In a world of partisan politics it’s easy to understand why we take sides. We love our ideals, our beliefs, and the parties that represent them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But what if something challenges that once cookie-cutter ideology that we all hold dear? What if, perish the thought, we found out we had something in common with our enemy?
We all like the idea of paying taxes for a fire department, right? But, what if we say the same thing for health care? Or Education? Is it ok for us to admit that we like the idea of not paying for a general checkup, cancer screening, or freshman tuition? In this day and age where words like “socialism” are synonymous with “satanism” it’s hard to admit we like these ideas. And yet somehow we are getting talked into a border agreement that will tax the hell out of us. Sounds a lot like when democrats were fighting for healthcare for all, doesn’t it? Well, kinda.
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to admit we need things like border security and decent affordable healthcare. I’m happy to throw a few billion towards securing the Mexican border, but I don’t want to feel ashamed for asking for lower education costs either. I don’t care if it comes out of my paycheck. It would anyways, right? I had to pay that debt off somehow.
Yes, yes. The “extreme” right-wingers will say that those “social programs” will drain us hard-working Americans dry while the pinkos sit on their fat, lazy butts and do nothing. But that argument gets hard to defend when our kids are heading off to college and our low wages can barely cover it. Suddenly higher wages and low-cost education, medical bills, and other basic services (some may argue them to be rights) start to sound pretty good.
Is it wrong to simply want what is best for us, our families, neighbors, and colleagues? I know that none of us wants that jerk in accounting to get a break that he doesn’t deserve, but he’s just one bad apple in the bunch. Everyone else deserves it. And if I go down on a burning ship, I’d rather do it trying to help the whole crew instead of trying to keep everything for a few select groups of people while pouring gas on everyone else.
People seem to have forgotten what “social contract” means.
Photo by B Boy