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Making Sure That No One Falls Through the Cracks

I was struck by this weird headline story out of Wyoming.

First of all, AOL is still around? I thought we left them back in the 90's, I guess I will have to dig out my disk and see if I have enough hours left to read the story.

Secondly, the chasm was found while hunting for antelope. Is that still a thing? I thought we left it back in the 9th century B.C.E.

What it really shows is that our country is being ripped apart. Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives just see things so differently that it is hard to have reasonable discussions anymore. But one thing should still unite us and that is concern for the most vulnerable in our society. Let's leave poverty out of this discussion for the moment. Surely we can all agree that foster children, the persistently mentally ill, disabled veterans, and the elderly deserve some help from society to make sure that they have their basic needs taken care of.

Liberals will say that we need to increase funding for entitlement programs, and pay more to those caring for these populations. Conservatives will say that we need to make the existing systems more efficient and accountable, and there is truth to both of these claims. But neither is actually happening, and even the conversation isn't happening. We have had close to fifteen hours of presidential debates already and not one minute has been dedicated to this topic. Can we stand by knowing that children are being abused, veterans are dying, elderly people are starving, and the suicide rate is climbing at an alarming rate. That this is happening in our society is a terrible reflection on us. None of these problems is easy to solve, but how can we not even try?

There is no lobby for this, television programs don't earn ratings by asking politicians about it, and to be honest these are not high voting populations; but at the very least what we can do is demand answers from our representatives.

Let us make a commitment that we will raise these issues with our elected representatives. Ask them what are you doing to make sure that foster children get the safety and nurturing that they deserve? What will you do to make sure that those suffering with mental illness have access to quality affordable treatment? What will you do to make sure that veterans have access to the medical care that they need? What will you do to make sure that elderly people can be safe and cared for without being forced to give up all of their worldly possessions?

There may not be many issues that everyone can come together on, an there are other groups in need; but let's start at a basic level with these populations. We can all agree that they need our support and even if we can't agree on solutions let's agree to look for them and talk about them until we find solutions. Doing nothing is dangerous, not only for these people, but for our own souls, and once we start finding solutions for these basic things we can work toward the more difficult issues like figuring out why the ground is opening up beneath us.