Sometimes, politics get my blood boiling.  Tonight is one of those times.

Republican governor Mitch Daniels, in his response to President Obama’s State of the Union address this evening, said something which convinces me even more—despite what I imagine are the best intentions—how out of touch the Republican party has become:

“We do not accept that ours will ever be a nation of haves and have nots; we must always be a nation of haves and soon to haves.”

Sir, please take a moment to look around you.  We ARE a nation of haves and have nots.  Many, many people are struggling to make ends meet, and to insult the intelligence of this country by making such a sweeping, positive statement promising that financial security is just around the corner is uncalled for. 

I gladly admit that the economic problems in this country have no easy solutions.  I challenge any member of the Republican party, however, to explain to me how we are to keep people off the street, healthy, safe, educated, and in any kind of quality life without quite a bit of government spending.  I agree that it’s not ideal to run up a great deficit, but it is downright inhumane to remove funding from social programs that are literally keeping people alive.

The majority of the students that I currently work with come from the very low end of the socioeconomic spectrum.  I have students who are homeless, students whose families cannot afford to keep the heat turned on, students who literally don’t know from where their next meal will come, students who have children that they have to feed and care for, and students who depend on the charity of others (and programs of the government) to get clothes, school supplies, hygiene items, food, and other things that many take for granted.  I wish the members of Congress could see these teenagers and realize that their efforts to not raise taxes, to ease regulations across the board, to decrease unemployment benefits/welfare/food stamps, and to keep the immoral, blasphemous gays from marrying and the floozies from aborting are far from helping them.

The reality is that we are an incredibly large nation with a continually widening income gap and citizens in need.  The policies (and lack thereof) of unbridled capitalism that many argue plunged our economy into the pits in the first place have become the sacred cows of the super-wealthy and need to be toppled.  The fact that politicians in D.C. are playing silly games to make themselves look good and President Obama look bad for the upcoming election is, quite frankly, disgusting.  I would like to imagine that the leaders of our country have, if not common sense, at least common decency to try to work together to find ways to help. 

Am I just railing against the Republican party, conservatives, far right radicals, and the (in my opinion) bat shit crazy members of the Tea Party?  Maybe.  But I do believe that, now more than ever, we shouldn’t be pointing fingers like children on the playground.  We should remember that every nation is a nation of haves and have nots, no matter what we’d like to believe.  And like it or not, the have nots, even those who are working their asses off, often need a little bit of help.

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