Suppose a man—let’s call him a Republican so as not to defame anyone—has spent much of his life doing his level best to see to it that people who need help don’t get it. Wants to cut the WIC program and Head Start, argues tirelessly against Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance of any kind. Anyone willing to work doesn’t need unemployment benefits for more then thirteen weeks.
Now he gets laid off. He’s a hard worker, he’ll be back in harness again soon, which is good, because those COBRA payments are killers when you’re not working. Good thing the family can do without insurance for a few weeks while he finds a new job.
Then he finds out that pain in his kid’s gut is a tumor, and I look at this prick and I smile.
I wish the kid no ill will. It’s not his fault his father is a selfish, insensitive douche bag. This hypothetical tumor isn’t fatal. Hell, I don’t want it to be painful.
I like the idea of Dad laying awake a few nights wondering how he’s going to pay for this. Can he pay the kid’s bills and still afford a house for him to live in? At what point will they cut him off, making what should be a scary inconvenience into a life-threatening drama?
To most people, this makes me a bastard, far worse than the fictional father described above. He’s willing to deny children a healthy diet, decent medical care to entire families, and a safety net over uncertain times to literally millions of people. All I want is for him to walk a mile in their shoes and have a few of the countless sleepless nights he’d inflict on others.
Yet I’d bet most people would say that makes me the lesser person of the two of us, and I just don’t see it.