When Rush Limbaugh states his wish that President Barack Obamas policies fail, he might as well desire that millions of Americans be laid off. Of course rich talk-show hosts are unlikely to experience the anguish of unemployment, but it seems astonishing that anyone could hope for more suffering by his countrymen.
Is Limbaugh also hoping that Obama is a failure as Commander-in-Chief, leading to unnecessary deaths of our troops? If Rush really feels this way, he must be enjoying attempts to sabotage bi-partisan efforts by our lawmakers that might relieve the pain of Americans unemployed and not covered by health insurance.
No one, including Obama and Limbaugh, knows for sure what, if anything, the government can do to fix the economy. Yet, we only need to flash back a couple of generations to discover the short-term solution for helping Americans who are hurting financially.
During the 1930s, the Great Depression ravaged the United States and global economy far beyond what we are currently experiencing. By the peak of the Depression, 11,000 of the 25,000 banks in the United States had failed. 25 percent of Americans were unemployed compared to less than 10 percent unable to find work today. The average household income dropped by 40 percent between 1929 and 1932.
Still, the impact of such economic crises goes far beyond a stack of dire statistics. Many of us recall or have relatives who have strong memories of surviving the Great Depression era.
During that time, my dads family took in two children left homeless by the sudden death of a co-worker. My grandparents didnt think twice about raising these young children and opening their home to others in need.
My mother is old enough to remember that her grandparents lost all of their life savings by bank failure during that period. Not long afterward her grandfather died, forcing his wife (and daughter) to move in with another family as a full-time housekeeper. A little later, my mothers parents took in her recently divorced uncle who was recuperating from a leg being amputated. While he recovered, the six other family members slept in the homes only other bedroom.
Bottom line - there was no government safety net for financially distressed families during the Great Depression. There were stimulus programs that helped put people back to work over a period of years, but in the interim most people pooled their resources to help each other survive until the good times returned.
Today, we cant expect politicians to bail us out of our financial problems. Even the president stated that government is not the ultimate answer. He implored us in front of the largest gathering in Washington D.C. history that we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin the work of remaking America.
Immediately after September 11, 2001, virtually everyone stood behind our president, George W. Bush, in unity. The current economic crisis, too, is not a time for divisiveness or to wish failure on anyone.
The moment has come, again, to pull together as Americans. Sometimes we forget that life isnt all about money and possessions - which come and go. I believe my mother when she tells me, People are the important thing.