An eye-opening experience
To the Editor:
Having never run for office before I've knocked on more doors this year than I ever expected to see, and it's been an eye-opening experience. There are thousands of wonderful people from all walks of life in this district, people who are overwhelmingly polite to a stranger on their doorstep. By and large they are a hardworking group, accustomed to facing life standing on their own two feet. When I ask what they expect from their representative I often see confused expressions, as though they never expected much of anything and are surprised to be asked. After a moment of reflection, though, they usually open up, and I have gotten an earful.
Mainly what I encounter is a sense of frustration. As far as people can see things are not getting better and don't seem poised to anytime soon. Many have problems with insurance -- or the lack of it -- and are happy to hear about the low-cost Basic Health Care plans I want to initiate here, plans such as they have in Florida and West Virginia. These programs allow people with no insurance or high deductibles to get checkups, blood and urine tests, basic medical procedures and prescriptions all for around $100 a month for a family of four. (My own daughter, Amanda, discovered the plans in Florida, and thanks to one of them she didn't have to avail herself of Florida's overstressed ER system).
People also often mention how hard they have always worked and people they know personally (often even family members) who aren't working but seem to them to be living off the government in one way or another. They are usually careful to point out that they don't want children to go hungry or the elderly or disabled to be without food and shelter, but what they see as government giveaways rile them. They want to know what we are teaching children if they see it as easy, if not easier, to eat off the state than it is to work and pay for their dinner. Through different programs they believe we have also incentivized young women to have more children than they can afford or even want. The list of perceived abuses seems as long as the number of doors you care to knock on, and people want it to stop.
We didn't get into this situation overnight, and we won't get out of it that way, either. But we have to begin somewhere, and I believe the time to start is now. Both parties need to come together to begin restoring personal responsibility through more stringent regulations, better oversight, and more incentives for people to find and keep good-paying jobs (and more good-paying jobs for them to find). We can do that. We must.
Charles "Chad" McGrew
Democratic Candidate for House District 91