These last couple days have been rough. Scratch that—these past few years have been rough. Have you ever had the entire day to yourself? What about the entire month? Or season? I need a lot of money to pay for grad school. I’m leaving in a couple weeks. This is not a position that I enjoy being in.
Of the many things that I find tiring about modern conservatism, it’s the insistence of so many on the right that “I did it all by myself”. No, you didn’t. Nobody does anything all by themselves. Even if you worked 70 hours a week to put your kids through school, somebody had to give you that job, and somebody had to bear those children. No matter who you are or what your accomplishments, the world had to meet you halfway. Did you buy your last meal from a store? Somebody had to O.K. it for human consumption. We don’t let people eat filth in this country. Actually, we do, but it’s still government-regulated.
It would be fruitless to point out the blatant hypocrisy of so many who claim that they don’t want the government controlling healthcare while still accepting handouts for disability, welfare, or what have you. Those people all have some arbitrary distinction that makes them different from the people who own up to being unable to do it all by themselves. Their logic is handily refuted by, of all people, Ayn Rand, who observed that we all spend most of our time thinking about ourselves. Obviously, I disagree with the rest of her “philosophy”, but if we accept that as true (and we must, because it is), then we have to acknowledge that there is something outside of ourselves over which we have no control. How to make that part work itself out? That’s the question, isn’t it? Seriously, this is really basic logic. Accepting government healthcare is no different from accepting private insurance. You’re paying for both, either through taxes or bills. One is no different from the other, and it certainly isn’t “better”. The only thing that matters is which one is right for you.
Conservatives have a real talent for delineating the ways in which people they don’t like are “different”. Liberals are different because we live on the coasts and mooch off the government. Educated people are different because we like learning and want others to as well. Gay people are different because we have icky gay buttsex. I’d really like to visit the Heartland someday, possibly even the Deep South. If nothing else, I suspect they make a killer barbecue down there. I’d like to talk to conservative Christians and sit at their table. They are welcome at mine. The only stipulation I’ll make is that they promise not to shoot me. There. That’s it.
It is completely impossible to reconcile the teachings of Jesus with modern conservatism. I’ve made that point before. Many have. Rereading the famous passage in Matthew in which God tells His sheep that when they fed, sheltered, or comforted the most wretched specimens of humanity, they fed, sheltered and comforted Him, I almost cried. There are times when I feel like I could use a leg up. My mother called me to make plans about my flight to New York, and when I told her that I’d found housing, all she wanted to know was whether it was within walking distance of campus and how I was going to organize the move-in. It is within walking distance of campus and I hadn’t thought about the move-in yet, but that’s not the point. Way to take the wind out of my sails, Mom. Just once, I’d like to hear her say, “That’s great news. I’m happy for you.” If I protest that she’s being nosy, she’ll counter that she’s “just trying to understand”. What is there to understand? I found a place. Now shut the fuck up.
I keep saying that I don’t have much more to give, but I don’t. I’m going numb. I’ve gotten so used to living an isolated existence with no boyfriend and only a tiny handful of friends to keep me company that I don’t even feel excited about grad school anymore. To me, it’s just one more opportunity to chain myself to something that isn’t really going to make my life better, just miserable in different ways.
The Obama administration has a new campaign ad of sorts: a slideshow called “The Life of Julia” about a fictional woman who goes from ages 3 to 67 depending on the government in some way or another at every step of the way. Conservatives have already jumped on this, calling Julia a mooch and pretending that in the Good Old Days, people didn’t rely on the government to help them in ways in which they were unable to help themselves. This is nonsense. You know it’s nonsense. I haven’t even seen the slideshow yet, but I will soon, and I doubt I’ll see anything except a glimmer of desperately-needed hope. I can’t do this by myself. I just can’t. Nobody does. The people who act like they do are full of shit, ignorant mouth-breathers who would rather feel tough than act like a human being. If you are one of those people, fuck off. I don’t want your traffic.
I’m debating whether to add Jesus to my list of People Who Inspire Me on Facebook. I don’t think he’s real, but I’ll be goddamned if I don’t wish there were more people like him.