Don't get me wrong, I truly feel bad for kids who have been put in bad situations by stupid parents, and I feel bad for adults who are having a tough time right now, but I can only feel so bad. I have to save some sympathy for myself and having been in their shoes, my empathy informs me that none but themselves shall save them. I also feel slightly annoyed that I constantly have to qualify every criticism I have of the Left with silly, obvious statements like the one you just read. Maybe someday...
I have been broke before. No car, bologna-ends-for-$0.29-at-the-supermarket-broke. The wolves have been at my door, and as much as I would have liked the nice lady from the county to come and give me a handout, I found a way to work and earn enough money to get by. I took what work was available and I made the best of it. I have never been humiliated earning a dollar and I simply cannot feel sorry for a full-grown, healthy American adult, regardless of the state of the economy. Sorry, call me callous, but the fact is I have no patience for those of you who would argue otherwise.
I watched the first few minutes of 60 Minutes last night, mostly because the remote was on the other side of the living room and I was too tired from eating and watching football to get up and retrieve it. That lasted about eight minutes.
The first segment featured that most faux-sincere "I-wish-America-would just-give-in-and-admit-it-sucks-and-ask-to-join-France" journalist Scott Pelley. He was on the case of the 250,000,000 Americans who live in their cars and only eat nasty school lunches. Click the link to watch the video after you grab some tissues and have your pet Yorkie safely in your lap.
There were little kids galore. All were hardened from living in trucks and cars and waiting for someone to help their dads and moms with handouts and things like that. America never looked so bad, and I was just about ready to call up some of my Socialist European friends and ask if I could crash on their Ikea-couches.
One guy, who looked like he was strong enough to kick both of our asses without breaking a sweat, told Scott how he would sit on a cooler next to his car as his kids slept in it. They parked in the parking lot of a local hospital so they could use the bathroom (and presumably take advantage of the health care that's available for indigent people). They were down to their last orange when a nice lady from the county came along and gave them some money for a motel room.
Scott Pelley looked like he was going to pop a vein from all of the sincerity on his face. Then I thought occurred to me that broke me from the spell 60 Minutes was hoping to cast on my common-sense.
This father was portrayed as both a hero and a victim, yet it became obvious to me he was neither. He made the choice every night to sit in a parking lot and feel bad for himself instead of getting up off of his Coleman-imprinted ass and elbowing his way into earning whatever he could to help support his family. He was a victim of circumstance for sure, but he was a victim of choice first and foremost.
Every morning on my way to work I pass day laborers queued up looking for work. Some are illegals, some aren't. All of them are standing outside at 6 AM every day of the week, regardless of the weather. I've never seen this guy standing in line with them.
When I pass by that same spot at lunchtime they aren't there -- because they are all working. Scott Pelley and 60 Minutes wanted me to believe that in Orlando, Florida, a perfectly healthy adult American man cannot find a way to make enough money to buy four oranges and a loaf of bread for his family? Really? You're taking his word for it without thinking about this?
Because you are offended by what I have just said, right now you are saying that it is humiliating for an adult American to have to stand outside waiting for day work so he can feed his family. Well, sorry to have to say this but you are wrong. What's humiliating is living in a car in a parking lot with one orange to feed your kids and not doing anything about it other than crying and waiting for the government to come fix your wagon. What's also humiliating is allowing some condescending, arrogant journalist to interview you so he can sell soap. It is not noble to humiliate yourself, even in 2011 America.
We need to stop exalting the wayward among us and start placing expectations on them that they put every effort at their disposal into being good providers for their families, good neighbors, and good stewards of the America we have inherited but are so far seemingly hell-bent on destroying. I don't mind paying taxes to help the truly needy, but I resent paying anything to anyone who refuses to help himself first.
Heaven helps those who help themselves, and the county takes care of the rest. Until the county runs out of money.