Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Some righteous indignation

(Originally posted on MySpace on Saturday, March 10, 2007)

I know the presidential election is still over a year and a half away, but things are already heating up. I think this may be a bad thing because it only serves to burn out the American public even faster than the normal election process does. But it's started and there's nothing anyone can do about it now except try to pay attention as the candidates lie and bluster their way into positioning themselves to win the ultimate power.

Over the last few weeks, several of my liberal friends have leveled a charge of "single issue voter" at me because I've made the claim that I won't vote for any candidate that says they are against gay marriage. I find this charge disappointing and somewhat pathetic. Disappointing because I expect these people, especially as so-called liberals, to have a bit more understanding about why I'm making this choice. Pathetic because to me it looks like these people are so desperate for a change that they'll except any bullshit masquerading as "liberal" instead of demanding what these people should be standing up for as a "liberal" candidate.

If I was truly a "single issue voter" and that single issue was gay marriage, then I would automatically give my vote to Rudy Giuliani or Dennis Kucinich. This isn't going to happen even though both candidates have come out in favor of gay marriage and gay rights in the past.

Giuliani did manage to actually clean up New York City and make it safer for the common man. But he did so by sneaky and potentially illegal means. He also managed to alienate most of the people of the city and would have lost his next election if it weren't for the terrorist attacks on 9/11, which managed to make him into a hero to many. While I admit he handled the 9/11 disaster masterfully, I still have big problems with the way he trampled people's rights while trying to clean up the city. We've had enough of that under our current president and I certainly don't want to see any more of it after 2008, although I'm not naïve enough to actually believe it still won't happen under a Democratic president. It just won't happen as obviously. I don't trust Giuliani and he will not get my vote, even if he does continue to come out in favor of gay marriage, although I expect he'll abandon that endorsement as the election heats up, the same way John McCain has abandoned everything he's believed in in order to court the extreme conservatives he needs to win the election.

(By the way, I find it very interesting that the radical evangelical right is expressing disgust over Giuliani's past divorces and current family problems, while embracing the hypocritical Newt Gingrich for having the same problems. I have to admit though that I've never understood the evangelical right's logic. But that's a different topic for a different time.)

Then there's Kucinich, who actually feels like the only possibly sincere and honest politician running this race. He did perform one of the worst mayoral jobs of all time in Cleveland though and that's got to count against him as a presidential candidate. And he just sometimes comes across as a bit of a nutcase, but that just may be the vegan in him. In the long run though, he won't win the nomination and won't be in the final running for President. He just can't be taken seriously and won't be getting my vote.

So, already several other issues have come into play in my decision making about whom I will vote for.

There are many other issues at play here. There are abortion rights, global warming, the economy and many others, and in most cases I side with the liberal views on them. But few of them, with the exception of the economy, really are going to have as much impact on my life as gay rights and marriage rights in particular will. I pay taxes and perform jury duty just like everyone. And I'm still expected to support a country that won't give me full rights as a citizen that many others take for granted. I've had a 27 year relationship that isn't valid in the eyes of my government, a government that refuses to give me the same benefits it gives to heterosexuals who indulge in marriages, many of which are not as serious or long lasting as my union. I'm then told by some friends that I shouldn't be taking this issue as seriously as I am. That there are other serious matters to take into consideration and may be more important. (To them at least.) I wonder how seriously these friends would take it if one of the Democratic candidates said that Muslims shouldn't be allowed to vote or that Jews shouldn't be allowed to marry. Or to bring it even closer to home, if a candidate said that neurotic white people shouldn't get married, would these people suddenly question giving that candidate their vote even if they agreed with many of that candidate's other platforms? Now that the issue is something that is close to them, I don't think so. So excuse me my righteous indignation. This topic is close to me and I don't expect these liberals to truly understand that since the issue is just another in a long line of issues that doesn't threaten their existence. They're just never going to get it. And if that hurts their liberal sensibility, then perhaps they need to learn to be a little more honest with themselves about it all.

(Check out this week's episode of "South Park", titled "With Apologies To Jesse Jackson" for more on this topic.)

In my eyes, any candidate who claims to be against gay marriage is a bigot and I refuse to vote for a bigot. I've been told that many of them actually are in favor of gay marriage but they're waiting for the majority of the American public to step into line before being honest about it. But I question whether I should trust someone who won't stand up for what is right just because they are afraid to. That attitude would have been disastrous for blacks looking for their freedom or women looking for theirs. Or even for mixed races who wanted to marry. Those people would still be in the bad situations they were in if not for brave politicians that stood up for what was right even if it was unpopular amongst the general public.

I'm not going to settle for a candidate just because they label themselves a Democrat, although many of these friends seem willing to do just that. Its time for these so-called Democratic candidates to start acting in a way a true Democrat should. Instead, they're all playing duck-and-cover and trying to appeal across the board to both liberals and conservatives. It hasn't worked for them in the past and it won't work for them now. If just one candidate would be honest and stand up for what they believe is right, then they would get my vote. And I think they would get a whole lot of other votes as well. I truly believe that the American public is looking for an honest candidate who will stand up for what they believe and fight to prove that those beliefs are the correct path for this country to follow. In fact, a new Associated Press-Ipsos poll backs me up on that. You can find an article about it here:


Now, we'll see how this election progresses. I reserve the right to change my mind if I need to. But the current crop of Democrats don't fill me with hope. Hillary Clinton is a chameleon who will change her colors as she feels the public wants her to, much as her husband did. David Geffen was 100% correct about the two of them. I don't trust them and I never will. And the rest are still just bumbling around trying to find their way and not doing a very good job of it so far. But there's still 19 months to go and a lot can change in that time.

We'll see, but I suspect that I will finally be doing what so many people should have been doing quite a while ago. That would be voting for a viable third party candidate. And for the first time in half a dozen elections, I won't feel like I have to vomit in my mouth. Once the American public wakes up and realizes that there are many viable choices out there that should be paid attention to, then true change in our tired, cynical and sad political system can finally begin. But as long as people continue to just vote only because a candidate is a Democrat or a Republican, or a supposed liberal or conservative, then we as a society deserve the mess we get in return.

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