Survival of the Fittest

I’ve always talked about how politics are personal. Always.

The passion. The fervor. It comes from deep within. Decisions there affect my daily life. Policy, legislation, Acts, Bills…they roll directly to my front door. To me. To my children, my family, our lives.

I have always taken issue with many conservative ideals. When I was younger it was strictly social issues. As I matured I found myself having trouble with conservative economic policy as well. I always found it to be the economics of the wealthy, or those who wish to be wealthy. How does the joke go? Something about being young and a Democrat and when you become older, and richer, a Republican.

However lately I find myself angry when a seemingly new line of rhetoric, spurred by Tea Party types, hits the airwaves, and print, and finds its way to the lips of friends and family members. It goes something like…

I work hard for my money, and I’m not giving any of it to those just living off the system. I’m not giving anything to those lazy bums. They didn’t plan. They don’t want to work. They just take their government checks and get fat or get high or get drunk.

It’s then summed up with some Ayn Rand type quote about the survival of the fittest and how those who work the hardest deserve the riches.

Yeah, now it’s even more personal.

For those who are unaware, I’m on disability. A system I paid into when I was able and working. This means that every two weeks the state of California sends me  check and this check pays some of our bills. My husband continues to work, and the rest of the bills are eaten by his check.

Procedure bill #1 of #6 #suckitlupus

Without my disability check we would not be able to pay all of our bills. This includes medical bills that have eaten up almost everything we have.

I just realized I’m one of ‘those‘ people these conservatives are talking about. I’m the lazy. I’m the unable. I’m the one who is living off of the government.

We planned as best we could for something like this. We had savings. We alway tried to live within our means. And then, as so many others, what couldn’t possibly happen to us, did.

Thousands upon thousand of dollars in tests and treatments will do that. No matter how much you try to plan. Leaving us thankful the government program was there to help in our time of need.

Let there be no misunderstanding. I WANT to work. I am anything but lazy (unless we’re talking about putting away laundry) and the last I checked my government checks weren’t being spent on booze or illegal drugs. It sure as hell pays for a lot of meds I have to take, though. The chemo shots, the iv infusions, the daily pills that are so numerous sometimes I forget if I’ve taken them.

I’m the ‘those people’ collecting that ‘hard earned money’ these conservatives were forced to turn over. They think I’m lazy. They think I don’t deserve that check, and they sure as hell think I should have been better prepared and should get my money elsewhere.

When it comes to ‘survival of the fittest’ they are fine keeping their cash and letting me die. I should be getting what I need at a church, or some private entity. Why should they have to pay for me? Why should they be forced to turn over their pennies because I got sick?

Yes. Today’s very real political debate has come knocking on my front door. I’m the ‘those people’ you keep hearing about at rallies with signs showing a lot of bald eagles and little old ladies in Old Glory sweaters. I’m the reason they seem so angry. Well, me and millions of others down on our luck.

You see…nothing bad happens to the folks at these rallies. They have, presumably, thousands of gold bars stashed away for their rainy day. They, obviously given their stance, don’t accept Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid. Their savings and self-bought health insurance will handle all their needs, even in the event of a medical emergency. Right? And of course if I ask them they ‘aren’t talking about me’ but about those ‘other people.’ ‘You know, the ones not like you.’

Yet they are like me. Just like me.

Yes, my disabled ass is clearly unconstitutional, or so I am told. Because no where, does it say, do they have to pay for us lazy sloths who are ‘abusing’ the system.

Nevermind it being a system we paid into. Facts don’t seem to matter.

Try as I may I’m having a hard time with this one. As anyone who’s been in a tough spot knows, it’s not where you want to be. And you are more than thankful for the government program there to aid you when needed.

I’m not ashamed to be collecting my check. This is exactly what a civilized society does. It provides when times are tough. It gave me a safeguard so my family wouldn’t lose everything because I got sick.

Whereas these people, these Tea Partiers and these conservatives seem to believe if I lose everything, if my family loses everything because I got sick, well…that’s just life. And survival of the fittest baby. I should rely on a church, or shelter (privately owned and operated, of course) but not the government. No…that’s not the role of their government. The one that can make sure their small business gets breaks, just not real people.

So after a night of heated debate with some of these people I ask: where has compassionate conservatism gone? What happened to this grand old party that still talks morals and family values yet preaches no help for people like me and no equality for my gay and lesbian friends? At what point did the all mighty dollar replace the All Mighty?

And when did I become lazy, not worth saving, and most certainly unfit, and therefore left behind in the grand human fight for survival?

So you’ll understand why I argue when you post your status message supporting a Republican. You will surely see why I ask why you support this or that Tea Party candidate. And you will forgive me as I question as you discuss your stance against giving any of your hard-earned money to ‘those people.’

Because those people are not faceless, nameless stereotypes pounded into your head by Fox ‘News’ or talk radio. No. It’s me. And millions of others like me. Simply paying bills, and buying medication, and undergoing treatment to survive…

…Despite you leaving us to die.


  1. Some great persons make the above post’s saying truth. The people with courage and confidence cold do a lot of things

  2. Goddessoflubbock says:

    I have been second guessed by former ci-workers who think in bilking the system. People who say my gradual decline, day by day.

    Why would someone give up a high paying job for $1098 a month? Even after applying for SSDI I went on job interviews. I mostly got laughed out of the offices.

    I have worked since I was 14. For the past 14 years I’d been the primary breadwinner. I prefer work to being at home. The worst part of being sick is being stuck at home 🙁

    I live in the land of red. I’ve had 65 year old men tell me I need to get off my ass. I use a power chair. I’d trade in an instant to BE a 65 year ok’d man who can walk, breathe and do what I want without planning.

    I paid in. Now I’m taking out. Deal with it.

  3. I never ceased to be amazed by how many people “know someone” committing fraud, as the statistics, at best as they can gather them, show that those who take advantage of the system are in reality very low. Much lower than what is reported.

    As someone who studied social welfare, and have known people who have used various government programs, I realize many people have opinions about our programs but virtually no understanding of how they work. Or the ways in which these programs help THEM, too. The spreading of lies and hatred by conservatives surrounding these vital programs is utterly irresponsible, not only because it so often hypocritical, but because so many who receive such aid are those with voices rarely paid attention to. Rarely heard.

    Erin, thank you for being a voice of reason.

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