I was going to say what I’m about to say in a comment at Corrente, but my login there isn’t working. Rather than spend another thirty minutes trying to figure out why their site says I’m logged in when I look at the homepage but logged out when I click on the post in question to comment, I thought I’d write a quick post on the matter on my own blog. Besides, Lambert is hardly the only lefty guilty of this offense.
The offense I’m referring to is calling poor people “weak” (as in, “the GOP wants to slash welfare programs because they don’t care about the weak,” or “both legacy parties want to kill the weak so 20% DISemployment suits them just fine”) or some variation thereof. Liberal KGO radio host Bernie Ward would always emphasize the importance of donating money to help “the least of us.” By that he meant the very poor, particularly the homeless, and especially individuals with mental health and/or substance abuse problems. I know he meant well and yes, I also know the phrase is from the bible. And yet it always rubbed me the wrong way to hear this extremely privileged man with his six-figure income refer to poor people in this manner. If the poor and homeless are “the least of us,” what does that make the wealthy?
Calling poor people “weak” is particularly problematic. I’d like to see some of those rich trust fund kids survive even 10% of the crap life has thrown my way. “The Poor” lack a lot of things: Opportunity. Justice. Health care. Affordable housing. One thing most of us don’t lack is strength. Or resilience. Or resourcefulness. We more or less have to have those qualities or we don’t survive. So to hear people call us “weak” because the odds are stacked against us, while those handed every advantage get to flatter themselves that they’re “strong” is pretty much the ultimate insult.