One good thing about this election is that it firmed up a resolution I have to not just stand up for what I believe on this blog but make sure I speak out openly and positively in person. It isn't that I have changed my mind about anything substantial, more like various positions have become sharpened and clarified. There were some factors that contributed to this, particularly in this election year.
First up was the viciousness of Republicans in this campaign and the utter ugliness and willingness to smear others with lies. I was shocked that anyone would allow even one person to believe that Barack Obama is connected with terrorism, and say such racist things. I don't know why, but I fully expected that even a party I don't agree with for multiple reasons would have responsible leaders step forward and stop such slurs. Not even the religious right which is supposedly the christian side of things stopped it, which proved the utter emptiness of their philosophy. Even John McCain pulling the mike away from that addled woman in the audience and telling her that Obama was a decent family man wasn't enough because he continued to allow people to think the worst. And some in the Republican party actually like the woman, Sarah Palin, who spoke such inflammatory words herself, even though the Secret Service must have been having fits with the extremist she incited.
It isn't like I didn't see the long knives come out with Kerry, with the Swift Boaters. But it didn't affect me in quite the same way. I thought Kerry should have actively and immediately fought against those lies, and didn't understand why he didnt. The smears were despicable but they didn't incite violence or hate the way the attacks this year did against Obama. It was too much. And it showed how utterly dishonorable John McCain is, and made me consider that his honor was just a shtick in the past that worked in a political arena. My gosh, fully 25 percent of people in Texas thought Obama was a muslim-WHERE were the voices of truth to set them straight?
Second, I saw Prop 8 fail in California. I don't understand why. I've read various explanations, and all have validity and lack vaildity at the same time. All those people who were married a few months ago, including Mr. Sulu. I was happy to see that, at least in some places, people were moving beyond shallow, bigoted viewpoints about what people can do in their private lives. Marriage is not just reserved for heterosexuals in this country, nor should it be so. It's the next prejudice that needs to be overcome. I don't get why people who want others to stay out of their private lives should be so eager to enforce a restriction on others that should have no effect on them. I agree with those that say that it reminds of the whole "whites marrying other races" issues. And it seems to me that if you don't like or agree with the way someone else lives, and you think it's against your religious principles, you teach your children that, but you stay the heck out of the other's lives. Because people DO have choices even if you don't agree with them.
It's also offensive to see religions, such as the Mormon religion, decide to get involved in politics by contributing a disproportionate amount of money to defeat Prop 8. They don't have to pay taxes like any other corporation that decides to lobby for this or that. They need to have their religious designation taken away from them. I'm tired of people using religion as a bully tool to force others to agree with their own beliefs.
Third, someone made a comment to me the other night and it keeps rolling around to the front of my mind. I can't seem to forget it. I said, after the election, that I was so happy that Obama had won the presidency. A man told me "You can't say that in Somervell County". I said, why not? I can say that anywhere. But of course the implication was that, whether it was because Obama is a Democrat or because he's black, or perhaps because this man thought, erroneously that Obama is a terrorist or something heinous, that it was NOT OKAY to say out loud that I am happy about this. I'll tell you what, I will SHOUT that out because it's a great day for Americans. More than that, I'm not going to keep quiet about something fantastic and utterly wonderful simply because someone else has a different opinion about it.
How to put this. I'm disappointed at how narrow minded some are out here, but it not only doesn't change how I feel and think about issues, but given how determined some are to push their views on me and constrict MY life, I have to be more intent on pushing back vocally with my own opinion. In other words, those that are pushy on the other side(s) have no problem with intruding into my life and attempting to change my landscape. I'm also entitled to try to stop that.