This gets back to what Watertiger and I were chatting about Sunday night, which is … what is our endgame here? Spin this out to years from now, years in which we’ve completely ceded the economic argument to Republicans and Fauxpublicans and Rand Paul-type assholes, and what do we have? What does our country look like?
Because we’ve been hearing this shit for years now. We’ve heard it under Republican administrations and we’ve heard it under Democratic ones. Anything that might help someone, anything that constitutes a service, is simply too expensive for us to continue to afford. Here, look at a pretty chart I’ve made showing you how costs are increasing. Don’t the lines look scary? Don’t the arrows? Isn’t it just awful?
And as I tried in my own muddleheaded way to say Sunday, I’m not so much pissed that this argument exists as that there seems to be some kind of unwritten rule that this is the case and anyone who disagrees is crazy. We’re not having a debate, Bernie Sanders aside, about what our taxes pay for and how much of us are happy about the allocation of funds. We’re having a debate about how it’s all too hard and how many poor people can we so completely fuck over in order to satisfy the people who are shouting at us on our TVs.
Let’s stop taking care of people entirely. It’s too much. It’s always too much, when it’s something like keeping the lights on or feeding somebody or educating him. That’s too much, too expensive, and so what if we lost entire PALLETS of cash in the Middle East? So what if we shoveled cash at two wars and never bothered to ask where it was all going? That’s not too much. In fact, even bringing it up just proves that the argument is over. It proves you’re not serious, because serious people know the only thing that can really be questioned is what brand of canned fucking chili somebody bought with his goddamn fucking food stamps.
I think the reason this makes me so angry is that we’re not like this, really. America, out here, in the world, is not like this. I’ve known so many people, in all kinds of income strata, in all kinds of living environments, who would never dream of closing their hands to someone in need. Maybe this is me working with nonprofits, the way I argue all the time about how college kids are actually pretty fucking great because the ones I know all are, but I seriously know so many people who help each other out. Not all of them are rich. Some of them just have a spare minute to visit an elderly friend or to throw together a meal for someone who’s sick, make a phone call, give up a couple of hours to volunteer, write a letter. Send a coat across the country. We’re good people, we are, and it’s thewasting of that by our leaders that makes me see red.
I see the country we could be, and the conversation we could have, and if the rich fucks like the one in the post right below this could see it too they’d be scared shitless, because where they live isn’t where most of us want to be. So we have to talk about something else, they decree, and our punditry follows along. And the whole conversation is about what we can cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. How we can do less. How we can be smaller. How little we can get away with achieving, for our fellow man, for ourselves.
And the false inevitability is the worst part about it. That’s what drives me to homicidal fantasies, it really does, the way people equate their own inability to conceive of a way out with the lack of an exit. They’re not the same fucking thing, God, they’re just not. If you’re gonna tell me, if you’re gonna tell anybody out here in the world that there’s no other way we can be, you’d goddamn fucking well better be able to back that up because I’m gonna argue the point and so are lots of other people. Don’t just fucking shrug at me about “whaddya gunna do, budget constraints” and act like that’s supposed to mollify people.
You wanna tell us there’s no other way, we’re gonna demand to know all the other ways you’ve tried, and why they failed, like the fucking Mythbusters of politics, until we find a solution, because people are like that. Everywhere but the halls of power.