It is very hard to qualify for government assistance in Maine. To receive them, you must be going through unbelievably hard times. But while you might be thinking of “welfare benefits” as food and housing assistance, LePage has a history of holding a very expansive definition of welfare (he has previously described Social Security and Medicare as “welfare”). There are myriad benefits programs that LePage would like to fold into this vaccine mandate, including unemployment “and other benefits.”
LePage told the Bangor Daily News that this isn’t a punishment: It’s about raising vaccination numbers in the state. “It’s not about getting people to work, it’s about getting rid of COVID,” he said. And yet, LePage has this to say about President Biden’s federal requirement that workers at larger-sized companies be compelled to get vaccinated: “It’s unconscionable that you will be fired, you will lose your job, if you don’t get vaccinated, but [for] people who are taking services, taxpayer dollars, there’s not even a request to get vaccinated.”
So, don’t get vaccinated and keep your job—but if you lose your job, you must get vaccinated? Don’t worry, LePage said he would first ask people to get vaccinated before mandating they get vaccinated because he’s “clearly against mandates in all respects.” But he isn’t. So, saying “in all respects” is a lie or a profound misunderstanding of how words and sentences create language and communication and meaning. When you realize that LePage has spitefully done things like refuse to implement voter-passed Medicaid expansion in his state when he was in power, it’s hard to believe he would be any different if he were to be put back in office. How would a person like LePage square this circle? He would likely wrap it up in his virulent racism and a general disdain for working-class Americans.
People like Paul LePage and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz like to yell about how bent out of shape they are about military mandates for COVID-19 vaccines—not the previous 17 vaccines administered by the Department of Defense. And yet, LePage would be interested in floating the idea of a COVID-19 vaccine “mandate” for all of those military families that make up a chunk of SNAP food assistance programs in the U.S.? To be more of a perfect hypocrite would take such a high degree of quantum mechanics and physics knowledge, you would likely need to spend the next 1,000 years in school.
Since I can’t, here’s a one-minute artist’s rendering of how perfect LePage’s hypocrisy is.