Today, we went out to eat at our favourite Mexican restaurant and watch a few innings of the [shudder] Yankees winning the World Series. For a little while there was at the bar a rather loud person, someone who obviously has some … well, issues.
He railed about how people in his neighbourhood wanted to kill him and how in the military, you only have one minute to take a shit. Not exactly dinner conversation. Well, in the midst of his ramblings, he was also spouting off about government-funded health care reform and “lazy liberals” who just want the government to hold their hand and take care of them and who don’t want to work hard. It was kind of annoying, but we did our best to ignore him.
Moments later, with other people at the bar giving him his due grief about his obnoxious views, he blurted out that he is on disability.
So, here was someone … on disability … railing in a bar about government assistance to the poor. When he’s receiving public government-issued, taxpayer-funded assistance for his basic sustenance.
I-I was flabbergasted that he appeared simply unable to make the connection. Now, granted this person’s disability was likely a mental health issue, so perhaps it’s a really poor analogy. That being said, I couldn’t help but be struck by how the Teabaggers, many of them elderly, many of them likely lower income, railing about “government assistance” when many of them are likely receiving Medicare and/or Social Security benefits, or will someday be utterly dependent on those benefits.
It reminded me of a woman on the local news a few weeks ago railing about public health care, then she talked about how her and her husband have excellent medical benefits because he is a retired military officer … but she thought poor people just needed to learn how to do a better job of saving their money to pay for their health care.
Is this what we call cognitive dissonance?