Several otherwise sane friends and family (OSFF) have firm beliefs that government does a poor job of helping people and therefore we should not have or support programs for the poor or disenfranchised.
When I talk to OSFF about the helplessness of children in terribly abusive homes, and the need for social workers and resources to mend traumatized children, they repeat meaningless phrases from political heads that indicate they have little or no understanding of the children I speak of or their issues.
It’s almost like they don’t want to know. Several of my OSFF have fetal alcohol babies & drug or alcohol problems and could have benefited from more prenatal care or government (any) program to help them deliver healthy babies.
What is most disturbing to me, is the fierceness of OSFF arguments against helping the weakest and most vulnerable among us. They have been convinced by the insane political rhetoric being poured into their heads from radio and TV, that their neighbors children, grandparents, single mothers, and any other persons in need)
will not benefit, and should not receive help from government programs.
MN governor Tim Pawlenty said to Andy Dawkins and David Strand several years ago that “Children that are the victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem or the problem of the state of MN”.
That a major political party would make this a keystone of its platform indicates a gross misunderstanding of the most basic issues facing abused and neglected children. This shows a lack of compassion as well as a misunderstanding of the economics of failing to help children while they are young enough to make a difference in their behaviors and development.
Misguided beliefs are a dangerous thing. We have burned witches, imprisoned perfectly harmless Japanese families (WWII), tortured war prisoners, and inflicted unnecessary suffering on thousands in the name of belief.
Sometimes, I can convince the OSFF to listen long enough, or to read my book & come to understand the absolutely necessary existence of community services for abused and neglected children. But this is the hard, painful, and slow way of changing the political climate in this nation.
Here’s my suggestion to be more effective in this endeavor;
Where: Minnesota Capitol
When: 10-10-10, 2pm-5pm
What: Youth Advocate Leaders of Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)–Minnesota, along with partner organizations, will join thousands of Minnesota marchers to raise awareness among political candidates of 10 key issues that affect the lives of Minnesota’s children and youth. The rally will strengthen a commitment to issues that affect children and youth in the upcoming election and future policy decisions.
Speakers will include:
Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of Children’s Defense Fund
Garrison Keillor, Minnesota author and A Prairie Home Companion radio host; all major gubernatorial candidates have been invited; St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman; faith leaders, youth performers and children.
To learn more or to volunteer, please email Nicole Hernandez or call her at 651-855-1174.
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