Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You're not a Republican

I've been thinking more and more about one of those goals I mentioned--running for public office. I looked up some things. You know, in 2008, a woman won an elected office in California with only 600 votes? It was for two positions. The guy that came in second with 500 votes, also won a seat. It was a member board seat for the Arhole Unified School District. I've never even heard of that place. I'm guessing there's not many voters in that area. But still, if I wanted to start out small, there's room for that. The dinky offices in Sacramento are a few thousand votes. Still, that's doable with a lot of campaigning.

I'd want to get a more appropriate education. A BA in Anthropology is cool and all, but not all that helpful for dealing with political issues. Yeah, I know. Most the people in lower elected office only have under graduate degrees, if that, and in less useful areas. You can tell because they just list "alumni" of the college they went to, rather than their degree in their bios. Maybe that means they didn't even finish school.

Well, I looked into what it would take for me to get into a Masters degree program in Economics at Sac State. Not much, as it turns out. Let's say I worked on my Masters in Econ at the same time I worked on my BS in Computer Science. That might be pretty cool.

But here's the big problem I face. Both political parties are basically controlled by outside groups. The unions control the Dems, and the corporations control the Republicans. The unions can organize votes for lower election offices. The big corporations can back the higher offices. Maybe this is why California tends to have Republican Governors, but has had a Democrat controlled state congress for the last 40 years. As a Republican starting out small, I'd have an uphill climb. I'm certainly not pro unions and not willing to pretend that I am. I like that being a Republican makes me an underdog, though here's another issue. I'm a social moderate. I could score big points with Republicans opposing gay marriage, but I don't oppose gay marriage. This sort of puts me in the worst of both worlds in terms of support. Dems might agree with me on social issues, but won't vote for a Republican no matter what. Republicans who really care about social issues might not see me as an improvement over the Dem, so might not bother voting. But if I did run, I'd have to run as me. I like who I am, even if it doesn't make me a politically viable candidate. I'm not afraid of challenge though.

Well, speaking of gay marriage, I want to talk about Prop 8 for a while since it got repealed. I've been pretty unhappy about the comments I've seen made by other Republicans on the various Facebook pages I frequent. Most of it has been despicable. Let's go through some of these comments.

-- "This Liberal activist judge over turned the will of the people!"
There's a lot wrong with this. Judge Walker isn't a Liberal, for one. He was appointed by Ronald Reagan. His appointment was challenged by, and fought against by Nancy Pelosi who labeled him a homophobe. She didn't know he was a homosexual. Dumb ass Nancy just assumed since a Republican nominated him, he had to be an intolerant hate monger. Dumb ass hypocrite Nancy, in turn, showed who really was the hate monger, but that's beside the point.

I find it offensive that too many Republicans call him a Liberal. Gay marriage is a civil rights issue. Calling someone a Liberal because they care about civil rights is a massive insult to the very many of us non Liberals who care about civil rights. If you don't care about civil rights, then you don't belong in the Republican party.

Ok, next "the will of the people." I want to remind people that the US has never been, and hopefully will never be, a Democracy. We are a Republic. That means the masses do not rule simply because we can. We have the Bill of Rights and the mob cannot take away rights from people just by out numbering them. Polls show that most Californians favor gay marriage. Prop 8 only passed by 52%. It barely squeaked by. Let's not get all high and mighty about the will of the people when the vote is about a 50/50 chance each time it's put up for a vote and polls show younger voters tend to overwhelmingly support gay rights... aka, as the older generation passes on, the polls shift more and more. It's just a matter of time before it's legal all over the country. Prop 8 supporters are on the wrong side of history.

--"Homosexuality isn't natural"
This is an opinion based on what "natural" means. Our closest cousins in the animal kingdom are bonobos(close to chimpanzees). Homosexuality is a lot more common in bonobos than in humans. Look it up. All you people that think homosexuality doesn't happen in the animal kingdom, you're dead wrong. Dead wrong. All sorts of things can be considered unnatural. Being born infertile, birth defects, mental illness, and The Icecapades.

--"For two thousand years, marriage has been between a man and a woman."
I don't know where this "two thousand years" comes from, but I've seen and heard a lot of people quote it. Marriage is a hell of a lot older than 2k years. As far as we know, the Neanderthals might have practiced marriage. That would make it hundreds of thousands of years old. But in either case, I don't understand what this is supposed to say and why it's supposed to carry any weight. Slavery has been around a lot longer than 2k years as well. Does that mean Lincoln was wrong and we should bring it back?

--"If gays can get married, what's next? People marrying their dog?"
This is the same argument you can make against interracial marriage. This does, perhaps make it easier for the people fighting for the rights to marry their pets. But I'd bet you can fit all of those people on a single episode of Jerry Springer. This just isn't a serious issue. If people want to marry their dogs, we can cross that bridge when we come to it. No one would be able to get enough signatures to support it being on the ballot. No politician would bring it up for a vote. No law maker would slip it into a bill. It's an incredibly empty argument that has no weight.

--"If gays can marry, I don't want to have to let my children be taught that homosexuality is ok."
Part of this is the incorrect idea that homosexuality is a choice. It isn't. No one would chose to be gay if it was. So if your kid is taught that homosexuals exist, it doesn't make your kids more or less likely to be gay themselves. You can't be recruited into being gay. Second, by saying this, you're not only condemning an entire group, but you're passing on your hate and ignorance to your children. I'd much rather my children know that some people are gay than be taught hurtful stereotyping and intolerance.

--"The point of marriage is to procreate."
One, says who? And two, not a damn person would tell an infertile couple they can't get married. This is the dumbest of the excuses.

Well, that's all the arguments I can remember seeing. As a side note, let me remind people that we Republicans are the party of Abraham Lincoln that freed the slaves because it was the right thing to do. The Democrats are the party that fought to maintain slavery, that fought for segregation and that founded the KKK.

Republicans are the party of Teddy Roosevelt that fought for the 8 hour work day and to end child labor exploitation. Democrats are the party that fight to take freedoms away from us like if we have the right to pay for health care or not.

Republicans are the party that overwhelmingly supported the Civil Rights Acts of 1966 and 68 and President Lyndon Johnson could only get luke warm support from his own party on it--and ultimately lost any chance of re-election from his base because of it.

Republicans are the party that have fought for school vouchers to get poor kids out of the ghettos and crumbling schools and let the parents chose to send them anywhere they want to. Democrats are the party that exploits the poor and keeps them in endless cycles of poverty to keep them as reliable voters while convincing them it's the Republicans' fault.

Never forget that Republicans have had a very long history of fighting for the little guy. Homosexuals are the little guys. Fighting for their rights should be a Republican cause. You can't call yourself a Republican if you disagree.

If you don't think Republicans are the party that fights for the rights and freedoms of all Americans, then you're not a Republican.

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