The 47% – Victims or Voters?
“While I applaud any political candidate who puts the interests of the middle class ahead of the privileged class, we need to acknowledge that at this critical time in our nation’s history, 46.2 million people live in poverty. We’ve heard more angry talk about how threatened cutbacks might impact a fictional TV puppet than we have over how it will affect actual families living on about $250 a week.
When one candidate dismisses 47 percent of all Americans as “victims,” while his vice presidential pick dubs them “takers,” it’s time to shake off the stigma and recognize the true faces of the struggling Americans among us: returning veterans unable to find a job or too traumatized by their war experiences to look; senior citizens burdened by high healthcare costs and struggling to pay their grocery bills; men and women who have to settle for low-wage part-time work without benefits because they can’t find a full-time job; people who can’t make ends meet working for minimum wage.
Many have paid their fair share of taxes throughout their working lives, taxes now funding government programs helping them retrain for new jobs, pay the rent and put food on the table.
To them, “government” isn’t a dirty word, it’s a saving grace.”…
“Now, with just days to go before the election, it’s Hail Mary time for the underprivileged. If ever there was a time when low-income families and their advocates need to stand up and speak out it’s now. When military pensions, disability compensation, housing assistance and child nutrition programs are on the chopping block, there’s no time – or vote – to waste. “We the People” must harness our collective power in the one place where it truly doesn’t matter if you’re a billionaire or a bus boy, the one place where every American is equal in the eyes of the law and under God: at the polls.
Want to win this election, candidate Romney and candidate Obama? Recruit the vote of 46 million poor Americans.
Sister Simone Campbell is executive director of the Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK and leader of “Nuns on the Bus,” a tour featuring a group of nuns drawing attention to the impact Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget plan would have on the poor.”
See Washington Post Nov 5 2012