in the United States. 

This is a slap in the face to the many Asian Buddhists who fled despotic leftist regimes. Socialist Venezuela is an unmitigated disaster, much like the failed regimes of Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il-sung, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong. 

There are more Buddhists in the United States than in any country outside Asia, especially since it has been a land of opportunity for the world’s poor and oppressed. Would the Buddha teach Senator Sanders to be more grateful?

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