To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Observercast

Words Matter

on

BY SHARON MARTIN

Liberal means generous, but generosity has been given a bad rap.

It started with an anecdote about a welfare queen, food stamps, and a Cadillac. The story was a total fabrication [another word for lie], but it set off a class war in America.

Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s woes; we blame the poor people and the softies on the left.

Food and Nutrition Assistance [food stamps] accounts for 2.83% of the president’s proposed 2012 budget. Can we fix what ails our country by cutting this aid? Let children starve and blame their parents.

In the war of words, some claim this is the moral choice.

If you’re down on your luck, don’t knock on our door.

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-VA, assured the folks in Vermont and elsewhere who lost their homes and businesses to flooding that the government would not help them unless his fellow legislators come up with cuts equal to the help they needed.

Where was this fiscal fortitude when Congress cut taxes and waged war?

The people in Vermont pay their taxes and serve their country. They work and raise families and vote. And when hard times come, when houses are swept off their foundations and livelihoods are drowned, this legislator on the right offers words and games instead of help.

Right? Not hardly.

The right and the left are not political designations but directions. Right versus wrong not left. Even the words have been stolen.

There are moral people on both sides of the aisle in Washington, but morality must be strong enough to stand up to those who are holding the citizens hostage with words and ideologies.

Decent human beings understand that we are all in this world together. Generosity is not moral weakness but moral strength.

If we let families struggle in the aftermath of recession and natural disasters, we are all diminished. If we let citizens die for lack of health care, we are not stronger. If children go hungry and if returning soldiers roam the streets and die of substance abuse because we can’t stomach a tax increase to pay for war and its consequences, we are not the moral nation we claim to be.

We have a lot to set right in this country. We can start by regaining control of the words that define us.

Liberal is not a dirty word. And words don’t make you right; moral choices do.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

 

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.