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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Soap Box: Political Observations and Decision
There is a lot on my mind thanks to the wonderful upcoming elections. Don’t get me wrong; I truly do appreciate that I get to vote and have some small part in the process that governs me and my fellow Americans, but the polarization between the two halves with the power is just mind-boggling and scary. I have never and will never allow political ads to make my decisions. I read, research and spin for myself. I don’t expect everyone to agree with my choices nor do I expect anyone to accept my opinion as “ultimate truth,” but if you’re accepting any ads that way, by all means, take my thoughts that way; my opinions are at least thought out and not just looking to win at all cost.
When I make political decisions I try to make those decisions as an American and not just as me. Sure, I remember that I’m an American too, but there are some choices that are just more American than my selfish ideas are and the better choice for my country does nothing to harm my ability to carry on with what’s right for me. Take raising the millage for the schools. I learned this from my parents first, like most people do, then reaffirmed that it was the right thing to do as an adult. I don’t have any kids so why do I care about funding for public schools? Just don’t raise MY property taxes. Well, first through fourth grades I went to private school, so that same thought process could have worked for my parents; but it didn’t. They supported the public school taxes and my mother even attended school board meetings and did some volunteer work for the public schools at that time. The need for better, just better, in the public school system in Southgate was why my young parents scraped and saved to pay the private school tuition. Supporting the public schools was supporting more safety in our neighborhood because kids stayed in school and had after school programs, it supported rising property values and just a better neighborhood. Better for the schools was better for everyone, even if you didn't have kids in school. That made sense then and it makes even more sense now as our schools are threatened with cuts and voucher systems that take more away when they need to have more so our kids can compete on a global level.
On the national front, there is money funneled into political campaigns that tell us why the other guy is bad and not why their guy is good that could be so much better used. I am totally against allowing corporations to buy elections; national elections should be for “we the people,” not “we the money.” Those corporations could donate that money to better causes; schools, medical research, how many bellies could they fill putting that buy-an-election money in a soup kitchen? But there are much more important things than people. Corporations are not people, they are businesses that do whatever they need to make a profit; that's the purpose of a business. But sometimes whatever they need to do includes squashing small businesses and ignoring what’s good for people; they just have concern for what’s good for their own bottom line. And let’s face it; that’s more important to them than what’s good for the country. As long as they’re still standing tall when it happens, our country can collapse; they have offices in other countries anyway.
There is so much drivel about religious issues that don’t belong in politics too. We’re still arguing about women’s rights and marriage equality? In 2012? Really?
Personally, I’m pro-life. I believe that conception is a potential for life and had I conceived, even in my teens or 20s when there was no way I could afford to raise a child, I would have done whatever I needed to bring the child safely to term so I could find it a good home and a good life. That goes with the rest of my personal religious-rooted belief. If I was going to make it the United States Under Nani, the first thing I’d do is shut down all the fertility clinics. Even counseling someone about making an unnatural baby would be illegal because it’s against my personal beliefs. If you cannot conceive it’s because the baby to whom you are meant to give a life is being entrusted to someone who didn’t plan on and doesn’t want the responsibility of raising a child to give birth. Someone else has the better hereditary factors and you have the better parenting ability. If you can’t conceive get over the ego and listen to God. To me that makes sense in God’s plan and to change it on either end is “playing God.”
There are some exceptions to my abortion stance, but not to my fertility view. I think if I’d been raped as a teen, there is no way I could relive that brutal attack for 9 months carrying what I’m sure would seem like Satan’s spawn; then never knowing if there was some genetic defect that made my assailant violent and I took part in releasing a monster into the world. A victim of rape should not be expected to remain victim for the rest of her life. Contrary to opinions I’ve recently read it is NOT the same as conceiving as a result of consensual sex; born out of love or fun is way different than planted by intimidation and violence.
See? I have some compassion on my pulpit. Still, aren’t ya glad my religion isn’t running the country?
I still support choice as an American because everyone is not me. There are so many conflicting opinions in different religions about when life starts, when it’s okay or not to terminate a pregnancy. There are so many religions and so many people who don’t practice any religion at all and they are all Americans. The first Amendment guarantees us that the government will not recognize one religion over any other as the law of the land and as an American I accept that. Allowing for women’s reproductive freedom does not affect me personally. I can still maintain that if I’d have been pregnant during my child bearing years, I’d have carried the baby to term, I can still counsel other younger women to choose life, but I don’t have the right to force others to follow the beliefs of my religious choice.
In the same vein, I’ve talked about marriage equality before and that those against its legality are basing that stance on religious choice. As Americans, it’s wrong, plain and simple. It’s ignoring the First Amendment to base voting opinions on religious thoughts. There has to be a non-religious foundation other than “I just don’t like it” to vote against equality. It does nothing to affect you. If two heterosexual people you don’t like get married, do you buy them a wedding gift? Visit their home? Tell others how great it is that they are married? Maybe you parade around in front of their house with signs saying how much it sucks that people you don’t like are married and how it should be illegal. Maybe you burn down the church where they got married. No? So you just ignore them or don’t even know they got married and live your life. Maybe as Americans we should just do that.
Lastly in my great political decision making world, healthcare and Medicare are hot topics. Much as I still maintain that insurance for everyone is not enough, it is better. I take two medications specifically for Multiple Sclerosis. One is 2 pills a day at $22.88 a pill and the other, the one that does more tangible good for my symptoms is one a day at $165.61 a pill. That comes to $77,150.05 a year just for the medication. With insurance and private copay assistance I pay $50 a month. That means we haven’t had to sell the house and file for bankruptcy and I’m not on government assistance. HIPPA protects me if we change insurance but if the policies lapse for even a day the Affordable Care Act means I won’t find myself uninsured because for a pre-existing condition. Like I said, I don’t think it’s enough, but it sure is covering my butt in a huge way now. I don’t want that act to go away.
As far as Medicare goes, my Dad wouldn’t be able to afford insurance with a voucher without giving something up. Americans who have worked and contributed should not have to give up things for which they’ve worked all their lives. But his vote, I mean healthcare, wouldn't be affected by the voucher idea anyway. I’m imaging myself still dealing with the MS and having to add shopping for insurance with my coupon to the mix. If the brain fog symptom that caused me to need to retake one of my classes while being diagnosed before treatment comes back as I’m older, I’ll really be screwed. Vouchers for Medicare makes the Affordable Care Act sound better and better thought out.
So, yes, I’m going to cast my vote to re-elect President Obama. Is it a “lesser of two evils” vote? Maybe in some areas, but the Romney evil is powerful and scary. But in more areas, the ones the enabling corporations are conveniently disregarding, there has been some forward movement. The up and down cycle of the economy is normal and honestly the government doesn't control it; big and small business and consumers do. Tax cuts never trickle down to small businesses because they never get them and the businesses that do build up their companies and often destroy many small businesses. Still there have been efforts in the last four years that have had a positive effect. Ultimately I’m voting for both the good the President has done and the bad he won’t do if we elect him again instead of his corporate-funded competition.
Your opinions may vary and I respect that, but they won't change mine.