I grew up fairly privileged. I had health insurance, plenty to eat, clothes to wear. Our house was never in danger of being repossesed; I attended a safe, expensive, academically sound private school. I was given a car shortly after my sixteenth birthday. Not the greatest car ever, but it did work and it got me everywhere I needed to go.
I also grew up in a family that was by and large conservative Republicans, a sort of pull-yourself-up-by-your -own-bootstraps group. Kind people, but by and large very conservative. Because of growing up in this family, I’ve noticed something very important: it’s a lot easier to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps if you have bootstraps. Now that I’m an adult, have aged off my parents’ health insurance, am still in school with no real hope of being completely done and the possessor of a real job anytime soon, I’ve learned a little about what it’s like to not have bootstraps. As far as fiscal resources go, I have a pile of school and credit card debt. I have no health insurance because I simply cannot afford it and because of that, I have no health care.
Now obviously, that was simply a long way to say this: I fail to understand the logic of asking men and women to do something they cannot do. I fail to understand a set of logic that says, “Be healthier.” when it’s so expensive to eat healthy food. I don’t understand the logic behind letting our countrymen go without much needed medical care or appropriate shelter, or good educations. Yes, it is possible for anyone in America to go to college, but that’s only if you’re willing to take on a rather large amount of debt. The vast majority of the Republican platform bewilders me. The bigger problem lies in the fact that I don’t have a great deal of answers for how to fix any of these problems. The only thing I know is that telling people to fix it themselves and get over it is not a good enough response. It’s awfully hard to fix things when you have no resources.
I believe that someday I want to run for public office or write health care policy. Because of that, I feel like I have to start coming up with answers for these problems now. If you’ve got any great ideas, let me know. I’ll be sure to credit you on my presidential campaign webpage.