OPINION: It’s personal, not business.

ABOVE: Derived (cropped) from Activedia on Pixabay (license)

A letter to the editor by Heather Larson of Mount Holly, NJ

I am responding to the Burlington County Times March 27th letter from Donald D. Lucy. I am responding also to anyone that thinks people are being ridiculous, mean spirited, or even crazy for how we have been criticizing U.S. Representative Congressman Thomas MacArthur.

I am a Veteran. I have a family. I have conservative and moderate and liberal family members. I don’t want people in this country hating each other. But, that doesn’t mean we just sit back when we see something so wrong that it must be addressed.

I fight because I have a sister that is most vulnerable to the decisions being made by members of congress such as Tom MacArthur. She has a social disorder that falls through the cracks of society. You all probably know someone like this. It might be Asperger’s. It could be just anxiety. No one is sure. She has worked 2-3 part time jobs for the past 15 years — usually kitchen or cleaning – if she can get the hours. Prior to that, she had a simple assembly job for 10 years at a good company with benefits and medicine that helped her focus and communicate better with others.

It was a miracle to even get her to admit she needed help. In 2003, she was laid off due to cuts. Like everyone that experiences this, it was devastating. She stopped taking the medicine because it was too expensive at the time. Until the ACA—Obamacare once again made it affordable. The benefit that Republicans like MacArthur want to destroy with absolutely no replacement for people like her.

My father is vulnerable. He went on Medicare. I don’t want to see that go away and I want it for my sister and anyone like her before they are 65 –not 64 and a half and screwed; not even 27, healthy, and screwed. I am passionate and fight for the people that don’t have a voice like my sister. I also fight for the ones that do have a voice, like my dad. It’s personal, it’s not business. Every decision being made right now is going to affect my family and even friends and their families, and customers that I see and their families.

Fighting passionately is not hatred. Calling out votes, actions and behaviors is democratic (such as using your chief of staff and consultants to lie about others. I have seen this first hand and multiple times with MacArthur’s staff). So, no, Mr. Lucy, the Congressmen who represents us has not “beat puppies or kicked grandmas,” as you sarcastically stated, but he has certainly not been innocent nor helped them much either with banning puppy mills or ensuring poor grandmas get a good tax cut. The healthcare version MacArthur authored, after multiple versions had failed, was worse than all of them. It was not moderate at all and it would have taken away benefits from some grandmas – and my sister.

(Oh, and about mental health. That’s another big thing that would have been taken away with all the healthcare versions! So, with all the screaming about mental health being needed to prevent gun massacres from the Republicans, they have been voting to cut mental health programs all along.)

Tom MacArthur votes over 90% with the president and against the wishes of families of vulnerable people. This is cruel and demands to be called out.

We have the money. We print our own money. It could be invested more appropriately into our education, taxes, social security and healthcare to help all people to become more productive members of society and treat our elders who have worked their whole life with the dignity they deserve. This mindset of survival of the fittest needs to change and Tom MacArthur is not that person to change it.

I believe that Andy Kim is. I will hold him accountable too. Because like I said, it’s personal.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the author’s only.

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