For many people, the reaction to the issue of homelessness is one of compassion, combined with a desire to find a way to help. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) is not most people.
“As a parent who owns a modest home in an Orange County neighborhood, I join the outrage that we are assuming responsibility for homeless people, taking care of their basic needs,” Rohrabacher said in a recent press release.
Rohrabacher was weighing in on an increasingly controversial issue facing the Orange County Board of Supervisors: how to assist the substantial number of homeless people residing in the area. According to the L.A. Times:
The political drama began in January when Orange County officials began clearing out the sprawling river encampments in response to complaints from nearby residents about crime and blight. But the county’s existing homeless shelters are already at capacity, and a federal judge, David O. Carter, has ordered local governments to find places for the evicted people to live.
Government officials identified county-owned properties in Irvine, Laguna Niguel, and Huntington Beach, but the plan was met with furious backlash, especially from Rohrabacher. Rather than seek to find a solution to the problem, Rohrabacher offered a blanket criticism of any action whatsoever, upset at “the spectacle of county-financed homeless compounds setting up shop in our local communities.”
Rohrabacher’s solution? Round up homeless people like cattle, put them on a bus and ship them out, perhaps to reside with governor of California. In a statement, Rohrabacher callously suggested that the Board of Supervisors should “send buses to the Orange County homeless occupants, put these folks onto the buses and drop them on the steps of Jerry Brown.”
Rohrabacher’s lack of empathy for someone like Amy Howe is shocking to the conscious.
Howe, 37, has been living in a homeless encampment in Orange County off and on for a year “after a series of events that included losing her job in medical billing, being involved in two car accidents and getting evicted from her apartment,” according to the Orange County Register.
Yet rather than encourage the local government to work with local agencies to find a local solution for people who have fallen on hard times, Rohrabacher would rather blame homeless people themselves for “the way they live their lives.”
Rohrabacher’s lack of compassion for marginalized members of society is, sadly, nothing new. He reportedly told a young immigrant woman that he “hates illegals,” causing her to leave his Capitol Hill office in tears.
Rohrabacher will always fight to comfort the comforted, rather than seek to create a society where everyone, no matter their hardships, can thrive.