I don't want this to be a political blog. But politics are important, and sometimes, I can't stay quiet anymore.
I used to call myself an ostrich when it came to politics. I'd bury my head in the sand because frankly I just didn't care. If it didn't have an immediate impact upon me then I didn't need to know about it.
That's what we call White Privilege. The fact that I could choose to ignore politics just because it didn't negatively impact me. I didn't think it really mattered who was elected for whatever office because essentially all politicians are the same, right? Though I have historically voted a party line because - at least in theory - they would most closely match my own ideals. And that was only in Presidential elections. None of the others ever mattered really.
Except they do. This is the EXACT mentality that keeps the "bad" politicians in office. It's due to privilege. And because I am privileged, I really should be speaking up for those that can't. Or are under-represented. Because it is the right thing to do for my fellow man (or woman).
And while I've tried to be more informed the last few Presidential elections, the results of 2016 was a HUGE wake up call. To me and many like me. A lot of us are trying to make our voices heard. And it makes me so sad when people don't listen.
So, if you keep reading, I hope you listen to what I am saying. Really listen. Please try to understand a point of view that may differ from your own. These are the topics that are most important to me. This is not an end all, be all list. These are not intended to imply they are the only things that are important to me or should be the only things important to anyone.
1. Gun Control - let's start here. I am not advocating taking away anyone's guns. And I am not aware (personally) of anyone that is advocating that. I am not anti-gun. But I fail to see why gun control is such a hot button topic. Like why does this need to be discussed? Children are starting school this week and learning what to do in the case of an active shooter. How are we as a nation ok with this? Why can't we agree that some restrictions would be a good thing? I don't know what the answer is but I don't know why we can't cross party lines and try to come up with something that could potentially keep ALL of us safer. It isn't right that a child can't go to school without having to know that an active shooter is a possibility. It isn't right that people can't gather at something as simple as a street festival without worrying about getting shot. It isn't right that you can't go to work or shopping or a club or a movie or a concert without worrying about getting shot.
I don't understand how many people have to die before we say enough. ONE person tried to board a plane with a shoe bomb and now we all have to take our shoes off at the airport. Unless I'm misremembering, no one died. And yet hundreds have died just this year from mass shootings and nothing has changed. I don't understand how better gun control isn't something we can universally agree on.
2. Love is Love - and you should be whomever you were born to be. I can't believe this is still a topic to be discussed. I may not personally understand all the gender identifiers there are now but that doesn't mean I can't respect someone that identifies in a way that differs from how they were born. How does it have anything to do with how I live my life? You might not understand anything other than male/female assignation at birth but why should it bother you if someone else can? Why is it any of my business - other than I need to know what pronoun to use?
And why does it matter if a man wants to marry a man or a woman wants to marry a woman? Love is love. WHY IS THIS STILL A DISCUSSION? Why are we as a society so concerned about what is in a person's pants...and how they choose to enjoy it? As long as everyone is consenting, and no one is getting hurt, how is it anyone's business other than the parties involved?
And please don't bring religion into this. We are a nation founded on religious freedom. There is *supposed* to be a separation of church and state. Religion has no place in this discussion. If being LGBTQ is against your religion, then don't be LGBTQ if you don't want to be (as if its a choice). If "gay marriage" - which is just marriage BTW - is against your religion, then don't marry someone that has the same genitals you do. You are entitled to your opinion and your religion but it isn't right to force those on other people. No one is trying to force you to be gay. Just like no one is forcing the Baptists to be Catholic. Or vice versa. So why should your religion dictate the laws of the land?
3. Abortion - Again, I thought this was resolved ages ago. I don't even know where to get started on this. I understand - again - that for many this is a religious issue. But again, why should religion dictate law in a nation where people are free to choose how they worship (or don't). Isn't that one of the things that made America great? Our right to choose?
I would be willing to say that at least 95% of women that get an abortion did not make that decision lightly (yes I just pulled that number out of the air but I stand by it). There are so many factors to consider - age, circumstances, financial stability, health...who knows. She shouldn't have to worry about safety too. Just because it is legal doesn't make it easy. It's a decision she has to live with every day for the rest of her life. And it isn't painless. Not to mention the throngs of protesters she has to go through just to enter the building...and then again when she exits.
Bottom line is, unless we plan on regulating what men can do with their bodies then I don't understand why regulating women's is up for debate. And NO, I am not advocating for regulating men's bodies. I don't understand why the government should have any say in what a person can do to his or her own body. Which sort of brings us to healthcare...
4. Healthcare - again, I don't know the answer. But why are we ok with people going bankrupt to stay alive? I was told earlier this week about a person WITH insurance that had to be Careflighted to the hospital and his portion was over $22,000. TWENTY. TWO. THOUSAND. DOLLARS. To save his life. And that was just his portion of the helicopter bill. So yes, I am pro finding some solution that reduces medical expenses. And yes, even if that means I have to pay more in taxes. Because it is for the greater good.
5. Climate - I can't even debate the facts with you if you don't believe in climate change. You do you. But how can reducing waste and emissions be a bad thing? Even if climate change IS a hoax. Why can't we just try to be nicer to Mother Earth just because?
6. Humanity - look. All this really boils down to - at least for me - is being kind to your fellow man (or woman). Stop concentrating on what makes us different and just be kind to one another. Stop caring about what other people do in their bedrooms and try to make the world a little better. And I don't need any God to tell me that...though I did learn the Golden Rule in kindergarten.
Treat people the way you want to be treated. It can't be any simpler than that.