I live in the south, and thusly I have a lot of conservatives in my social network. They share stupid little notes about how awful liberalism is. The current one is this charming little number complaining about the horrors of food stamp abuse. I have had the classic discussion about the numbers, data, information, and statistics. I am done with trying to educate them. I am just going to start calling them out on what its really about.
It's not about what works or whats right. It's about something else. The simple fact is if conservatives gave a shit about the money they would be bitching about the department of defense. They argue that the this thing that helps a HUGE number of people who otherwise would just be hungry is a bad thing because a significantly smaller number of people do a bad thing. That logic is flawed. But it isn't about the money, logic, or reason.
They whine about how "you can buy lobster with food stamps." The complain about "gourmet cakes." They whine about how there are drug dealers with rims using food stamps (this one came from a cop - I am sure they know how to say this phrase "I thought I saw the suspect drop a packet of drugs so I conducted a terry stop." Did they suddenly develop some ethics about lying in court?) "The poor are getting money at the strip club." Like there are a wide variety of ATM machines in the inner city. They say "its about the money" but defend spending $550,000,000 a year on Marching bands. It isn't the money. There are much bigger stacks of money else where that won't harm poor people. That isn't what they care about.
What they care about is smug superiority. The ability to look down on someone that, but for accidents of birth and circumstances, could be them. What they want is to make sure that people that they don't approve of suffer as much as possible - so the poor can get the appropriate level of misery for their viewing please. They want people to suffer. They want to be able to watch them suffer. They want to watch the pain. God forbid a poor person have the temporary pleasure of a bag of fucking Cheetos. Fuck that - they want to see the suffering. They like knowing that they could do something about it, and they like not doing anything about it even more.
What is it really about - the real reason? Because someone somewhere is doing something they don't approve of. "Fuck you kid - no power ranger birthday cake for you because your moms a stupid whore. If she didn't have sex with her boyfriend and then give birth to you she might not need food stamps. That will teach you not to be poor like her." They inevitably have no idea what poor is like and universally have incredibly shallow advice on how to do it. They will of tell you that of course the poor shouldn't buy lobster- Guess what? - basically, no one does. Don't buy "gourmet" cakes - fuck you - even a poor kid deserve a nice birthday cake.
They try to pretend its about the money. It isn't and they know it. Thats the lie they try to tell so they don't sound like a monster. The truth is they think the poor should suffer and any thing that alleviates that suffering should be as humiliating as possible. Because they want to make a point. They want poor people to KNOW they're poor and be reminded about it as much as possible. They want to make sure that the poor never forget, not for one moment, how much better they are. Since they are so much better they believe that they should be allowed to determine everything that the poors are allowed to eat.
Their entire argument is "a poor person somewhere is doing something I don't like, and to make sure that doesn't happen I don't care how many other people get hurt or suffer." What a petty attitude. They are like a petulant child - breaking things so no one else can play with them because they were mad at someone. So what if a poor person eats food that tastes good? So what if a janitor on the overnight cleaning crew wants a red bull so she can make it through the night? What a horror that a poor person has something in their life that isn't as miserable as you would like it to be.
Where is the line on what food is okay for poor people to eat. Lobster is obviously for non-poors. Candy is obviously not for the poors. comfort food cannot be allowed for the peasants. What about other fish? Is catfish ok for poor people or should they just stay out of the fish section? Should we just eliminate the produce section - no fresh vegetables - only frozen? Because fresh vegetables are for pet rabbits and worthwhile human beings?
I have an idea - maybe we could get rid of the entire program and just send poor people approved meal packs? Todays pack is the monday pack - 1 oatmeal. 1 vacuum sealed chicken breast, one packet of corn. And dinner is the good one tonight - pasta with spaghetti sauce. If we did that would they be okay with poor people having regular access to food?
I am also entirely sure that at some point these people have whined about the "culture of dependence" and they want to tell people what to eat. Here is the real question- if they don't trust the poor to pick the food they eat, how the hell do they expect them to be independent about anything else?