By Danny Westneat
People can take care of their own, he explained. So the entire system of support we've constructed, from medical aid for the elderly to financial boosts for public schools, should be slashed. Not only to save money. But so we don't become a society of flabby collectivists jonesing for the next handout.
"We've got to get rid of this 'protecting the weak,'" Didier said. "If we keep the weak alive all the time, it eats up the strong."
Of all stories we tell ourselves, the one about how we're a merit-based nation of lone wolves has got to be the most enduring. The most intoxicating. And the most baloney.
Nowhere is the myth as confused with reality as in rock-ribbed Eastern Washington. The place depends utterly on the government and communal resources for its existence, from the New Deal irrigation system still being paid for by taxpayers elsewhere, to farming subsidies and crop price supports. Yet in their own minds, they are mavericks living off the land.
"We don't need the government to come in and try to prop things up," a Lincoln County grain buyer told me as the economy was collapsing in the fall of 2008. As if the local economy weren't already propped up.
We know this because we conquered them and might makes right. To the victors go the spoils. Giving away something you've "earned," like apologizing for your mistakes, is for women and other weaklings.
Back in the real world, "protecting the weak" means helping the poor, huddled masses. You know, minorities, elders, the sick and disabled, et al. I gather Didier is some sort of libertarian/social Darwinist. "Let 'em die so that strong white Christians can live comfortably in their middle-class suburbs."
We see examples of this explicitly or implicitly racist viewpoint several times a week. For instance:
Ron Hart is a racist
Tea Party leader posts racist "satire"
Native children = unsafe community?
New Hampshire Republican = racist
It's basically what the healthcare debate was about and what the immigration debate is about. "Why should we suffer one iota of inconvenience to help someone other than friends and family? They can help themselves or die trying. Either way, I don't care."
In other words, "I hate anyone who isn't white like me. I won't say it because it's socially unacceptable, but I'm racist."
How ironic that protecting the weak is a central tenet of Jesus's teaching. Perhaps Didier is an atheist who doesn't believe in Christianity. Or perhaps he's a goddamned hypocrite.
For more on the subject, see Why Americans Hate Welfare and The Myth of American Self-Reliance.
Below: Oklahomans rush for free government land taken from Indians so they can be rugged individualists.