Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why I'm an Independent

I heard about this story today.

One of my biggest pet peeves is anyone caving to public pressure to take back remarks everyone else considers odious. Last time I checked, we STILL had a 1st Amendment in this country that allowed people to say what they wanted.

If you're going to say something that isn't PC, have the guts to stick by your comments. I give Andre Bauer this: he merely apologized for his choice of words.

Let's be serious here: all the people blasting this guy's words know full well that he's right. Welfare, in some cases, is precisely like that. Not for those who just lost jobs or people seeking temporary help while trying to improve themselves.

Any sane person is talking about leeches & families with generations taking welfare i.e. those who've made taking welfare a way of life.

Where's the accountability to society & your children? What about encouraging them to do something better in life? I find it even more telling that Lt. Gov. Bauer benefited from free lunches as a child, meaning he's not some guy from privilege who's talking out of his butt. It's more likely he may know of what he speaks.

I find it courageous & admirable when people call a spade a spade, even when it's "unpopular." Tom Tancredo, another Republican, earned respect from me & my husband because of taking a hard line stance on illegal immigration. I'll save those views for another entry but basically, you need to keep your mouth shut on the issue until YOU live someplace where people refuse to assimilate to YOUR culture, DEMAND you to learn THEIRS & act racist against you when you insist on basic common courtesy.

What I will talk about, besides the fact that I hate people who refuse to stand by their original remarks since we know they meant it if they told the press, is my stance on welfare. It's not going to be a PC viewpoint or one that will make everyone happy but if you were looking for that to begin with, you're in the wrong place. Responses lacking a reason why I should care about what you say will be ignored.

Some background: my family was always struggling w/money. Not enough to get welfare; my mom marveled at how our illegal neighbors would have tons of money for 20 people in a house while she couldn't afford to get the dryer fixed or a mechanic to fix the car so it would pass the state inspection. Government aid would have been a blessing and a curse: a blessing as in more money but a curse in terms of the stigma + the knowledge that you are now one of those "poor people."

My family taught us to get an education & aspire to be better than where we came from. I was told growing up that college was mandatory & we should do better than they did. If anything, they NEVER wanted us to live that way when we grew up. They'd still love us if we did, but they gave me the wherewithal to put pressure on myself to strive for something better.

What do some of these parents do? What do they teach? Do they even bother encouraging their kids to do ANYTHING? Are women just baby machines? If I believed that, I'd have had to kill myself years ago since I know I'd be miserable living that way. Why inflict that on an innocent child?

I won't tell you that it's easy to overcome a lower middle class income & especially not poverty. It's not! You have to be motivated, keep your eyes on the future at all times, make a plan & not let anybody stop you. Recognize those demons, roadblocks, biases, etc. & rail against them.

Sometimes people will help you along the way; I certainly benefited from that. There was the Algebra teacher who said to never let the cost of a college stop you from going there. There was the Dean of Students at my undergrad who got my transcripts released so I could apply to law school, even though there was a balance on my account that wouldn't be paid until after I graduated. There were my parents who refused to let me enter Special Ed. 1st grade & ignored the Special Ed. kindergarten teacher who'd have made me a permanent Special Ed kid instead of the straight A student I became.

And if you're a teenager, for God's sake put off having sex as long as possible. No man is worth throwing your life away & none of you are prepared to be parents when you're living in Mommy & Daddy's house. If you're a child actor with millions in the bank, you might break the cycle of poverty but at best you won't be doing much of the "parenting." I don't necessarily agree with the "be a virgin until marriage" camp but at least finish high school before you have sex, all right? It will also save some of you men the chance of being asked to appear on Maury Povich to take a paternity test for some crazy female.

If I had a child who got pregnant, I'd say "You're old enough to have sex so you're old enough to make your own choices. I'm not raising YOUR child & you're not going to live off me." My cousin was a teen mom & her parents (my aunt & uncle) ended up raising that child. He even called them "Mom" and "Dad." She didn't do anything when he was little. Now she's grown up & matured but as a teenager, forget it.

If you're going to have a baby, you'd better be doing what's best for that kid & not expect other people to rearrange THEIR lives so YOU can continue to "be a young person." Those days are over for you, kiddo. Welcome to being a grownup! If you want to be a carefree teen, then DON'T have a baby. I know people who whined about losing their freedom when becoming moms & ditched their kids with grandparents to go "hang out"; if they'd been my friends, they'd have heard it from me.

My sister has admonished friends of hers for that kind of thing. She's the best mom I know & her son has never taken a backseat to her whims. Anywhere she went, her son went. She never did drugs in front of him or exposed him to anything remotely harmful when he was little; she'd never even do that stuff in the first place. He's a very lucky kid & I'm glad that at 6, he has dreams and believes he can achieve them.

You know what? I really don't see myself as special or different from anyone else in my shoes. Being a lawyer does NOT make me special, okay?

I think anyone could improve themselves & move up if they believe in themselves + don't cave in to low expectations. Go defy people's worst expectations so you can take them down a few pegs later on. Enough said.

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