Oh, you young people, with stars in your eyes and your Bernie 2016 bumper stickers and bleeding hearts. Even though you’re a bunch of whiny socialists, I can’t be mad at you. You see, I used to be young and naïve too. Being a leftie is what college is all about. I was a yelling, marching, bra-burning progressive. I didn’t even wear bras, obviously, but boy, did I just love burning them. But a lot happens when you get older. Life happens. You gain responsibilities. You get wiser. You see all those taxes being taken out of your paychecks to support big government and weak people. You become a parent and see life with more perspective. The very first time I held my baby in my arms, I knew that I would do anything to protect her, no matter who has to go hungry, die from lack of basic medical care, or even freeze to death. There just aren’t enough resources for all of us. I don’t know what’s so difficult to understand about that.

Adulthood is all about making peace with certain things: work, loss, and millions of people living in desperate poverty in the richest country on Earth. I can’t blame you for caring; I cared too, once upon a time. My life motto was all about expanding my circle of compassion. But gradually, after thirty years being stuck in a low-paying job and an unfulfilling marriage, you learn that the safest thing to do is to take in your hand that circle of compassion and squeeze it into the size of a tiny, tiny raisin. You take your hope for humanity and you funnel it into Minion Memes. Once you reach the realization that you no longer have to care about anything anymore, you celebrate the fact that you are free to do so. It’s called maturity.

You say I don’t get it, but I get it, brah. Heck, I used to even feel bad for refugees. I’d see their sad, little faces on CNN, and my bleeding heart would feel so guilty about throwing out half of my six-dollar venti iced latte because it had gotten watered down. But now I’ve really grown. I can hear that a hurricane killed 3,000 people in Puerto Rico, that American kids are reportedly dying because they can’t afford their insulin, or that another gun-wielding lunatic wiped out an elementary school cafeteria, and I take it like a man. I don’t know those people. But I do know my rights.

In short, I understand your concern about all the veterans and disenfranchised people who are currently dying at this very second in the middle of a record winter storm. But if you can’t afford rent at the prices determined by the free market, then you should just work harder. If you can’t afford to turn on the heat, that’s what blankets are for. I donated one a few years ago to Goodwill. If you don’t make it through the week, I am sorry, but sometimes you got to thin the herd, you know? If your boat has a hole in it, you need to dump a few people over or else everyone will drown. I really used to think politics was all about “the people.” But part of growing up is realizing the only people I need to take care of are me and my family. Oh, and billionaires. All my favorite politicians end up helping those guys out a lot. But you know, we’re all only a few promotions away from becoming a billionaire, and I’d hate for someone to come after my deep pockets when that happens. And yes, while I know that all of the needless suffering in this country could be easily alleviated by simply no longer voting for these assholes, you will find that history is full of patriotic men who bravely stood in the way of progress, and most of them are very fine people.

By Emily Sanchez and William Boffa