So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much!

p.s. my mom now refers to me as the family "chronicler" - getting down all the family stories. How I love that title!! :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Speaking My Mind Late at Night

I shouldn't write a post for publication so late at night. Do you think differently late at night than in the light of day? I find I am more careful about what I say when the sun is shining, and at night I just let my hands write what my mind is thinking.

So what is on my mind tonight? Like everyone, I am thinking about who will win the presidency. Like everyone, I am thinking about which party will benefit me and those like me and can make our country the land of opportunity again. 

I have voted Republican and I have voted for Democrats. My problem with both parties is the extremists on both sides. Somewhere between the extreme, unbending conservatives and the extreme, radical liberals I wish for a little island that holds a government for those of us who don't hate anyone for their beliefs, who believe we own our bodies and our minds and can do with them as we want, who have compassion for the poor, feel generous toward those who need a hand up, but don't feel we are owed a college education, just the opportunity to work for one, and don't think loopholes should prevent corporations and the richest people in the country from paying their fair share of taxes. 

I do believe that English should be our country's language, and that those who come here to live should learn it and use it. Perhaps that is because I am too old to tackle the challenge of learning a new language right now.

I do believe that the teachers' unions have gone way, way too far and should be reigned in so that teachers can be fired and fired quickly when they do anything to seriously harm a child, mentally or physically. I know of a situation where a terrible teacher could not be fired, and was just sent from one school to another where she continued to fail her students as a teacher. 

Our health care system is sadly in trouble and I think the Affordable  Care Act is a great beginning to correcting some of our problems. I am happy that the "doughnut hole" which made it impossible for some retirees to continue with their medicine, is no longer a threat to those who have diabetes or other illnesses that require expensive prescriptions. Now, if only the drug companies can be forced to charge a reasonable price for the medicine we buy here in the United States. They don't charge other countries what we, in the United States, have to pay. Possibly that is because the  governments of those countries have a say in the prices that can be charged. Perhaps a little regulation of the drug companies here might be in order. 

I do believe that everyone who can afford it should have to buy health insurance. I don't think it is fair that those of us who have always paid for health insurance should have to pay extra for those who can afford it, but don't. I have friends who can afford health insurance but will not buy it. Their philosophy is that if they have an accident and have to go to the hospital, they can't be turned away. Those are the people who do not like the new healthcare act.

We need a common sense approach by government as to what is best for all of us, and I have trouble believing the wealthiest one percent has a clue to what my life is all about, what I worry about at night, what I fear and care about. Do they ever wonder what will happen to them when they are old, ill and need constant care? Of course not. They will have the best care money can buy. Some of us won't. And it isn't because we haven't worked hard and saved our money. 

I have seen my family and others who survived the Great Depression in the early 20th Century persevere through hard times and some of them became quite wealthy. But investigation will show they had a leg up somewhere. Perhaps it was the GI Bill that helped them graduate from college. Perhaps it was a Farmers Home Administration low interest loan that made the difference. In modern times young people in Georgia, my native state, took advantage of the Hope Scholarship fund, a government run program. 

I think it is interesting that the wealthiest people I have known usually voted Republican. I also noticed that racism played a large part in their choice of party. How many times have I heard people I love say mean spirited words about people who are different from them. One friend said to me, "We're going to vote that black S.O.B. out of there." Her comment told me she wanted him out of office because President Obama was not white. It had little to do with his politics. 

Racism is alive and well in this country and from what I read, it has flourished since Barack Obama became president. Did you notice that the Republican convention was almost completely filled with white people. The Democratic convention was filled with black, brown and all shades in between. At least the cameras of the media made it seem that way. I'm sure they related to President Obama more than to Mitt Romney. But there are white Americans who also relate more to the president.

I can't help thinking about the words of a writer friend of mine in a book she wrote called Simplicity. She decided she was a democrat because that was the party that seemed to help poor people, the folks who needed a hand up, much like Jesus did. Her father was a preacher and I feel sure she knew what the Bible said.

I'll be so happy when this election is over and done. I almost fear talking with some of my friends because they are extreme in their views and I don't like to discuss politics. Politics has become too personal with people. I know many folks watch the news channels all day, and before long, they are as angry or filled with hate as the talking heads on the TV. No point in trying to discuss issues with them. I don't think any of us can change another's political views.

Oh, I hope we will see peace and harmony again in this country as well as around the world, but I am afraid that is too much to expect.
Do you think we will ever be united again as a people? 
Will it take another terrible disaster here to make us all see each other as fellow Americans and to see how much we are the same instead of seeing only differences? 


Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Very well said Glenda. I feel as if I'm walking on thin ice this time of year, not wanting to offend anyone's views, yet not wanting anyone to criticize me for mine. Will we ever get along again? That might be the 64 thousand dollar question.

Hope you are having a nice weekend and enjoying the cool spell.

Lise said...

I am greatly appreciative of your post, as I understand exactly where you are coming from and appreciate your willingness to express it. I do hope, deep in my soul, that we will in fact, once again, be united as A People! Much gratitude for your speaking your mind!

Glenda Beall said...

Sam and Lise,thank you.
I've heard people say we will have riots if Obama is re-elected, and I've heard that we will have riots if Romney is elected. I hope that is not true and that our country will rally to help whoever is president get the United States growing and prospering so that everyone can have a good life, a good education, and good jobs.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if good stories made the news? Sadly, it seems many of us only want the most violent movies and TV, and comedy thrives on humiliation, gross language, sexist jokes,and anything that will hurt someone.
Thank you for stopping by.