A Tea Party candidate for Idaho's House of Representatives defended himself against allegations of hypocrisy following an NBC News article in which he admitted to signing his entire family up for Medicaid while running on a platform that calls for the dismantling of all government programs.
"I don’t think that the government should be involved in health care or health insurance," Greg Collett, 41, of Caldwell told NBC News earlier this month.
Collett, a self-employed software developer by trade, went on to note that his ten children — two biological, eight adopted — are all recipients of health insurance through the government's Medicaid program, and acknowledged that "there are a lot of people out there that’ll cry foul" over the dissonance.
And, indeed, many people did visit Collett's personal site shortly afterward to ask him what the hell.
In a lengthy response to all the naysayers, Collett attempted to defend his hypocrisy, but made it so much worse:
Let me set the record straight. Yes, I participate in government programs of which I adamantly oppose. Many of them, actually. Am I a hypocrite for participating in programs that I oppose? If it was that simple, and if participation demonstrated support, then of course. But, my reason for participation in government programs often is not directly related to that issue in and of itself, and it certainly does not demonstrate support. For instance, I participate in government programs in order to stay out of the courts, or jail, so that I can take care of my family; other things I do to avoid fines or for other financial reasons; and some are simply because it is the only practical choice. With each situation, I have to evaluate the consequences of participating or not participating.
Or, as Opposing Views helpfully summarizes: "[I]t is okay to take part in programs one opposes as long as one does not 'support' those programs."
It's worth mentioning that, when it comes to "government-funded public schools," Collett is a man of his nonsensical word: All of his kids are homeschooled.
That being said, Collett claims the homeschooling is not a product of his opposition to public education, but his unwillingness "to accept the social and moral consequences" of sending his children to a public school.
[screengrab via Idaho Press]