In 1509, Erasmus wrote his famous essay titled In Praise of Folly. This satirical essay levels criticism at the church for being too concerned with wealth, what Erasmus called the “harvest of money." His essay became a catalyst for the Protestant Reformation.
Just as Erasmus felt the church was too concerned with protecting wealth, today many see a similar flaw in the GOP. In the time of Erasmus if anyone ventured to criticize the church for its indifference to the needs of the “flock” they were branded sinners or heretics. The Republicans use a similar strategy to marginalize protests such as Occupy Wall Street when they call the protesters lazy or even worse, criminals. The church burned heretics at the stake, the Republicans have yet to support burning the Occupy Protesters at the stake but they certainly did not see anything wrong with pepper-spraying an 84 year old female activist for her involvement in the Occupy Movement or college students protesting peacefully either.
The Republican Party is not on the same plane with the Renaissance church, unless that is, the religious right comes to take complete ownership of the entire GOP agenda, but for this time and place in American History the indifference demonstrated by the Republican Party to the plight of the unemployed and elderly in our country is one of the core issues of the 2012 election. It was a clear statement of Republican doctrine when Presidential front runner Herman Cain told unemployed families in America to “blame yourself” and not the banks and Wall Street. This approach allows the GOP to continue defending the rich and privileged and at the same time turn their backs on our nations unemployed. When Mr. Cain told the unemployed to “blame themselves” the crowd of Republican faithful cheered in praise of GOP folly.