To my son-in-law: Vote, and do so wisely

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Opinion: Columns

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Editor's note: The letter writer identified herself to Wednesday Journal but asked not to be named in print because she likes to keep her political views separate from her Oak Park business.

Did you really think that voting for one man would make the changes that you thought needed to be made?

You were worried that your job was going to be lost, that your company would not be able to compete as companies moved their factories to other countries where workers would do your job for significantly less pay and fewer benefits.

Today Ford, Harley-Davidson and Caterpillar have all announced they will stay and build their businesses here. Congress has started closing tax loopholes that gave companies profits for moving out of the U.S., and it's working.

Your wife, with the help of student loans, has been able to go back to school for a new career after her chosen profession took a hard hit from the economy.

Family planning has played a big role in her ability to make this career change. Women have come a long way. People who want to tell us that birth control pills will not be available to us because the person dispensing the pills has issues with it are replacing our choice with theirs.

Your brother-in-law is a very creative computer programmer who hopes to one day work for himself. He may not ever be able to do that if the Heath Care Reform law is repealed. He has a history of asthma. Insurance companies will either deny any coverage for respiratory-related illness or refuse to cover him at all.

Your sister-in-law is a gifted and hardworking teacher. She has made a choice that some say makes her unfit to teach. We know that her commitment to her partner is as strong as any marriage, and it sustains her in her efforts to bring a quality education to her classroom.

Your father-in-law and I have lived the American dream. We started our own business 28 years ago. We earned enough to raise our family and help our employees raise theirs. We have always worked hard and provided health insurance for all.

Our premiums have escalated by double digits every year except last year when health care reform was on the table. It went up "only" 7 percent. While the insurance company denies more and more, they charge more and more. Most people don't know how much it costs because their employers pay the bill.

Small businesses have no bargaining power and are reducing or dropping coverage altogether. Since small businesses create more than 60 percent of the jobs in the U.S., that means most Americans are one illness away from financial disaster.

No, we are not in a good place right now. We are still hanging on the cliff. More needs to be done, not less, to get our economy back on track and the middle class on firmer ground.

There are a few who have benefited from this economic collapse and money is influencing the message. Money and lobbyists are the tools of the greedy. If you believe their message and don't use your vote, they win.

I hope you will vote for the people most likely to support our family values.

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Reader Comments

4 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Kelly from Oak Park  

Posted: November 1st, 2010 9:42 AM

Well written; the writer obviously uses the familiar to speak to a wider audience, humanizing some abstract concepts.

Margaret Flynn  

Posted: October 29th, 2010 5:21 PM

I think this is great post and speaks to many more than one person.Thanks to the WJ for printing.


Posted: October 27th, 2010 12:01 PM

Just because he is related does not mean "your family values" are his. The beauty of democracy.

Mary Smith  

Posted: October 27th, 2010 10:37 AM

Thanks for the article. And while I agree with you are most of your points, I find your article to be annoying and cowardly. If you have concerns with your son's political views, send him a letter or email. The newspaper is not a place to air your family disagreements! Imagine what some would say if we knew that our identities would be hidden. Your words have no meaning because you are too much of a coward to show your name. The WJ should not have wasted the space to print this article.

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