I can’t help but wonder sometimes just how stupid people think we are. It seems, to varying degrees, but certainly more intensely during the election cycles that grow longer and longer with each campaign, that people in positions of power and prestige think we will buy whatever it is they polish into a pretty PR package and flash across our TV screens and favorite webpages.
I suppose though, that the fact that it is working with certain subsets of our population proves that maybe some are more stupid than I give them credit for.
There is no premise so wildly ridiculous or as willfully ignorant of reality as the idea that people should get to decide “where their money goes” based on their individual principles.
At its core, ours is a country founded on the idea that we can be a collection of people with different values and beliefs, connected by a shared sense of humanity, with a government able to appropriately govern all those distinct ideals and create laws and legislation to protect these differences all while serving our common interests to the greater good of all.
Every day we prove that is bullshit.
What is probably most ridiculous about this often recycled idea of being able to pick and choose “what your money funds” is that it is in no way grounded in fact or logic. First and foremost, you would have a hard time tracing any money that you contribute through your tax dollars or to your insurance company to an individual’s abortion or birth control costs. But by some gigantic leap of logic, let’s say you could and could elect to no longer pay for it. Are you then comfortable with paying presumably more for premiums that help cover the gestation, delivery, and care of the unintended, unprepared for children that your insurance company will now cover for the next 18-25 years?
And to take it a step farther, does this mean we ALL get to decide what our money gets used for? If I were an employee in Arizona, where they want to make it easier for companies to fire women who use birth control to, you know, control birth, do I get to sue my employer or my insurance company for, say, covering Viagra for men? If God gave them a permanently flaccid penis, who are we to step in and give them a way around this naturally occurring event? If I don’t believe that men should be supplied with medications to supplement their sex lives, just as many people don’t believe women should, do I get to decide that my insurance premiums won’t cover Viagra?
Let’s say, for instance, I shared an insurance company with Rush Limbaugh, who so tastefully repudiated the idea that he might have to “pay for” Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke to have sex, does that mean I get to decide what treatments of his I will not contribute to? Do I get to decide that I won’t pay for any future prescription drug habit he might pick up again or rehabilitation he might require? Does it mean I get to opt out of paying for any cholesterol or heart medications he might need now or in the future because he is grossly overweight? I mean, much like “slut” Sandra Fluke, he has CHOSEN this lifestyle of obesity. Do I have to pay for that? Or, should the cigars he smoked for years, combined with his penchant for obviously overeating cause him some sort of sustained or long term illness, can I elect to not pay for those procedures? Because I don’t want my money going to support or treat such a lifestyle.
Can I decide that none of my tax payer money will go to helping him get divorced if/when he decides to leave his fourth wife or if he is ever again arrested for doctor shopping? I mean, my hard earned tax dollars go to the cops that would have to issue the warrant and the courts that would have to hear the cases. Can I decide that I don’t want to support his lifestyle of failed marriages or skirting the policies of the very institutions he claims to currently be outraged by for providing birth control?
The honest fact of the matter is, that anyone pretending to be outraged about where their money goes when they pay it to a business, an insurance company, or the government is simply looking for a new message to pedal simple minded minions of an establishment bred on inequality and hypocrisy who then carry the torch of faux outrage and foolishness onto airwaves, print and across the most ignorant avenues of the internet. No one believes that you can elect that your money be spent on only the causes and conditions that you believe in or morally support. It’s patently unrealistic and will never really be acceptable if for no other reason than how on EARTH would we pay for the wars we so love to engage in that the majority of Americans don’t support?
If we are going to pretend that we can mandate our dollars not be spent in ways that flagrantly fly in the face of our beliefs, then we have to be able to do it across the board. So, sure, conservative tax payers, religious organizations, and private companies who thrive on traditional values don’t have to “pay for” me or other women “to have sex.” But that means that my money, and the money of others like me, must go where we designate it, also; to Planned Parenthood and gay causes. To abortion clinics around the country and the insurance companies that cover them. To federal agencies and initiatives that protect our environment, hold accountable our financial institutions, and properly educate our students. To some defense interests, sure, but only to the branches of military that have appropriately thrown out Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and ONLY to the wars I agree with fighting.
Let’s see how well that goes.