Sheriff Richard Mack is the right wing former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona. He is the head of an organization called “Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association,” a member of the NRA’s Hall Of Fame, and a staunch opponent of the policies of President Obama, including Obamacare.
Richard Mack has run into some medical problems and since he is uninsured, he’s asking for help. Mack suffered a heart attack on January 12. This apparently came right on the heels of some serious medical issues that were suffered by his wife. His son, Jimmy Mack, has set up a GoFundMe campaign, asking for donations to help offset the cost of medical treatment. Apparently the Macks were expecting right wing supporters to step up to the plate and help out but, judging by the comments that accompany many of the donations, Mack is getting the bulk of his support from liberals.
As of this writing, Mack has received close to $20,000 in donations from 439 people. The commenters are sympathetic to Mack’s situation — far more sympathetic than Mack and his supporters have been to the plight of those without health insurance. Many hope that he will use it as a learning experience, to change his views about the Affordable Care Act.
“Kymmie Lovesall,” who donated $30 to Mack, has this to say:
I don’t necessarily consider myself a liberal but I do earnestly believe that EVERYONE has the right to have affordable, quality health care. The Affordable Healthcare (Obama care is super dispectful) is there for that purpose. No [one] deserves to be driven to beg for help just so they can get the care they need to live. As we open our pockets to you, I hope you’re inspired to open your mind and your heart.
“Silly Liberal,” who gave $5, says,
I truly wish you a speedy recovery so that you can realize that you didn’t need to beg for help. Your fellow Americans, through their elected officials, created something amazing for you and for all of us to keep you healthy and financially on track. God’s speed, good sir. May this change your heart going forward.
“Allan Thompson,” donated $10, and says,
Sheriff Mack, I am truly sorry for your current circumstances. I pray for your speedy recovery. I’ve always felt that conservative lack the empathy to put themselves in other people’s places when they encounter tough times. I can only hope and pray that your current situation gives you the empathy to understand the benefits of Obamacare, and that those who need it, are no different than you. Sincerely, Allan Thompson Liberal Democrat
“C E” gave Mack $5, and tells him,
Here is a donation from someone I’m sure you thought of as a taker. I won’t bust your chops anymore than that. ACA is here…USE IT!!
“Sally McKeagney” offered $5, and reminds Sheriff Mack that, thanks to Obamacare, he will still be able to get insurance.
Dear Sheriff, Obamacare will allow you and your wife to sign up for health insurance regardless of your pre-existing condition. I urge you to do so. Best wishes for both of you for return to good health. –Sally
“Tonya Gullino” gave $5, and asks perhaps the most pertinent question.
Where are the Koch brothers and the Paul family when you need them?
Will this outpouring of generosity change Mack’s mind?
Richard Mack’s GoFundMe campaign smacks of what conservatives envision the American social safety net to be: you go along, doing your own thing, until disaster strikes, then you go begging for help. When conservatives such as Paul Ryan talk about people getting charity assistance through churches, that is exactly what they mean.
In a situation where most people have done what conservatives say they should do, by getting insurance coverage, it’s easy for churches, charities, and GoFundMe campaigns to pick up the slack. But, what happens when the safety net, in terms of things like subsidized health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid, is destroyed and a majority of people have to look to charity to take care of them? It’s obvious. There won’t be enough money to go around, and people, even people like Richard Mack, will die.
It’s possible that Richard Mack will have an eye opening moment and will become a supporter of the ACA. But, it’s also possible that Mack will ignore the comments that came with the vast majority of donations, and proclaim that this is proof that people helping people without that pesky “government interference,” works. Today’s conservatives seem to have forgotten the old saying, once popular with the right, “God helps those who help themselves.” Now that saying, for many conservatives like Mack, seems to be, “If you choose not to help yourself, just go beg from others when you’re in need.”