by Jennifer Graham
Except for a brief, irrational fling with Jimmy Carter during my high-school years, I've always been a Republican.
Until recently, however, I was a squishy one, teetering dangerously to the left on a few select issues such as coastline management and welfare reform. I want to be a good conservative — really, I do — but I've got this weakness for intact sand dunes and latchkey kids.
But then I met Tiffany. Or, more precisely, Tiffany's mother. And, after a ten-month crash course in why the poor are poor, I am squishy no more.Tiffany moved to our cul-de-sac in February, the same week that we moved in. Initially, we were thrilled to see another set of movers unloading Little Tykes products a few houses down. But it didn't take long to realize that Tiffany's family were not, as we Grahams lightly put it, PLU: People Like Us.
Okay, I thought when I read this, this has to be parody. But this person is dead serious, because the rest of Tiffany's story is just too depressing. What's even more depressing is the writer's reaction to it.
I'll summarize the rest: I met a poor person, and she was kind of icky, so now I hate poor people.
And so it is, that on the eve of the merriest of seasons, I have finally become a compassionless conservative, because of a deadbeat mother who bowls. I now stand in defense of Darwin and natural selection, and of Ebenezer Scrooge, the real Scrooge — before he went soft like me — Scrooge, at his noblest, the way he was before the onset of those pesky midnight visitors. I think of him fondly and recall his inspiring words: "Are there no prisons? Are there no poorhouses?"
It's time to rethink old Scrooge. Ebenezer knew the truth: No good deed goes unpunished.Apparently, this good Republican hasn't read the story to the end. The part where Scrooge, after being shown where the compassionless life leads--to a lonely, unmourned and unhappy end--goes out on Christmas morning with a song in his heart and actually helps people, even though they're Not Like Him.
He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!
And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!