I wanted to share something with you today, dealing with my state of Oregon and the overall health of the United States of America.
On my way home today, I noticed a long line outside of the Rogue Credit Union on our main road, Highway 101. I’d say there were approximately 35-40 people, but that’s just a rough estimate. I decided to do some digging, and what I found out was indicative of how far we’ve fallen in this country.
Back in July, the Oregon Legislature approved a $35 million program (from federal coronavirus relief money) to provide financial relief to Oregonians who may have experienced economic hardship due to the Governor’s stay at home order issued a few months back. Qualified recipients will receive a one-time $500 emergency relief payment. It was announced yesterday that the payments were ready for disbursement, thus explaining the long lines.
Oregon’s unemployment system is severely backlogged and overwhelmed, so this payment is expected to ease the pain of those who may not be getting their state checks promptly. There are a few more qualifications and income requirements, but otherwise, the checks are expected to help up to 70,000 residents.
The Oregonian newspaper interviewed some of the individuals standing in line. Most of the recipients said they were desperate and needed the money to pay their bills and feed their families. Similar long lines are being reported throughout the state at participating financial institutions.
So here we are at less than 80 days to go until the election. In March of this year, which seems like yesterday, the pandemic began infiltrating our country on a massive scale. Much to everyone’s chagrin, we’re doing even worse today than we were back then. Soon we’ll be at 180k dead, with well over 6 million cases. Schools are opening up and closing down just as fast.
There’s still no national plan for testing, tracing, and PPE production. We’re told by the blithering idiot of a president that we’re doing a great job in this country – the envy of the world. Judging by the size of the crowds in desperate need of assistance, I think they wholeheartedly disagree.
This morning, the news was that an additional one million-plus applied for unemployment insurance, which brings us to about 30 million in total. Great job, Mr. President. If you do any better, perhaps we’ll increase that total a few more million while you’re still disgracing the Oval Office for another few months.
The desperation is real folks. I apologize for such a downer of a post today. I saw those lines this morning, and while my initial reaction was sadness, it was soon replaced by a wave of palpable and seething anger.
But I’m going to end this post with a positive thought. The Democratic National Convention this week is just what the doctor ordered. I feel better that we could soon find a way out of this nightmare. I saw goodness, decency, and competence on the virtual stage. I saw a group of people who care about America and its government. Yes, governing isn’t an easy thing. But I’ve seen people this week who will be willing to do the hard work necessary to get this country back on track.
Perhaps it was listening to the last real president that brought me a glimmer of hope. Barack Obama gave a speech last night that will go down in history as one of the greatest. And that’s saying a lot because the man has given a lot of them. But this one, this speech, was as urgent and passionate as any.
If you didn’t think the stakes were high before Obama spoke, then you indeed must now. The warning shot was fired, a Paul Revere moment if you will. If elected to another four-year term, the current president will put a final nail in the coffin of democracy. It’s not dead yet, but certainly on life support.
He said all the blood and sweat of previous patriots and civil rights activists would be long gone. It will be all for naught. Because this man, this patently dangerous and unstable man, will do anything to win. Former presidents don’t issue these kinds of warnings. To be clear, it’s unprecedented.
To those Oregonian residents standing in those lines, and to the rest of America, relief cannot come soon enough. We must, and will heed the warning of President Obama. This is not my country – no, it is not. We will change it, Mr. President. I promise you. We promise you.