I interrupted Rep. Reep's golf game, and we agreed to talk later. When I spoke with Reep, he came across as a thinker, he listened to my statements regarding the current crises facing families and asked that I supply him with information so he could research the issues.
When I reached Arkansas State Senator Percy Malone it was quite another story. With a voice and twang that would do Jim Nabors proud, (shout out to Sylacauga, Alabama) Mr. Malone rebuffed my statements with such eloquent remarks as, "When it comes to child support I don't much care about the adults," and "I don't have anything to do with what happens across the country," and then the ubiquitous pseudo-intellectual statement: "All I care about is the kids" which is nothing more than a bullshit statement, especially when it comes from the mouth of a politician, as it is meant to appeal to some heartstrings in voters, because who in their right mind would be against children? *collective gasp*
"What Arkansas State Senator Percy Malone fails to
realize is that children and adults are intricately intertwined and
interdependent. There is not a father on this planet that does not
want to interact with his children, neither is there a mother that doesn't crave the same."
For Mr. Malone to not be able to put the two together is quite remarkable, but as another Arkansas Senator,Mark Pryor, famously said: "You don't have to pass an I.Q. test to be in the Senate." Clearly.
Mr. Malone's failure to grasp the fact that policy in Arkansas can cause severe harm to a 6 year old child half a continent away speaks whole volumes about his lack of knowledge as it pertains to modern times. Mr. Malone, pick up a newspaper or plug in that clam-shell thingy, I think it's called a lap-top or sumthin...
When I suggested that the state discontinue the policy of making non-custodial parents reimburse the state when the custodial parent applies for certain types of aid, (and the state forces and coerces the custodial parent to sign away their rights to child support, without qualified legal council) his immediate, knee-jerk statement was "Oh they'll never change that," which reveals Senator Malone's deep fear of change in the status quo. This is exactly the type of person that should not be in office.
One of the problems with guys like Percy Malone, (and he's not alone, Mrs. Searcher's father has the same unenviable trait,) is they exist in a bubble due to their elected position. Most have seen prosperity for all of their lives, couple that with living in Arkansas, throw in a heaping dose of conservatism, with a lack of intellectual curiosity, and out pops people like Percy Malone. And Mrs. Searcher's pappy.
Another problem with guys like Percy Malone is they prominently display their religion on their state websites. In this case, Malone's website lists "Baptist" as his church affiliation, but when given the opportunity to discuss real issues such as policy that is resulting in the destruction of families, Mr. Malone makes statements that denigrate an entire group of people which directly contradicts the teachings of the central figure of the Baptist denomination, Jesus Christ.
I emailed Mr. Malone after our conversation, the body of which you can read at the end of this post. I intend to call Mr. Malone's office tomorrow, 06.04, to obtain a statement. I will publish the results of the call.
Lest there be any confusion, let me be clear: I intend to see reform come to child support enforcement. I believe the statutes as they are written violate the 14th amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as Articles 1,2, 3,6,7,21.2, and 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Email to Percy Malone:
Mr. Malone- May 29, 2009
Thank you for your time Friday discussing crucially important child support issues. I regret that you were unable to articulate with any eloquence the rationale behind the reckless policies of the Office Child Support Enforcement. I do appreciate your stated concern regarding "the children" and your adamant declaration that you "don't much care about the adults." This is abundantly clear as you continue to support policies that contribute to the despair and destruction of families. Armed with your regrettable comments as well as the memory of our short phone conversation it comes as no surprise that you cannot comprehend a connection between adults and children. Apparently in the world of Percy Malone, children somehow appear without the help of adults, and when the benevolent Mr. Malone waves his magic wand all children are self-sufficient, because in Mr. Percy's world, children and adults have no connection. Brilliant.
As for your statement, "I don't have anything to do with what happens across the country," this gives me a glimpse into your lack of vision, lack of intellectual curiosity, as well as your provincial mindset. Your inability to connect dots in the simplest of pictures is remarkable.
I realize you got off on the wrong foot with me but I am confident we can move forward amicably while you still hold office. I look forward to frequent future conversations with you as the OCSE policies as currently written must be reviewed in the context of the age we live in today as opposed to maintaining the status quo. The review of these policies must only result in one thing: a sea change in the Office of Child Support Enforcement.
image credit: Arkansas State Assembly website.