Oh, snap! 

In his Gazette Commentary ("Counterpoint: Recovery and redemption," Nov. 10), Kurt Hochenauer explains the Democratic Party needs to recover and redeem itself. Fortunately, redeeming itself with the same message and recovering by implementing the same means will continually face failure here. Instead of using "recover" and "redemption," Hochenauer should have used the true R&R: reality and responsibility.

The reality is that most Oklahomans work hard. We pay our taxes and most of us show up for work. The problem we have with this system is that it rewards those who do not. The reality, currently, is that irresponsible people can pop out several children knowing they can get a check for each. The reality is that people are sitting on the couch waiting for their 99 weeks of unemployment to run out, then on week 98 go out looking for a job. The reality is that people spend their earnings on frivolous items before concerning themselves with rent/mortgage payments, health insurance and other necessities. The reality is that the unemployed are too scared to work 80 hours a week at McDonald's and at a gas station because they feel it is beneath them. The reality is that life is not fair sometimes.

The problem with this misguided concept of reality is that a segment of our population will always believe they are entitled to being assisted by the mere system that has indoctrinated them into believing so.

Hochenauer does not mention responsibility because it does not play into the Democratic philosophy. Children should be financially taken care of within the financial constraints of the household, but they are not. Spinner rims, new cars, gold chains, eating out and alcohol are luxury goods, not necessities, but many put those items ahead of their primary responsibilities. Owning a home is not a right, but a privilege, and attempting to buy a house beyond one's means is irresponsible. Irresponsibility leads to other people having to pay for another's misdeeds, and this is playing out in mortgage bailouts and increases in SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and other government assistance payments that could otherwise have been averted.

Many who feel "entitled" have weathered this recession while on a government-backed 99-week vacation or other form of assistance. This being acceptable is not a message that Oklahoma Democrats want to rephrase, reuse, recover and resell, is it? If so, the message Hochenauer is reinventing is that two classes of people exist: those that are willing to work hard, and those that are not. Until then, the party representing those of us who pay the taxes will continue to be the party in power.

"Kevin Connolly

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