Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Warning from My Grandfather about Poor, Ignorant People and Voting

When I would rail against the ignorant people who didn't know better than to vote Republican, my grandfather would say to me, "Have you lived among really poor people? That's the same thing I said to the Senator at the HUAC hearings. When you're poor, most of the time you don't know if you'll be able to eat the next day. You are scared of anything that might make you poorer because then you'd starve. And if you're not worried about this week, you're worried about next week. You're hoping the money you have will cover your food and your rent and heat. Sometimes you don't have electricity. Or hot water. Voting? If you vote at all, if you know where to vote, you vote for the people who you think might help you somehow. Sometimes you don't even know who they are. A lot of times you don't trust people who promise you higher wages or better jobs. You know why? Because you don't see them."

I have thought about this many, many times. Not only do poor or semi-poor people not see most of the politicians they are supposed to know about, but they don't even see people who aren't poor, except the exaggerated caricatures of them on TV. Weird rich people, to them, worrying over things that would make them laugh.

When the poor lady said, "Tell the government not to mess with my Medicare," besides not knowing that Medicare was being sponsored by the "government," she probably had no clue as to what government is and does, and exactly who was in charge.

And I'll bet anything no one told her.

TV certainly didn't.

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