Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Holy Moses, I'm dating a republican

Otherwise titled:
Something you really don't give a crap about.

I got this joke from SM yesterday:
I was talking to a friend of mine's little girl, and she said she wanted to be President some day. Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her,"If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?"She replied, "I'd give food and houses to all the home less people." "Wow - what a worthy goal." I told her, "You don't have to wait until you're President to do that. You can come over to my house mow the lawn, pull weeds, then sweep my yard, and I'll pay you $50. When you're finished I'll take you over to the grocery store where the home less guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food or a new house."She thought that over for a few seconds 'cause she's only 6. And while her Mom glared at me, she looked me straight in the eye and asked, "Why doesn't the home less guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?"And I said, "Welcome to the Republican Party." Her folks still aren't talking to me.

Now, for the record, I fell for SM long before I knew he was hiding a deep dark conservative secret. And to be completely honest, we give each other a whole lot of crap about our respective opinions and just laugh it off. However, as much as the above joke made me chuckle, it also hit a pretty raw nerve for me.

And so, here are my REAL thoughts about this particular issue:
This is the kind of backwards and self-centered crap that makes me so very frustrated. The point of taking care of the needy in this country is not about giving to people who just won’t do anything for themselves, the point is to help those who can’t or to help out those that can but it still isn’t enough. A single mother who needs government programs to help her raise her kids and feed them is not the same as handing over a new house to some lazy piece of shit guy who doesn’t want to work. Just because someone is fortunate enough to have a good job that pays all their bills does not make them a better or more worthy person than someone who busts their ass at minimum wage. The arrogance of the wealthy (and from this perspective, you and I are in fact wealthy no matter how “poor” we may feel) who think they should not have to help anyone who has less is just disgusting.

Call me a bleeding heart. I sit here typing on my computer with lights on and the option of heat or air conditioning, using the internet, wearing clothes without tears or stains. I am wealthy. I have never had to eat at a soup kitchen or starve. I have never had to sleep in a shelter or in a car or on the street. And honestly, even if I hit that low of a point; even if I truly had NOTHING, I have friends and family in my life that would never leave me in that situation. Having people who love you and support you like that is a luxury. It’s a kind of wealth that not everyone has.

I am not rich, but I have so many blessings in my life. Sharing a portion of that to help people who have been kicked around in this world just seems like only right thing to do.

Incidentally, I do understand the frustration of working my ass off for what little I get and to have a portion of that taken away and given to someone else who might be a lazy ass who just doesn’t want to work. It’s not a perfect system. I don’t know how to make it perfect but I’m willing to listen to any plans to make it work better. However, I am willing to let a few lazy bastards benefit from my hard work so that many people with real need can also benefit.

Please understand that I didn’t say republican or democrat. I didn’t say conservative or liberal either. While I know that I definitely lean much more democrat/liberal on most issues (hell, I pretty much fall off the far end in some cases), I do straddle the middle or even lean a good ways to the right on others. I have voted both republican and democrat in presidential elections. The labels don’t mean a whole lot to me. I know I can be a bit touchy about some of the issues. But I also respect that fact that people can and will disagree with me and I’d love to hear what they think. My mind is open and always ready to change if given a good reason for it.


Stacie said...

I here you and I say to you, *cheers* and lets keep hoping that those that NEED the help get it and THOSE that abuse the system get a swift kick the ass.

MyHope said...

And that is why Jim refuses to be registered as a Republican or Democrat. He would rather see who has the best ideas and go with that. Although I tend to be much more democratic, I also try to keep an open mind. However, it is waaayyy fun to play devil's advocate to my husband!

Anonymous said...

I have no problem giving money to the people who need help, but feel we need to root out the ones who don't and make them stand on their own 2 feet. So many people abuse the system and steal from us the money we work so hard to earn.

Good N Crazy said...

I am so with you on this one. SOOOOOO WITH YOU. I agree, everyone must come up with a way to help those who are willing to help themselves but need something to help them bridge the gap.

There is a larger group of folks who have to make the decision whether to go to work on a particular day or take a sick kid to the Dr. Losing the day's pay, because the Dr. wait is so long etc.

And those same people will TURN DOWN wage increases because all of sudden they will not qualify for food stamps and such, due to the bureaucracy completely missing the boat on such things. Oh! my private little soap box here?