The Way Things Are






The stern librarian (not libertarian) party
2004-03-05, 9:13 a.m.

The Stern Librarian

I don't know what my political party is. I don't really know that I have a political affiliation, or even a political bent. I took the political aptitude test, you know, that one that measure left and right, as well as authoritarian vs libertarian? I am just slight left and libertarian of dead center. So what does that make me? Confused and waffly, that's what.

I like the idea of a safety net. I ascribe to the "there but for the grace of God" philosophy that ANY of us could find ourselves in dire circumstances that necessitate the use of public welfare and assistance programs. But I so truly hate the waste of these resources, and the misuse by career, multi-generational welfare-dependent families. I want these programs to be a safety net and a bootstrap, not a culture. Not a way of life. Not a career track. That's what I hate.

I feel that social welfare could be so affordable if it were overhauled to discourage and eventually eliminate lifelong dependency.

So in other words, I like for the programs to be there. I like that a single teenage mom can live in a semi-decent apartment with her child and get most of her rent and food paid for. I want that assistance to be paired with educational and career opportunities. I want that teenager to grow up, take personal responsibility, move on, and leave an open space for the next person who needs help. I don't want to pay for someone who is lazy, dependent, and irresponsible. I don't want to work my ass off so somebody else can avoid doing that. I believe that the person who takes advantage of a welfare program needs to work harder than I do in order to repay society for the soft gentle landing in a net and the hand up.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

That's where I stand. So what am I? Who represents me? My ideal candidate would stand for bombing and paving over the Middle East, and providing lots of hard-earned assistance for folks who need and deserve it. My ideal candidate is a stern, judgmental schoolteacher type, eh? Who is this? I have the hardest effing time voting.

The thing is, I think that there are lots and lots of folks who stand where I do. And nobody represents us. Or maybe they do, but they are so busy playing politics and working to get elected that they don't represent themselves anymore, much less me.

That's where I sit today. Confused, unrepresented, eager and willing to lend a hand and a dollar, but wanting to see some effort on the part of the recipient. And harsh, cruel judgment to those who take advantage of my trust and kindness.

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