Monday, December 16, 2013

Political Parties Should Learn From Each Other

During the Great Depression my father lost his job, and consequently our home. I went to live with my grandparents, my mother managed to support herself through a series of jobs – factory worker, seamstress, waitress, etc. – and my father lived with his parents on their farm.
Along with a continuing search of the job market, he struggled to find part time work as a day laborer – helping with the harvesting, planting, stripping tobacco and anything else he could find.
One day he was driving with my grandfather along the river when he said, “Pop, if I don’t soon find a job I’m going to have to go on relief.”
My grandfather replied, “Francis, I will drive this car into the river and drown both of us before I’ll allow a member of my family to go on relief.”
This story illustrates valuable lessons which the present-day political parties need to learn from each other. My grandfather is an example of what the Republicans already know: There are responsible people out there.
The Democrats need to learn that responsibility needs to be fostered by whatever means necessary. Higher education should be available for those people who are emotionally and intellectually capable of profiting from it; of those not so inclined, some need vocational training, and others just need employment.
I had a friend who quit school after eighth grade. He got a job, saved his money, and eventually created a successful trucking company. A one-size-fits-all solution to a problem, such as throwing money at it, seldom solves it.
But there is also a lesson in the story for Republicans: There are struggling people out there who really need help.
In addition to the suggested solutions mentioned above, they need sufficient financial aid to help them get back to normal. Cutting unemployment compensation to the point where the street is the only home they can afford does not achieve results consistent with human decency.
Now I realize admitting that the “enemy” has practical ideas is not easy, but politicians need to recognize that he is not a communist, fascist, traitor, idiot, etc. He loves America just as much as anyone; his approach to governance is just different.
I know that programs of the type I am suggesting are radical and difficult to create, but I believe that in the long run they will build a better America at less cost than, for example, shutting down the government, or taking a meat-axe to spending.
In addition, seeing Congresspersons working together with a unified approach to problems could possibly boost the public’s respect for them to the point the Founding Fathers envisioned. 
 My books, “There Are Only Seven Jokes” and “The Spirit Runs Through It” are available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon.


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