LETTER: Open letter to Senator JohnsonTo the Telegram: Sen. Ron Johnson: Recently you gave a keynote speech at a Tea Party Rally in Duluth. Tea Party Rally speeches often play heavily on the theme of freedom, especially freedom the attendees claim our government has taken from us.
To the Telegram:
Sen. Ron Johnson: Recently you gave a keynote speech at a Tea Party Rally in Duluth. Tea Party Rally speeches often play heavily on the theme of freedom, especially freedom the attendees claim our government has taken from us.
I’d suggest, Sen. Johnson, that you visit a care facility for the elderly and have an unhurried listening session with employees like Janine and Cindy. These unsung heroes take care of my 100-year-old aunt. They care for her with kind words, strong arms and gentle hands.
They also are loving caregivers of young sons who will turn one in July. Janine, a first time mother, would choose if she could, to stay at home with her baby. Her eyes shine with motherly love as she tells me how she and her husband have coordinated their work schedules so one of them can always be at home. She works nights to have maximum time with her adored son.
Cindy has been working a 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. shift. She’s pleased with this shift because it allows more time with her family, a family who rarely sees a month when they can meet rent, food, car, insurance and other very basic expenses. One of Cindy’s current challenges is to find a good, accessible pre-school for her bright four-year-old daughter, eager to go to school but not quite old enough to begin kindergarten next year.
Janine and Cindy’s stories, their lives, can be multiplied by thousands. They are the caregivers of our fathers and grandmothers, our aunts, our cousins and friends. Their daily giving, physical and emotional, is immense. Without them, the costs to us and our loved ones would be astronomical. Yet their wages are low, their burdens significant.
If you do sit down and hear their stories, I think you’ll pause before supporting a House budget plan to cut billions in food assistance in order to save comparable cuts in the defense budget. I think you’ll question the elimination of HUD suggested by your party’s presumptive nominee. And I hope you’ll gain a broader vision of the connection between government and freedom.
Solon Spring, Wis.