I was wrong


In a blog post, which I’ve since deleted because I cannot stand by it anymore, I said that I was torn on the contraception issue due to 1st Amendment concerns. Here and now I am admitting I was wrong. Why would I say that? Because what was not considered in my opinion was the broader issue of contraceptive rights. The right wing has seized the opportunity presented by this and ran with it.

The anti-women and anti-contraceptive jihad has new fuel because of this. Representative Darrell Issa  held a hearing on the issue of contraceptives with no female witnesses. Foster Friess, the main contributor to Santorum’s Super PAC, said on Andrea Mitchell Reports “And this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s [so] inexpensive. Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.” It makes me wonder how someone who is ignorant enough to say that could become that rich. He later said that it was intended to be a joke. An ignorant joke indicates ignorance on the part of the person telling it.

On top of all that, even though the President announced a compromise on the issue on religious differences, right wingers are still saying that it is a religious issue and not an issue on women’s rights and contraceptive rights. Although it did start out as the former, it has obviously moved into the latter. It has, apparently, become impossible to have an intelligent conversation on such issues in today’s political climate. If I have contributed to this becoming the issue it has, even though I don’t have enough people following this blog to make a difference, I feel that I must apologize for that.

Which brings me to some thoughts on why people belong to various political parties. I announced a few months ago that I switched from being a Democrat to being a member of the Green Party. This is not because I believe that the Green Party has any chance, on a national level, to become a legitimate third party. I admit that I will probably have no choice but to vote for President Obama in 2012, mainly because the alternative is much worse. That is also an indication of the sorry state our political system is in; the lesser of two evils has become the political reality. But on the local level I will push for Green Party candidates over any other party. I will still examine each candidate and judge them on their record, but if it is a marginal call, the decision on who to vote for will go to the Green candidate.

Don’t get me wrong; in my opinion 2/3 of what the President has done is good for the nation. But in so many things he has gone against some of my core beliefs. The Health Care Reform Act was great in so many ways, but the mandate was a gift to the health insurance industry. Also, that very mandate could prove to be the downfall of the whole act, so all of the good things it tried to do may be wiped away. And the many ways in which he has supported the energy industry in their assault on the environment is unforgivable in my opinion.

I will vote the way I have to vote in the best interests of the our country, but in affiliation I chose according to my conscience. So I have some questions for people on why they belong to the parties they belong to. This isn’t facetiousness  on my part; I am not making fun of anyone. It is, instead, a genuine curiosity. I can explain, in boring detail, why I vote the way I do as well as my views on most issues.

If you are GLBTQ or Pagan (in any of the various forms) why would you be a member of the Republican Party? The Evangelicals hold so much influence over that party, that there is no chance that your rights will be upheld or your viewpoints respected. Although their influence has flagged somewhat since the glory days of Reagan, and swung both up and down during the W years, it is on the upswing again. As testament to this, witness the rise of people like Santorum and Perry. Even in those times when it has not been overtly evident, the strong influence behind the scenes has always been there.

If you are an environmentalist you may be able to rationalize being affiliated with the Democrats. Goddess knows that I did for many years. But if you are a member of the Republican party you may as well admit defeat now. The Koch brothers influence is undeniable. Energy concerns are working in tandem with the Religious Right to make the Republican party their own private playground.

If you are anti-big business or anti-Wall Street, neither of the two major parties are on your side. Although the President has, of late, adopted OWS rhetoric his record, and the record of the Democratic party, on these issues is lukewarm at best. And forget the Republican party; they are pro-billionaire all the way.

I am not saying that the Green Party is the best; they are simply more in line with my beliefs concerning the immediate needs of the planet, than any of the others. But there are many “third parties” out there. For a partial list go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_United_States . As a  side note, the one I find most amusing on that list is the American Pirate Party.

Amusement factor aside, I will also say that there are at least three others on that list that I could identify with. If the climate crisis were to be resolved tomorrow, I could easily swing into one of those other parties.

I know that you are thinking “With the political system being the way it is, isn’t it useless to belong to anything other than one of the two major parties?” And that is the point. Are you satisfied with the status-quo? Or would you like to introduce more questions into the political conversation?  My opinion is that the more voices there are in the conversation, the more intelligent and considered that conversation will become.

We are stuck with what we have only because we allow it to be that way. You may have noticed that this seems to be a recurring theme in my recent posts. And you would be right in that. “We the People” still should mean all of the people. All of us are individuals with our own viewpoints. I know that my viewpoints do not represent everyone’s beliefs. As evidenced by my admission earlier, sometimes they don’t even represent my own. I am, however, willing to adapt and change those beliefs when presented with reasonable opposing evidence.

Take a look at the list and pick a party that fits your beliefs. Then push for that party. Present your own point of view. By doing so we can truly make this the democratic nation it was intended to be, and the truly free state it believe it to be.

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