A Sad State Of The Union

Posted: October 17, 2008 in Civil Rights, Compassion, Discrimination, Homelessness, Morality

In less than three weeks, American’s will cast their vote for the office of President of the United States. At that time, many cities, towns and counties will be holding elections to determine local leadership as well. While I strongly believe that it is, not only the right of every citizen to cast their vote, I also believe that it is their civic duty.  

Many of the folks I’ve spoken with about the elections all have one thing in common: most of them don’t believe that much is going to change for the better in their personal lives regardless of who wins. And, while most of them are extremely disgusted with those politicians who currently hold office, they don’t feel that those who are running represent much of a better choice.

It makes me wonder how many American’s will be voting, not for the person who they feel is best for the job, but rather for the person who they think will do the least amount of damage.

Those who will probably be the least affected – in a positive manner – by the outcome of the elections will be the homeless. They are the ones who are living at the extreme lower levels of the social ladder. Even those folks who are living at or below poverty level are better off than our nation’s homeless citizens. That in itself is clear evidence that there is still a high incidence of inequality all across our nation.

That inequality goes far beyond just the material aspects of life, however. Our nation’s homeless citizens, as a result of stereotyping and the numerous misconceptions which surround homelessness, are those who seem to be shown the least of amount of human dignity by the rest of us. They are the ones who are treated as though they aren’t equal with the every one else.

Yet, consider this: in the voting booth, every vote is seen as being equal. Not one ballot which is cast is more important or less important than any other ballot which is cast. And, since even America’s homeless citizens have the right to vote, that alone should be sufficient proof that they are not "beneath" the rest of us and are entitled to be treated humanely, not only by the elected leadership, but by us – their fellow members of the community.

Having said all that, I’m curious about one thing – especially since there will be numerous localities that will also have propositions which folks will vote on.

What would be the outcome if there were a federal proposition on the ballot which, if passed, would require that all homeless persons be treated with dignity, respect and compassion by their fellow citizens?

Would such a proposition be voted into law by the American public? Or, would the "nays" win out? And, if it did pass, would it be passed overwhelmingly, or would it have "squeezed" through?

I’d like to believe that such a proposition would pass hands down, but I’m too much of a realist to actually hope it would. The fact of the matter is that I’m almost certain that there are those folks who would vote against it. Quite frankly, I’m also of the opinion that some of the "nay" votes would have been cast by members of Congress.

And that would make for a sad State of the Union.

  1. Skye says:

    I’d like to think it would win hands down also, but …

    Food for thought here. And I really hope everyone is going to vote!

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