Webb: Uplifting those left behind

Webb: Uplifting those left behind
© Greg Nash

President Trump spoke to more than the black community on the campaign trail. He spoke to all Americans and addressed the needs of the underserved, those that I referred to in the headline as the left behind. There’s a bit of political pun in this because for decades, the left in America has promised to help the poor and claimed the mantle of the poverty warriors.

In fact, the left in America — or, as I call them, the “poverty pimps” — and the failed war on poverty, given a fair look across America regardless of ethnicity and locality, supports this assertion.

The percentage of Americans in poverty today has only slightly decreased since the war on poverty was launched in the 1960s.

There is a needed mission within our national borders that strengthens our country by uplifting our weakest culturally and economically and helping them become stronger.

The left and their government-centric policies have largely created areas in America where we house the poor rather than help them transition to become more productive members of society. 

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson last Wednesday and Thursday visited Liberty Square and multiple facilities in Miami. I tagged along to hear community leaders, builders, politicians, poverty pimps and plans.

Carson is proposing a holistic approach, not just a brick-and-mortar residence. Education, community services, rehabilitation for ex-offenders, services for children while parents better their lives to be better stewards for their children are all part of this approach.

All of this, even if successful beyond our hopes, does not erase the reality that there will always be the indigent, the elderly and those with medical challenges that cannot be overcome. The more people we help, the better these communities are equipped to provide an environment for those who cannot escape their lot in life. Unlike many career politicians, Carson and Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon are dealing in realities rather than false political promises. 

McMahon was also on this listening tour to gather information and find avenues for the two agencies to work together on a common goal. She and Carson made appearances together and separately to gather as much information as possible to bring back to Washington.

There were a number of ideas discussed and a few presentations made on existing projects. In the case of Liberty Square, a historic part of the Miami community with a violent past and a failing present, Carson presented a letter of disposition to begin the demolition and rebuilding. 

There are six phases in this revitalization. No residents will be moved out, although there may be a small percentage of temporary relocations necessary. Action is being taken, and a public-private partnership will benefit all parties involved. There are also charitable trusts involved in some projects in Miami.

A holistic approach is to look for every possible way to enact a solution and put elements in place that are sustainable, and then the more successful of those elements will be copied and reused where applicable. 

I was one of those who asked the question and somewhat critical of Carson’s nomination and appointment. How could he take on the operation of a behemoth of an agency in a political environment? In this case, I am happy to be proven wrong. The retired neurosurgeon says he now looks to save many lives in a different manner and better lives in the future. His life experience and success makes him an appropriate leader of this mission for the Trump administration.

For those of you reading this and asking about the obvious question of a Washington-centric model, I can assure you this is not what is being done. Often solutions will be unique to the communities and their specific needs. Common elements are the successful parts of any overarching plan. 

In order to revitalize our communities, we must create an environment where safety, education and entrepreneurship are readily available components on the path to success. Given time and hard work, it is possible this will be one of the hallmark achievements of the Trump administration and a return to the true mission of revitalizing the lives of those left behind.

Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, a Fox News contributor and has appeared frequently on television as a commentator. Webb co-founded TeaParty365 in New York City. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.

The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.