The right's war against the poor: Pope Francis, liberal Democrats against House Republicans, Ayn Rand atheists

In my column "Food stamp scandals," I harshly criticized far-right Republicans and House Republicans as a group for waging war against the hungry with their callous attacks against food stamps.

Check out the comments under my column, many of which on both sides were thoughtful, but too many of which sounded like they were from angry white males on the very far right who share an abnormal hatred of poor people.

Pope Francis, who is the pope with a passion for the poor, has spoken as the conscience of the world on the paramount urgency of helping the needy. Virtually all of the great religions share this notion that those who have the most should help those who have the least.

Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and so many others speak with different faiths on the shared purpose of helping the impoverished.

Democrats, liberals, progressives and moderates are fighting to translate these faiths of decency into the realities of policy.

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For some unfathomable reason, by contrast, the far right and those Republicans in fear of the far right, who include Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, have declared war against the poor and hungry. The attacks against food stamps from the radical right, and the attempts by House Republicans to cut almost $40 billion from food stamps, and the food stamp cuts that are scheduled to go into effect on Friday represent a new low of callous indifference and cruelty even by standards of the highly unpopular Tea Party movement and Republican leaders in Washington.

I emphasize, and many Republicans and principled conservatives outside Washington share my view, that this war against the poor is despicable. Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio has warned Republicans about this war against the poor. Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has distanced himself from what some of us call the suicide wing of the GOP.

There is a school of thought on the right that is rooted in the cruel atheism and pseudo-libertarianism of Ayn Rand, and one champion of that is Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee.

They wage war against the poor and despise any attempt to help them. They embody the curse of selfishness and greed the plagues the Republican Party today and is a major source of the unpopularity of the Tea Party and the GOP today. Francis is right. Rand is wrong. Liberal Democrats are right. House Republicans are wrong. President Obama is right. The war against the poor must end.