Ezra Klein's powerfully pointed Washington Post column this morning has stayed with me all day. The piece digs into a portion of Romney's video-taped statement which immediately bothered me most, but has gotten less mainstream press than other bits.
“The worst of Romney’s now-infamous comments about “the 47 percent” came in this couplet: “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
I've read plenty of other great responses to Romney's 47% remarks but this bit resonated with me something fierce:
“The poor use up an enormous amount of their mental energy just getting by. They’re not dumber or lazier or more interested in being dependent on the government. They’re just cognitively exhausted.”
Today was one of those Big Picture days where I unintentionally got a glimpse of my family's future, and felt sick with dread. Enduring insecurity is paralyzing and I do my damnedest not to focus on it but after three and a half years, the toll it has taken on us is indescribable. On days like this one, I am quite honestly mystified as to how we've even made it this far without giving up altogether.
We are strong. We soldier on. But the cognitive exhaustion noted in Klein's column is a very real. I know we're not alone in this. I know that for tonight at least, we are better off then many.
About a year and a half ago, on a day much like this one, I dashed off a diary titledI Want My F*#%ing Life Back. Re-reading that piece today, I can see the small improvements. As well as the kindness of strangers which helped cross off some of the most pressing and specific items on that list, we've made real measurable progress.
As a 99er who abandoned the traditional job market after nearly three years of fruitless searching, I make a little with freelance copywriting. It isn't income we can rely on, but it patches holes here and there. My husband was able to return to his previous employer this Spring and we've got health coverage now (which is actually HUGE) but his new position is in the East Bay and he now commutes for hours each day without the kind salary that would allow us to move closer, where rents are exceedingly high.
*cross-posted @ The Daily Kos