Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Political Thoughts (Gulp!)

This started as a reply to a conversation on a different blog. However, I started writing so much I decided to make it into a blog instead. I apologize ahead of time for ranting...but I really liked hearing your opinion and wanted to reply to it. :) Everything I say, is said in respect although sometimes I'm not great with words...just warning ahead of time. hehe
Before I go on I want to put a disclaimer on here. I do not claim to hold a wealth of knowledge on politics. I am pretty simple minded when it comes to politics and pretty much make opinionated observations according to what I see. So, if I get something wrong or sound a bit uneducated about certain issues, let me know, I love to learn. Almost everything I've learned thus far, is because I've educated myself or have been fortunate enough to have willing mentors teach me.
I am a centrist and I found a paragraph that describes my beliefs best.
In politics, centrism usually refers to the political ideal of promoting moderate policies which land in the middle ground between different political extremes. Most commonly, this is visualized as part of the one-dimensional political spectrum of Left-Right politics, with centrism landing in the middle between left-wing politics and right-wing politics. -- Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (I know it's a pretty self explanatory term but just wanted it on here to clarify)
So, I don't really see myself as a "get government out of our lives" person. I truly do believe there needs to be a combination of the government sector and private sector.
"Our society isn't as altruistic as we'd like to believe...we do need government to step in an make us do the right thing." OK, I do agree that our society is not very altruistic, however, why would society want to be altruistic when it's so easy to go fill out an application and get all the help they need? My mother came from a family of eleven children. Her mother did not drive and her father was an alcoholic. They've been on food stamps and welfare for as long as I can remember. They still are. Many of their children grew up and they are on food stamps and welfare now. What would happen if their help was taken away? How often is the system abused this way and why is it so easy to abuse? Well, my opinion is the more government is involved, the more bloated bureaucracies become, then less and less fruitful decisions are made. So many people need help and get help, and there is not a good accountability system in place to make sure the right people are getting help. I say this from another viewpoint.
I was a teenage single mother. About six months after my daughter was born a friend helped me get a part time job at a dry cleaner that would let me bring my daughter with me to work. I made a little over six dollars and hour. I went to social services to get medicaid and WIC. Where I used to live, when you applied for medicaid they automatically checked to see if you qualified for welfare and food stamps. ( I told the lady I did NOT want to be on food stamps but she had to try anyway) I was a bit surprised. I did not qualify for food stamps. I did not qualify for anything other than WIC and medicaid. However, another single mom friend of mine who did not work DID qualify for medicaid, food stamps, and welfare. Well, she'd get a job for a couple of weeks and quit (this was her habit...see my blog titled "Misti" to read more about her). She did this while being in a privately funded program for single moms who need help to get on their feet and live independently minus government services. Misti got kicked out of the program pretty quick since she wouldn't hold a job...why would she want to work when she already had everything she needed? As for me, I got a better job working long hours, joined a (privately funded) home for single mothers to help me get on my feet, and made my way out into the world where I paid my own bills, paid for insurance, and paid for my own car. I did receive government help with childcare...was very thankful for that program. I felt OK for using it since MY tax dollars were helping to pay for it. How backwards is it when people wanting to work can't get much help but people who won't work can get a lot of help? I have friends now that are struggling b/c of their spouse being laid off. One of my friends will lose her home soon. She called her mortgage company to see what help was available and they told her she couldn't receive help until she went without paying her mortgage for at least a couple of months. LOL!! She was preparing for the future and trying to be a responsible adult but she can't get help until she can't pay..for a while. I may be seeing this wrong...but isn't this backwards? Once upon a time, did't communities help eachother out? What did people do before the government stepped in to help? Did people take care of their own? Did parents take care of their children and did children take care of their parents when they got old? I understand that there were people that weren't taken care of...but maybe a little less of them? I just think that there has to be a line in the middle...somewhere...not too much government not too little. We need more programs that are going to encourage people to take responsibility for their own lives and those of their families.
"What this government does now lays the foundation for their future world, so he should invite their voices and minds into the conversation." On one hand I agree b/c I do believe their voices and minds should be invited into the conversation of their future in this country...most certainly. I never feel like children have a sense of true ownership and pride for their country these days. Obama's speech has the opportunity to spark this in children. However, I believe that as parents and caregivers that WE should be laying the foundation for our children and not rely so heavily on the teachers,celebrities,athletes, music artists and politicians to do this.
This guy dropped out when he was 14 and he's a famous rapper...recruited for Get Schooled. This makes no sense to me.

I agree that there are far more dangerous things to worry about my children seeing and hearing....media setting out to form peoples' opinions, celebrities,etc.I am very watchful over what goes into the ears and eyes of my children. No parent can watch their kid 24-7, but we all can take precaution. I'm also very careful to control how I react to a situation in front of my child. I agree with what someone said, "I'd only venture to add that even with home-schooling you can't control every outside influence that might, as you say, bombard kids with subtle messages. But more potentially insidious, I think, are messages they might get from us parents." I agree with this statement whole-heartily. Because my children are with me the most, I have to be extremely sensitive to the fact that they pay attention to everything I say and do. ALL of we parents have to be careful....bad thought patterns and habits can be passed. I also agree that exposing different ideas to our children rather than just our own, will help them learn to think for themselves. The last thing I want for my children is for them to be robots.

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