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Word choices paint unfair picture

I am concerned about how we are expressing things in the media to sway public opinion.

The latest fashion is to bemoan “income inequality,” as though everyone should be making the same income. But is that what we want? Do we want a brain surgeon to be paid the same as a department store sales clerk? Of course not. People should be paid according to their knowledge, skill and performance. Income inequality is to be desired: the more we improve ourselves, the more valuable we become and the higher income we can command.

We need a different term to describe the real issue, which is the amount of wealth held by a very few people, thereby not only lowering the living standards of many others, but giving these few an immense amount of power over our lives. Even “power inequality” doesn’t quite give it a proper name, though it is much more expressive of the real problem.

And the incredibly naïve statement by Pope Francis (quoted by President Barack Obama): “How could it be that it’s not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” Although we have compassion for the homeless person, he/she directly affects only a handful of people; the stock market directly affects millions. Do we want our newspapers to be filled with the obituaries of thousands of unfortunate persons in the world? Would you buy such a newspaper if it were?

The real issue is homelessness and the plights of the less fortunate, not news coverage and the pathetic attempt to make us feel socially guilty.

How we express things determines how we approach a solution, and the media are doing a poor job of homing in on the real concerns.


GOP shows its tyrannical hand

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

– Lord Acton, 1887

Though issued in a different time, this quote adequately describes the Indiana Republican Party. Since taking control of the state’s executive and legislative branches, Hoosiers have paid the price for GOP “victories” in the areas of health care, education and welfare reform. Rather than accepting responsibility for these failed initiatives or perhaps learning from their mistakes, however, the GOP crazy train steams on.

Even more, when GOP-backed legislation faces a potential barrier, Republicans have shown tremendous skill in the art of political maneuvering. The most recent example of this involves House Speaker Brian Bosma’s decision to steer HJR 3, a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, to a friendlier committee. While the decision has paved the way for yet another GOP faith-based initiative, Bosma’s decision reveals a strong disdain for the legislative process as well as for debate and compromise.

Therefore, as Republicans celebrate their short-term victory, they fail to acknowledge the threat that they pose to both Hoosiers and to the state constitution. Come November, my hope is that voters will address this threat by ending the GOP’s tyrannical rule over the state of Indiana.


Personal connection with HJR 3

My sophomore year of high school in 2010, I was hit with a shock. My good friend came out as bisexual.

I was raised Missouri Synod Lutheran and had always regarded gay and bisexual people differently than I regarded straight people. I had never gotten especially close with “out” people, either. When my friend broke the news, it was such a strange experience for me because he was no different a friend than he had been before.

He was still the same intelligent, funny, creative, sarcastic friend I had made freshman year. I saw all his friends congratulating him on being who he really is, and I realized that I wanted to be there for him in the same way that they were there for him. I didn’t want him to be treated differently by anyone, especially me.

I want him to have the same chance at happiness here as I have. If he can’t have that, he may leave the state. Indiana would lose a very brilliant mind, and I would lose him.

A friend is a friend. And my friend deserves the freedoms HJR 3 would deny him and countless other Hoosiers.