Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Politics and my mom

I was talking to my mom this morning on the phone, and since we're a week away from all the election insanity ending, politics was a topic of conversation.

I was telling her about something called Proposition 8 that we have out here in California. Prop 8 is basically the uber-conservative reaction to the state supreme court's decision to allow gays to marry in California. The language of it is "to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry". That's right, eliminate the right. They actually want language saying that they want to take away a right. If you live in California, vote NO on 8, which will allow gay marriage to go along as it has since the California Supreme Court ruled it could.

When I told my mom what Prop 8 was trying to do, she was appalled. She's all for gay marriage. She's pro-choice. She doesn't want religion going anywhere near schools, especially when it comes to creationism in biology class. She used to be a teacher, and was so sickened with public schools in this country that she put my brother, sister, and me in private school as soon as we could afford to.

As I've described her, you'd probably describe her as a pretty liberal person. That's not how she sees herself. She lives in Massachusetts, a very intellectual and very very blue state. In that political climate, she considers herself a conservative. When I explained to her that she'd be viewed as a bleeding heart liberal in other parts of the country, she was surprised. She's not registered for either party, but tends to lean Republican in state elections. Massachusetts is so blue that a Republican has to be pretty moderate to get elected there.

So she aligned herself with one side, not realizing that in doing so she was also putting herself on the same side as the Christian right. She's not a huge fan of Obama, but after we all explained to her what was going on with McCain-Palin, she doesn't think she could vote for them either.

I guess the point of all this is to make sure you look at the whole picture if you pick a side. Don't just go straight down the ballot for your party. Think about every election, and make a real choice. Be skeptical of both sides before you decide who to vote for. Otherwise we all find ourselves getting into the "Rah-Rah Go team go!" mindset with one party or the other and look at bad choices with rose-colored glasses.

That's the real reason there are so many incompetent people in politics.

Don't just vote. THINK, then vote.

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