Thursday, November 15, 2012

PHB: Equality Precedes Economy

In this Huffington Post link, The Big Lie: 'I Love My Gay Friends, but I'm Voting for Romney Anyway' by Christopher Hennessy on Oct 30, 2012, the bit that struck me most was his skit with a future son asking a Romney supporter, "is it worth building an economy on the foundation of inequality?" or something like that.

Or exactly like this:
But what good would that future be if it was based on inequality, if people like you voted for someone like him?


Basically, once we come to the realization that our rights are out of whack, we need to fix that along with the economy, but the foundation of equality must underpin the economy, never the other way around.

Without access to birth control, women are not equal citizens - flat out. Without access to the same laws that apply to straight people, gay people aren't equal citizens, flat out. As long as we continue to arrest 10% of the black men in this country, particularly for things that white people are given a pass on, black people aren't equal citizens - full stop. Any argument that has been used to deny rights to minorities in the past should immediately invalidate it in the present. We need to focus on what to do with our future, but one party is making what is hopefully its dying last attempt at putting women, gays, and blacks in "their proper place" as inferior to and at the pleasure of white men. This is not a fight we should be wasting time on, but it's well funded, very vocal, and extremely damaging. So fight it we must. That the equality gains circa 1912 need an all hands on deck defense in 2012 is appalling. No one should be proud that some Americans fight against equal rights for all citizens.

This year the choice is between people and parties who are either for (more) equal rights or who don't give a damn. And if they don't give a damn about some citizen's rights, it's only a matter of time before they don't care about your rights. Without basic legal rights, the economy does not matter because chances are it will screw you. Remember how much businessmen cared about people before unions? Yeah. You're 95% likely to get the short end of that economic stick, so make sure the short sticks aren't all that short. Vote your rights and your money will follow. Vote for money (because Republican neocons have NEVER driven the economy into the ground...), and your rights will vanish.

In theory, we should have two or more somewhat reasonable candidates representing, in mostly good faith, variations on what the country needs to be healthy and move strongly into the future.

In reality, this year we don't. We have one candidate, Obama, that tries to reason through things, make decisions based on evidence and facts, and keep the whole of the population, if not the world at large, in mind when he makes decisions for us, for our country. We have one candidate who based an entire campaign on saying the convenient thing to make himself sound good in the moment, very few of which were based on facts, evidence, reason, or empathy. Quite literally, they want to undo laws that made other citizens legally equal to white men. They want to legislate from the past to the past. I want a president looking to the future, not in the Pres Bush sense of "I don't have to acknowledge failure", but in the sense that we acknowledge gains in equality as victories, not as mishaps, and move forward.

Some times there *aren't* two legitimate sides to a position. One can argue about how to interpret facts and data. One cannot dismiss all facts and data one doesn't like and retain credibility. We should be fighting about the best way to address pollution and climate change, not whether we should address them. We should be talking about how to regulate the business practices that tanked the world's economy, not whether. We should be talking about how to explore our lands and oceans, skies and universe, not whether. We should be talking about the best way to provide income and security for the infirm, not if they "deserve" it. We should be talking about the best way to provide health care, not if we should ensure quality healthcare. we should be dreaming up the infrastructure of tomorrow and patching the infrastructure of today, not pulling the ladder up behind us and saying "that's enough".

Because these things are needs that our, and every country, grapples with. Working on them makes us all stronger. They make us all wealthier. They make us all more free - more free to do the things we love to do and love the families we build.

I'm trying to figure out how to say that the Republican platform is illegitimate yet avoid confounding it with the modern Republican assertion that a democratically elected President is illegitimate. The Clinton impeachment had almost nothing to do with sex and almost everything to do with Republicans forcibly asserting that Democrats were illegitimate. They mostly shut down Congress for two years to make the point.

Then we get, "Look, hey, government is broken! Give it back to us!". It's still not entirely clear to me why we couldn't have taken a month to do a recount. Real data in these cases is better than fast data. But the Republicans battered their way back into power. They inherited the dotcom bust - I don't lay that on Bush. But from then on, the recovery was anemic. (It took me 10 years to recover my 401K funds - not to where they should have been, but to what they'd been 10 years before.) I hated the response to 9/11 and hate it to this day - two unfunded wars - one nakedly unprovoked; the 4th amendment violations required to fly; requiring citizen documentation that would make the Soviets of old shudder; and unrelated to that, firing up the war on women and aggressively throwing money and lives away on the drug war. And war is not too strong a word. then the lead the world into a global economic catastrophe. Whole countries went bankrupt to allow a few thousand businessmen to run the game and take the game ball home with them. They preached then and preach now in favor of the very policies that put much of the world in a tailspin.

Then Obama was elected and the wingnuts flew off their mooring bolts. A black democrat? Extra super illegitimate! Women? Extra super icky? Gays? Bringing about the end of the world. Immigrants! It must be the Immigrants! (The only place I have any respect for Pres Bush II is keeping the nuts in check over immigration.)

Romney voters keep saying that they're not racist, they just don't think
  • Obama had an education (He has one of the best available in the country),
  • that he wasn't born here (he was. Besides, how many teen moms fly halfway around the world at 7 months to give birth at their in law's? In a third world country the '60s? They visited later; she was with her own parents for the birth),
  • he isn't a "leader" (he "leads from behind" to avoid the trap of supporting something before the Republicans go on record as supporting it as they deliberately oppose everything he does. If he "leads" the way they goad him to, he loses even more. So he sidesteps their game.),
  • that he's a foodstamp/ affirmative action hire. (Remember that Harvard Education? That DNC speech? Authoring books? Teaching Constitutional law at a top university? He did those in spite of being black.)
No, not every Romney voter is racist, but their primary ideology has racism at it core. And homophobia and mysogyny. It's no mistake that their candidates are clean cut "All American" lily white men, however many binders of women they employ. Romney voters keep saying that they're now "ok with gay people" meaning "as long as I don't have to think about them" and "I'll move from active obstruction of your rights to passive obstruction of your rights, primarily through surrogates so I have plausible deniability". But they're willing to buy your and my rights for a tax break of a few hundred dollars. Equality's one of those notions that is path dependent. But like a hysteresis, once the gaps are seen, it's impossible to not see them. We can fight them, but we do it knowing it's wrong. Losing a superior status is not remotely equivalent to loosing rights. Losing privilege, yes. But in a meritocratic society, privilege should be earned, not given, not assumed. Or the reverse. Assume everyone is grand until proven otherwise by bad behavior. Romney and the majority of Republicans are behaving badly, throwing tantrums when they don't get their way. Guess what? You don't always get your way. Grow up and vote for Obama. Help him cement the gains we've made. Then scramble like crazy to figure out a nominee for 2016. And how to improve the Democrat's platform, messaging, and plans. Team Obama for the win, but he's only one guy. As he recently said, our work is not done.

[Sorry for any weird typos or awkward structure; it's hard to edit on the iPhone and this is probably 5 or 6 posts worth of content that came out all at once. Also, the links entered via the blogger app aren't working Thanks for your support. ]

4 comments:

farmwifetwo said...

Starting to worry??

I should have sent you the "real" news links about the election.

Personally, I find Obama more scary than Bush ever was. Bush was a WYSIWYG kind of guy... Obama is not.

Also, this bull that all "right" people are anti-gay is one of those "left" lies that get really annoying after a while. Ironically, the "left" is anti-free speech... whereas the "right" says what they mean.

I prefer the second personally since I live in a Country where Free Speech is not allowed under the Human Rights Tribunal and is currently in front of the Supreme Court.

Oh... and you can have all the "left" you want but one day financially you have to pay the piper... and that would be the same China the US swats at regularly. Ironically, it's a well documented fact that the "right" not the "left" give to charity and under a "right" government I've had more supports and more funding than I ever did under a left one.

Left mess left behind as the Ont gov't been prorogued indefinately:
1. 1.3B lets move the gas plants to get votes.
2. 1B EHealth - electronic health records
3. 2B Long gun registry - handguns etc have been registered since the early 1900's and still are.
4. 1B ORNGE (air ambulance)
5. 1.5B and counting for full time kindergarten http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/education/article/1160043--toronto-district-school-board-to-allow-430-laid-off-education-assistants-to-retrain-as-early-childhood-educators and the disabled children get the shaft once more. But they're just "retards" right??

The debt level in 9yrs is astounding. Gone from a have to a have not province. Something the "left" should be proud of since they used the "right" as their whipping boy to justify it. But then again, the stories about Europe are just lies aren't they?

I keep waiting for the full depression to hit. I'm truly surprised it hasn't so far... but we can't keep doing what we are doing and to ass(u)me those who believe in spending what you make and not borrowing are all "anti-" (insert list here)... well, enjoy the crash.

BTW, businesses don't owe you a living nor a job. They owe their shareholder's but nobody else. I find it ironic how many people think that someone else, should create work for them and then complain if they don't get the job nor keep the job. If you don't like it, put out the capital, build the infrastructure and make your own job. You're not owed a living... it's your job to make your own way.

Oh, and you should read the book "Then end of Men and the rise of Women". But then again, I like to learn both sides of a discussion, not just the rhetoric of one.

Junior, Orion and Sammy said...

I don't pretend to know all the things going on with politics, but I do know one thing: I do not like the fact that Romney is so anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-equal pay. Actually the anti-woman was enough for me.

Rhonda

CrankyOtter said...

I voted for Obama with a glad heart. He's not an extrovert, really, but not completely opaque.

Here's more on the Romney bullet we dodged.

Our Republican party is so Heavily invested in disenfranchising minorities, women, and non-Israeli foreigners that the detrimental effects of those policies must be factored into a decision to support them. As far as I'm concerned, they don't care to represent a majority of the country and shouldn't be considered as a viable party until they get away from defining themselves by what they want to oppress and suppress (like science and facts), rather than what they want to lift up. Aside from "job creators". FCOL, out CEO made $20M last year and laid off 100 people then a VP joked about how we'd probably rehire them in 6 months (at no seniority, min vacation, etc....) He could have kept at least half, paid for on his own dime, without missing the money.

I think we need more than one viable political party to enable making healthy decisions. Right now we have wingnuts and a loose collection of democrats (not quite do-gooders). 4 more years. We'll see how it goes. At least I can sleep at night. Well, as well as I ever can.

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