We’re all too aware of the fact that President Donald Trump and his team of sexist cronies have made it their mission to limit the rights and freedoms of women in the US. And earlier this month, they announced their plans to reduce access to safe and affordable healthcare by repealing ‘Obamacare’ – a move which could affect the lives of millions [check] of women and men around the country.
Now, one woman has penned a blistering rebuke to the Republicans’ argument for dismantling the healthcare system.
Barbara Rank, a retired special education teacher from Iowa, was in the audience during a recent town hall speech by Representative Rod Blum (Republican, obviously).
Standing up in front of a hostile crowd, Blum did his best to explain his vote to repeal President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act. Raising his voice above the booing and jeering, Blum insisted that the USA needs to “get rid of some of these crazy regulations that Obamacare puts in”.
Crazy regulations such as, say, “a 62-year-old male having to have pregnancy insurance”. You know, because pregnancy is a uniquely female issue and has nothing to do with men whatsoever.
Evidently, Blum doesn’t think it’s fair that everyone pays the same for their healthcare, despite living in a country which prides itself on its democratic values.
Rank, 63, chose not to ask a question during the town hall meeting. Instead, she went home, switched on her computer, and penned a letter to her local paper. And it’s safe to say that, in just 106 words, she utterly destroyed Blum’s argument.
Her letter, which has been shared on Reddit, begins: “Congressman Rod Blum in a Dubuque town hall (Monday) night asked, ‘Why should a 62-year-old man have to pay for maternity care?’”
What follows is an impassioned, almost poetic, ode to the democratic spirit.
“I ask, why should I pay for a bridge I don’t cross, a sidewalk I don’t walk on, a library book I don’t read?” she writes.
“Why should I pay for a flower I won’t smell, a park I don’t visit, or art I can’t appreciate? Why should I pay the salaries of politicians I didn’t for, a tax cut that doesn’t affect me, or a loophole I can’t take advantage of?
“It’s called democracy, a civil society, the greater good. That’s what we pay for.”
Speaking to The Washington Post about the overwhelming feedback her post has received, Rank admits that she has actually never used Reddit before. In fact, she didn’t even know what it was until last week.
And, when asked why she thought her message had resonated with so many people, the 63-year-old didn’t have an answer.
“Come on,” she said. “Didn't we learn this in fifth-grade social studies?”