From a Bleeding-Heart Liberal

Richard - Portola Valley, California
Entered on June 8, 2008
Age Group: 65+

I place myself at the liberal end of the political spectrum, to the left of Senator Kennedy. This may be a result of my early childhood experiences. I grew up in the 1930s, during the Great Depression. I had two intelligent, hard-working parents who were unable to support our family of five. My mother wrote a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt, saying that she had three children and was unable to feed them. “What should I do?” She received a return letter listing the welfare agencies in New York City, where we were living. As my father saw it, receiving welfare was equivalent to begging. Angrily, he tore up the letter. We maintained our family honor, but suffered the consequences.

I am now financially comfortable, but I believe the government has a responsibility to help the disadvantaged. To misquote Franklin Roosevelt, “A country is measured not by how well the rich are doing, but by how well the poor are doing.”