Mom: I’ll make you a PB&J
Kid: I want to do it myself!
Mom: OK fine - do it yourself.
Mom proceeds to get the peanut butter down from the shelf (cuz it’s too high) and the jelly out of the fridge (cuz it’s in a glass jar) and the butter knife out of the drawer (so Kid doesn’t get hurt). Then the bread - which Mom opens and presents to Kid to select the pieces, then wraps it up and puts it away (cuz the twist tie is too hard to wind). Mom puts down a paper towel and gets a stool out so Kid can reach the counter. Kid can’t open the jars, so mom opens them and presents them back to Kid. Kid makes a sandwich with about ⅓ as much content as is now all over the counter and marches off in triumph.
Kid: “See! I did it all by myself!”
Now imagine that kid as a 55 year old in a tri-corner hat and a “Don’t Tread on Me!” flag.
This is the internal zeitgeist of the Tea Party and what has become pretty much the mainstream Republican party. Rolling fields of people who’ve been helped along in dozens of dozen of way behind the scenes (and sometimes overtly) by the very institutions they now demonize. The government that build the roads and sewers, the dams and seawalls, the treelines and trade routes that make this country what it is. The government that said “hang on, a river shouldn’t catch on fire!” and “hey, maybe breathing shouldn’t be fatal” is the same government that raises the army that keeps us safe and at least tries to make sure medicine isn’t just death in a bottle.
Nearly every one of those folks remembers the railroads and supports the oil and gas industry - both extremely heavily subsidized by the government during their developmental period. Nearly every one benefited from weekends, minimum wage, occupational safety regulations, and sick time - all brought to you by the government pressed by the labor movement that is now under strident attack by the GOP. Nearly every one has been to a hospital, doctor, or pharmacy for medical care provided by professionals who hold government-issued licenses attesting to minimal competency and efficacy. Nearly every one can drink from a tap, flush a toilet, and drive a car because the government stepped in to make sure they were at least mostly safe.
And nearly every one will deny their reliance on the government for anything. Cuz they can do it all by themselves!