Real Conservatives don’t Demonize Welfare Mothers

mother-on-welfare-300x297Recently I mistakenly ‘liked’ a supposedly conservative Facebook page, only to find posts which spoke about ‘welfare mothers’ in ‘that tone’. Honestly, I thought the conservative movement had outgrown that years ago, back when we started getting serious about prolife.

Poor women who accept government benefits are not the enemy. True conservatives know that, because most of them have had experience with helping out poor women, if only through donating imperishable food through their church to the local food pantry.

The thing conservatives love about welfare mothers is this: they didn’t choose to kill their children by abortion, even that’s what society pressures them to do. Welfare mothers are the heroines of the prolife movement.

It’s better when poor women can find jobs good enough that they no longer qualify for government aid. But at a time when good jobs are hard to find, many poor mothers won’t make it. Other poor mothers are restricted because they may have special needs children who claim a large share of their time that could otherwise go to working. It’s cheaper for the government to have the mother give this extra care than to provide a specialized caregiver at a high wage to let the mother go to work at a low wage! Plus, the mother cares more and may enhance her child’s chances of becoming a productive adult.

Some people imagine folks with Food Stamp benefits eating steak and lobster dinners every night. Not true. Food Stamp benefits are low enough that it’s hard to feed yourself and your family for a month on them without cutting in to the money that ought to be saved for rent, electricity bills, and laundry detergent. Food Stamp benefits do not go up when the price of food skyrockets. In fact, they may fluctuate downward for no apparent reason.

Some people look at pictures of fat poor people from the inner city and say ‘those people aren’t missing any meals! They aren’t going hungry’. But they are. Poor people eat cheap food, which is mostly starch— ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese, Rice-a-roni, Hamburger Helper without the hamburger, microwave popcorn (yes, it’s a meal). Starchy foods— high carbohydrate foods— make you fat. They also make you hungry, since they cause your blood sugar to shoot up quickly and then crash down again. So people eat more, if there is anything available— usually more cheap starchy food for the Food Stamp recipient.

Poor people may not often literally starve to death on the streets, but they develop diseases related to the poor-people diet, including type-2 diabetes, which can kill you if you don’t take care of yourself. Poor people cannot afford the good diet that would be involved in taking care of themselves.

Conservatives have compassion for the poor and are the chief donors to charities that provide real aid to the poor. They are far less likely to try to mobilize the poor for their own political benefit than the other side is, however. You go eat a meal at a soup kitchen founded by conservative Christians, they are NOT going to demand that you sign up to vote Republican or participate in an anti-Obama rally.

Ignorant people who drag out that tired-old ‘welfare queen’ stereotype are not helping the conservative cause. Not only that, they are actively opposing the prolife cause, since part of the anti-welfare-queen dogma is that every poor woman is morally obliged to use contraceptive/abortifacient birth control pills/IUDs, with surgical abortion for a backup. (Since young people are usually poor at first— even if college grads— this means that if this rule is followed, most folks will never have kids because by the time they can afford it, they are no longer fertile. Resulting in a worker shortage which wouldn’t be good for the economy.)

So let’s all be real conservatives and help out the poor women on welfare. Give to the food banks. Support employment training programs for the poor, especially ones run by private citizens and not clueless government agencies. And let those welfare-queen falsehoods die a natural death.

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