Is This the New Normal?

Since our dog has had surgery and needs to be confined and continually watched, I have taken to shopping on Sundays so Mr. Midtown Republican can assume those duties while I’m out. Yesterday I shopped at the Kroger on Sanderlin and what happened there shocked me.

Not sticker shock; that’s what Americans have come to expect. High prices don’t seem to find a ceiling in the Obama years. We’re used to it.

What we’re not used to is seeing people who evidently live in restrooms.

I entered their big restroom that has two stalls and a large one for the handicapped. Two were occupied. A woman was standing at the sink holding a toothbrush in one hand and a rolled up tube of toothpaste in the other. She saw me and told me to go ahead and go into the large stall. I looked in there and saw her belongings, three or four cloth and plastic tote bags with open tops. Personal items flowed out. She picked up the bags and put them by the sink in a way that suggested she’s done it before.

I then heard her telling a Kroger employee about some housing she had secured for herself via some government program. She seemed to know the system very well as she outlined it to the employee. She detailed how she would pay $200 a month now for rent, utilities included. It was a good deal, she said.

The woman identified herself as 70 years old. She was white and didn’t seem to have any pressing physical problems. Had I immediately grasped what this was all about, I’d have listened more closely to her narration. At first, you don’t want to think that anything untoward is going on, but something strange was happening.

I don’t begrudge the woman inhabiting the bathroom. It’s just a sad indicator of where our country is under Obama. In the past people would be too embarrassed to be so public. Or, they would have railed against the system and the government for managing to make work conditions so difficult. Today we seem to have gone into another realm, that of Americans embracing their poverty as long as the government is there to ease the way.

Charity has gone out of the hands of churches and individuals and become a duty of the state. That happens in some third world countries, but hadn’t happened here, at least until now. Once 50% of the people – or fewer – need the government, the rest of us won’t matter. Even at 51% not all of us show up to vote.

Welcome to the new world.

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