We’re All Somebody Else

Health care to pay for filthy immigrants, sluts, crackheads, welfare queens and anchor babies:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) –
Most Americans believe thehealthcare reform plan
in Congress would help the poor and the uninsured, but say it would be
less likely to benefit other groups including themselves, according to
a poll released on Friday.

The March 17 Gallup survey of 1,009 U.S. adults, which coincides withPresident Barack Obama‘s final push for approval in theHouse of Representatives,
also found large minorities of Americans who worry the legislation
could make things worse for middle-income families and the United
States as a whole.

Fifty-nine percent said the plan would help uninsured Americans, while 56 percent would expect a benefit for the poor.

But only 28 percent said they believe the Obama plan would help their
own families, while 37 percent said it could make things worse for
themselves. Twenty-nine percent said it would make no difference.

Forty-four percent said the plan could make things worse for the United
States and middle-income families. At the same time, 39 percent saw a
benefit for the country while one-third predicted legislation would
help the middle class.

I am thinking of getting a tattoo, on my fucking forehead: ANECDOTES ARE NOT DATA. Because that’s what the entirety of this debate has always been about: This one slut I knew who had four abortions in high school. This family that lives down the street from a cousin of a brother of a friend, and they live 14 to a house and nobody has a job (I know this because I see them sitting on the porch all day … while I’m sitting on the porch … wait). This guy who said he needed money for food who I saw going into a liquor store.

The entire debate has been about making you afraid of some imaginary (or even real) person who’d make you feel like a fool for trying to take care of him, because that’s the real lizard fear of the supposed middle-class, feeling like you got taken. Feeling like you played by the rules and somebody else didn’t, and he’s better off and you’re fucked.

And there’s a lot that goes into that. Like the idea that you really don’t want to play by the rules and you’d like there to be proof it’s better after all, like the knowledge that even though you paid your taxes and raised your kids and saved your money you’re still completely fucked and cannot figure out why. Like the fact that you can’t control everything and some people are going to be assholes who will game the system no matter what. And dealing with that last takes the ability to calm down and have a fucking beer and not worry so much about what other people are doing, which for us these days is basically impossible.

So now here comes some news to the north: Most Americans think other Americans are lazy, undeserving assholes and this program, like every other program on the planet, will enable them to get ahead while hard-working real-murricans suffer. Wow, slap my ass and call me Shirley, you’ve got to be kidding me. It’s only the constant refrain of the past 30 years. The only thing more constant than that is the knowledge that “needy” will never apply to you, when you’re standing around at the bar with your friends bagging on lazy hambeasts buying Honey Comb with their food stamps.

But we’re all somebody else. And I’m not talking in the future when something shitty happens to us, I’m talking now. To wealthier acquaintances I’m sure my stories of needing to pay off credit card debt or save up before I can replace the cracking plaster in the living room or buy a new(ish) car could inspire snide commentary about how I just ought to have spent less money or bought cheaper cuts of meat or taken care of “my own family” first or something. I’m as vulnerable to judgment as any of us are.

Most Americans think health care reform will end up benefiting the poor and needy? GREAT, they’re not wrong, so long as they keep in mind they’re always likely to be in that category themselves.


10 thoughts on “We’re All Somebody Else

  1. It really saddens me that my fellow citizens have such disregard for their fellow man. Where is the pleasure in helping another person to get by? Why is it so awful to lend a helping hand? It’s so depressing.

  2. That’s why entitlements need to be for everyone. That’s why Social Security privatization sank like a stone and carried the Republican majority with it. That’s why Medicare is untouchable and Medicaid is an ugly red headed stepchild. It’s pretty simple. If this bill applies to everyone and they can see with their own eyes how it immediately benefits them, their freinds, their family and their nighbors it will be a rousing success. If its benefits are not directly perceived then it all goes to crackheads, welfare queens etc. and as time goes by it will be demonized and whittled to nothing. (And those who brought it about will not be politically viable.)
    This is not a difficult concept to grasp. If tangible, universal benefits are not baked into is so clearly that even a teabagger can figure it out, shame on the Democrats.

  3. Dan’s spot on.
    When everyone lives in the polder, everyone has an interest in keeping it dry. That might not sit well with people who believe that we have angelic natures, but it’s fuckin-a effective.

  4. Sorry. Obama kind of blew the opportunity to appeal to people’s better natures when he made sure the corporations made out like bandits. Trickle-down aid isn’t really all that popular anymore.
    Most of the Dems I talked to would have supported the Medicaid expansion in a minute, even it taxed for it.

  5. Even if HCR does nothing to help each of us individually, most of us have families, and it is almost certain to help some members of those families. In my case, I don’t expect much benefit, but I have a married daughter, with a child, who can’t possibly afford health insurance. She is often in tears with the difficulties in getting her child any needed health care. And, her own health care is just a distant dream. I also have a great grandchild, whose mother will likely never be able to afford health insurance. Soon, her mother, my other daughter, will very likely stop supporting her and her child will also be in difficulty. Both of those will benefit greatly by HCR. That alone justifies it for me. But, my daughters are not rare examples, by any means.

  6. I wonder, though, if the tea baggers watch the commercials of how a firm is gonna settle with the IRS for pennies on the dollar, and clear your credit card debt for pennies on the dollar, and think that the commercials are real.

  7. Fear works for them. Unfortunately, stupidity is a cash crop in America. Scare the bejesus outta the masses with scary monsters and big loud words then haul out the snake oil and make bank.
    Works every time.
    PT Barnum said there’s a sucker born every minute. Well, after seeing the ‘discourse’ over the past year, I think we have about a hundred year’s worth already.

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