This is what happens when a solid supporter of the left gets pushed over the edge by circumstances created by the right. Believe me, there really is an edge.
I've long been a supporter of progressive issues. I vote for them, I share messages of truth in e-mails and on my Facebook page, on Twitter, wherever I can. In the past, I have contributed to President Obama's campaign, Planned Parenthood and a few other organizations whose work I believe in.
But I've had just about enough of the begging - for my money.
I know that we're outgunned financially. The greed of the rich wanting to keep their filthy lucre from the teeming masses and all that. I get it, I really do, but enough is really enough already!
I've gotten DAILY emails from the DCCC asking for money. "You've contributed before, we miss you('re money), please make a donation now!"
Bite me already!
I've been unemployed since the recession started. I think a better name would be "The Great Depression 2.0" - let's call it what it is. I've been under-employed for a few years now. I've gone through 98% of my 401-K funds just to live on, and have resorted to selling off the few assets I have just to keep from becoming homeless.
Just this week, I was lucky enough to get my food-stamps reinstated; they were stopped due to a glitch in the system, and I have to say, the people of the DSS in Los Angeles County are absolutely one of the most caring groups of public employees (who absolutely deserve the raise they haven't had in 4 years) that I've ever dealt with. I'm a 57-year old white woman who has worked her entire adult life and doesn't have a clue how to matriculate through social services. The few employees I've had contact with have been true gems.
Ah, yes, the food stamps. Can I make a political donation out of my food stamps to get you vultures off my back? No? Let me tell you about what else I can't do with food stamps.
I can't buy cleaning supplies, personal hygiene supplies, laundry supplies, put gas in my car to get to my under-paid part-time job or any of the interviews I've gone on trying to get a full-time job or even another low-paying part-time job.
I can't afford little luxuries, like getting a haircut or going to the dry cleaner to look presentable and professional for the few job interviews that I've been able to get.
I can't pay my cell phone bill, which I need to keep active to field calls from recruiters and nine temp agencies I'm signed up with to report back to them after interviews. Oh, did you know the paradigm has changed and now even temps have to go on job interviews just to get a temp job? Yeah. Employer's market.
I can't pay my utility bills, to keep the gas on so I can cook, or the electric on, so I can get on the computer to apply for work. Oh, and then there's that Internet connection I need to do that pesky job search, too.
I can't buy the cardiac medications that my doctors have prescribed for me after a heart attack 8 years ago and for which the insurance I can't afford to get up to this point isn't paying.
I can't donate to charity like I used to and wish I still could. Gone are the days when I would travel with groups of friends to watch our favorite celebrity do a weekend event where we bought tickets to support some local charity to the tune of a couple hundred a weekend (not counting our expenses and travel).
I can't buy cat food, to take care of the 2 pets I have that were a Christmas gift and keep me grounded and sane and remind me that I am needed by someone. Their antics keep me from being suicidal. I never was a drinker, so there hasn't been a need to buy alcohol; they are my outlet.
Here's what little I can do: I can offer political support via e-mail and when I've got the time, show up at political rallies and sign petitions. I can make phone calls to Congress and the Senate to express my opinion and support for policies to help people like myself. I've gotten to the point now where I wonder why I bother - the GOP doesn't give a shit about poor people, no matter how many of us call them to tell them we're going to vote them out of office. Oh, that's right, they're working hard at taking away that right from us by stacking the deck at every opportunity. That's the ONLY thing they're working on cause they sure as hell aren't creating jobs!
Here's what I want to do: I want to kick Sen. Harry Reid in the butt to have him stop acting like Charlie Brown waiting for Lucy to stop taking away the football. Fix the damn filibuster already, Sir, and take control of your governing body! I'm sure it's too late for this, but I'd like to see the people of Ohio vote in an ethical person willing to do the right thing for people who aren't rich enough to buy and sell him. I doubt that's ever going to happen, so let's not even go there.
I want to tell everyone who is suffering in similar circumstances as mine to stop voting against their own self-interests and get the GOP cheaters out of office before you lose the right to vote completely.
This is what I'm tired of doing: I'm tired of explaining to fundraisers on the phone that I still do support them, but I've been out of work long enough that giving them even $.50 is a hardship right now, forget about the $50 or $100 they really want. While many of the callers are sympathetic, I had one this week that just pushed me over the edge. Let me give you a free clue callers: when the person you're trying to hit up for money tells you that the rent is late and they can't contribute to your political cause, QUIT WHILE YOU'RE BEHIND! Thank the person for their support and politely hang up.
The idiot who caused that reaction in me has opened my ire to the point where my frustration is boiling over. I don't want to be on food stamps. I have a college degree and have never not been able to work before in my life. I WANT to have a job again. I want that job to pay me a decent, living wage like I used to have, with benefits and the ability to once again pay my bills and my taxes and save for my retirement. As it is, I'm facing poverty and not being able to retire for at least 20 years, providing that I can even get another job. Right now, the reality is that I'm lucky if I get a barely-above-minimum-wage job at all. Before I got my last full-time job, I was temping for almost $17/hr - 13 years ago. Now, I'm gratefully lucky to be getting $15/hr - if I can get a job at all.
Lastly, here's what I won't and don't do: I won't go public with my name. I am one of many living in similar circumstances. Those I know like myself WANT to work; we want "to be self-supporting through our own voluntary contributions" (a phrase I heard somewhere) and we don't want to be treated like charity cases, pitied or looked down on by people who are in better circumstances.
I want to maintain the small amount of dignity I still have and manage to take care of myself. The Occupy movement gave me some measure of hope, but that has all but died out with the movement.
I'm an intelligent, articulate, professional woman who WANTS to work and contribute. I just want a chance to do that again.
Got HOPE? I used to.