"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Jun 18, 2019

SENIOR is Not a Dirty Word

"I'm still holding out hope that Biden will pick Oprah as a running mate," I said to Uncle Julian on the phone Sunday.  Dad's gone so Uncle J's the closest father-figure I've got left.

My Uncle supports President Trump and knows I hold socialist tendencies but loves me anyway, as I do him.  We don't discuss politics and politely step around our opinionated slips, which seem inevitable in most everyday conversations.

None of my friends are Trump fans (that I know of), and I've never asked anyone I'm related to,  "How can you support such a such-and-such?" because besides the usual shtick about entitled to our opinions, does anyone really expect I'd get a decent answer?  So why poke the nest?

Yes, Joe Biden IS a senior but that is not a dirty word, at least not until we reach Logan’s Run and Soylent Green.  Scoff at my melodrama, but I'm happy I won't be around to see how (your) ancestors will live, because they'll probably eat the homeless and illegals first.

What I would like is for the pendulum to center a bit before we charge into the socialism of Bernie Sanders or the angry rhetoric of some of our younger members of Congress.  They'll have plenty of time to flex their muscles; but I think many of their increasingly popular ideas can best be accomplished after a period of rest.

I'd say the same after 4 more years of Trump, but I suspect we'd more likely be facing a revolution and then it would be too late for calm heads to prevail. The fellows in charge will only move farther from our liberties while they blindly follow a lunatic. Look at who's heading back into a mess in the Middle East right now.

Which is why I'm for Biden, even though my particular crusade so far has not been included in his list of important issues, as per a recent campaign survey.
Pick (my) top three issues:
Health care
Economy/jobs
Labor unions and worker's rights
Gun violence prevention
Immigration
Racial justice
Climate change/Environmental justice
Campaign Finance Reform
Veterans
Criminal justice reform
Foreign policy and national security
Women's rights
LGBTQ rights
Education
Voting rights
Social Security
Medicaid and Medicare
Other

Here's what I submitted for Other:
"HOMELESSNESS.  No one seems to be talking about this. I am all-for equal rights for all regardless of race, ethnicity, age and sexual preference; but equal rights also applies to those who are economically-challenged. If the economy is improving, why is homelessness increasing???

"I volunteer in tiny-home communities for the formerly homeless, and these communities are popping up everywhere.  However, they are primarily funded through private donations. I don't think it is right for Good Samaritans to bear the burden of a problem which affects every single town in our nation.

"...I have recently applied for a Section 8 housing voucher."  (My RV's just getting older and I may eventually tire of living in a tin can.)  "I'm told the wait is about 3 years; better than other states."

For a long time I was ashamed to apply for the voucher, which in my mind signified failure, particularly at this stage in life.  It's easy to say, No, no, you shouldn't feel that way, but that comes across as a platitude; when what (we'd) really like to hear, at least to begin with, is, I get that Acknowledge the concerns and fears of others, for who can say whose are the greater?  "I can't have children."  "That's alright; you can always adopt."  Talk about heartless.  The more people empathetic to hardships, the more likely change will occur.  At least now, thanks to all the natural disasters, it's become more acceptable for people to apply for SNAP benefits.

Once I obtain the housing voucher I'll then have to make it through the year-plus waiting lists of approved places which accept them; unless I'm lucky enough to find a private renter willing to go through the paperwork process.  Many applications include criminal and credit checks.  You tell me how many homeless people you'd guess could pass both of those with flying colors?  At the moment I'm trying to clean up my own credit rating to help when my time comes, but that will take time.  But if I don't I may only qualify for the local flophouse, as Mom would say.

Do you know that the estimated cost (to society) per homeless person each year is averaged between $30-50,000?  That's primarily driven by health care costs, including numerous trips to emergency rooms (which gets one out of the rain, at least); and then I imagine the costs of police and health care professionals, among others.  Wouldn't it make sense to build a bunch of transitional tiny-homes for $10-15,000 each, and they wouldn't have to be rebuilt each year???

I'm going by memory now, but a follow-up email revealed the top issues in Biden's survey were gun control, environmental issues and immigration.  If Donald Trump came up with a comprehensive plan to solve homelessness I might consider casting my vote his way, but he'd have to get started with something right now to convince me.  On that, I wouldn't bet a red cent.

I suspect nobody's solving homelessness for the same reasons cancer hasn't been licked. Too many people making money.  I'll be curious to see the upcoming Democratic debates and which crazy ideas are vocalized, since I agree with pundits that many candidates will go in feeling they've got nothing to lose.

Can you really imagine Trump being followed up with most of the Demo-20? I happen to think that we deserve to give a woman a shot at leadership before an LGBTQ, unless the candidate's both.  Not because anyone's not qualified or deserving, but it seems a slap in the face to women everywhere.  We've had a black president; a Catholic; an actor; now this.  We've been waiting a long time; how many years since we got the right to vote?

However, in the end, most of us will vote for who's got the best chance to beat Trump, not who makes the best soundbite, or God forbid, sense.  So I'm still in Joe's corner, for the period of rest reason; and hopefully to re-build trust in the United States.  Who believes anything about us now?

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