We all have a desire to have control of our world. It’s a very unnerving feeling to discover we have lost domain over our own existence. People will go to great lengths to feel like they have something that resembles control over what is happening in their lives. And when they are unable to exercise personal oversight, they will willingly dictate to others what is to happen in their lives. It is that need for self-jurisdiction that often opens the door to the manipulation by the repugnants.
Over the last eight years the message repeatedly thrown out by the repugnants and their ilk have been about loss of personal authority. While our society has actually been improving and becoming more accepting of differences, the repugnants have been declaring the sky is falling. Through all of this they have been standing on their soap boxes and screaming that they government was coming for individual liberty. They carefully fed the lies until many who voted could no longer separate fact from fantasy.
These men and women focused on a part of our society that we rarely like to acknowledge. A part that we generally sweep under the carpet as we discuss personal choice. The part that we all know exists, yet we do not wish to see, selfishness. When one is raised on the ideals of personal liberty and choice it is all too easy to fall into the trap of self-centered and fixated behaviors. It is that trap that was so carefully laid out over the course of multiple years. It is that world in which we find ourselves standing today.
Most people would like to think of themselves as good people. Many people actions demonstrate that they are willing to put the needs of others before their own. There are mothers all around the world who go hungry in order to ensure that their children have something in their stomach. There are people who forgo much in order to meet even the most basic needs of others. These people are actually quite rare in our world. Most of the time they act without notice or recognition. They make changes in the lives of others simply because they wish to do so.
How I wish I could say that we live in a world that is predominately populated by this type of person. But the simple truth is, we do not. We instead live in a world where selfishness runs rampant and it is that part of our society which is being manipulated and utilized to create a world that many of us will be ashamed to say we had any part in building.
To see what I speak of and to understand the manipulation, one only has to look at the ACA. With its introduction, many people in this country found themselves for the first time in their lives able to find health insurance. While it may not have been the best insurance, many people found themselves able to see the doctor without having to wait until their conditions had degraded so much that their only choice was the emergency room. Taxes did increase for some, others saw their premiums rise, and people were mandated to find some sort of program to cover their families. Some people balked at the mandate and found that they didn’t like being told what to do. But the most prevalent argument, the one uttered most often by those who opposed the ACA was, “why should I have to pay for someone else’s medical care?”
It was that statement upon which most of the arguments were built. Why should you be responsible for others? Why should you have to have increased rates to cover someone who can’t work? Why does your pocketbook have to be lighter in order to ensure that someone you don’t know can go to the doctor? People who openly had no issue exposing themselves as being just a tad bit self-centered would post these comments on forums and then would fight vehemently when they were called on it. At least they are honest about their nature, there are many who are not.
As the ACA grew, another type of person emerged and this one was more insidious. The zealot, the justifier, the excuse-maker or whatever label one would apply. This person declared their willingness to help and to uplift, but only if their beliefs were affirmed. They stood on the street corners and shouted about their tax dollars being given to others who aren’t the right kind of people. Why should they have to pay for the treatment of a drug addict? Why should their tax dollars have to pay for birth control? Can’t those women just keep their legs shut and follow the teachings of… insert some religious text here? These pious and
imperfect people excused their selfishness by hiding behind their “values and beliefs.”
These were and are the people that are the bread and butter of the repugnant movement. They are fed by the ideals of standing up for their beliefs, holding up those beliefs as a shield to deflect from reality. They are indeed self-centered and they do not actually wish to help others. They seek only to build for themselves. These people are the ones who so openly declare that they just can’t give money to the homeless because they might by a drink or they might be really some con-artist looking to steal their money. They are the excuse makers who only help when their is something in it for them.
Don’t get me wrong, we all make choices based on our personal needs and the needs of those we love. But we owe it to ourselves to at least be honest about our motives. If we don’t want to help someone we need to openly admit that we just don’t want to help. We don’t care and we don’t wish to hinder our own happiness for the sake of another. While some may look down on you for it, at least you will have been honest.