Candidates: Don't forget the poor rich!
They cater to the have-nots, but the well-to-do have problems, too.
Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are doing an excellent job of addressing the needs of those unfortunate people we call the have-nots – the unemployed, the uninsured, the working class – that "bitter segment of our population clinging to guns and religion." I respect the candidates for their worthy efforts. But, these two Democrats overlook another entire group of people: the haves.
I have the honor of living among these fortunate people. In fact, I might even be considered one of them. Sure, we have good jobs, nice homes, and big cars. But don't let that fool you. We have our problems, too.
Has Senator Obama ever even heard of buckthorn? I doubt it. He's too busy concentrating on Michigan's unemployed to worry about an invasive plant that wreaks havoc on the manicured lots of suburban haves.
Maybe he should forget bowling, roll up his sleeves, and spend a weekend clearing buckthorn. Then he'll see the real problems that plague this country.
Take the rising cost of health clubs. Senators Clinton and Obama talk a lot about health coverage. And, yes, haves are successful enough to purchase health insurance. But to stay fit, we spend time peddling on stationary bikes while listening to very loud music. It's called spinning and it's expensive.
Some health clubs are even raising membership fees while cutting back on amenities. I know. My own club eliminated the half-and-half it served with free coffee. What will we cling to now? Imitation dairy creamer?
And the high cost of gas? Well, guess what: The have-nots can't really complain about this issue. They use much less gas than the haves because their children walk everywhere. The Haves, though, have to drive their kids to and fro.
Big haves chauffeur their little haves everywhere because our neighborhoods are so dangerous. You can tell because of all the alarm signs peeking out from behind the hydrangeas.
Speaking of crime, my neighbors and I grow weary of hearing the candidates discuss ways to reduce crime in poor neighborhoods. What about the crime in our gated communities? Some stray person is always trying to sneak in past the guard.
Remember the Silent Majority? This is the Gated Minority. And we want our voices heard.
In the end, my neighbors and I will rally behind the candidate who solves the gadget-update crisis. Why should Haves spend their dividends on gadgets that are updated every few months?
Anyway, this is all a way of saying don't think everything is so rosy just because someone has a lot of classical statuary in their yard.
But really, if we haves come from a place where the problems arise not from having too little but from having too much, we should stop whining into our chai tea and instead meditate on just how trivial our problems are in comparison to those of the rest of the country.
• Janine Wood is a homemaker and writer.