The biggest obstacle in my life is poverty. And second place is not even close.
This morning I sat down and counted food to make sure I would make it to the end of the month. It will be close but I think I will.
I don’t think some of my neighbors will. I live in a government housing complex in Knoxville and everyone who lives here is by definition poor, old, disabled or has no place else to go. For many all of the above.
Nothing that happens this election is going to change anything for anyone in this building. And I think most people here know that. More than a few people here don’t care if anyone is elected. They just don’t think it matters.
There is a sizable group of people here that are for Donald Trump. Their reason is real simple. They think he is for them. They want someone who “won’t take no shit no longer.” One guy, a guy who was a Navy veteran, in his late 50’s, now disabled living in a wheel chair, told me, “Politics is just rich people talking about themselves. They don’t care, ain’t never cared and ain’t never going to care. I don’t know if Trump will make it better for me. I pray he makes it worse for them.”
I know a lot of people who feel more than a little bit the way he does. Some of them are bigots. Some of them are racists. But many are not. All of them are hurt. They know who is most likely to lose this election…. they are. They know that poverty for them is a prison more secure than the bars to any jail.
I remember years ago a Tennessee state legislator told me he didn’t think people without insurance cared because no one ever complained to him. I stopped him, “Maybe they just don’t think you care.”
I know one guy here who really liked Bernie Sanders. He told me one day what he liked. “Bernie thinks it is wrong that people should have to stay poor and you know I think he really believes that..” I told him I thought he did too.
Donald Trump is a liar, a racist, a rich guy who only cares about himself. I believe if elected he would destroy this country. When history is written though I confess I wonder if he will not be remembered as the man who made it easy for Hillary Clinton to become president.
I am going to vote for Hillary. Of the choices I feel like I have she is by far the best option. But there is something that concerns me more.
As a country we are losing our faith, not just that this government works, but rather or not it can ever work. The tragedy is that I am not sure that those running for office even realize the question is on the ballot.
Perhaps there is a poverty that is not about money.