Sunday, September 28, 2008

Missed Opportunity In Mississippi

I thought Jim Lehrer missed an opportunity while he was moderating the debate down in Mississippi. According to the latest figures available from the census department, Mississippi ranks 51st out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in poverty at 20.6 percent of the population. I live an hour away from Oxford MS. I actually lived in Oxford for a year while I was still in high school. This is a place that I'm familiar with. But the rest of the country isn't. And I think the opportunity was wasted. Not just by the moderator. Neither candidate spoke about poverty.

Ole Miss is a beautiful campus. I've been there several times, it's a great place to see a football game. But if you drive just 30 minutes in any direction out of Oxford a lot of people would be surprised at what poverty in America looks like in 2008. I know this debate was scheduled to be about foreign policy and national security but the economy has emerged as the dominant issue lately.

Poverty is an issue that most politicians don't like to talk about because: 1. As a block the very, very poor don't vote regularly. 2. They certainly don't have the money to contribute to any campaign or political party. 3. A sizable portion of the electorate blame the poor for being poor. 4. Even the media doesn't bring it up despite the fact that the largest concentration of reporters in the free world gather right smack in the middle of the poorest state in the union and they themselves don't mention it.

This is not a tree falling in the forest and no one hearing. This is not hearing the tree fall because we ourselves are holding the chainsaw. It's not just Wall Street that needs bailing out.


Blogger Stiff_Kitty said...

Your words are like chainsaw rock and roll, which, like a forest fire, is best kept contained ...

You're right, the South is just plain nasty. You'd best move as fast as you can before the horror swallows you whole!

Be Stiff!

7:38 PM  

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