Dear Politicians:An open letter to Politicians
By Stephanie Burke
I am a “middle class”, average registered voter. In recent months I, like so many, have been struggling. Now that elections season has hit I have been berated by TV ads, phone calls, and news reports billing these candidates as politicians that will fight for the “common man”. To this I say, “Really well have you been there?” Do you know what it is like to work your whole life and then be denied by a system that is supposed to be there to help? Only then to pick up the newspaper and read an article about someone who has managed to double dip the system for years! Have you ever had to realize that after working your whole life you are left with no job and can’t pay your bills!
I find it hard to believe that you have ever had to go through such an ordeal. You will inevitably answer with “well I was poor growing up”. So what! Being poor and having to “do without” or having your parent’s work a lot is not the same thing as being that person who has to sit there with those issues. As a child you are not fully aware of things like bills. It is not until we are much older that we realize the significance of monthly bills and income! So I don’t want to hear about the “plight of the common man” from people who are anything but common!
The reality is that you cannot and will not ever understand it because you have never been there. To you struggling people are merely a sad story you heard of. The whispers of a friends friend who lost their home or job that is met with a “oh how sad”. Going into a dinner or speaking with “every day folk” and feeling bad does not mean you have been there or know how it feels.
I don’t begrudge anyone anything. Good for you that you were able to go to school and break into politics and make a salary of a couple hundred grand a year. However, not everyone has been that lucky! I have worked hard and at many points in my life worked several jobs. But life takes twists and turns on people and you happen to be lucky enough that your turn brought you to where you are. But please don’t sit up there and pretend to be like everyone else. The fact is that you are the exception not the rule! Unfortunately the rule for most Americans is that in this economy right now we are fighting against a tide. Those who want to work can’t find jobs! Those who need help from state agencies can’t get it but those who abuse the system have no problems.
George Washington, Abraham Lincoln…those were great American politicians because they were actually there with the everyday man! They knew what it was when people were struggling because they were out there struggling too! They were not living in their little political bubble of upper middle class, millionaire friends where everything is puppies and rainbows.
Honestly I don’t think any of you can really dig our country out of this because you have no idea what we are going through! It is so much more than a story you heard or a report you read! You make it evident that you cannot do it by the ridiculous ads you run on TV. Do you think I care if Elizabeth Warren said she was American Indian! Or if Mitt Romney said he doesn’t care about the poor (what a shocker!).
Bottom line I don’t think any of you are fit to save us now. We need a real, every day American that can point out what is broken and how to fix it!