I try very hard to not be political on this blog, however, there was a statement made yesterday by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky that is impossible to ignore. I will try and make this post about the man and his comments, but that may be difficult since he’s a likely candidate for President in the 2016 election. Here is what he said:
What I tell people is, if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn’t be getting a disability check. Over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts — join the club. Who doesn’t get a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts? Everybody over 40 has back pain.
Everyone gets a little anxious for work every day??? Yes, a little anxiety can be beneficial. It is a normal reaction to the events of everyday life. It makes you work faster to get things done and makes your mind clear and alert. Typical anxiety, however, does not qualify an individual for disability. What does qualify is anxiety disorder.
Senator Paul, have you gone days on end without a shower because of the fear of being in a closed environment? Have you ever had to run out of a supermarket because all the sights and sounds were terrifying because they were all coming at you at once? Have you ever sat under a table with your arms wrapped around your knees and rocked back and forth with tears streaming down your face? Have you ever experienced a sense of impending doom so great that you couldn’t get out of bed? No? Well you should thank God, Senator, because I have experienced them all.
Some days you’ll see the real me that I want to be. I guess I’ll look like you. I’ll pull up next to you and hop right out of my car. Maybe I’ll smile and say, “Good morning.” Maybe we’ll have good laughs over a cup of coffee. I’m thankful for those wonderful moments and I treasure them. I treasure them because that’s not possible for me every day. Those are my good days. Those are the days you’ll see me. The days you won’t see me are the days I’m locked inside my home shaking in fear for no damn reason whatsoever.
I’m sorry for you, Senator. I’m sorry for your ignorance. I’m sorry for your inability to have compassion for your fellow human beings. Hopefully others will enlighten you on what life is like when you’re living with anxiety. Ignorance I’ll forgive. What I can’t forgive is your ability to boldly lie without batting an eye.
Telling a lie? Yes, Senator. You have either purposely ignored the truth, or you have made up your own truth. Either, in my opinion, classifies as a lie. Your lie is your ridiculous statement that, “Over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts.” Let’s look at the truth.
The truth is that according to a December 2014 report from the Social Security Administration, 14% of those who were issued disability benefits were diagnosed with “mood disorders.” Mood disorders don’t only include anxiety, but also includes bipolar disorder, and depression.
As for backs hurting, the same Social Security report states that 28% of recipients reported “musculoskeletal system and connective tissue” diseases, which would be related to back problems. Yes, I have back pain. I’m over 40 years old and I’m overweight, so I do stretch and hold my lower back when I get up in the morning. I hate it, but it probably does come with the territory when a person reaches 51. But, I’m not collecting disability for back pain because I don’t have any musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases. You see, Senator, unlike you, I understand the difference. If I don’t understand the difference I choose not to show my ignorance or make barefaced lies about those that do.
Shame on you, Senator. Shame on you.