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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

To be forgotten tomorrow?

The heat is on, and all parties are in full swing attempting to best each other. From small hamlets to great cities, to sprawling plains…the fervor and fever claim more attention than any presidential election has in my lifetime.

The fighting is dirty, and getting dirtier. When it's over, there will be family members and neighbors who will not speak to each other and regardless of who sits in the Biggest House, the snaps and snarls from the little dog houses will be heard.

Eventually, unless you have your own big house, with lots of kibble and bucks, you become as important to the occupant of the Biggest House, as a dog that grew into it's paws, out of it's cute stage, and refused to be housebroken. You now live outside.

As the outside dog, having been left in the cold, you will snarl at people who have nearly nothing to do with how poorly your life is going. The neighbor who voted against your choice has nothing to do with it, and might be the guy who comes to your rescue if your house catches fire, or something simpler, like just giving you a jump-start when your car battery is low on some vicious cold morning when he's in his pajamas, and still half asleep.

Remember that.

The big fat happy dogs merely need to cast an eye on their respective piles of bucks, and every one falls into line in the Biggest House.

The big dogs don't know the meaning of losing a job, losing a life to poverty, losing a child to the hard streets, losing hope….

You should know that but you may not think of it much. It's easier by far to hate your Republican/Democrat neighbor, much easier to direct ire toward your spouse or kid, your subordinate at work, the clerk in the grocery store, and all the other little people that you vent at, than to take on the big dogs.

Some of the big dogs don't lick the hands of the Big House residents, but they still have a better dog house, a bigger pile of kibble and bucks, and even though they were there in your hometown for a while, trying to sign you up to vote, entertaining you with song and gyrations, and telling you they love you, they still went home at the end, and home is not down the block.

You can't blame them for having made it. You can't hate them for having a bigger share, because that's the way life is. They go home because that's where they live.

It's possible they'll even think of you with a certain sadness because they saw your lives and heard your cheers above the cries of inner distress that you carry with you day after day, and remember this too: some of them came from the same places you do, and they really do know how it is.

Those are the ones that actually do help. They put their money where the bullshit mouthpieces of the government are. They are often silent, or at least, very quiet activists.

The place to point your finger of blame and condemnation is toward the administration, of whoever sits in the Oval Office. Whether it's your man, or "theirs".

If you are poor, and are neglected by all who could actually do something for you as a collective of people, and I am thinking of Cleveland, Ohio as I write this, you must not allow yourself to fall by the wayside, after the party is over. The dance has just begun.

Additional link to an article in The Plain Dealer regarding poverty in Cleveland, Ohio.

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