I spent my entire career listening to the personal, often tragic stories of children and parents in need. I did my best to help families make sense of the pain and confusion they experienced. I tried to help them make plans, to take steps to regain control over their lives and pursue their dreams. I advocated to marshal the assistance they needed from the larger social service community and their government. My work brought me into contact with all the major social issues of our day and all of our basic institutions such as law enforcement agencies, courts, prisons, schools, hospitals and medical professionals, county social services and welfare agencies, psychiatric hospitals, universities, non-profit service agencies and governments on the local, state and federal levels.
This was a privileged vantage point from which I observed every level of our human ecology, from the lives of individuals to the operations of government institutions. The impact of state and federal policy on the unique lives of ordinary people was amazing, and often disturbing to see. The rising tide of political conflict and the clash of ideologies has real, observable and sometimes devastating consequences.
An old African proverb says: “When elephants fight the grass dies.” This sums up what inspired me to create this blog. I want to share my perspective on issues that impact the lives of ordinary Americans. I want to give voice to those who are too often ignored. I want to help inform our political dialogue with the best data I can find, data that can be independently verified. Ideology is no substitute for reason. Our political leaders can agree or disagree on principles, but when there is no agreement on facts there can be no common understanding and no effective action to help strengthen families and our communities.
Brian T. Lynch, MSW