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.

 

Pat. Seriously?

So today I get an invitation from City Councillor Pat Fallon to attend a fundraising event at his home for Texas GOP Chair Steve Munisteri. For $250 (minimum donation required), I’d get to listen to Mr Munisteri tell me how – among other things – the GLBT community should never be a part of the Texas landscape (remnants of Gov. Perry comments encouraging gay veterans returning from duty to live somewhere else1). I’d also learn the reasons (I assume) why the Texas GOP wants to ban oral sex, re-criminalize sodomy, and provide government housing (i.e. jail) to anyone who issues a marriage license to a same-sex couple or marries them.

So I declined.

from: James Nunn
to: pat@fallonforfrisco.com
date: Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 12:40 PM
subject: Re: Dinner with Texas Republican Chairman Steve Munisteri

Pat, I’m going to decline. I’d thank you for the invite, but it was quite offensive given the recent actions by the Texas GOP in relation to the GLBT community, so excuse my lack of appreciation for your gesture. If you were the “friend of the community” as you told many earlier this year (and last year), then you wouldn’t be doing this, or you certainly wouldn’t have offended me (and countless others) by not culling your list before sending this out.

James

Note 1: “Texans have made a decision about marriage, and if there is some other state that has a more lenient view than Texas, then maybe that’s a better place for them to live.” – Gov. Rick Perry, in response to a question about returning gay veterans who might want the right to marry in Texas.

Frisco City Council Place 4 Election

As a neighbor, friend or work colleague, I am invading your inbox for a short moment to remind you that voting for the Frisco City Council Place 4 runoff election started today. Early voting runs through June 8 (no voting on June 6), with the runoff election being held on June 12, 2010. Details on voting locations and hours can be found here.

Another reason for this note is to answer a question that I’ve been asked by some of you: who would I like to see as the new council member for Place 4?

The answer to that question – for me – is simple: Jim Joyner.

I base this on two main factors. The first is based on his experience and secondly, Jim’s vision for Frisco as a vibrant and livable city. Both of these are extremely important to me for the following reasons.

Experience: Jim has previously served on city council, the CDC and other commissions and boards within the city. While I have not applauded every decision that Jim has made in his previous tenure on city council, Jim has always been open to discuss the issues with any citizen of Frisco to hear the different sides of the story. Much of the time, his judgment has been solid and his intentions always true.

Future Direction of the City: For years we had a very strong city council that had a clear vision on where Frisco should be in the future. Through these council members a city was created that became the jewel in Texas as one of the best places to live, work, play and grow (to borrow our city’s old motto). In that vision, Frisco has been a partner with other cities to build a strong regional response to the growing needs of our community and those around us. Jim has proven experience to understand the needs of our community and had the vision to support major initiatives like the Arts of Collin County project. Just as importantly, Jim is a fiscal conservative and also knows when to exercise restraint. A council member is one voice amongst 6 (7 in the case of a tie), and right now we need Jim’s voice on council to maintain a balance amongst those that support the vision that made Frisco what it is today.

Your vote is important, and I hope that you will stand with the many voices that know that a vote for Jim Joyner is a vote for a voice for all the citizens of Frisco.

If you have any questions or comments on my email, please reply to my email or call me at 469-287-8488.

Regards,
James Nunn

The night before

It is the night before one of the most historical moments in America’s history. Tomorrow at 12NOON (Eastern), Barack Obama takes the oath of office to become the forty-fourth President of the United States, and I get the feeling that the country is really ready for this kind of change.

Many people are sharing their thoughts in the blogosphere about what this means for them, and for the country. One blogger that I’ve recently started to read added this great post to his blog. He reminds us that while this is a day to be celebrated, we need to remember that there continues to be a number of inequalities throughout this country that still need to be addressed. As Davey writes, tomorrow is just “one step on a journey of many” and I’m proud to be here as the US begins that new journey.

In that light, there was an editorial piece in Friday’s New York Times by Mary Frances Berry (former co-chair of the US Commission of Civil Rights), who suggests that it is time to abolish the Commission on Civil Rights and create a new commission that addresses the rights of many groups, including gay people. What a great call to be making to a president that wants to bring change to this great country, and how phenomenal that this call is being made from such a strong advocate of “civil” rights in this country.

It has long been my belief that before any group can achieve equality, that group needs to work with other groups, people and communities to build support for that goal of equality. It is only through these partnerships that true and effective change can occur.

Many in the GLBT community feel that we must achieve these changes alone because it is “our” fight. I don’t agree with this, as this thinking is outdated and counterproductive to achieving the goal that we seek, and in many ways it slows down the progress that we hope to make. Tomorrow we start a new journey, and with that – I hope – a new opportunity to change the way we think. It’s time to focus on what we have in common with others, and work to bring about a united change that will see equality for everyone, not just another smaller subgroup of society.