Monday, November 04, 2002

Darryl's House
In the noise of the elections, why is it that the real human tragedies in this country are not an issue?

There's an election next week and it’s easy to look at the story of Darryl and blame him on conservatives and Republicans but unfortunately Darryl never really creeps into the priorities of liberal politicians these days either. It’s a political death wish to even acknowledge that people like him exist. They don’t vote and they don’t make campaign contributions and so they don’t really even enter into the consciousness of either of the political parties. America has ignored him and his grandmother and the other children in that dreadful home for the past 30 years and in the process we’ve created a whole new generation of Darryls. And tragically we’re probably going to create yet another generation whether the elephants or the donkeys celebrate the most on Tuesday night.

The people at the bottom of the economic scale will not reach out to the political process because they have little incentive to do so. Since Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy and Michael Harrington are gone there have been precious few willing to advocate for them. Paul Wellstone and to his credit Jack Kemp have done so in recent years but sadly Wellstone is silenced and Kemp is retired. Somebody in our national leadership and, yes, our Democratic Party leadership should stand up for the millions of Darryls who are still on Americas city streets. The fact that they don’t is as sad as the things I saw in Darryl’s house all those years ago.

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