This is a post in two parts. I’ll take no credit for either part. The first part was passed around on Facebook bunches today. The second part was written my En.
To be clear, neither of us voted for Trump.
I know many Moes out there. It’s important to maintain a bit of introspection. I felt this needed a bit of amplification.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF GUY WHO HATES “LIBTARDS”
Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised. All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance – now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.
In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.
Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.
It’s noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FDIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.
Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.
Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.
He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.
Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that the beloved Conservatives have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.
Joe agrees: “We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have.”
One of the reasons progressives lost the election was because we pat ourselves on the back for how great we are and forget that it wasn’t only Fat Cats (Jack is offended by that term) and war mongers are the only people who voted in Trump. I agree with the benefits of liberal policy listed in your post 100% for Joe’s case, for my case, and the case of most of my friends. I am a proud Liberal myself in. BUT, in discussions I’ve had with a handful of other perfectly rational people including my smart and contrarian (tee hee) hubby George Burgyan, a couple other close Libertarian friends, and some Conservative family members, I am becoming acutely aware of a valid, substantial group of people who have fallen through the cracks of these safety nets we try so hard to build. A group I fought to dismiss as fringe, but they are there and they need to be recognized. The rural disenfranchised working poor who take up a lot of the square mileage of my state of Washington, but do not comprise the population density to turn it red. So they’re bitter, and their bitterness can lead to shortsightedness. And I’m starting to be able to wrap my head around it. I think some of this also appeared in another post you put up yesterday about urban vs rural politics. Let’s call my guy Moe.
- Joe is lucky to have a job where the employer has a good medical plan. Moe is a trained, certified, skilled worker, but his work is mechanical, and with the departure of manufacturing in the U.S., the number of jobs for him dwindled. Because of supply & demand, he is often forced to take jobs that don’t offer healthcare plans. His wife does not get healthcare at her retail job, and they have a teenager. He’d go on the ACA, but what money they bring in puts them in a bracket that would make ACA premiums a huge percentage of his paycheck.
- The air and water are clean. That is awesome. And Moe really does care. He’s trying to maintain a large garden on his property to save money on groceries. And he has cousins in Flint who are spending grocery money on bottled water to survive. But Flint is far away. And the heavy costs of regulation that protect that air and water were one factor in the factories being moved overseas. It can be hard to look at the big picture when you can barely pay your bills and you really need to see a doctor about that bum knee, but…yeah.
- Joe lives in the city, so public transportation is a boon. To Moe, the line item in his taxes helping Joe go to work is food out of his kid’s mouth. The big picture is that Joe (If he lives in super-dense Seattle) is partially supporting the state as a whole by working in the city (big tax dollars from big companies), and getting Joe to work efficiently and cheaply is good for everyone in Washington. But it’s hard for Moe to look at the big picture. The benefits aren’t immediately tangible. His circumstances require him to live in the moment.
- In Seattle where Joe is, there is a scarcity of workers to support the industries within those borders. So a lot of companies are importing qualified employees from all over the state, and all over the world. But those are desk jobs. For skilled laborers it’s a different story. They are necessary (sometimes by law) for what work there is, but there is not much work due to a mix of outsourcing overseas and technology. So you are likely managing a department/shop/line on your own or with one other worker. Good luck taking that paid vacation time. If you get it. Because there aren’t necessarily Unions for everything anymore (and who can afford dues), and the business owners aren’t giving out 2 weeks at a time. You can blame the conservatives for damaging Unions. But Unions can’t magically give Moe time off when his only co-worker has to use up all vacation and emergency family leave to care for a sick kid for 2 months. Moe then gets bitter looking at elite Libtards posting photos of their backpacking trips through Europe while he’s on his smoke break.
- Moe’s car is 20 years old and falling apart. He doesn’t qualify for a loan for a new one, so he keeps it running with elbow grease and junkyard parts. Not passing an emissions test or a breakdown would put his only source of transportation off the road, which means losing his job, and the spiral continues.
No one can live off of Social Security anymore, and Pensions went away with the factories. So it’s easy for Moe to dismiss the deduction from his paycheck as a “pointless handout.”
Again sorry for being so long, but the kinds of protections I want to fight for in the world are for everyone. And being a good Liberal means having empathy and open-mindedness that I’m seeing a lot of my liberal friends toss away because of their anger at the crap that’s coming out of this White House. We’re going to keep digging a bigger gap between Libtards and Neo-Conservatives if we don’t walk in each other’s shoes. I love Obama for a lot of things. But he turned a blind eye too.