Unapologetic progressive. Fearless activist. Plucky liberal.

This post is from a reader who is fed up with the political gridlock in Washington. She asked to remain anonymous.

Mr. Boehner,

You have often been quoted saying, “The American people have spoken” or “The American people have sent a message.” I don’t know those who have allegedly spoken, but “they” are not me.

Mr. Boehner, I am the American people.

I have been out of full-time work for three years. I am employed part-time and cannot find additional part-time employment. I wait my turn at the public library to conduct my job search. I have had only three interviews during the past three years.

I am single, over 50, and do not have health insurance. I was suddenly hospitalized, through the emergency room, shortly after losing my full-time job. I have accepted unemployment and housing assistance. I exhausted unemployment and COBRA subsidies benefits months ago. I don’t remember when I last saw a dentist.

I’ve stopped wearing contacts; upkeep costs too much. I need new glasses.

I cannot pay rent; I do not quality for any sort of assistance. I cannot pay ComEd, Nicor, or other bills. I cannot pay federal or state income tax. I do not overspend, unless medical bills are considered overspending. I have no retirement savings, I own no property.

Mr. Boehner, I am the American people.

I do not have cable, a working computer, or access to the Internet. I do not eat steak, rent videos, or dine out. I do not smoke or drink. I do not drive unless necessary, usually only to my part-time job. I do not have my hair cut. I do not have a text plan on my cell phone. I pay for a basic phone plan, in case, just in case, a potential employer calls.

I am college educated and have completed some post-graduate coursework.

I am no idiot.

Mr. Boehner, I am the American people.

I have pets, one of which was thrown away by someone else. They will eat before I do. I have participated in true grassroots action on behalf of school children and abused women. I have volunteered at free clinics for children and for the homeless. I have never donated to a political campaign. I have worked for years at polling places. I have no lobbyist.

Some of my neighbors are elderly. Some are dependent upon disability income. I worked on contingency planning with others to move food, children and animals if our electricity fails due to storm damage or delivery system overload. We sadly acknowledged that other Americans will die this summer due to capacity and service interruptions.

I have borrowed money from friends and family. I am not eligible for food stamps. I have no children, I am not eligible for family “aid.” I am not old enough for Social Security, which you apparently are planning to take away anyway. God has not “provided” — please tell your caucus.

I did not plan to live my life this way. I did not get up this morning and decide to “take advantage” of the government. I have done everything “right.” I am not a so-called “usurper.” I am tired. I do have a bit of pride left. Not much. But a little.

Mr. Boehner, I am the American people.

Mr. Boehner, please do not speak for the American people unless you know them. Again, Mr. Boehner —

I am the American people.


Comments on: "An open letter to John Boehner: I am the American people" (4)

  1. Lori Woody said:

    Wow. Powerful stuff.

    • I agree, Lori. I know too many people in similar situations who are struggling in this economy while Republicans are worried about protecting those who don’t need financial protection.

  2. Uncle Dave said:

    Par Excellent; here it is 5:25 PM on 8/1; no decision by our so called representatives !
    Let’s get real; this is a mean-spirited game played by some very foolish people, whom do they represent ? Not Me nor a lot of other folks – “Who is treading on Whom ?”

    This is not their country; this is the country of the People !

    • I read an analysis tonight that said the negotiations revealed each side’s top priority. The GOP’s was no tax increases for wealthy families, while the Dems’ was no cuts to poor and needy families. That pretty much says it all right there.

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