I heard that statistic on Democracy Now this morning, along with several other disturbing statistics. You can hear the full interview here. The interview served to remind me that the plight of single mothers is not just the plight of single mothers. It is the plight of children.
The number one factor that puts a child in poverty is a single parent house hold. If we, as Americans, want to end child poverty here, we need to do something to aid single mothers and to help prevent our children from having children before they are ready. But what can we do?
I am very skeptical that either major political party holds the answers, especiallly the Republicans. I’ve heard them refer to Democrats (and by insinuation, all political parties that side to the left of them) as “me first, country second” liberals. But I can’t help but wonder when they use this phrase, what is the country, exactly?
It can’t possibly be our fellow countrymen, because the Republicans seem to have very little care for the vast majority of us. Those of us who need the most help, the poor, the disabled, the oppressed, the enlisted in the military, and the children (who are, of course, almost always incapable of changing their circumstances), are completely neglected and ignored by the Republicans. We are told we simply don’t work hard enough, with complete disreguard for the work opportunities we have been granted. Its like putting a ball and chain on our legs, throwing us in the ocean, and blaming us for not being able to swim.
It can’t possibly be the physical land mass that is the country, considering the Republicans utter disreguard for preserving the beauty and function of the land, as well as their insistance upon polluting and trashing the very air we breathe, water we drink, and soil we grow our food in, in the name of corporate profits. Furthermore, they seem to be completely careless about the effects on our health of these polutants and toxins which they pump into our air, soil and water, slather on our food, and put in our hygene products, consumer goods and toys.
Is it the military? I find that hard to believe, given that McCain voted against giving OEF and OIF veterans the same benefits that WWII veterans had. And he voted against providing National Guardsmen and Reservists with health benefits. Along with a slew of other complaints you can learn more about from Veterans for Common Sense.
It can’t even be the government, since the Republicans seem to staunchly oppose funding government operations (taxes) but love to spend government money which doesn’t really exist, putting the government further and further in debt. It’s like the Republicans are stealing the government’s identity and ruining its credit (not to mention it’s image in the eyes of the rest of the world).
What part of this country, exactly, do the Republicans put before themselves?
Do they honestly believe that those of us who are not as well off as them deserve what we get, and that our needs are less important than some amorphous term “country”? Aren’t we the country? Do they really think that children born into poverty deserve their fate? Why? For having the audacity to be born to a “whore” who happened to get pregnant outside of wedlock and didn’t have a rich and powerful family to bail her out and force the biological father to marry her (I’m just saying …)?
I struggle with these thoughts a lot, and I’ve come to realize that its not that Republicans actually believe that its a child’s fault for being born to a single mother, or into poverty, or any other situation that they cannot actually control. Its just that the Republicans don’t give a shit. They simply don’t care. Unless it affects them directly, or its rubbed in their faces (like the plight of unborn fetuses – whom they care so desperately about – until they are born, that is), they don’t care.
Maybe we need to start rubbing poverty in the Republicans faces. As a matter of fact, we need to start rubbing it in the Democrats faces too (they aren’t much better than the Republicans). Maybe if the Republicans see it, if they see what happens to those babies after they are born, then maybe, just maybe, they’ll care as much about the born babies as they do about the unborn.
Thats my rant for the day.