For some reason stranger women experiencing trouble find me an easy target for accosting in public. Maybe they think I am a harmless old man easy for a touch.
Here are some things that have happened to me in the last two years or so.
I was checking out of a family restaurant when a middle-aged woman, very well dressed and respectable looking, asked me if she could have some food like I had just had. I gave her a $20 bill.
At a gas station I was approached by a young woman who said she had had car trouble on her way back to Charleston and needed to get to a car shop on Two Notch Road. Her information was vague---there are two Two Notch Roads in the Columbia metro area, both rather far from where we were. I spent two hours driving her around without finding the shop. Inquiry suggested that she did not have a credit card to use for a place to stay. It appears she was a Walmart employee and I finally left her at a big Walmart store where she thought she could get people to look after her.
I was strolling the neighbourhood when an older lady asked me if I could help her get her car started. She wanted to pour a little gas into the carburetor, which I advised was not a very good idea. I helped with all my inferior technical ability would allow, but we never did get the car started. Meanwhile, her male next-door neighbour looked at both of us with contempt.
At the inevitable Walmart an African American lady, middle-aged, approached me. She said she was broke and did not have money to get her clothes washed at a laundromat. I gave her another $20 bill.
Just the other day at the gas station, another lady pulled up beside me. She said she was trying to get to Charlotte to see her mother who was sick or dying and she did not have any money. I gave her all I had in my wallet, about $32 or so, in hope that she could get some food and fuel.
My experiences as a compassion magnet have made me realise how many Americans there are today who are living on the margin. I can remember when it was said that America was a good country for common people to better themselves with hard work.
These days your government is bailing out billionaires and taking on trillions in debt for useless, immoral, failed wars that have nothing to do with defending our country. The economic status of the middle and working classes is declining. The tiny minority of super rich have more than all the rest of us “deplorables” put together. The foreigners and rich people who own the U.S. government debt have a risk-free investment and their interest profits are tax fee.
This ought to encourage us to think again about Lincoln’s famous lie that his war was to preserve government of, by, and for the people.
Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews