If you put two people that make the same amount of money in the same room, one a Republican, and one a Democrat, odds are very good you'll be able to unearth that one understands that their actions, for better or for worse, impact those of others, and so they should use the spirit of cooperation to help build the infrastructure of support to help the less fortunate and others around them, and that they understand that without the hard work and sacrifices made by those before them, some of whom earned more, some of whom earned less, they wouldn't be where they are, and that the other feels that people are trying to steal from them or are free riders. You can sort out who ideologically falls on which side of the aisle.
I tried to politely engage Jenny once on the subject of what Planned Parenthood means to women's health for rural residents. That turned out to be a mistake, as that conversation quickly turned into nonsensical vitriol on lobbyists and abortion, facts be damned. I mean, why should a woman who lives in a rural area care about the reproductive health of other women who live in rural areas, right?
On the subject of the cognitive dissonance it takes to be a Republican union member, through this article we come across this gem of a quote, uttered by someone so utterly confused it will make your head hurt, just so you're warned (sourced from here):
In the smoky bar, ideological lines get blurred. Somers is a union guy but not an Obama fan. He wants cash to keep flowing to the large military contractor that employs him, but he opposed the auto bailout. He needs Washington but feels manipulated by it.At least this guy is willing to put his money, and his kids health and well being, apparently, where his mouth is, I'll give him that much. But this idea that "I'm essential, but you aren't", (better expressed as 'I should get mine and Fuck You') this idea that the pie is limited and we have to fight with each other over the scraps, autoworkers versus shipbuilders, and that people like the person above should hate themselves for being on the government teat, even though they earn the same living essentially the same way as an autoworker does (only, it should be noted, for higher pay and with better benefits), and that they should then wish ill upon others, is utterly asinine.
“They spend our money like a drunk sailor. . . . ‘We’ll give you a little bit of something, a little piece of cheese.’ Dangle that cheese. We’re pawns, that’s what we are,” he said.
But Somers has four kids and ultimately, he said: “I’m willing to accept anything to turn the country around. If it takes me getting laid off, so be it.”
On the heels of the passing of Senate Bill 5 in Ohio, another one of my friends, a police officer, remarked at how unjust it was. Then, in the next breath, he said "man, I hate spending tax dollars on government programs." At which point, I rather bluntly reminded him that he was a government program.
The school district in which Jennifer works is part of a community of people with her attitude toward teaching and teachers. They make too much money. They work 7 hours per day and have summers off. The school system is poor. The people are "overtaxed". That school district is facing what is likely to be a long strike beginning Monday. The gentleman at the center of the Washington Post story is facing a layoff, and the police officer I mentioned above is facing a furlough.
All three of these people, along with tens of millions of others, are learning a hard lesson. We are all interconnected. We all need each other, and need to support each other. We all rely on each other. The roads don't pave themselves, the streets don't clean or patrol themselves, the kids don't teach themselves, the ships don't build themselves. And until these people experience an adequate amount of pain and suffering at the hands of others with the same attitudes as them, they, unfortunately, are never going to learn.
It's a basic lesson of life, shared across nearly all of the world's religions. Do good to others, and they do good to you. Do bad to others, and bad things happen to you. It's karma. And it's a bitch.