Dear Speaker Ryan (and endorser of Donald Drumpf):

530673774Here’s what it’s like to live in poverty, from an expert witness. From Tianna Gaines-Turner (pictured), of Philadelphia, who writes in an open letter to Speaker Paul Ryan:

I did my best to share my story and those of others in my community, and then I had the opportunity to meet you.  As you reached to shake my hand, I said I wanted a hug. It was my way of trying to make our connection more personal—a reflection of my hope that we would begin to work together to make change around hunger and poverty.

As important as you said the issue was to you, I was sure that you would make a place in your work for me, myWitnesses to Hunger brothers and sisters, and many others who are living in poverty.  Since 2008, we have used our photographs and testimonials to show the world what the experience of poverty is like and to advocate for serious change at the local, state, and national level.

So in the past two years, I reached out to your office numerous times.  So did the people at Drexel University’s Center for Hunger-Free Communities, where Witnesses to Hunger is based.  Your office never responded to us.  Unfortunately, people such as me and my husband, and many others who are struggling, continue to be shut out of your conversation in Washington.

And thanks, Leftover, for the nudge.

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7 responses to “Dear Speaker Ryan (and endorser of Donald Drumpf):

  1. Paul Ryan and his cohorts are too busy creating poverty to devote any energy to alleviating it.

    And only recently have I heard any Presidential candidate put the word “poverty” in a sentence. Bernie brought it up recently. (“The poor don’t vote.” Which is a fallacy.) I think Clinton managed to squeeze it in once at the debate in Flint, Michigan. (Which has a poverty rate hovering around 42%.) But the rhetoric there, as I remember it, was focused more on restoring the middle class. This implies a passive bipartisan acceptance of a status quo that reflects poverty rates significantly higher than in 1996…The End Of Welfare As We Know It.
    No candidate wants to talk about poverty. They’ll talk at it. They’ll talk around it. They’ll bury it in bullshit. But none of them…not even Bernie…will mention anything like accountability…from government…for our ever increasing poverty rates.

    It’s not just Ryan and the Republicans. It’s a bipartisan effort.

    • No argument. I’m just picking on Ryan because of his shameful endorsement of Drumpf.

    • Most poverty in America is nothing compared to all African nations and Asian and South American. Giving people food, oil, shelter, etc, is pretty benevolent. And remember, the poor you will always have with you.

      • That verse seems like a lame excuse for not actually trying to alleviate poverty. And in context, Jesus was reminding his followers to pay attention to him while he was on earth. The poor would be here after they left.

  2. Based on Ryan’s comments today, calling Drumpf’s judge comment “the textbook definition of a racist comment”, it looks like Ryan has given up on Drumpf winning. I don’t see Drumpf changing his tone. In fact I think he’s going to get worse. He’s that kind of crazy. Sure Ryan still endorses but when the time comes and Clinton wins, he’ll say the people decided and hope that he’s still speaker. Gutless yes but it’s that easy to look like the responsible adult in the room these days and besides, he has the future to think about.

    On another note, I ran into somebody the other day who had the whole political rhetoric thing figured out.

    This a real response from a Drumpf supporter after I pointed out some of his candidate’s many contradictions/lies.

    “Man, you can’t listen to what he says”.

    • Oh good Lord. Not listen to what he says? So how do we figure out what the guy is planning? By hand gestures?

      • I was dumbfounded. Following up seemed kind of pointless. Although in the bigger scheme of things he made strangely perfect sense. “Dog whistles” isn’t an accidental analogy. Of course Drumpf goes beyond that saying blatantly racist things followed by unsaying them, simultaneously giving his supporters cover and allowing them to fantasize about even more extreme positions.

        Bear with me. Tomorrow I may decide that this is all crap.

        I used to think that there was a collective self-loathing underlying the Drumpf phenomena. I’m beginng to think its masochism, which isn’t completely unrelated. I’ve had “The Balcony” by Jean Genet on my mind lately (I know, that sounds pretentious. If it helps, I still read Mad Magazine on occasion. Wait, now that sounds pretentious).

        There’s a bit dialogue that goes like this.

        The Judge: [imploryingly, very gently] Tell me my dear, please tell me, are you a thief?
        The Thief: Yes, your honor.
        The Torturer: No!
        The Thief: [looking at him astounded] No?
        The Torturer: No. That’s for later.
        The Thief: What?
        The Torturer: I’m saying you have to confess at the right time. Deny it.

        Ok, now there’s Ryan (the party), there’s Drumpf and his supporters. I’m thinking the judge is the Ryan (the party), Drumpf the thief and the torturer is his supporters playing the part of his id (Or maybe Drumpf is the id and his supporters are his ego. I go back and forth. This isn’t perfect). They’re all hooked on the pain of the moment, unwilling to move to next scene. Not interested in resolution. Convinced whoever makes the next big move/concession/compromise is the loser.

        This has been the repetition in politics and in particular the Republican Party for awhile and that’s how we ended up here with Drumpf. A boil on the butt of the body politic.

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