When Ron Paul was asked whether he would “allow” an uninsured patient to die in a hospital, he explained the concept of responsibility in a free society. He also explained that long before the federal government started paying for the poor, private charities, especially churches, were already there to see that the poor had everything they needed.
This point is lost on the leftist, so I want to help you find a way to respond.
When you say something like, “it’s not the duty of the government to take care of the poor,” they will respond with “So you want the poor to die in the streets?!?”
The simple response is: “If you care for the poor, why don’t you spend your own money on them? Why do you insist in stealing from other people to care for the poor?”
The discussion at this point should devolve into who owns what. The leftist will insist that the “rich” aren’t entitled to their riches, and you’ll insist that the poor are poor because they failed to do the things the rich did to get rich, things like stay off of drugs and alcohol, go to school, sacrifice time and leisure early in their career, etc…
The clincher is this: Americans are the most charitable society in the world, by far. We spend more money on the poor, per capita, before the government even gets a chance to help the poor. If you’re a good republican, you’re probably already throwing thousands of dollars a year in charitable organizations such as your church and local efforts to help the poor. You get to wear that badge of honor now, as you say:
“I, and many republicans like me, care for the poor, and devote thousands and thousands of our hard-earned dollars to help them. We don’t demand that other people help the poor to make us feel good. We pay for our own conscience out of our own pocket. You, on the other hand, don’t care enough for the poor to lift a finger, and trying to save yourself from that guilty conscience, demand people like myself give even more money to the poor. How pathetic!”
You have turned the tables. You have made the leftist realize what he really is: a scoundrel, a thief, and a plague on our society.
I doubt you’ll convince many people who are too set in their ways to see beyond their own nose, but for the vast majority of hard-working Americans, you will win the debate every time.