Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Hard Working People

We in this country owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the hard working people. I’m not talking about the ‘white-collar’ people, and I’m certainly not saying that those folks are not hard working, but I’m referring specifically to the ‘blue-collar’ workers here, those who get their hands dirty and break their backs on our behalf that we might have the goods and services that continue to enhance our daily lives.

For many years I’ve been aware of, but have been noticing even more profoundly of late, the utter disdain and contempt with which the intellectual, social and political elite in this country regard those who actually enable the lives of privilege they have grown comfortably accustomed to having. They pay lip service to the working class, but behind their backs they denigrate and belittle them, thankful that they, themselves, are not to be counted among them. Oh, they might invite their pool boy, or their groundskeeper to one of their parties because it’s kind of cute to have someone from the servant class to impress their friends with, kind of like a mascot. Like when they used to invite one black person to a social gathering to validate their own liberal credentials. But the disdain covers, like a blanket, all the other hard working people that they don’t actually know, or even care to know. And that really is the vast majority of the American people.

The working people build the houses that we live in. They grow the trees, cut the timber, and mill the logs. They provide the raw material that eventually becomes our comfortable surroundings. They build our furniture, install our carpets and appliances, and even move our belongings from one town to the next. They deliver our gas and electricity, and keep it working for us. They drill our wells, and put in our septic and irrigation systems. They manufacture and assemble our electronics to bring entertainment to our lives. They build our cars, our roads and bridges, and repair them with the sweat of their own brows. They dig the ditches, grow the food, irrigate the fields, and collect the trash. They drive, and repair, the planes and trucks and trains that deliver the goods to our markets, to our homes and to our businesses. They stock the shelves at our local grocery. They tow our cars out of the mud when we get stuck, fix our flat tires, and deliver us from other at-risk situations on the road.

Hard working people. They manufacture our clothes in factories, sweat-shops even, pick our fruit and vegetables, our coffee beans, and harvest our fish. They cook it for us, and they clean up after us. Some do it with a servants heart, and some just to make a living. But it doesn’t really matter why they do it. They are the ones who, by their labor, actually build this country, and hold it together, who give the rest of us the ability to work not quite so hard at our own survival.

Oh, and lest I forget, they also put out our fires, and come to our aid if we have an accident. They rescue us if we’re lost on a mountain, in the desert, or on the sea. They risk their lives to do so. They do not ask for our pedigree before they save our lives. Everyone is equally important in their eyes, the elite, and the working class alike.

I was going to say “I’m looking forward to the day when the blue-collar people will invite an intellectual, a social, or a political elitist, to one of their barbecues. You know, kind of like a mascot, to validate their working class credentials.” But I think I won’t say that. I’d rather everyone take the point of view of the fire and rescue people. You know, “Everybody is of equal importance.”
We are all the same.
We are all brothers and sisters.

But anyway, if you would,
“Say a prayer for the hard working people”.
They must get awfully tired.