GOP House candidate defends Facebook comment about poor
By Christin Nance Lazerus firstname.lastname@example.org June 10, 2014 8:28PM
Updated: July 12, 2014 6:37AM
A Republican candidate is facing questions about a Facebook comment where, in a discussion about the poor, he stated, “No one has the guts to just let them wither and die.”
Valparaiso resident John Johnston, who is challenging State Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-10th, said Tuesday that he was speaking in hyperbole, and he later clarified that no thoughtful society would let people go hungry.
“I was not trying to hurt anybody’s feelings,” Johnston said. “I saw the opportunity to say something. I think a lot of the poor have no way out, and there’s no motivation to improve your position. It’s like training a child, either you enable them or force them out at some point.”
The discussion thread appeared on the Mad Mac page, which pokes fun at Northwest Indiana politics.
Johnston, a former instructor in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Portage High School, said he doesn’t advocate ending programs such as welfare or food stamps.
“My main point is that the programs are used as political tools,” Johnston said. “Sometimes it hurts, but you might give them less to motivate someone to get a job.”
Johnston’s Facebook comment in full was: “For almost three generations people, in some cases, have been given handouts. They have been ‘enabled’ so much that their paradigm in life is simply being given the stuff of life, however meager. What you see is a setting for a life of misery is life to them never-the-less. No one has the guts to just let them wither and die. No one who wants votes is willing to call a spade a spade. As long as the Dems can get their votes the enabling will continue. The Republicans need their votes and dare not cut the fiscal tether. It is really a political Catch-22. The voters are the ones in charge. however when only 10-11 percent show up to vote, not much will change. People simply are not hurting enough, or simply happy enough that they will do nothing. consequently the dole continues.”