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Whatever happened to empathy


When people ask why I vote Democrat or why I lean to the left (which is a joke, because in every other country I have lived in but America I am considered center-right, but in Mississippi if you aren’t teabagging, you’re a socialist), I always explain two things:

First, I reject the notion that poor people are poor because they did something to deserve it, which is the tacit undercurrent in the thinking of a lot of Republicans.  I don’t understand why people who have money find it so difficult to part with theirs as members of society.  What happened to human kindness?  This type of thinking is rampant when you talk about universal health care. People are always like “I don’t want to pay for other people’s cancer” or something.  God forbid you foot the bill for something that helps society. Let’s stop paying for roads too. Or even better-why pay for public schools?  I will never have kids but I have no problems morally or philosophically for something that helps the people around me grow up less stupid.  The worst is that the biggest opponents to universal healthcare are these middle class people making between 80 and 200 a year who, whether they like it or not, Obamacare or not, are one cancer diagnosis away from medical bankruptcy.  When people troll me I wish them well and hope they never, ever get so sick that they have to choose between medical care or paying the mortgage.

Secondly, the Republican party’s war on women is real. Whether or not it is legal, whether or not Roe v Wade still stands on paper, it is impossible to get an abortion in states like Mississippi. Morality aside, birth control, reproductive healthcare and yes, abortion benefit the poor.  Again, it is these middle class white women soccer moms who think it can’t happen to them voting for people who want to vote Roe away.  I have nothing but rage for these so-called Christians, mainly women, who forget that if it weren’t for the grace of God, you could have a shitty life. Guess what ladies? Not all of us get to have good husbands. Not all of us get to be soccer moms. Some women are the sole breadwinners in their families and when you make the Pill expensive, when you make abortion impossible, there are that many more children growing up poor.  That many more women you can call welfare queens. That many more women who will never make it out.  No one should be forced to be a mother, but the Republican Party has no answers for women who are not in the soccer mom demographic.  And the sad part is that some of these middle-class Republican women are only one divorce away from joining the ranks of the very group of women they so disdain.

I don’t understand the dream world people live in where we get to decide what we want to do with our tax dollars, where we labor under the delusion that people who are poor  or who don’t have nuclear two-parent families are somehow degenerate and unworthy of our kindness. It makes me quite sad. I find it arrogant that people who think they have something have only themselves to thank. When I look around at family and friends, I see all of us have worked hard. Just some of us-like me- had more chances along the way. You can call it luck, but that is what I mean by the grace of God- sometimes I was just in the right place in the right time, and someone who worked just as hard as I did to get to that point got passed over. I never forget how lucky I am, and I find people arrogant who get all Donald Trump about how their riches are all from them.

I know these posts are supposed to be light, but these thoughts have been weighing on my mind every time someone asks me about the election and I hold my tongue.  I don’t know what happened to my country. It is true what they say- you can never go home.


Author: Nicole Cunningham

American Expat and convert to Islam living and working between Lausanne and Zurich, Switzerland.

3 thoughts on “Whatever happened to empathy

  1. Love your post. They don’t have to be light 🙂

  2. Pingback: Smokers and Smell: a Rant | Climb to the Stars

  3. Short, sweet and to the point, Two very important issues that should not be sidetracked,

    We also have some of this viewpoint in the UK although mainly on health and not abortion as we do not have the strong religious roots that the US does,

    Nevertheless I fully agree that we cant pick and choose where we want our tax dollars/pounds/euros actually go just because we happen to be fortunate (either financially or healthwise). I certainly disagree with using my taxes to drop bombs on other countries pretending to be protecting me !

    Keep these posts coming !

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