I was reading grafzeppelin127's excellent post today about young earth, gun nut, tea party thinking, and I was reminded of how I don't matter.
As the right builds their list of who counts and who doesn't count in America, my deficits pile up. First, let's try and build a case for my worth:
1. I am employed
2. I am not receiving any public assistance
3. I live in the reddest of red states (Mississippi)
4. I am a Christian
But that is all deceit. Because:
1. I am an educator. You know what that means. I have been living off your tax dollars for 37 years.
2. I spent most of my childhood in public housing with government health care. Which your tax dollars paid for. Of course, it was on Army posts, because my dad was career Army. But that is irrelevant, I learned to be dependent. Hey, they even called us that, military dependents.
3. I live in Mississippi, red state extraordinaire, but my district has a Democratic representative, I have voted for him repeatedly.
4. I am a Christian, but I am a Democrat. They cancel each other out.
More strikes against me:
1. I am a 58 year old single woman. Obviously either a lesbian or too unattractive to mate
2. I rent a house. Obviously too irreponsible to meet my obligations.
3. My income is under $100,000. Too busy at the trough to make real money.
The right in this country have cultivated an atmosphere of contempt toward their neighbors. A churlishness that is unbecoming, unkind, and distinctly un-Christian.
But there is more, read on:
The biggest disqualifier for me and for many of you is this question: what do you live for? What is your passion? What drives you? What makes you get up in the morning? What is the focal point of all your efforts? What do all your plans and schemes lead to? What do you dream about?
If your answer is not accumulating wealth and property, then you are not worthy. Listen to their rhetoric about the effect of ACA on jobs. The idea that people may choose to step away to retirement, to childcare, to artistic or creative pursuits, is an anathema to the right. You must dream their dream, live their passion, and pursue wealth. Their insistence of the dignity of work is less than hollow. Because work only has value, in their view, if it produces wealth. And few of us will ever produce wealth at the levels they approve. Even fewer of us want to.
When did wealth become the American dream? When did it become the only measure of worth and dignity? The problem on the right is not an empathy deficit. It is not prudishness or self righteousness. It is not even, in the strictest sense, greed. They not only love money, they have contempt for people who are not equally consumed with it. And as the oft misquoted verse reads:
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.and
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Note: Thanks for the positive response. I hope no one saw this as me being made to feel less. I love my life and have been gratified as an educator to have made a difference. I just needed to say that American values are not just about wealth and property. I think we need to push back more when the right redefines our values