A few days ago I felt like a real spoiled b*tch . My husband and I have to spend $300 to have a new starter put in our minivan. As I was unloading the groceries I was completely stressed and mad about having to spend that kind of money on car repairs. Then it hits me like a ton of bricks. What the f*ck is wrong with me!?!?!?! We are so beyond lucky. Yes $300 sucks and yes we are going to have to tighten our belts. We are still able to buy our children’s school supplies, food to feed our children that is not pre-processed garbage full of sugar and extra chemicals, make a nice birthday dinner for my husband, go to the doctor whenever one of us are sick without worrying about the cost, and have a home to live in. Many American’s today do not have that. So yes I was being a real jacka$$ and had to put myself in check.
Today many American’s are still struggling (not a strong enough word) in the Great Recession which the Republicans insist on keeping around for two simple reasons: they do not like a black man in the White House and to line their own pockets with payoffs from the top 1%. Many The Republican Party wants to deepen that struggle. The step backwards party wants to repeal Obamacare which will cover millions of Americans who did not have access to health insurance, cut 280,000 children from free breakfast and lunch programs from schools across the nation (many of whom could possibly be the only meals they eat during the week), 50% of Americans are at or below the poverty level, and 33% of the male homeless populations are veterans just to name a few.
It is important to put ourselves in check when we complain about situations that arise and remind ourselves that others, fellow citizens, have it much worse in order to push forward and keep our values alive. It is also equally important to remember, given corporate and political greed, anyone of us can at any point can be part of the struggling class. For example the reason why my family is able to avoid the Great Recession is because Uncle Sam still has a use for my husband. We are also very much aware with an injury and/or the downsizing of the military our stability could change at any moment. Despite the image Republicans give about caring for the troops and their families they are more than willing to cut our benefits and hand that money over to private contracts for the right price in campaign contributions or a high paying job after office. The difference between conservative and liberal individuals is that liberals are able to show empathy. We, as liberals, in the words of Atticus Finch "consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." Empathy is a great tool that conservatives are unwilling to tap into. We are also able to understand and think ahead with the very real fact what is to prevent us who are more fortunate right now from becoming the very poor in the future with lack of economic stability, corporate greed and fraud, and the erosion of the social safety net and workers rights.