We have been given an amazing right in this country to cast a vote for those who will lead/serve us as government employees - and let's make sure that we understand it correctly: They are government employees. Period. Many have come before us to lay down their lives for this incredible right and freedom to cast our vote, but when we really look at the field of candidates I find myself wondering if this is what our Founding Fathers really had in mind.
I would argue, probably not.
Career politicians who have made the cut long before the ugliness of campaigns tarnished their initial entrance into this disaster called "politics," want-to-be career politicians who have no real world experience whatsoever in the private sector, and religious zealots who have forgotten that the Constitution has never been before any Council and deemed to be canon. It's a disaster, it's a mess, and it's a mess that we can fix - if we really cared enough to fix the mess. But we don't.
And that's okay too. Being part of a free society affords us the right to vote or not to vote, to elect douchebags or not to elect douchebags. The difficulty lies in our ability to determine what individual candidates are one or the other. During the campaign, candidates often portray themselves as saintly little angels who are running for elective office simply to improve our quality of life and fight for freedom. But behind the scenes, and more accurately once they are elected, they are ravenous piles of flesh eating bacteria whose only goal is to protect their own asses. One only need look at the number of Oklahoma's term-limited legislators who run for other offices such as County jobs or even statewide posts just to maintain that connection to the taxpayer teat.
But I digress.
When I worked with the Trinity Foundation on the Oklahoma Project, one of the causal factors for the project itself was this unimaginable problem with affordable housing. The Trinity Foundation (unfortunately best known for investigations of fraudulent televangelists) determined that for every homeless person or family, there exists a church, mosque or synagogue in this country. Now, with those numbers in mind, if each of those faith communities took in one family or person, provided adequate housing, transportation and even a chance for work, homelessness as we know it today would be eradicated - something we read about in our history books. Now, there will always be the chronically transient, but it is significant that the problem itself could be so impacted.
And we haven't even begun to discuss the number of veterans who are struggling with housing issues. The VA tries, the Salvation Army tries, but unless you're a drug addict, severely medicated, chronically transient, or have a drinking problem, it's not as though you're going to be at the head of the class. The process is horrific and intensely slow and God help you if you're marginally coherent and need help. In essence, bend over because you're about to be f...
I've recently had experiences to ensure that it is solidified in my brain that housing is and will continue to be an issue impacting the problem of poverty. And the problem isn't going away anytime soon. The cost for multifamily housing is increasing, the cost for utilities are increasing and the deposits alone can preclude the poorest among us from obtaining adequate housing. And this whole "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" mantra that has been adopted by my political party (GOP), is bullshit. It's an excuse to ignore the problem and do nothing about it themselves. But that's a whole different topic...
Well, those are my thoughts for the day. Get out and vote. Or don't. It's your choice.