Just as 2011 was the year that no one would shut the hell up about the “99%,” this year’s election season has birthed another obnoxious quotient that refuses to die—the “47%” of Americans that Mitt Romney reputedly mouth-raped at a fundraiser by claiming that they “are dependent upon government” and “believe that they are victims.”
Barack Obama’s dutiful cliff-divers, rickshaw drivers, and shoeshine boys seized upon this quote as evidence that Romney is out of touch with average Americans—no argument there, but so is Obama—and that it would drive a fatal wooden spike in the bloodsucking Mormon plutocrat’s campaign.
What surprised me about many of those who felt targeted by Romney’s comment is that not only didn’t they shy away from the insult, they embraced it as a matter of pride—a misguided pride, a defensive pride, a dumb pride, sure—but of pride nonetheless.
Leftist rhetorical tacticians have had great success in depicting anyone who believes that individual responsibility is more important than social responsibility—or that wealth should be awarded according to merit rather than need—as a meme-gulping dupe who’s channeling gasoline vapors from oligarch-fueled think tanks. If you so much as suggest that the government may not be the benevolent nanny—or, for many “empowered” women, the alpha daddy—that it pretends to be, you are by default accused of being the blind tool of private-sector corporate propagandists.
That may be true for many people, but I ain’t that guy. I’ve arrived at my beliefs from blunt-trauma head injuries after decades spent sitting in detention at the School of Hard Knocks.
Ejected from a red-brick working-class row home at age 19, I have had to work all my life to avoid abject pauperdom, so I bear a lifelong animus for cocooned yuppie progtards who lecture me about the “class war” they quixotically wage inside their soft skulls. And the next pampered poofter who wants to shove “white privilege” down my throat may have some white knuckles shoved down theirs.
Economically I’ve always found myself wedged between the welfare queens and their limo-lib enablers. I’ve never worked a year where I didn’t have to pay federal income taxes, so pardon me ever so much for resenting those who don’t pay them yet expect me to fund their dysfunction, their stupidity, their laziness, and their infantile sense of entitlement. Way too many people these days—possibly even more than 47%—seem dumbed-down and pilled-up.
I’ve always tried to live within my means, mainly because I wouldn’t be able to stand myself if I didn’t. Maybe I’m a unique case, but I suspect I’m not. I’ve taken out one loan in my life—a student loan—and made sure to pay it back in half the time. I never ran up big personal debts, never went on food stamps, and the single time I received unemployment compensation—for 13 weeks, although I could have stretched it out for far longer—I hated the feeling but was somehow able to justify it knowing that I’d paid far more into the system than I was getting back. Still, receiving each puny check felt like chewing on a wet turd.
Although I have my own medical problems, I don’t have health insurance. But neither have I ever felt it was owed to me. I also suspect that if I wasn’t being squeezed by Big Brother to pay for the leeches that feel such things are owed to them, I’d be able to afford it. I’d prefer if they’d never taken my money from me in the first place, but I never had a say in the matter.
Although I’m still an emotional dimwit in many ways, years of experience have given me the rudimentary wisdom to realize the futility of envy, the universality of greed, and that fairness is an entirely subjective concept.
I also realize—although I don’t claim to fully understand—the fact that changes in the global economy, in America’s demography, and in technology have rendered a lot of low-skilled peasant-style labor obsolete. But my guts tell me that government checks and government pills aren’t the answer to the problem.
I have no interest in parsing the statistical accuracy of Romney’s undeservedly notorious comment. I specifically object to the idea that Social Security is an “entitlement,” at least for those who’ve paid into the system their whole lives and will likely never receive an equivalent payback. My concern is with those well-funded puppets who claim it’s a “myth” that many people “are dependent upon government” and “believe that they are victims.”
I’ve seen too many of them with my own eyes to believe it’s a myth. And I’m not talking about people I see on TV, because I don’t own a TV. I’m talking about people I’ve known personally. I’m here to tell you that not only do such types exist; they seem to be multiplying. I feel as if I’m witnessing the emergence of an entire society that suffers from a failure to launch.
I can’t relate to those who wake up at noon, cash their check, pop a pill, watch TV, call it “funemployment,” and bristle if you call them what they are—a dependent fuckup wearing invisible adult diapers. This nation doesn’t enjoy some healthy sense of mutual cooperation, it suffers from a toxic strain of codependency. And from my experience, dependence brings out the worst in people.
There was a girl I knew in Portland—able of body but weak of character—who purposely pissed all over herself for days before wearing fake deer antlers at her SSI interview to scam a check for mental disability.
There’s the able-bodied guy in his mid-30s who’s been receiving disability checks for “anxiety” and is poisoning his brain and destroying his will with government-provided psychiatric medication because he “needs” it.
There’s an able-bodied family member I recently let stay at my house for over a year—for free. He never got up before 2PM, and then only to play video games. He gobbled daily megadoses of government-provided morphine, Vicodin, muscle relaxers, anti-anxiety pills, anti-dizziness pills, antidepressants, and sleeping pills because he “needed” them.
There are so many people who were once close to me whose brains I’ve seen turn to jelly and whose sense of pride has been obliterated through government pills and government checks.
And any one of them would throw tantrums if I so much as suggested that they weren’t acting like adults. So it’s hard not to believe in a nanny state when I see so many babies around me.
More ominously, all this is happening at a point in our history when the government and their millions of hapless taxpaying vassals are least able to afford it. What will happen when there’s no blood left for the leeches to suck? I’m not sure what will be worse—when the country runs out of food or when it runs out of psychiatric medication.
I fail to see how forced collectivism doesn’t harm those who have their act together to the benefit of those who don’t. That seems screamingly obvious, which is why I think so many feathers were ruffled at the “47%” comment.
People need to learn the difference between a safety net and an opium den. Weaned on the sour milk of the public teat, the USA teems with people who want the world—and want it now—but couldn’t give you one good reason why they deserve it.
Some people appreciate generosity. Others expect it. I now make it a point to avoid the latter. When you ask nothing of people, that’s exactly what you get.
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