I’ve gotten myself into trouble by wading into the political waters with the few friends I have who identify as right-wing leaning.
And apparently, I’m pretty annoying with my little liberal tendencies because I’ve been asked to stop posting about it by some of those people.
But the more the fear gets ratcheted up by those who make money off it, the more I cannot stand it. I see people who I know to be loving, giving individuals make such ignorant (of the facts) comments and it makes me wonder: what are you afraid of?
Just this morning, someone I used to be friends with long ago posted some vile shit on Facebook about claiming everyone on food stamps and welfare as their dependents on the tax forms. (It was some insipid joke sent around via email, I’m sure.)
She ignored everything I wrote about safety nets we ALL pay into as part of the social compact we agree to as citizens of the United States and proceeded to go off about what my views are on gun control. (WTF? Okay.) I said no need for ANYONE to have military grade assault weapons so yes to banning those (again) and to enforce what rules we do have about background checks (which we are not doing) etc.
That elicited her comment that clearly I want to chip away at the Second Amendment. Uh. no. I think she doesn’t understand why and for what reason the SA was created so I shared some background on that. (“well regulated militia” = National Guard and none of it was written giving permission to overthrow the government.)
I said, given her views about social safety nets, I expect she will also be foregoing Social Security and Medicare when the time comes for her to participate.
Another friend of hers chimed in about the perception that those on food stamps are lazy and don’t want to work and pointed out that a good percentage of food stamp recipients are the elderly, those single parents who are working but not earning enough to feed their kids etc. And that friend confided that she herself had taken advantage of this safety net a couple times when she could not find a job (but was able and desperately willing to work.)
My mom, who was on every government program she could apply for, was one of those who thought that SHE was entitled (because, after all (she’d tell you) she WORKED for it) but not others. (Others = African-Americans, to her)
Underneath all of that was the fear of “there’s not enough for me and someone (aka: a black person) is going to get what’s mine.
She even said as much. Truly, she did.
Fear is all it is. And those in power take advantage of that base instinct and prey on people. I can’t stand to see that.
My friend said that there’s too much abuse in the system (food stamps, medicaid, etc.) and while I’ll agree that there is abuse in ANY system like that, the answer is not to scrap it all and start over and especially so when so many people depend on it just to survive.
What I thought was shitty was her “joke” – if you think abuse is rampant and a part of the problem, what can YOU personally do to help change that? Sharing a vile “joke” that denigrates millions of people is not the best answer, IMO.
I was so angry about it, I whipped myself into a frenzy and yelled at Duty for something totally unrelated. Why do I feel so strongly about this kind of thing?
(I know this wasn’t the most coherent of posts but I think you get my drift about being angry at what’s being done to keep people in fear and believing things that are not true. Grrr.)
I get a lot of what you’re saying. Last week (when it was 3º) I was stuck traveling 40 floors with a trio of assholes who opined that “panhandlers” must “enjoy” being homeless, and that if they put as much effort into finding a job as they did begging, they could work. I opened a can of wupp ass on them, saying that no one wants to live outside during a Chicago winter and that once benefits run out and you lose your home, it’s very hard to find another job and I guess there’s something wrong with ME because instead of feeling scorn, when I see the homeless I think, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Now I know these jerks probably called me a humorless bitch and worse as I flounced off the elevator, but I also know that I was I right … and they know in their hearts I was right and I pricked their consciences, at least for a moment. I think that’s why God put me in that elevator at that specific time. But that’s about ME, not YOU.
I think part of why all this gets under your skin in such a real way is that you feel impotent to make change. I don’t do the woo, but I felt that strongly from you on Facebook in the run up to the election, as well. Just as I wished you’d written letters or supported local OFA phone bankers, because being FOR Obama is better for the soul than being AGAINST Romney, and because preaching to the people who already follow you on FB doesn’t effect real change. You have passion, you have talents, and I think it’s all bubbling up inside of you, looking for a real, valid outlet. Once a month I carry a bag of groceries to the local food pantry, even though it would be easier and more efficient to just mail a check, because I want to see the faces of my neighbors in need, and I want to spend 88¢ for a can of tuna (on sale with a coupon at Walgreen’s) because it feeds me as much as it feeds them.
Of course, as always, it’s possible that I’m full of shit and am reading all this wrong.
In this world unfortunately there is no win or lose when it comes to politics in america. And compromise seems to be a “bite me” type situation when it comes to a lock. I have no solutions, and my lack of citizenship prevents me from opinions, (but I do have those I just watch who I yammer at about them) and living in California in orange county, well as someone who would go obama if anyone cared… Well you keep your head down and silence when you hear idiocy. I am a canadian, and watch the media here swoosh the lies of both parties about like white wash. Fox is a joke, and the media on socialized medicine is a big placebo – fake, fake, fake.
Oh, sorry the facade is cracked..
Point is I am trying to make, every one has an opinion, and everyone has an a$$hole, but not everyone wants to hear from it. So realize her to be the child she is and turn your cheek my friend.
Jenn.W. In California
Actually, I do share your politics, which makes it very easy to applaud the way you get worked up. But, that said, it is interesting the degree to which this truly angers you — I’m not saying it’s wrong, but interesting, and I’m getting the impression from this blog post that you’re possibly unsure about your reactions?