Politics is personal

As the eve of Election Day draws to a close, I am sitting here perplexed by the state of this nation, and the people who live in it. For many of my friends (both real and Facebook), I am hopeful that I seem to be a reasonable person. I consider myself a progressive and have always been open to talking politics with my friends, even when our passions have not always been aligned. I respect people who understand the importance of elections, and maintain a civil discourse during election time.

Sadly, there are a number of people that believe in their right to share what they believe in, without offering the same courtesy to me. Over the past few months, I have un-friended a number of people on Facebook for that very reason. The civility has not been there, and rather than get into “flame wars” online, I’ve extracted myself from the discussion (not my favorite thing to do by any means).

But here I sit, the night before the election very perplexed.

Perplexed because I hear people that I know very well share their belief that this country needs a change, that the country has fallen to her knees crippled by what has happened over the past four years, that we need new leadership, and that we need to go a different route to make this country great once again.

Perplexed because each time someone tells me that they support Romney or Ryan, they are telling me that they do not value my family, that they believe women don’t have the right to choose how they care for their body, that they don’t believe that women deserve equal pay, that they don’t believe our military deserve the care and support when they return after protecting this great nation, that they don’t believe in the value and importance of education, that they don’t believe that people who suffer natural disasters deserve to have a national response to the challenges that they face, and that healthcare is not a right for everyone in this country, but only for those that can afford it. That is what I hear.

I have (or at least I believe I do) educated and intelligent friends. I believe that they don’t believe in many of these things personally, but they choose to support a party that has been hijacked by bigots, misogynists and homophobes. Instead of fighting for what they believe in, and what they think is right, they have let their party be dictated to by a very small group of people. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are some Democrats that believe in these things as well, but none of these issues have made it into the national party platform.

And here is the point. Every Republican and Democrat runs for office (as a party endorsed candidate) having signed their name in support of their party’s platform. Both Romney and Ryan have done this, Obama and Biden have as well, and all other candidates do this to receive the “blessing” from their party.

So in this election, every Republican that is running for office endorses that marriage is only between one man and one woman and supports an amendment to the United States Constitution to make this the supreme law of the land. (Side note, divorce, infidelity, convenience and the lack of sanctity towards marriage are the real enemies here, not same-sex loving couples). Every Republican candidate believes that women should not have the right to choose to have an abortion, with the exception of very limited circumstances. Every Republican believes that this country has no requirement to provide affordable and accessible healthcare for our elderly, veterans or struggling families. And the list continues (see the party platform links below).

And here is where I get even further perplexed, because when a friend of mind tells me that are voting Republican, they are telling me that my relationship with Chris and my family have no value. They are saying that they don’t support my right to love the person that I love. They are telling me that I am inferior to them. THAT is what I hear.

And I’m not sure my friends really understand that. And after conversations with these same people, I am not sure if they really do care.

I have friends who love both Chris and I, and I’m sure would do almost anything to support us and help us in any way, but they are also supporting the denial of our very relationship to exist in the same way that they have had with their spouse (or second or third spouse).

So when you vote, remember that politics is personal. Your politics is your choice, and as my mother would often say: you have to live with the choices that you make for the rest of your life.

I hope you make the right choice.

Light reading.