The whiny comportment of old, angry white men is characteristic of the dead-end thinking that has become the DNA of the republican party. Misguided anger that relies on calcified thinking and a limited understanding of government to validate a one-size-fits-all government. Underlying this anger is the sense their way of life-white male privilege is under attack. Because equality often feels like oppression when you’re used to privilege. This becomes particularly evident through the lens of government entitlements. Conservatives fervently oppose government intervention, socialized medicine and federal assistance, but turn a blind eye when it comes to their own government subsidies. The paradox is that when conservatives benefit from government freebies like the VA, Medicare, mortgage interest deductions, student loans and disaster relief, these entitlements are the mark of a great society. However, when they’re given to undeserving poor people, they suddenly become hand-outs.
The result of this misplaced anger is resentment towards those in need. Conservative men have somehow managed to convince themselves that virtues like taking care of the environment; the poor, the sick and the elderly are merely line items on a profit and loss statement and therefore, they are not at all offended with stripping healthcare from twenty-million individuals and increasing costs for thirty-million more with pre-existing conditions. Nor are they bothered about separating families at the border and locking children in cages or keeping the “wrong” people from voting. This type of calcified thinking ignores the correlations between socio-economics, equality and poverty and begins to reveal an empathy gap that indicates a limited understanding of governments role. Which leads to the type of duplicity that dehumanizes border refugees as disease carrying terrorists, characterizes healthcare as a government take-over and defines those who are less fortunate as undeserving. Despite their rhetoric, this has nothing to do with class envy, worthiness or government intrusion. This is the result of hypocrisy from a guileless electorate who vote against their own interests, in support of deceptive taxation policies and bad economics.
It is only when we ignore these uncomfortable truths of economic inequality and our own hypocrisy, that we run the risk of causing greater harm. Self-awareness is necessary to thwart the preconceived notions that blind us to implicit bias. We must remember that a nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. An ideology that is devoid of compassion for those suffering the consequences of poverty, illness and age is simply fear and resentment disguised as politics