We suppose that the primary difference between the two U.S. political parties is their advertising. Not, please note, their reality. It’s only our opinion; feel free to differ. Per such ads, the Left is supposed to be compassionate, the Right, responsible. Democrat hearts bleed for downtrodden victims; Republicans try to protect taxpayers from misuse of their assets. Sure …
A prominent but somehow mostly not newsworthy group that seems always with us while usually under the political radar is the “homeless.” Though they pop into the news from time to time, they see always to vanish before any significant political reactions have time to manifest. With occasional if temporary, exceptions.
There are a lot of homeless beyond those t occasionally make news. However, no one seems to know their number; we make do with estimates. The estimates seem to vary with the political goals of whoever is estimating. Hmnn …
Who are they? Dysfunctional mentalities mostly, we suppose. Alcohol, other drugs, personality and cognitive disorders, some physically handicapped and of course, some grifterts. We are considering here the long term homeless, not those temporarily such.
Historically, the local government operated a “poorhouse” to shelter those unable to provide for themselves. In line with America’s then Calvinist roots, folks living off the government were expected to do useful work for their bounty received; the poorhouse was also called the “workhouse” in some situations. Finding oneself there was a social disgrace, too.
But at some point, the politicians decided that the funds dedicated to such institutions were needed elsewhere and the local poorhouses were closed; their inhabitants expelled into debtor’s prisons or onto the streets , theuse of which by the indigent being considered vagrancy and and an invitation to jail. Church poorhouses have followed the same general path and now have descended to mostly, local shelters where one may find a meal or a few night’s sleep at best. The numbers of the homeless, though unknown, clearly exceed resources available to succor them.
New York City and San Francisco seem to alternate between liberal mayors who welcome the homeless for charity’s sake and less liberal mayors who respond to voters complaining of public urination and defecation, aggressive panhandling and related off-putting behavior repelling citizens and tourists on prominent city streets. But the cycle thereby created never changes; no ultimate solution is ever on offer. The bottom line is that politicians are unwilling or unable to divert enough money to the issue to alter it on a permanent bases. So Democrats and Republicans play good cop/bad cop back and forth, taking turns and using the situation to their benefit in elections. In other words, both the compassion and the responsibility are fake. Politically useful, but fake. The expected outcome of the politicians is a continued status quo cycle that is politically useful.
The same history and current conundrum we note, describes the one time public insane asylums that used to incarcerate the non compos mentis. Today, we don’t lock most of them up, we put them on the street, hoping that they take their meds. And of course, hoping that said meds accomplish something useful. No guarantees on any of that. The dots seem these days left unconnected most of the time; where they are connected, we find Army bases, theaters, schools and gay night clubs full of dead victims.
The political battle of the moment seeks to use the recent Orlando night club murders to provoke anti-Islamic reactions or anti-gun reactions. One is as dishonest as the other, in our opinion. Both are simply dishonest political opportunism. The one common denominator among the various murderers in the above venues is clear. They all share a single identifiable characteristic: They were all nutcases. They were not all Moslems, they were none of them guns; all were just people.
Some heard voices, some reacted to internet propaganda, including Moslem terrorists trolling for such suckers. Some were inexplicable. But all were nuts. Add to that, in varying degrees, they were all known to be nuts. But society dumped the nuts onto the streets and has since, ignored them. The price, as socety’s restraining religious morality fades, is goring up, seems to us.