The following light-bulb moment is brought to you by a woman who grew up liberal but was required to deal with reality:
It wasn’t until I was working for an art organization a few years later that the blinders came off once and for all. One day, an artist came in with a commission check we’d sent her after she’d sold one of her wonderful photographs. She asked if we could take the check back and instead give her cash under the table. I explained that we couldn’t do that, and she became very upset. She explained she was receiving money from the government (disability or welfare, I don’t know which), so she technically wasn’t allowed to earn any income outside of that.
That’s when the stark reality of politics in America hit me. This talented artist in her 20s — who for whatever reason was on the government dole — didn’t want to take the opportunity to live on her own. She didn’t want to eke out a living, but play both sides — get money for her art, and still get her government check. She rejected the opportunity to compete, earn, and feel the exhilaration and disappointment of making it on her own. At least she didn’t then, or at least not honestly and out in the open. I certainly hope things have changed for her, because what a way to go through life — not exploring your potential because the government forbids it, and you’re afraid to walk away.
Go read it all, it’s well worth it.
As a conservative, I want the freedom to fail, while liberals would seem to believe that freedom has failed us.