Saturday, February 13, 2010

Quit Feeding Stray Animals

Leonard Pitts; GOP candidate breeds contempt for the poor

Many of you probably saw this Leaonard Pitts column. A politician comparing helping the poor to feeding stray animals gets your juices flowing.
Sounds way too much like the Tea Party rantings about single payer health care doesn't it?
I thought I would send this out suggesting that this is a real attitude issue and highlight that he suggests that those most in need can be the most vocal in this seemingly irrational position. The same thing happens when it comes to health care payment reform - those who need it the most can be up front yelling the loudest in opposition. I still think this is a uniquely American phenomena that we need to learn how to address. I think the recent BBC article helps us see ourselves. We need to learn from those outside views Our responses can be our own worst enemies in efforts to help others learn and make informed decisions. There is resentment of what is seen as elitist know it alls telling them what to do, how to think and that they are too dumb to see the light.
In his recent book "Whats the Matter with Kansas" Thomas Frank suggests "the Republicans have learned how to stoke up resentment against the patronizing liberal elite, all those do-gooders who assume they know what poor people ought to be thinking". We need to learn how to listen and try to start where they are coming from. If we are on the right track, they will come to the same basic conclusions as we do. We need to avoid talking down, etc. and try harder to communicate with them and to work to create an atmosphere where they feel listened to and understood.
BTW -- I don't think this will work with very many of the rich, greedy power brokers like those in control of for profit insurance companies because they are too likely to really want to see all those funny looking, strange acting, bothersome poor and sick people die. Maybe some of you could help me with that terrible, personal, prejudice problem. I need to find a book a a column about that I guess.

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