Friday, May 4, 2012

Life of Julia 2.0

I just can't resist.

President Obama's re-election website has posted the most bizarre page, "The Life of Julia," chronicling in 12 installments a woman's life "under Obama" (his words, not mine). The entire idea is strange--is Julia supposed to represent the ideal woman? The average woman? The Lowest Common Denominator of Womanhood? Is she the prototype of the women President Obama would like to see in this country? Who is Julia?

In an effort to laugh rather than cry, here is a different story of Julia: "The Woman Who Survived."

Julia is a survivor! As the child of an African American mother who chose to give Julia a chance at life, she is one of 616,017 black children born under Obama in 2009. The other 458,400 were aborted, 98% because they were "unwanted or inconvenient," not the products of rape or incest. Way to go, Julia!

3 years old
At the the tender age of 3 still under Obama, Julia--who is also lucky enough to live with both her mother and father at this point--is put into Head Start. It's fortunate that Head Start exists, because if her parents had to pay for a private daycare in addition to working full-time jobs so that they can pay their income taxes, they would each have to take on additional work. She joins thousands of children across the country who see their parents for about three hours every day.

17 years old
Julia's parents are divorced by now, but that's okay because her health care plan covers 12 psychiatric visits per annum. She has gone to a public school since the age of 4. Under Obama she has never heard of Louisa May Alcott, Christopher Columbus, or Leif Ericsson, but she did learn how to put a condom on a banana when she was 11. The Race to the Top program is great, though, because it makes sure that no student, school, or state will start reading things like, oh, Charles Dickens too soon. Or ever. She sure can surf that web, though! Keep it up, Julia!

18 years old
She's off to college! Encouraged by the Pell Grant, which gives her $10,000 over four years, she's attending a private college that costs about $43,000 per year. Although she works for minimum wage (which Obama has raised for her!), she will be in debt until she is 62. She still thinks William Shakespeare directed Leonardo diCaprio in Romeo and Juliet. Her major surgery junior year is covered entirely by her health insurance, but she has to wait 18 months for this vital procedure since all the Catholic hospitals are closed.

22 years old
Julia is now in debt and must work under Obama. There are few available jobs in the private sector, so she goes to work for the government. Her healthcare plan will pay for her temporary sterilization, so that while she is working for the government, she won't be deprived of sexual pleasure and she "won't have to worry about her health." Julia has known her whole life that living for years on birth control really optimizes a woman's health.

28 years old
"Under President Obama, Julia decides to have a child" (I kid you not, this is a direct quote). This is just a little weird, because by now he is 79 years old. Oh, well. Sadly, she knows this will be her only child, because the insurance companies still only pay for two labor and deliveries. Julia has placenta previa, requiring a c-section, and is told that future pregnancies could cost her her life and the insurance will not consider paying for such a stupid, personal choice. They will gladly cover future abortions, because they are required to do so by law. She decides to just get her tubes tied and invest quality time in her child, who will begin Head Start in 3 years.

33 years old
I'm just going to quote from the website: "Julia's son Zachary starts kindergarten. The public schools in their neighborhood have better facilities and great teachers because of President Obama's investments in education and programs like Race to the Top." 

This is an awesome thing, I guess. She really wanted to send Zach to a Catholic school, using the scholarships available to him under Catholic Charities, but both the schools and Catholic Charities ceased to exist when she was seven. Her son Zachary will never be asked to memorize a sonnet.

63 years old
Julia enrolls in Medicare and goes to live in a state retirement home. She doesn't get Social Security, because it no longer exists, but she does get three square meals a day, lots of prescription drugs, and gets to ride electric buses for free. She is happy, because she just paid off her student loans! If she hadn't had the Pell grant, she'd still be paying!

88 years old
Under Obama, Julia has had a pleasant and basically comfortable life. She even was able to live free from all welfare programs from most of it! She has had every basic material need met and was even able to afford some luxuries using the money sent her every April in her tax refund.

Because this is what life's all about. Bread and circuses.



Faith E. Hough said...

Wow. I just read their version. It Is that really convincing anyone?

mums said...

I love it, Erika. I only fear that the picture "under Obama" would be much, much darker. Let us pray!!!

Elizabeth said...

I find your whole fictionalized account of Julia incredibly offensive and sarcastic. Just because YOU do not agree with Obama and what he represents does not give you a free pass to make a mockery of his policies. Not every woman wants to have a huge family. Not every woman wants to be a stay at home mother. It is all about choices and respecting different lifestyles. Oh and for the record? Not every child who goes to Head Start or another daycare/preschool program spends a grand total of three hours a day with their parents!

Anonymous said...

In response to the last comment...Elizabeth, I am truly sorry you found the post offensive. Any time one wades into politics or religion it's so hard not to offend someone! I have been the offender and the offended multiple times!! But, to offer some perspective in light of your comment, I believe the Philosopher Mom was trying to show how the current administrations policies are actually REMOVING choice. The United States cannot remain saddled in the debt it is and expect to take on massive more debt with all of these government funded programs that aim to help but which actually in the long run end up being detrimental to individual persons, families, and society. One only has to look at what is happening in Europe right now to see the ramifications of such policies. It seems selfish to not want a government to support these policies but the idea is really saying let local programs, charities, communities, and churches reach out to those who are needing help. Currently, the Obama administration's policies are preventing even these organizations from helping. And the Head Start comment...I read it as Head Start becomes necessary when an economy straddled with too much debt and expensives (which in a large part stem from these proposed policies) force a 2 income family (whether it's desired or not) simply because taxes are too high, cost of living is too high, and other forces are at work. "Good" is very often the enemy of Best. Obama's Julia deserves so much more! Not just a "Freedom from" but a "Freedom FOR".

Anonymous said...

I dont necessarily agree with Obama's version, but to make up your own snarky version specifically adding in connotations to the Catholic Church seems a bit hypocritical, at the very least. I find it amusing that you good Catholic women seem to believe The Church will provide for you, but where does the church come up with money ? Right from "donations" from the patrons of the church itself, without which they wouldn't be able to support themselves, as Church and State are separate they wont be receiving any handouts from the government, which is obviously frowned upon by much more moral and well do to women as yourself. You seem to forget the THOUSANDS of women who are left by their husbands every year, or beaten and forced to file charges, and who took the stay at home mother path because they believed in and and are now forced to work 80 hours a week at 2 jobs and STILL require government subsidies. You should be ashamed of yourself for such a weak minded and ill thought diatribe. Instead of writing out this farce of a post maybe you could have been helping the single parent down the street, or i dunno, staging some protest rally at your local abortion clinic. Im sure those women need more reminders of the failures that they are as well.

Erika Ahern said...


I'm sorry you felt offended by this fictionalized account of the fictional Julia. I am sarcastic sometimes (and this is one of my greatest weaknesses), and I'm sure you can relate to this tendency. I'm very glad that not every HeadStart student spends so little time with her parents! Thanks for setting the record straight.

Erika Ahern said...

Dear Anonymous II,

I'm not sure where I have ever suggested that "the Church" will provide for all of my material needs. I also don't know that I've ever chronicled for you where our family's charitable donations go (the whole "right hand, left hand" thing), so I'm not sure why you think I DON'T support single mothers financially. Finally, it's odd that you accuse me of being "well-to-do," but I can see why you would assume that. If you could cite for me those blog posts where I've mentioned any of these facts, please let me know and I will correct them.

Finally, yes. I was being snarky and that is unattractive. In this space, I have often said things that offend someone (you should see that post on demographics!), and I tend to leave those posts up as a reminder to myself of why I'm Catholic. I need that confessional like no one else.

Thanks for reminding me again to be forgiven. I hope you can forgive me, too.

~The Philosopher Mom

sparky said...

As I general observation I found both accounts of Julia's life a little "snarky" but I think that was the point. Personally I agree with Erica because:
1. Obama can't serve a 64 year term so if he wanted to illustrate how his policies effect women he should have talked about Julia, her mother and her daughter within a 4 or 8 year window.
2. Many not for profit organizations are already helping women and children achieve a successful fulfilling life with the Catholic church being one of these organizations. Many of these organizations are finding their hands tied due to legislation under the Obama administration making the Government the sole provider of assistance for women and children. This is economically detrimental and is costly in terms of personal freedom.

as for Anonymus II...what about all of the married men and women who are underpaid? What if a woman wants to be a stay at home mom? Is there no freedom to make this choice? Sadly there are many instances of women and children being mistreated. How is the government assisting men in supporting these women? Throwing them in Jail? It seems to be working great ;) There are two sides to every argument and I thank Erica for providing such a great counterpart to Obama's "Life of Julia"

One final pondering...where are all the men in her life?

LP said...

Elizabeth - "just because you do not agree with Obama and what he represents does not give you a free pass to make a mockery of his policies..." - sorry to break it to you sister, but free speech is one of the great BEAUTIES of being American!! I am ALL for civil dialogue, but the PhilMom takes up the "form" used by our Commander in Chief and cleverly lobs it back over the net in similar fashion. It's a "genre" used to make some challenging points and turn it on its head. And, kind or unkind, our leaders and citizens have been "making a mockery" of our leaders' "policies" for the last 3 centuries! Check out the way the founding fathers wrote about each other...! :)

Anonymous II - I'd just like to call you out on your tactics - you ask PhilMom (sarcastically) not to shame other women - yet you tell her she "should be ashamed of herself." Let's aim for the Golden Rule - the one found in every civilzation's moral code throughout history.

Both - the manner of writing of an author cannot be taken to represent the way one would treat a person they meet face-to-face. Writing serves an altogether different purpose - and political debate and discourse with the leaders who make policies (and/or with citizens opining with regard to them). I would also challenge both of you, assuming you are Obama supporters, to take a second look at "choice" and whether his policies REALLY allow for the choices, across the board, that the whole range of women and families across society desire and deserve to choose from. I, for one, fear deeply that my own chosen path is about to be taken from me from the government I have heretofore trusted.

Many blessings to you both.

-Lauren in Vermont