The Politics of Life

I’m really exhausted by our national discussion on politics. This healthcare bill has just sucked the life out of me, ironically.

I am completely conflicted and no party adequately represents what I believe or think – meaning, no one supports things that benefits only me. It sounds evil, but I’m not really interested in things that doesn’t at least benefit me in some way. Schools, libraries, meat inspections, social security, etc. – I’m all for that because I’m surrounded by its benefits either all the time or at some point in life. That’s good policy – it benefits everyone.

On the other hand, things like food stamps, affirmative action and Judge Judy really bother me. Programs like food stamps are hard to get off of, work poorly, subsidize shit food that later causes more expenses when people get fat and unhealthy and I personally know three people that game that system for no good reason. It’s these programs that could go away tomorrow and I wouldn’t care – they benefit few. That’s not good policy. The fixes to these will have to wait for another post.

Republicans

I hate spending money. I hate waste. I hate wasted money with a passion. A good Republican would too. Now, our current crop sucks, but they’re some good ones in there – Ron Paul, Mitch Daniels and a few others. I want people that cut the crap and do the work.

I also like the general conservative outlook on life that you can’t rely on other people for everything – you have to get up and go do something to get anything out of life and to live comfortably. To me, this translates to “work hard, be nice, play fair, do well”. I like that idea. Notice I said, “play fair”. This doesn’t mean companies can mistreat workers or invent new kinds of cheeses made from lead to reduce costs to raise profits on cheeseburgers.

And, I loathe laziness, I loathe lazy people and I respect two things very much: loyalty and timeliness. Two things that go well together and make for a great person. Get up, commit to a cause, do it, do it well and do it on time – with as few resources as possible.

Basically: shut up, quit whining and work hard.

Democrats

Some people are just so stupid, they require someone of authority to tell them they’re wrong. Whether that’s companies doing evil things like dumping sludge in a river or some hick who picks fights with blacks and gays. Democrats, generally, do a good job of looking out for individuals, as people.

Also, I think our current crop of Democrats are just ever-so-slightly better at being better politicians. They seem more interested in governing and less interested in just winning elections (but only slightly). I respect that.

And, I want to be around people who like to think every now and again and don’t always resort to “it’s in the Bible” for every argument they can’t win. A good Democrat wouldn’t.

Basically: think for  a second and be nice to people.

The Problem

My issue with all of this is that those kinds of people don’t seem to coexist, or at least not on a national level. Heck, not even on a state or local level. Maybe it’s generational, maybe I’m just weird.

But I have a problem with how “easy” it feels to me for poor people. I mean really poor – like $10,000 a year and less poor. Yes, I know, they’re poor and they usually live in squalor, but dangit, if a person really knew what was available to them, it wouldn’t be unfair to assume a person could get cheap living in decent areas – maybe not in Indy where you’d be in the ghetto, but in small, rural towns. You could get $150 a week in food (I only spend $40 a week), you could get free healthcare (even before the health bill) and you could get funding to go to school at the drop of a hat if you wanted it. All because you don’t have anything. And those people still don’t bother to seek a way out – probably because the system makes it so much easier to do nothing. We call them “entitlement” programs – I’d prefer if we redefined them to, “safety net” programs that are there to get you back on your feet and shove you back into the real world.

Yet, if you make more than a few pennies, you get turned away at every corner for everything. You’re left to fend for yourself while you watch the poor get help and the rich get richer. I think that’s called “the crumbling middle class”.

Everything bothers me.

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