Monday, October 10, 2011

The 53% is part of the 99%, whether they acknowledge it or not

Oh hey, I have a blog! I probably should use it again at some point.

So, as we've learned from the great "I'm sorry"/"I'm not sorry" debate of 2004, Republicans tend to get real pissy when a bunch of liberals start a Tumblr blog. And, because pretty much 95% of Republican attacks narrow down to just stealing talking points from liberals and throwing them right back at them in an amusing display of psychological projection, the response is a typical "Oh yeah? Well I'll just start a Tumblr too! Suck on that, LIEbrals!".

As such, we now get the "We are the 53%" Tumblr, in response to the "We are the 99%" Tumblr that has had a nasty habit of tugging on some heartstrings and making folks sympathetic to the Occupy Wall Street protests. Obviously, once people actually start having feelings like empathy for their fellow Americans, it needs to be shut down at all costs, and drinking champagne from a balcony overlooking the protests just wasn't cutting it. So, the 53%. This is a reference to the percentage of the population that pays income tax. It's a totally awesome burn, because it's really not fair that people that are too poor to pay income taxes don't have to pay income taxes and instead just pay things like sales taxes or payroll taxes, or something like that. Either way, it's a percentage! That we can use to title our Tumblr blog! Roll with it.

So in the spirit of fairness, and by that I mean, in the spirit of sarcastic mockery that serves no purpose other then my own amusement, I took a look at what the "We are the 53%" are saying.

Here is every conservative's wet dream. 22 years old and a business owner! Pays all of his taxes, and doesn't play bongos. He never gets any time off, nor does he have health insurance, but that's okay, because he doesn't blame Wall Street, just elitist career politicans. Who aren't funded in any way by Wall Street lobbyists.

And here's a guy who works three jobs, can't sell his house, and whose insurance costs are outrageous. And might be Erick Erickson, who has never been handed a cushy job on CNN that he really didn't deserve but only received for the sole reason that he's a blogger that really fucking hates liberals and we need "balance" in our media.

Here is a former Marine that works 2 jobs, and has no health insurance, and is bragging about not having more then four days off in a row for over four years. So, you know, ha ha, guy that works two jobs with no health insurance... ha ha... you know what, guys? I don't think I can do this.

Here we have a guy that makes his way through life without "luxuries". He has a low-paying job, a truck with 200,000 miles on it, no health insurance, and can barely afford his rent, who is pretty much one unfortunate random incident away from catastrophe.

I'm going to go cry now.

I mean, is this some sort of parody? Is this actually a Tumblr blog in support of the 99%? Because the only difference I see between this guy and this guy is a medical condition. All of these people I've linked to above, all of the people that have thus far shown up on the "We are the 53%" Tumblr blog, are all very hardworking, self-driven, inspirational people. And are all one small financial catastrophe away from ruin.

And that is exactly what the problem is.

For what it's worth, I don't feel bad for the person that is $100,000 dollars in debt for her M.A. in Art either. The idea passed down to my generation that to succeed, you only need to spend a ton on a degree is something that needs to be re-evaluated. But that isn't what these protests are solely about. What I'm actually seeing here is a need to paint the Occupy Wall Street protesters as entitled little brats, and not real, hardworking people, so that at night, we can tell ourselves that they are not us. That it won't happen to us. That in the end, the "American Dream" will work out for us if we just try hard enough. To make it through the day, we need to believe that. But I don't think the American Dream is working three jobs just to keep your head above water. I don't think it is doing everything "right" and "responsible" to ensure your stability in this society, yet still ending up in financial desperation because of things that are out of your control. I think the American Dream, as we romanticize it, is dead.

Look through both of those blogs. When you look at their paths, and their concerns, they are essentially the same. Some are just not so "lucky".

If you can even call the posters on the "We are the 53%" blog "lucky". From what I've read, blindly prideful, yes. "Lucky", no. Not really.