I have deliberately not spent much time writing about the politics of D.C. this year because it is just so depressing. However, I must clarify that the D.C. is not really the District of Columbia when it comes to politics; it is disastrous corruption. This week, it appears we are on the brink of disaster once again. The focus now is on the blame game, but I am tired of the unreality of the Tea Party movement. If you just do a little reading on the internet, it is not hard to see that much of the financial backing of this “movement” is from the Koch brothers. What is going on in politics is about money, not from the little people but from big business and influences that have nothing to do with the masses. We are fed information from corporate owned media that wants to perpetuate their own purposes. I notice on Facebook the Tea Party is alive and well, infiltrating and rotting the minds of people by making them more concerned about some person on welfare than the corporate welfare that permeates Washington. There, I got that off my chest. Now, I can write about what is really on my mind and that is children.
I recently reread Hillary Clinton’s book, “It Takes a Village” and I feel a need to share what I am thinking about politics, children, and how it all fits together. Hillary wrote this book long ago and some of the data is outdated, figures are probably even worse today, and of course, she wrote it before the technology revolution of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, iPads, iPhones, and everything else that kids are exposed to today. I have a couple of brothers that think “It Takes a Village” is funny and they have made sarcastic remarks to me about this, but I don’t think most people understand how important it is that we all are part of creating the next generation of adults. I think if we start at the top, and I mean the politics in Washington D.C., it isn’t hard to see how uncivil our country has become. How could this hatred and bullying not permeate down into the minds and thoughts of our children? People seemed shocked when some kid takes out many people at a mall, theater, school, or any place else where an opportunity is presented. I think it isn’t hard to understand the pain and the suffering that these young people are going through. Mental health is just not there, but mentally is there anything right with what is happening with the politicians that are in Washington supposedly leading our country? I believe the political discourse has much to do with all of the negative things that are happening in our country. Since Barack Obama became president, there has been an unprecedented amount of blatant racism. Obama was not my first choice by far, but he is president and he was even reelected. It is time that the party of “no” started to understand that what they are doing is destroying this country. As far as the “Affordable Care Act” goes, it is now the law of the land. I say, “Get over it.” I wanted single payer. I didn’t get my way but it is now time to see how it works. The Tea Party Republicans have turned into nothing but bullies. They want their way and nothing else. They don’t really care about people, it is just about the next election. Seriously, I care about my job, just like the next person. However, I am not going to destroy some children in order to get what I want with the ones that are going to help get me a better evaluation.
It’s time our country started caring about their most important resource and that is our children. Politicians battle it out while kids are suffering in homes where stressed out parents are out of work, where money is a constant source of frustration, and where affordable, good daycare is difficult to find. If these politicians would focus more on getting the economy going instead of worrying about who can cut the most fat out of the budget, we would all be better off. These are the same people that in one breath tell you, “You can pry my gun out of my cold dead hands.” but in another will be telling a woman whether she can have birth control or not. If that isn’t crazy, I don’t know what is. The Tea Party wants less government control but actually, they want to control everything that happens in our lives. They want to keep the government out of their lives but want it when they want it for their own gains. They can give government funds to churches to feed people but not to people to feed themselves. Our children today are growing up in a society filled with hate, so if they hate, it is understandable. I am the most positive person I know and truthfully, it has caused me pain at times because I tend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Maybe that’s naïve of me but I think I’d rather have a heart than be heartless and I see the Tea Party Movement as a heartless, soulless, creature that cares for no one, least of all the children.
When I was a kid, I became involved in politics because my family was into politics. My parents were FDR Democrats. I can remember some very heated discussions with different members of my family. Many of my brothers today are staunch Republicans. I think my parents would wonder how they could be so far from their roots. However, we know our children are not cookie cutter reproductions of us, so it is understandable when some change from their roots. What I don’t understand is how today there is so much hatred for both parties with each other. There is a lack of respect for the president and the Democrats and there is a lack of respect for the Republicans. I think the Tea Party Movement has brought out the worse of both parties. They have decided that they are not going to negotiate anything which means absolutely nothing is going to be done. From my point of view, it seems like there should be more being done to get this economy moving. All that is happening is fighting. How much money has to be wasted on the countless number of times the House has tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act? I’ve lost track of how many times they have voted on it. It must have cost many trees and hours of work for that legislation to be re-voted on in the House. They don’t mind wasting that money but as for some person out of work hoping to get an extension on unemployment well, he/she is just a lazy bum looking for a handout.
Our children deserve better. We had a better country when I was young. We cared about each other. I went to college and my school loan was $3600, something I didn’t have to kill myself over to pay back. Kids today come out with unbelievable stress from school loans that would break the back of anyone. It seems that education is for only the rich these days or those willing to live in a debtor’s hellhole for most of their lives. We promise them that if they do well in school, they will get a good job when they get out. Then we send those good jobs overseas or bring workers here because “We don’t have enough qualified people to do those jobs.” Most of us know that this is just another way for business to get cheaper labor. We send our kids off to fight wars that are made up of faulty intelligence only to act like, “Oh, my bad!” Peoples’ lives are manipulated, so when one of them comes back and shoots up something, should we really be surprised? Our children deserve better. We send them off to school, which used to be fun, but is now turned into some kind of testing nightmare, should we really be surprised when they’re turned off and tuned out? Our children deserve better.
We put kids under an unbelievable amount of stress from the constant talk about being fat, to what not to wear, to how they are constantly failing in schools, and how we were so much smarter than they are today. I am so tired of the way we treat our children. We tell them that they don’t measure up at every turn. “Oh Johnny, your test scores really do suck. I didn’t mean to say you are stupid but…..” When does this abuse of our children end? When are we going to look at children and see them as the gift they are? When are we going to look at a child without measuring how fat or thin, or stupid or smart, or whatever other label we have deemed to put on them but as a person to nurture and help grow into a productive adult? If we want a better country, we had better start taking care of our children. We cannot simply drop them off at daycare or at the school door hoping that something better will appear. We have to all nurture these children. If you are a storeowner, do not act as if that child is there to steal from you. Show some interest in the children in your community. If you are a teacher, try to figure out why some children are misbehaving for you, maybe you will be the only real friend they have that day. If you are a politician, think about how your actions are destroying our country and causing the nightmares of today for countless children across this country that go to bed hungry, poor, and tired, and wake up to the same nightmare they had when they went to bed. I feel strongly that if a child lives with hatred, he/she learns to hate. Do you remember this poem? It is time we thought about how to take care of our children.
CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE
Dorothy Law Nolte
If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.
With what is your child living?