More Wrong-Headed Propaganda From the Left
(c) by Tom King
A friend posted a picture with a map that claimed that New York wants it's citizens to have health care and not assault rifles and that Texas wants its citizens to have assault rifles and not health care. I pointed out in my response that New York is almost bankrupt and that Texas has a balanced budget and a surplus. Look, the idea that Texas doesn't want its citizens to have health care is preposterous. It wants it's citizens to have jobs so they can have healthcare. And if you are sick you can walk into any hospital and get treatment in Texas.
Also, you can walk into a shopping mall in Texas with the intent to shoot a lot of people and there's a damned good chance somebody's going to shoot back at you. It happened in San Antonio two days after Newtown. You didn't hear about it because he didn't kill 30 or 40 unarmed people.
I was immediately told that what I said was untrue. I asked, "What part?"
Was it that Texas has a balanced budget? I know that's correct. It's one of the few states that does.
Was it that New York state is in financial trouble? It has one of the highest per capita debts of any state in the country.
Was it the story I included about the shopping mall shooting? Here's the story. The officer followed the shooter into the mall and put four bullets into him. Death toll - 1 shooter. One person was wounded. Handy to have armed folk around. And the off duty officer was a woman, rather deflating some recent claims by the left that women can't handle firearms well enough to defend themselves. Being armed is a Texas tradition. We like to be able to hold off a bad guy for the 20 minutes to an hour that it takes the deputies to get there.
Was it that you can get medical treatment in Texas if you can't afford it? I can tell you from personal experience. I've had three major surgeries on the public dime in the past five years because I was in trouble and couldn't afford it. My fellow citizens generously helped me. My credit is wrecked because I couldn't pay my part, but then that's because I'm taking care of a disabled wife and trying to make a living freelancing in this horrific economy that the government keeps meddling with and making worse.
I should be the poster child for Obama supporters in Texas or anywhere else because I'm well and truly below the poverty line right now. I should welcome him as a saviour. So why don't I?
It's because I am trying to dig myself out on my own. I'm not asking the government to give me a handout. I don't want food stamps or to be on welfare. I want the government to do what it is supposed to - defend this country from external threats, enforce the laws that are supposed to insure a level playing field for everyone trying to make a living and to support themselves. I want them to protect my liberties.
I want them to leave their hands off my first amendment rights. I want them to keep their hands out of my pockets and everyone elses. I don't need them to rob from the rich to support me. They take an obscene "cut" off the top when they do. I don't want them to interfere with freedom of speech, the press, assembly or religion or the right to bear arms, all of which seem to have been placed on the table lately.
I don't want the IRS to tell my pastor what he can and cannot say in the pulpit. I want them to quit selling themselves to the highest bidder and protect small business in America and provide a place for it to grow. I want them to leave powers to the states that are not enumerated by the constitution and quit meddling. I have no guns in my house because I have family members with mental health issues. It would be stupid for me to keep guns here. But why should my neighbor lose his means of protecting his property? Even though I don't have a dog in the hunt, his right to keep and bear arms is part of the package. If this government decides it can arbitrarily take away one of my neighbor's rights, even though it won't directly affect me, I must stand with him, for my other rights and his will soon be in danger too. The government has never shown any inclination to stop taking anything once it has it's hand in your pocket (or holster).
I've lobbied in the Austin state house. I know members of the legislature and senate. The idea that the Texas legislature doesn't "give a damned" about poor people is absolutely preposterous. Most conservatives in the state legislature believe that if you keep the engine of business running, that communities are better off, more people have a job and fewer people suffer poverty. I know from experience that this is true. When business does well, it spreads the wealth to the less fortunate. We got a food stamp budget cut from Washington of $800,000 in Texas because the food banks were doing such a good job of feeding the poor, we didn't need it anymore. The bureaucrats nearly had a stroke.
Having been in the nonprofit sector working with poor, disabled, homeless, people with disabilities and even ex-convicts, I have received a world of help from local business, corporations and wealthy individuals and helped create programs that provided real help to struggling families and individuals without chaining them to the "system" and making welfare slaves of them.
I've been 'in the system' once and had a hellish time getting back out. The welfare system taught that you have to be careful not to take certain jobs, not to make too much money and not to deviate from the program or you'd lose your benefits. The system is pernicious in the way it treats you like a second class citizen, systematically humiliates you and makes you beholden to the government.
Food Stamps can provide help, but it's way better from the poor guy's end to get a couple of bags of food from a local food bank to tide him over till he gets a job. It's better to hook up with a community based nonprofit that knows your town and knows what resources can get you real help - that can think outside the box to solve your problems.
My friend's characterization of the Texas government and the legislature in particular is wrong and colored by an ideology that trusts government in a way our forefathers never did. They wrote the constitution to limit government for that very reason. They say power corrupts. Well, that's simplistic. Absolute power doesn't necessarily corrupt, but it draws corruptible people to it like flies to poop. The only ones who can be trusted with power are those who drop it like a hot potato once they've done what they had to with it.
I admit it. I'm a conservative. I trust people to manage their own affairs. I do not trust an arrogant elite who believes they can sit around a table in Washington, DC and plan the affairs of 350 million of their fellow citizens and something as complex as our economy and do so effectively. It would take God to do that and I've met God in my travels. The US Government and all of the bureaucrats in it, put together aren't nearly as smart as Him.
I'm just sayin'.