“Beer and shot” conservatives get riled up seeing images on FOX News of people buying lobster with food stamps. But more educated conservatives (like a good portion of Wheaton alumni) save their worst for those of us who played by all the rules, did everything the system told us to do, and still failed. This is because these people shine a light on the fact that the game is rigged and hard work won’t always cause you to experience vocational success (your life going according to “God’s plan”).
Take the conservative idea, the “success sequence”. Finish high school, take any job, get a college degree, wait until your twenties to marry and have children after you marry. As an individual with a disability this sequence simply doesn’t produce anything. I graduated high school, worked some while in college, graduated college, and worked two years at a tech job after college. Then my mental health fell off a cliff and I was laid off and had to move home. Then I did make an honest mistake not taking a 20 hour per week janitor job that year I got laid off because I was looking for tech jobs. I would come to regret this because wouldn’t get a legitimate job offer for that many hours decades since.
It’s uncomfortable to think or admit that physical appearance determines what job you can get as opposed to talent or work ethic (this is because employers absolutely hate admitting anything that would make people fatalistic). My thick glasses, a disability accommodation for my visual impairment physical disability, have caused me to be rejected at job interview after job interview. Some interviews it’s all the interviewer will bring up. Others didn’t believe I could see when I brought up that I was visually impaired. One interviewer even told me that my physical disability made her uncomfortable and somehow I had to put the room at ease for the incursion it caused. I have ended up fighting for scraps on the informal economy working a couple hours a day for people who I never interviewed for.
The success sequence for individuals with disabilities is different. In order for those of us with disabilities to get jobs we have to skip the line. “The line” is the regular resume/interview process (which in and of itself is generally just a ruse to give the job hunt process the appearance of meritocracy). We either skip the line through affirmative action and quotas or through possessing social capital, people who will fast track us places. Naturally this is a more liberal narrative but looking at the staggeringly high unemployment in the disability community you will see that the sequence conservatives advocate for isn’t working.