Archive for November, 2008

November 12, 2008

Redefining Democracy?

Gay couples can start to marry in Connecticut

While this is certainly news, it’s not really that part I’ll be focusing on.

No, the part I want to focus on is this:

The Family Institute of Connecticut, a political action group that opposes gay marriage, condemned the high court’s decision as undemocratic.

I’m about as liberal as it gets, so some would call me biased. But I absolutely do not understand how, in any possible interpretation of the word, giving the exact same rights to all American citizens can even begin to be considered “undemocratic”. The the very founders of our nation held “these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” and agreed that all are endowed “with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. I fail to understand how gay people are not included in this, and how marriage isn’t considered “the pursuit of Happiness” (okay, for some of us married straight folks, that might be a touch questionable at times, but the point stands).

I can not begin to fathom what could possibly make someone believe, in their heart, that they have the right to tell someone who they can or can’t marry. Even if you want to throw out Bible verses that say it’s wrong, that same Bible tells us it’s not our place to judge (Matthew 7:1, which is ironic, because I hear so often that the New Testament is what the Church goes by, but so many want to ignore that and use the Old Testament to back up their prejudices).

Once upon a time, not so long ago, people were denied their rights because of the color of their skin. Forty-some years later, most of us would claim that we find this thinking to be completely unacceptable and wouldn’t dream of trying to take away those rights. And yet, we’re proving over and over again, in state after state, that it’s exactly what we, as a nation, want to do. It’s just a different group of people this time.

We want to spread democracy throughout the world, when we can’t even manage to grasp the concept here in our own country.

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November 5, 2008

A Brand New Day

When they announced that Barack Obama would be our next president, it actually didn’t even occur to me that this was a “historic moment” because we’d just elected our first black president. My first thought was, “People are finally waking up.” After eight years of ridiculous policies, tolerated only because of the “excellent leadership” [of Bush’s speechwriters] after 9/11, we’re finally stepping up and saying, “Enough is enough. We want change.”

I have mixed emotions regarding McCain. I never thought he was a bad guy. In fact, had he chosen to run against Bush in 2004, I’d have voted for him without hesitation. But the man we’ve seen in the media for the past year wasn’t John McCain. John McCain is a war-hero, a reasonably forward-thinker, and a very fair man, willing to work both sides of the party lines to get things done; he is a man who always put his country first and his party second. What we saw instead was someone pandering hard to try to get votes for his party, changing his policies and his personality in the hopes of contradicting the notion that he was a moderate Republican. I grew to absolutely loathe the man that he’d become. But in his concession speech last night, we got a glimpse at the former McCain. And I can honestly believe that he will do his best to work with both sides to try to heal our damaged nation.

As for Obama… I’m thrilled that he was elected, and look forward to seeing what he can do. But I fear for him, as well. He has four years to try to undo the massive damage that’s been done over the past eight, and I’m not sure that kind of repair can happen that quickly. He’s the head of the cleaning crew, brought in to clean up after someone else has made a huge mess, and if it doesn’t get done, he’s the one that’ll be blamed for the mess. But I also think that if anyone can do it, he can. See, people want to go on about how he’s all talk, and how all he really managed to do was inspire people and give them hope. But what those people don’t quite grasp is that inspiring is exactly what a great leader needs to do, and hope is exactly what we need. We are the ones who elect our leaders and our policy-makers. We are the ones who voted overwhelmingly for a change in the House and the Senate as well as in the White House. And we are the ones who will vote them right back out of office if they can’t do the jobs we’ve given them.

The biggest part of changing things is making the choice to stop letting things just happen, making the decision to stand up and demand change. And yesterday, America did just that.

November 5, 2008

A Brand New Day

When they announced that Barack Obama would be our next president, it actually didn’t even occur to me that this was a “historic moment” because we’d just elected our first black president. My first thought was, “People are finally waking up.” After eight years of ridiculous policies, tolerated only because of the “excellent leadership” [of Bush’s speechwriters] after 9/11, we’re finally stepping up and saying, “Enough is enough. We want change.”

I have mixed emotions regarding McCain. I never thought he was a bad guy. In fact, had he chosen to run against Bush in 2004, I’d have voted for him without hesitation. But the man we’ve seen in the media for the past year wasn’t John McCain. John McCain is a war-hero, a reasonably forward-thinker, and a very fair man, willing to work both sides of the party lines to get things done; he is a man who always put his country first and his party second. What we saw instead was someone pandering hard to try to get votes for his party, changing his policies and his personality in the hopes of contradicting the notion that he was a moderate Republican. I grew to absolutely loathe the man that he’d become. But in his concession speech last night, we got a glimpse at the former McCain. And I can honestly believe that he will do his best to work with both sides to try to heal our damaged nation.

As for Obama… I’m thrilled that he was elected, and look forward to seeing what he can do. But I fear for him, as well. He has four years to try to undo the massive damage that’s been done over the past eight, and I’m not sure that kind of repair can happen that quickly. He’s the head of the cleaning crew, brought in to clean up after someone else has made a huge mess, and if it doesn’t get done, he’s the one that’ll be blamed for the mess. But I also think that if anyone can do it, he can. See, people want to go on about how he’s all talk, and how all he really managed to do was inspire people and give them hope. But what those people don’t quite grasp is that inspiring is exactly what a great leader needs to do, and hope is exactly what we need. We are the ones who elect our leaders and our policy-makers. We are the ones who voted overwhelmingly for a change in the House and the Senate as well as in the White House. And we are the ones who will vote them right back out of office if they can’t do the jobs we’ve given them.

The biggest part of changing things is making the choice to stop letting things just happen, making the decision to stand up and demand change. And yesterday, America did just that.

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