Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Challenge to Newt Gingrich

Dear Mr. Gingrich,

Throughout this primary season, you've been pretty vocal about a lot of things.  Most important among them has been your fierce criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protesters across America.  You've also been rather aggressive in challenging President Obama to "western style" debates that would be without a timer or arbitrator.

Today, I offer a challenge to you!

This is really a no-brainer challenge, one I'm sure you'll win:  Get me back to work.

You and your ilk have recently criticized the OWS protesters and told them to "take a bath" and "get to work!"  Well, I'm ready!  In fact, I bathe daily, so no worries there.  And here's the added bonus:  I have a Master's degree, 10 years of work experience and even lived abroad in France, like you!  As a result of these studies, I'm even fluent in French, which should be a terrific asset for any corporation now that we've built such a "global" economy.

So, what do you say?  I'm sure you know a lot of people and could get me in somewhere, right?
Yikes, I'm beginning to wonder if this will be as easy as I thought.  While you likely won't read this, I am certain your response would be much like those who agree with you: "Get your own job. Don't expect a hand out!"

That's such an interesting retort.  A savvy businessman like yourself is certain to understand the importance of networking to any job search.  In fact, statistics show that 80% of jobs are nabbed thanks to networking.  You've likely landed a few jobs throughout your career thanks to networking, (you know, like those lobbying jobs after being in the House?) right?  Networking is surely of the utmost important to your campaign as well; how else do you expect votes and campaign funds?   

So, Mr. Gingrich, let me tell you a little more about myself to develop that all-important networking relationship:

My name is Del Phillips.  I'm 34 years old, I'm a white male and I come from the heartland (Illinois).  Sounds like your ideal voting demographic, eh?  I've worked hard since the age of 14, holding down two part time jobs while in high school (two paper routes in the morning and a part time, after school job) and working throughout college.  I don't come from a wealthy family, so this was necessary if I wanted any of the things most teenagers wanted during my youth.

After college, I worked hard and never had any issue finding a place in an organization....until 2009.  Just as the economy tanked I, like millions of others, lost my job.  Normally this wouldn't be a big deal either, but with scores of people applying for the same position my chances began to slim.

To make a long story short, I would go from having perfect credit (820+), a $72,000/yr job, a condo (homeownership!) and an all-around happy life to foreclosure, bankruptcy (major credit hits) and 22 months of unemployment.  What's more is that after those 22 months, I landed a great position only to lose it six months later as a result of the continued lagging economy.

You and the people in your camp keep referring to people like me as "lazy" and tell us to "quit whining" and "get a job."  Would you like to see all the resumes I've sent out?  Would you like to know the number of networking events I've attended?  With a name like Gingrich, I'm sure it's always easy to find a job, but with a name like Phillips, I simply blend in with the crowd.

Another comment I hear a lot from your side of the isle is that the unemployed enjoy being unemployed;  They get to sit at home and collect a government check.  Can you honestly believe that I would prefer the roughly $18,000/yr income I receive from Unemployment Insurance benefits over the previous $72,000/yr I was earning?  If you believe that is true, I've got a bridge in Alaska to sell you.

Most, if not all, of the things you, Mr. Cain, Mr. Hannity, Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. O'Reiley and others say about the unemployed are misinformed.  Furthermore you don't contribute to solutions; you simply belittle and alienate your fellow citizens, those whom you wish to swoon for a vote.  In fact, you are even contributing to the death of many Americans.  Yes, DEATH!

Job loss, long term unemployment, losing one's home, having to file for bankruptcy, questioning one's next meal are all very shameful events.  Our culture preaches self-reliance.  But if that's not possible when there are more people without jobs than jobs available, what happens?  The unemployed deal with rejection every single day.  This rejection turns to shame and shame leads to isolation, which can ultimately turn to a complete shut-down, including suicide.

I encourage you to read this site which contains many stories of the unemployed, including those who have attempted suicide as a solution to their desperation.

Do you think this is acceptable, Mr. Gingrich?  Do you think belittling and calling names to desperate Americans is helping to get them back to work?  Do you think calling people who have been sending out hundreds of resumes a month, attended networking events, job fairs "lazy" is a way to encourage them during a difficult time?  Do you think it's alright that many feel their only hope is to turn to suicide and end it all?  I don't!

We have to stop shaming people who are trying to move forward with their lives.  In fact, we should be helping people to "Reframe Shame."  That's why I'm an aspiring keynote speaker who wants to help those experiencing shame in our daily lives from a host of events including unemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosure and much more.  One way I do that is to tell people that filing for bankruptcy is a new beginning, a lesson to learn.  Did you know that your hero Abraham Lincoln filed for bankruptcy before becoming President?  Did you know Walt Disney also filed for bankruptcy with his first film company?

These are excellent examples of how tough times may fall on you, but this adversity may just be a stepping stone to a greater success.

Mr. Gingrich, that is the type of rhetoric I'd like to hear from my government leaders.  I'd like to hear encouraging and supportive language that promotes success in all Americans.

So Mr. Gingrich, now that we know one another a little better, what do you say?   How can we network to get me working?  I'm available to speak at your association gigs or political gigs.  Certainly my first-hand experience with long-term unemployment, foreclosure, and bankruptcy can help shed light on the "average" American you so desperately need to help you win this election.  You and your party could gain such valuable insight.  Heck, it might even help others like you change your way of looking at their fellow citizen in trouble.  Together we can work to help Americans Reframe Shame and get America's economy working again!

Check out my website to learn more about me and how to contact me for an upcoming event.  I look forward to your favorable response.

Best wishes to you with your campaign and have a great Thanksgiving,

Del Phillips

PS: Thanksgiving is a great example of how strangers (Native Americans) showed compassion to desperate individuals (American colonists) in a tough time.  Maybe we should draw from that example this holiday season.

No comments:

Post a Comment