September 3, 2005
A Conundrum
It's quite likely that you will think me a terrible person after reading this post. I'm not, I promise. Just hear me out.

Earlier today, I saw an angry woman in Louisiana screaming at television reporters (well, really, she was screaming at the government, whom she supposed was watching this newscast), and what I saw made me feel great concern for our nation. I fear our country has turned down the wrong path, and it is far too late to turn back now.

We, the American people, seem to be under the impression that it is our right, as American citizens, to live a life of relative comfort and ease. We shouldn't have to work for it, and we sure as heck shouldn't have to wait for it. Patience, you see, is not one of our national virtues.

When did Americans decide that the government was supposed to take care of all the problems that life throws in our way? Be it hurricanes, or diseases which require expensive medications to survive, or retirements that we haven't planned out quite as well as we should have, it seems to have become a national pastime to pass responsibility for fixings one's problems on to the government. No wonder they are scrambling!

Need food? Get food stamps. Need money? Get welfare. Need drugs? Get Medicare, or Medicaid, or whatever it's called. Need a transplant? Go ahead, get on the donor list.... no, no, it doesn't matter if you don't have insurance or even if you are citizen, just put your name down and we will see if we can't get you a new heart!

To my knowledge (which is meager, I grant you), until the 1930's, the Great Depression, and FDR, federal help for such things was pretty much nil. If something happened to your town or your family, you were pretty much dependent on the kindness of other citizens to make it through. And this system must have worked pretty well, because I think as a nation we are a generous and merciful people, especially when it comes to helping the downtrodden. After all, we are a nation founded by and for the downtrodden, are we not?

Since the Depression, however, programs that were meant to be temporary were continued, and continued, and continued. Because of this, we are now faced with problems like Social Security. A generation who knows nothing of life pre- government meddling (and by meddling, I mean the government fixing everything that we humble citizens either can't or won't fix for ourselves) must decide how to proceed.

We can't go backwards. I know this. Even as I type my frustration with the current climate, I know it. What I don't know, what I fear, is how long we can manage as we are.
12 Comments:
Blogger Kassi said...
I totally agree. What people don't realize is that they all this 'help' they are crying out for...is called COMMUNISM.
The need of the government to 'take care of everything'...all we really need is some patience, and to work together as communities.

Blogger Amber said...
I'm TOTALLY in agreement on this one too. My hubby & I were just saying the same thing the other day. I hate that people "expect" everything from the government, and when the govenrment can't deliver fast enough, they complain. I hope it isn't too late now, but I fear you are right. I just hope the nation pulls together.
A

Anonymous sara said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You know, all of us who are safe in our homes, with good jobs and educations can sit back and feel smug about these folks.

And if you were standing in a sports arena stinking of human waste, with no food or water for your kids and corpses lying on the ground nearby, I'm sure all of YOU would be praising the government and not screaming for some help!

So go back to your minivans and your Labor Day BBQs and your smugness. Compassion like yours is heartwarming indeed. Indeed, it's what's made this country the warm fuzzy place it is today......

Blogger SlushTurtle said...
Dear Anonymous,
First of all, I do not own a minivan, nor do I plan on attending a BBQ this holiday. They're just not my style.

Second of all, if you read the post below this one, you would see that I DO think we should help our neighbors to the South. In fact, my entire point is that it is our duty, as Christians and as citizens, to help those who are hurting. I just don't think we should expect the government to do everything for us.

Accepting personal responsibility isn't quite what it should be in America, and that makes me sad.

Blogger AfricaBleu said...
Well said, Slushy. And anon, if you want anyone to take your comments seriously, try being brave enough to post your name.

Blogger Maciej said...
Great post, I completely agree. I have some similiar thoughts at my blog LetsMove TotheMoon. What is going to happen when a greater disaster strikes? Are we going to react the way some of the people in NO are? Its a privilege to live in this country and enjoy freedom and what we have. Blaming the government solves nothing, its a shame as to how many people just complain about it.

Blogger Newlywed said...
wow, I was going to comment, but now I really just want to know what the DELETED comment was...
and I want to know NOW...
and George Bush better tell me, or I'll organize a concert to raise awareness of deleted comments!

Blogger Sluwho said...
Well done Slushy...this welfare mentality has been carefully crafted in order to create a political constituency. Its a bitter, demanding, unthankful, dependant and I might add selfish and self-serving attitude that helps no one. We discipline our own children to grow them away from this behavior. Beware you who willingly hold out your wrists to be handcuffed by the wolves in sheeps clothing. The answers are in individual responsibilities..motivation to give out of love for your neighbors.

Blogger Tommy Gnosis said...
In fact, my entire point is that it is our duty, as Christians and as citizens, to help those who are hurting. I just don't think we should expect the government to do everything for us.

I will agree with that, of course. Both as a Christian and as a Democrat. However, I suspect that the anonymous poster may have detected a certain lack of empathy or compassion in your original post, as I did.

While it is wrong for people to expect help when they don't make an effort to help themselves, it is just as wrong for others to condemn people through a use of convenient stereotypes or by attitudes, saying that certain people are not worthy of outside assistance -- you might agree that some communities do not have the economic resources to help themselves, after all -- if you have not walked a mile in their shoes.

God bless you.

Paul

Anonymous lseasto said...
You go slushy !!! It is about time we speak up instead of expecting it handed to us....Laura is a self centered person who has nothing to do but search the net to read blogs and try to look intelligent but in reality hasn't a clue to what is really going on...hang in the slushy and stand firm!!!!

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