Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More to Fear Than Homelessness

It seems everyone is blogging about the tragedy in Arizona this week. I frankly don’t know what to say. For once I am speechless. My deepest condolences go out to the families of the dead and prayers and healing energy go to those who were wounded.

I saw the Teabaggers bringing back the fear-mongering of the McCarthy era when I tried to attend a political debate between my Democrat Congresswoman and her Teabagger opponent. He orchestrated a recital of the Pledge of Allegiance with his supporters screaming out the phrase “under God” which was not originally part of the Pledge. It was added during the McCarthy era.

I have been selfishly afraid of what this Congress would do. You see, my bi-polar disorder was not diagnosed until the Clinton administration. It cost me my husband and children and during the first Bush administration, I was a jobless, sofa-surfing, homeless veteran. The week Bush gave a speech saying there was no recession, there were seven hundred people lined up for one hundred jobs at the new Sheraton Hotel opening in Chicago in a -30 wind chill right by the Lake. I went to pick up copies of my resume to join that line and stopped off to say hi to a friend who worked in the same building. She told me about a client of hers who needed an assistant. Her client, Dr. Gail C. Christopher became the best boss I ever had, and my jobless, homeless days were over. Gail turned me into a social and political activist.

But the Republicans weren’t done with me. I became disabled because of my bi-polar disorder and other problems and ended up getting my health care from the VA and Medicare—neither of which provide dental care. (None of my disabilities are related to my military service.) So, during the second Bush administration, I found myself pulling my own teeth. And sure enough, last week, I started signing petitions begging Congress not to repeal the Health Care bill. I’m also afraid they'll privatize Social Security and Medicare, and cut non-serivce-connected veterans out of the VA system as well, leaving me with no income and no health care at all. My kids are now old enough to take me in, but I wouldn't want to be around my grandkids without my meds.

I had no idea I would need to move into a bunker in order to be safe from the Teabaggers. I never thought it would be safer to make a phone call on a public phone at two a.m. in gang territory than to attend a meet and greet with a Congresswoman, who simply wants to represent her constituents instead of Big Business.

If you haven’t watched Keith Olbermann’s special comment on this weekend’s events, here’s the link. He’s much more eloquent than I am. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/keith-olbermanns-special-comment-on-violent-rhetoric-and-the-giffords-shooting/

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