Every time I read an article in your paper in which Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald refers to the city's welfare system, I'm appalled by his comments about the poor in the city he claims to represent — my hometown of Lewiston.
According to him, anyone receiving assistance, or those who express concern for the poor, are "undeserving individuals and their enabling advocates." To him, "deserving individuals" are those who've risen to the top of the social/financial strata.
What a sad worldview.
History offers numerous examples of "successful" people who wrought terror upon others, whereas there have been great leaders who faced poverty throughout their lives. Jesus would certainly fit the mayor's label of “enabling advocate,” given his exhortations to be kind-hearted toward the poor.
The mayor should know that many of the needy are elderly people who worked hard all their lives, some in Lewiston's mills and shoe shops, but outlived their savings. Others are veterans — the unemployment rate for returning soldiers is higher than for the general populace. Some are children who were simply born into poverty.
There are good and bad people throughout every social/financial tier. To suggest that all who struggle lack a desire to work is terribly unfair. Tell it to the millions whose jobs were outsourced to other countries, and who have tried to piece together their lives by any means since.
Mayor Macdonald's attitude is misguided and unkind. Like the Grinch, his heart appears to be “two sizes too small.”
Jacqueline Fuller, Gorham