***Disclaimer: This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with food–This would fall under my category of ranting posts, so if political griping isn’t your thing, check back later today for a food-related post***
I am a somewhat average American. I like to think I’m in the shrinking middle class, but my finances tell me that I’m working-poor. Yes, I own a home. My husband & I were lucky enough to get a house in our town that we could afford–Which was difficult, as the housing bubble has yet to pop in our area. We live in a small South Dakota town, and affordable housing is somewhat of a joke. We lucked out in that we were able to buy our house, but we can’t really make improvements to it. It needs a new paint job, our crumbling steps need to be repaired, and I won’t even begin to talk about the state of our basement. My husband and I are both employed, and we work full-time to provide what we can for our son. He’s a bright, kind-hearted sweet child, who would make an excellent big brother someday. Why do I mention this? Because we can’t really afford to have a second child right now. We make enough to afford daycare for our one child, but we would be in trouble if we had another.
And my point for mentioning any of this? Because those of you who work in Washington, who are supposed to represent people like me (even though I’m not wealthy enough to warrant your attention), aren’t doing your jobs. My husband & I live one paycheck away from potential disaster, and yet, you fight about tax cuts for people who make 5 times what my husband & I combined do. What that says to me (and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way) is that unless you’re an American with deep pockets, you don’t matter. And yet, my vote counts just as much as the CEO’s of the company for which I work. You’ve deficit-spent to the point that my son’s great-grandchildren will be working to figure out a way of erasing this debt. Rather than addressing the issues of things like unemployment, the economy, the lack of morale in this country, you are basically playing a game of chicken with things that don’t matter. You care more about making sure your side is “right” and knocking down the other side, rather than taking whatever steps are necessary to start getting America back on track.You worry that Muslims might openly practice their religion in this country, or that illegal immigrants might steal janitorial jobs from Americans who don’t want them. My parents are probably the last generation who will get Social Security, because I’m sure it’s in a LOT more trouble than you all are leading us to believe. And people who aren’t even paying in are going to wind up collecting it, even though it’s going to run out for people like my husband & I, and we hand over a chunk of our small paychecks every 2 weeks to make sure people like my father and my mother-in-law will get their checks! We don’t have much in a retirement fund. We try, we each have 401(k)s, which as you all well know, took a huge hit 2 years ago. We’re lucky that we’re young enough that we probably can recover. But that’s about all we can do. We empty our savings account every month to pay bills or to put food on our table. I don’t feel like my husband and I are getting ahead…We’re merely treading water.
Do I have any answers? No, I don’t. That’s why I elect people like yourselves to figure these things out for me. But I also would expect that you get input of people like me, who look at the direction the country has taken, and it scares the hell out of me to see what things will be like for my son in the next 30 years. I cringe at what’s in the future for my grandchildren, if I’m lucky enough to be blessed with them. But that’s not my real point for any of this. My real point is that you’ve lost me. I’ve been interested in politics since I was a child. I remember asking my mom at one point during the Reagan/Mondale election about why they both kept talking in circles and repeating the same things over & over, and not actually answering questions. The political process is an awesome thing–When it works. And I don’t think it’s working right now. What seems to be lost on everyone right now, is that the American public is disgusted with ALL of you. You Republicans who just took over Congress don’t have a mandate–No one was happy with any incumbents! It’s the same reason Democrats did so well 2 years ago. The country was tired of life under George W. Bush. Some of us wanted change. We didn’t get it. Even now, Republicans aren’t getting the message. No one wants politics as usual. It seems like once you all get your jobs in Washington, you forget about us little folks who got you there. You forget that for better or worse, you owe us. You owe us a lot, and you’re not making good on your promises. And because of it, I have to say, I fully understand voter apathy. My mother will cringe when she reads this, but I’m done. I’ve voted in almost every election I could since I turned 18. I voted in my last election a month ago. I can’t keep caring and trying to fight what is in essence, a losing battle. I don’t see the point in wasting 10 minutes of my time to go and vote for any candidate who will promise one thing while making the rounds and shaking the hands, but then be swayed by lobbyists and corporations with deep pockets, or political higher-ups who promise more fame & notoriety. No one cares about the people like me any more. And I can’t keep caring about my government. You have a lot to prove if you ever want to win me back.