Mike ErvinI need to figure something out. Why is it that I really get my back up when I hear politicians refer to the “most vulnerable” citizens? They do it all the time, and when they do, they always say they’re trying to protect the “most vulnerable.” The ones who say it most emphatically are those who want to cut the crap out of stuff like Social Security or Medicaid and then say they’re “try­ing to preserve scarce resources” so they can serve the “most vulnerable.”

When they say “most vulnerable” they want everyone to envision some weak and defenseless victim of fate. That’s intended to include cripples like me. We’re the ones who need their protection. And it makes me feel like angrily tearing up the “most vulnerable” label and throw­ing the pieces all over the floor just so nobody gets the impression that it refers to me. I feel it’s my duty to make it clear that I’m no more vul­nerable than the walking/talking guy next door!

But who am I kidding? Of course I’m way more vulnerable than the walking/talking guy next door. I employ a crew of people to help me do stuff like get in and out of bed every day. I call them my pit crew. If one of them doesn’t show up, I have to scramble to find a way to get in and out of bed. It shoots the whole day to hell. But the walking/talking guy next door doesn’t have to worry about that because he doesn’t need any of that kind of help. And what if there’s a natural disaster, like a flood? The first responders will come rescue the walking/talking guy next door with a ro