I have the unpleasant task of working around RWNJ and at times, I have to actually go to their location and sit with them in order to get my own work done. This exposes me to all sorts of bullshit that they constantly talk about. The vast majority of them absolutely HATE the President, and of course, there are the fringe elements that can barely contain their racism at the best of times. It is safe to say that if President Obama cured cancer that these RWNJ lunatics would twist things into making cancer the victim of Obama!
Speaking of Health Care and the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare", they are all adamantly opposed to it. The most common response is that it will cost too much money and why should they pay for other peoples' well-being. This is the traditional RWNJ excuse for anything that does not directly benefit them, of course.
This brings me to the story of one of the RWNJ. He recently retired from the United States Navy after serving honorably for more than 20 years. I am a veteran myself, and I know how tough that life can be on an individual and their family. I was forced to hold my tongue when he began complaining about Obamacare again the other day. Less than a week earlier, he had gone to the VA to petition them for disabilities that he MIGHT suffer from later in life due to his military service. His comments were along the lines of "I am entitled to this and I should NOT have to pay for the medical care", or "Insurance is too damned expensive and I cannot afford it, so I am making sure that the Government takes care of me".
I wanted to get into that discussion so badly, but my own employment could be at risk if I am seen as the non-team player type (which I am). As the roars of agreement with this person erupted from his RWNJ friends, I realized that I was witnessing what is wrong with this country. The very people who complain about others being "takers" or "moochers" or "lazy" are themselves the worst examples of that type of behavior!
I am already known to them as the token Progressive or Liberal. Before long, I was figuratively cornered and asked what I thought about Obamacare. This was unavoidable, although I had tried to delay the inevitable. I decided that the time had come to make my own position known. Rather than attack their point of view as they attack mine on a regular basis, I thought for a second and finally answered them.
"I have no problem at all with Obamacare. It is a huge step forward for this country and everyone in it" I said. "I personally do not have a problem with the government helping those in need, and sadly these days that is quite a lot of people." I then decided to press the attack and said "I know that you disagree with me and would settle for a system in which you could somehow magically choose what your tax dollars paid for and what you would not pay for based on principle. Imagine if others had that same right that you want for yourself?"
At this point there was not turning back, so I pressed on "What would you say if someone told you that you benefited from a government paycheck for more than 20 years with medical care not being a problem because the government provided it to you?" "Would you agree that if a majority of people said that once you retire from the military that all those benefits should go away since you have moved on to another job and are making money from it as well?" "That is a very real possibility that you have to consider." I was watching their expressions grow angrier before I concluded "I don't want to take away the benefits that you have, but I disagree that there are people in this country to whom you would deny the very benefits that you take for granted and want to protect when you feel are threatened. In short, I think that EVERYONE should have those same benefits."
The uproar began almost immediately. They cannot understand the concept of caring for each other, to them life itself is a total win or lose proposition. I believe that when we help each other to succeed and prosper that society moves forward. If we make the choice to move in that direction, it won't be easy, and it won't be free, but it does indicate our priorities as a country and a society. When this country can find so much money to spend on wars and weapons and environmentally destructive policies, then we get what we deserve. But be prepared to pay that price in the long term as well. As our education falters, as pollution increases, and as non-renewable energy resources are exhausted there will be a widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. This will not be sustainable either politically or morally.
If we choose to help each other, then we move forward. If we take the path that helps the vast majority, we all will succeed. If we care about all of the children, and not just our own families, then we will move ahead. If we care about fighting injustice, justice will prevail. I want to be on the right side of history and humanity, and NOT on the right wing of politics.