If you’re even casually familiar with me, you know that I have almost no use for anecdotal "evidence". Anecdotes are not evidence of anything other than what one person believes they’ve seen at one specific moment in time. Obamacare has brought a glut of anecdotal Obamacare horror stories to my various social media pages. Statistically speaking, every single American who got screwed by this law has ended up finding me on social media. No seriously, the numbers simply don’t support these claims of devastation and woe. One guy claimed that his insurance premiums increased by 250%! Holy shit! Surely Fox News would have found him if this were true, right? I mean, they paraded a bunch of Obamacare "victims" whose stories all turned out to be 100% bullshit. Fox was really in need of a legitimately fucked over insurance consumer. Why didn’t this guy take this opportunity to possibly become a right wing hero a la Cliven Bundy? Why? Because he told me he was in Arizona. I looked up the stats for his state. Turns out that in Arizona, rates went down by ten percent for 2015. Oopsie! I never heard back from him after I shared that data with him. I guess he died at home alone, of a stubbed toe that got infected because he couldn’t afford the one million dollar copay that came with his wretched Obamacare plan. Poor bastard.
And then there was the vet who insisted that the VA was the worst health insurance in the world, and that Obamacare was going to destroy the previously awesome private insurance market. When I pointed out that the VA has always had a higher satisfaction rating than private insurance, he got huffy and played the "I’m a vet and you’re not" card. I let him know that I would be happy to ignore his attempts at acting intellectually superior with actually being intellectually superior if he could find me a single year in which the VA’s approval rating was lower than that of private insurance. He didn’t even bother to do that, instead opting to insist that he knew better because of his first hand experience. I assured him that the curmudgeon contingent was included in those approval ratings. He was unmoved by reason, logic, or anything that might not fit with what he "knew".
These are just a couple of anecdotal examples of why I have no use for anecdotal "evidence" (see what I did there?) Wanna know where I’m going next? Yep, I’m going to share an anecdotal Obamacare story. This is the story of James Webb, a fifty one year old self proclaimed teabagger and veteran. He hates commies and Obama. He does love guns though. He really, really loves guns. He loves to make videos of himself shooting guns. Lots and lots of ‘pew, pew, pew, pew, pew’ videos on his youtube channel. He hates the fact that the gays have ruined The Walking Dead for him. He refers to the Ferguson protestors as the "cesspool of America", who come from "generations and generations, and generations of living off the government". He’s been posting videos on youtube for seven years now so if after reading this, you decide that he was a plant, let me assure you that he isn’t.
Anyway, James posted a video last week that will double the one million views mark he crossed last month (congrats James), in a matter of days. James posted a video explaining why he might vote for Hillary Clinton. See, James retired last year because Obamacare set him free from having to work for health insurance. He’s not interested in losing the awesome and affordable coverage he has. Before I get to the latest video about who he’s going to vote for next year, let’s watch a video he put up seven months ago, explaining how Obamacare allowed him to retire at the age of fifty.
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Notice how he starts off by saying that, "In the Obama administration, the least [sic] you work, the more you get. Now I know it used to be you worked hard, you saved hard and you retired, but not anymore". But as he kept talking he says, "I’ve been pulling that wagon for thirty-one years. It’s my turn to ride in it, and I’m going to ride. I’m going to ride in that wagon, and I deserve it." This is a guy whose right wing programming is at odds with what he’s seen and lived.
To republicans, if you don’t work until you die, you’re lazy. I know I’m skipping ahead but let’s get into some of the replies he got to the video he posted last week. Some republicans weren’t happy with his considering voting his own self interest in 2016. One woman said, "Heaven fucking forbid you have to go back to work. Since when is retiring at age fifty acceptable?…..Get off your fat ass and go back to work…..You are what’s wrong with this country." This is my favorite part of the stupid twat’s email to him, "People who vote based on what’s best for them are fucked up people. You need to be thinking about what’s best for society as a whole and future generations, and our planet, and humanity as a whole." Yeah, she said that to justify voting republican. WOW! That just redefined the parameters of cognitive dissonance. Another guy writes James to call him a troll. He demands that James explain himself and the affliction that justifies his early retirement.
These people aren’t morally outraged that James is retired at the age of fifty. They’re enraged that they can’t. And the reason why they can’t, is because they’ve bought the whole line of right wing bullshit that keeps them slaves to the billionaires who bought their party. They have Stockholm Syndrome and they can’t allow anyone to suffer less than they expect to have to suffer. These are the same dumb dumbs who insist that welfare recipients should be subjected to drug testing. I post statistic after statistic about state after state, where testing welfare recipients has unearthed very little drug use while costing taxpayers a lot of money. I always get replies to those statistics, proclaiming that "if you’re on welfare, you should be drug tested". But I just showed you that doing that wasted a whole bunch of your taxpayer dollars for no good reason at all. But NO! People on welfare must be punished, and reason, logic, and fiscal responsibility are irrelevant! These people are not rational. They’re probably not even hateful by nature. But their struggles make it necessary to punch down at people who they need to be on the rung below them. Because if there’s nobody suffering beneath you, what does that make you in the grand scheme of society?
I always ask myself, as part of deciding where I land on an issue, "who are you advocating for?" If you want to humiliate poor people, even though it’s going to cost you money to do it, who are you advocating for? If you’re insisting that James’ lazy ass need to get a job right now, who are you advocating for? We see James himself do it at the beginning of the video I posted above, when he said that under Obama, people no longer need to work hard. He can’t even hear his own contradiction when he goes on to say that he’s put in thirty-one years of work, and deserves to enjoy his life. Here’s the difference between liberals and conservatives. Conservatives believe that they’re the worthy exception to the rule. Whether it’s taking food stamps, collecting unemployment insurance because of a layoff, or signing up for Obamacare; they earned it but everyone else is a moocher. Liberals believe that everyone who needs help should have it. The exceptions are the teenie, tiny ( I can post dozens of examples) few who abuse the system.
Here’s a couple of other things about James that I noticed. He went from the military, straight into a government job where he became eligible to retire at the age of fifty. That dreaded big government he and his ilk hate, is who he worked for. And that dreaded government he worked for provided him with the pension that Ronald Reagan and the republican party don’t want anyone to have. That’s why they invented 401k’s. They weren’t funneling enough money to Wall Street, or enough company profits up to the top with pension plans so they concocted 401ks to steal (I urge you to watch that video) more from you. Everything that James has gotten for his hard work, is something that he’s voted against having. He says that he’s voted republican for thirty-two years.
And by the way, that finish line at age sixty-five wouldn’t exist at all, were it not for democrats. Republicans never wanted, and still don’t want you to have medicare or social security. They also don’t want for you to earn a living wage in exchange for working hard. Is anyone under the impression that cleaning office buildings is work for lazy people? Are they too lazy to work and too lazy to bootstrap themselves into college with that $7.25 an hour they wouldn’t even be earning if republicans had their way? Their whole fucking system is designed to keep you a lifelong wage slave. The only way you get anything in republican paradise, is to be born into it. If you’re not born into a family that can send you to college, you’re literally shit out of luck. You’re worse than shit out of luck, because they will treat you like a lazy piece of crap for not being able to get yourself to college on the crap wages they insist you should earn. I showed you in a post last week, that if you’re born poor in America, 70% of you will stay poor. Republicans like it that way. And poor republicans have been programmed to like it that way. That’s why they avail themselves of the opportunity to shit on someone else, every time they get a chance.
This post is already longer than I intended, so I’m going to wrap it up soon. The reason why James’ anecdotal Obamacare story matters, is because it runs contrary to his ideology. What he realized isn’t what he expected to realize. That just makes him more credible. Here’s the video where he talks about his struggle with his 2016 vote;
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And here’s a follow up he posted yesterday;
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Notice how the second video lacked explanation? I wonder if that’s because it’s just an inexplicable decision? I believe that James will ultimately vote his own self interest because once the thinking starts, the programming really can’t reassert itself. I don’t know who the nominees are going to be, but I’m pretty sure that James won’t be voting republican.