It's the first Wednesday in November 2012. The United States has a "new" president (in that we re-elected President Obama) and the political signs are coming down, the political ads have ceased (I live in Ohio and given that I don't even really watch TV all that much I have to tell you: hours and hours of political ads per day and so many were vicious, vicious) and FB is calming down with the political banter (read: nastiness, fighting, ostracizing oneself from family and friends and losing friends over political rants).
I have to say: I voted for Obama (ok, most folks already knew that) and I voted party-line since this past time 'round he had such a hard time getting folks to play nice in the sandbox and allow things to actually happen/get done.
I also have to say that I am saddened by my friends; from all "sides" and all parties and all walks of life that got down right rude and nasty with folks this time around. I was stunned. The name calling and hatred thrown around was staggering to me. And though we'd all like to think our candidates are the greatest, lets be honest: no one is as good as too many of you think by spewing so much hatred toward whichever other side/party and no one is as nasty and devastating either.
This has happened for some time now folks: one candidate wins and another loses. This is going to keep happening going forward. I only hope the next election doesn't bring out as much hatred and negativity and name-calling. At the end of the day, do you really think you'll ever convince anyone that you're right by calling names and spitting hate? 'Cause I'm thinking you kind of won't. And why: why, why, why cause actual fights with family and friends and actually lose people from your life over political fights? I love having people that don't agree with me on everything in my life! This is in part how I learn and grow and am introduced to new ideas. When you get right down to it, it's actually kind of a piece of what this country is all about.
Many folks that know me asked why I was so adament about no political talk on my FB account. I was hap-hap-happy to comment on other peoples' posts and to "like" comments and funny pictures and commentaries posted by others...to debate with strangers but, given the tone (and what I witnessed on so, so many of the posts I did participate in) I just didn't have the energy to watch people fight on my own wall, to 'cause drifts and arguments and to monitor people's comments (and heck, I don't have a smart phone so too much can go on while I'm tending to other matters! have to get a smart phone!). I am by no means a shrinking violet, I just saw a line I chose not to cross...because strangers fight with strangers and we lose friends and in the end, that is sad and silly. I don't mind disagreeing with you on politics; I'd probably appreciate a true debate (without yelling and name calling) but because of the tone this year, I couldn't risk it so, I didn't.
While I don't want to fight about politics I will state my stance. Please note: these beliefs would lead me to leave my home, my family and my everyday world to march, to protest and quite honestly I think: to die for; it really, truly means that much to me. I have to vote for the person/party/whatever that is for civil liberties and against oppression of any kind. It quite literally sickens me to think that today, in 2012 there's still an issue about equal pay for equal work, freedom of choice for a woman over her body, healthcare as a necessary benefit and marriage freakin' equality.
I'll try to not go on and on here because really, these are what I believe to be basic rights and are so fundamental they shouldn't need a whole ton of explaining.
I'm a female. I'm smart. I'm educated. I'm capable. There's no good reason that given an apples to apples comparsion I should make any less money for same work/same position than a male. None.
Again: female. My body. My belief that life doesn't actually begin at conception (I believe the potential for life begins at conception but a stack of cells and no brain and no heartbeat does not = life to me). Beyond that I still think girls, teenagers, women get pregnant on accident all the time (and I won't even touch rape, incest, threat of a mother's death because those are absolute non-negotiable circumstances). Whether this is due to ignorance, a failure in contraception, laziness or anything else...why bring an unwanted life into this screwed up world? All the folks who believe this is murder and horrendous and against god; I respect your belief but unless you can somehow carry this child to term and then agree to raise it: hands off my uterus please. Is it pleasant? Not so much but such is the madness we call this world and the madness that is life.
Healthcare. That's a tricky one for me. Do I believe it's a "right"? I'm not sure. Do I believe that the financial betterment of this country and the overall welfare of its' citizens depends on folks having equal access to quality care? Well - yes. I have been in the healthcare industry for over 18yrs now. Insurance, billing, patient, too many family members to count 'in the trenches': nurses, dieticians, physician assistants etc. I know that having equal access to equal care will, in the end save our country; truly: save-our-country. I'd like to go on and on about this ('cause it's kind of one of my areas of expertise!) but well, I'm not going to right now.
And now to marriage equality. All I have to say is: what? How is this an issue? I have gay family members, gay friends, gay neighbors and I'll tell you what: they're just people folks. Not unlike you or I or your kids or neighbors. They don't love differently, they don't live differently - they just have different, built-in tastes. Let me also say that of the gay relationships I know of, theirs seem to be longer lasting and less dramatic than any heterosexual relationship I know of (honest to god).
So, those are my short pieces on my beliefs. I am concerned about the economy, I am concerned about China, I am concerned about taxes. I really am. But I believe though, without basic, human rights there's no good ground to stand on to fight anything else. How can we tackle huge international, military, economic or other problems when we're still living in a country where folks choose to deny basic civil liberties to their neighbors?
See, I believe you have to take care of your own first. I donate a lot to charity (time, money, etc.) but you'll never see me donating to causes that take money out of this country (and mostly, not even out of my general vacinity); not that I begrudge anyone who donates to any charitable cause, because I don't, just that I truly believe you have to start at home. Take care of yourself and your families, then your neighbors and their neighbors and so forth. A big piece of this "taking care" is ensuring everyone here has basic, human rights. Because once that's achieved: can you imagine that truly united front?
Now that would be a force to be reckoned with!