I am constantly bewildered by the fact that people will time and again vote against their own best interests. If there is anything that a vote should register, it is the needs of a particular population, and when those people choose for whatever network of misguided reasons to ignore their own situation and instead cast votes which help others (often others who don't need the help) it's a curious thing. Now that's not to say that people shouldn't vote to help those who need help, that's a different story, but when you consciously vote to harm your own station in life, it seems a strange way to approach politics.
I live in Kentucky, a commonwealth with a varied landscape. In the west there are rolling hills and large meadows with abundant water, which make agriculture profitable, and in the east there are mountains which have for many decades isolated the people who live there from the larger world. That's where I was born, in the hills of Appalachia, a territory which in my more romantic moments reminds me of Robert E.Howard's Cimmeria, a nigh mythical land full of tough folks who live hard scrabble lives and prefer by and large to be left alone. That said, they are often preyed upon by pols who want to curry votes by appealing to the strongly felt and tightly held religious values of the people.
Driven to a near frenzy by gay marriage a few years ago, Kentuckians voted into office a governor who was (ironically enough in a state with more than its share of the bituminous stuff) a "canary in the coal mine" of sorts for the coming of the awful Trump. The appearance of "leadership" like this has caused much of the social fabric which was in place to assist the poorest folks in my state to wither. It's arguable that no state benefited more from Obamacare than did Kentucky, but despite that, the Democrats who made that profound improvement in life possible have been rebuffed nearly in totality. Now with the latest farrago in Washington over healthcare even more people, the poorest people will be cast out into the cold so that the bank accounts of the already comfortable can inflate a wee bit more.
But, maybe even as we speak, my fellow Kentuckians, a group who voted for our "so-called" President in droves, are realizing that their beloved leader, Paul Ryan and his Republican "Gang of Hate" are about to throw them into the ditch for the miserable sakes of the wild cats on Wall Street who can score an extra fraction of a point of profit in their quarterly reports. The sick and elderly are about to be told that the United States of America, the richest country on the face of the planet does not have the resources or more accurately the will among its population to guarantee each of its citizens even the most basic healthcare. They are being told that getting sick and not being able to afford the exorbitant care which is all that they have at their doorstep (if they're lucky enough to have that) is a personal moral failing, and that they should've thought ahead and saved money they never had for a rainy day when in truth they live day in and day out in a fucking monsoon.
Kentucky is, to put it in the most purile Randian form, a taker-state. We extract more from the federal government than we contribute, but in spite of this humbling situation, we are saddled with two Senators who seem intent on making sure that the poorest of this poor state, their own constituents, get as little from their government as they can arrange. Even if Rand Paul in his adolescent philosophy imagines that people ought to do for themselves at all times, I cannot for the life of me figure out how a man who purports to be a healer can look at the folks around him and say to them that they need to do with less support for healthcare. (All the while, he follows in his father's footsteps in the family business which it turns out is drawing a perpetual federal paycheck for all their palaver about private industry.)
The Republicans are intent on "repealing" Obamacare, even though they know perfectly well they cannot do so really without Democratic cooperation. So they will simply defund the current healthcare program by a series of parliamentary gimmicks instead of repair it as it needs, and replace it with a matchstick variation guaranteed to satisfy few and instead merely allow for the pols to shuffle off and wash their collective hands of this difficult responsibility. They can get to their true work of seeing to it that the wealth of this nation which has aggregated into a tiny set of hands stays there in hereditary perpetuity. So much for the American dream, unless you happen to hit the lottery, an inordinate number of three-point shots, or perhaps three hundred on the field of dreams.
Maybe I'm all wrong and the reduction of taxes (yet again) will allow all boats to rise as the economy drinks its fill. But history says that is not going to happen and that the cruise ships with which the rich and famous trim the waves will eventually leave behind their fellow citizens, the unfortunates who can only ever afford a tiny raft, if they're lucky.
But then as we've learned from our Crackpot-In-Chief -- "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."