(UnitedVoice.com) – The politics of “compassion” is often anything but compassionate. For decades, homelessness has been talked about but rarely addressed with action by Democratic leaders across the country. Since COVID-19 swept through America more than a year ago, homelessness has become a much bigger issue as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease. However, it’s far from the only issue.
Over the next eight months, emergency declarations are likely to end. In the most restrictive states that shut down large parts of their economies, homelessness could worsen as mortgage foreclosures and rental evictions climb substantially. Then, there are mental health and drug and alcohol abuse issues on top of it. There’s much more… social justice issues in big liberal cities continue as riots and looters harm residents. It’s almost an endless list.
In April 2020, then-President Trump warned that the cure we implemented shouldn’t be worse than the disease. Yet, that may be where we are and where we’re headed as a nation for years to come.
Is This What Compassion Looks Like?
For decades, conservatives lost the messaging battle as Democrats trumpeted the compassion message. They claimed the GOP wanted to take away free lunches, Medicare, Social Security and make life more difficult for minorities.
Yet, here we are in what everyone hopes is the tail-end of the COVID-19 nightmare, especially in Democratic-led states where shutdowns and restrictions are social and economic pain. Here’s what we have to show for the compassionate efforts:
- At its peak, shutdowns forced unemployment to rise to a staggering 14.7% in April 2020. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in March 2021, the unemployment rate was steady at 6%. In normal times this would be considered terrible. Making matters worse, 4.2 million people have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. There are 6.9 million Americans who are not counted in unemployment and are out of work but are looking for a job.
- According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, approximately 2.5 million homeowners were enrolled in a forbearance program during the week of March 21, and 5% of mortgages are delinquent. Delinquencies and foreclosures are expected to rise dramatically as programs end starting this fall.
- The US Census Bureau reports that 8 million households are behind on their rent, and once emergency restrictions are lifted, the country should expect massive evictions. In Texas, a federal judge recently ruled the CDC’s eviction moratorium was unconstitutional because of the US Constitution’s property rights and the federal government violating the Commerce Clause. However, the judge didn’t halt the moratorium while the case winds through the court system.
- In addition, mental health issues are exploding, and American’s are at their wit’s end as they continue to face isolation, depression, anxiety, abuse, suicide, and more.
- Social justice and policing issues are pushing activists back to the streets for the second spring in a row. In the meantime, some Democrats continue to call for defunding or even eliminating police. However, in Democratic cities, that experiment is failing miserably as violent crimes are up significantly.
What’s the Conservative Response?
The GOP response appears to be; we’re not Democrats. That’s not good enough anymore, and it never worked. That message is a disservice to America who is in desperate need of leadership. It’s time to get back to the basics of what makes America great, and it’s not more government.
However, just saying “small government” doesn’t mean anything either. What America needs is hope, opportunity, and happiness. These words are enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Our founding documents, when properly adhered to, hold the solutions to most of America’s problems. It inspires people to dig deeper and go further in fulfilling their God-given purpose and talents.
Yes, there’s a pandemic. However, America shouldn’t compound the consequences of the pandemic any more than they need to be. Not everything is political. Instead of stripping people’s hopes, dreams, and livelihoods, the government should be finding ways to empower people, not forcing Americans into institutional dependency.
The question really is, what do American’s want for their futures? Do they want one where they are told what they can and cannot do? Or, do they want one where they can fulfill their potential and pursue their dreams?
Which option looks more compassionate to you?
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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