I have remained mostly silent through the election season. I don’t think it’s any secret which way I voted. For me, it is now, as it’s always been, about the issues. Do I think Barack Obama is the end all?
Nope, I sure don’t. I can’t think of any Politician… American… Human I think is. We have to go with the best choices in front of us. With whom do I have the most in common? With whom do I share ideals?
Do I think Barack Obama is going to “fix” The United States? No, I do not. That’s not his job. Not really. He can’t do any of it without the support of the Congress, the Senate, the Supreme Court – and, damn it, me and you.
I voted blue in a red county, in a blue state. This morning on Facebook I saw lots of neighbors and friends talking about their belief that President Obama is “evil,” about how he is going to “destroy the country,” he’s going to pander to that imaginary 47%, and make us a welfare state. Statistically, the average person on Welfare and food stamps is white. He or she is struggling through a difficult period. The average length of time someone depends on the state for help is two years. We are not a welfare state; we are a compassionate nation.
Most offensive were the comments about God and Jesus: “we should support God and Jesus first.” Now, I firmly believe in the freedom of religion – all religions. The founding of this nation was based on the idea that the government should be separate from religion. The pilgrims set out from England because they held alternative beliefs–and they were persecuted. Because they wanted to be free from the government dictating their spirituality. Some of the founding fathers were Christian (Trinitarians), but not all of them! Thomas Jefferson was a Deist. And ok, they have belittled him in Texas – but our nation is what it is as a direct result of the man he was. Have we had many great Christian leaders? Yes, I think we have. But we have had many great secular leaders as well. We are a secular nation. We do not have an official religion (or language—so just press one damn it and stop whining about it).
Church and state are separate in this country for good reasons. Some of us have a God that is too big for any church.
I would ask my Christian conservative neighbors and friends, is it not Christian to help those who need it? Is it not Christian to be charitable to offer those in need a hand? Is it not up to God to judge who is evil? What happened to “whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me?” We are not a Christian nation. Those Christians spouting that we should not take care of those in need, should do some soul searching.
As a nation, we need to consider the consequences of the deep divide. And we need to do that now. People didn’t vote for Barack Obama because there aren’t any jobs. Well, please consider that the people that were re-elected to the congress have refused to vote on the jobs bill. Put the blame where it belongs. Call your congressman; tell them you need a job. It is not the president’s fault.
Those of you who are saying “redistribution of wealth” – what about balanced taxation? Why is it that my children who struggle to pay their bills pay so much in taxes? Why is my tax rate higher than Mitt Romney’s? That defies logic. No one is trying to redistribute wealth, we’re trying to balance the scales a little. I don’t understand why we don’t have a flat tax rate.
And healthcare – I understand people being upset about having to pay if they don’t have healthcare. I get it, I do. But I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance a couple of weeks ago. The ambulance ride, one mile up the road, $450. Seriously. The EMTs took my blood pressure, that’s all they did. $450. And the hospital bill? $4638. Yeah. That one trip to the hospital was more expensive than the “fine” for no insurance. Thankfully, I have insurance. Think about it, one trip to the ER is more than the fine. For the price of the annual fine (that doesn’t start next year), you could have basic health insurance. So, just get health insurance. And for the record, the fine? Yeah, they do that in Massachusetts—it was part of Mr. Romney’s healthcare mandate, just so you know.
It’s ok to tell the people that education is a part of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – so you must, by law, send your children to school (or prove that you are providing them with an education), but being healthy is out of bounds? Someone needs to ‘splain that to me, please.
Ultimately, I cast my vote this year for women’s rights, gay rights, for the rights of people of color, personal rights. For humanness. Because it’s important. As Don Henley so eloquently put it… There is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here!
So, let’s do that. Let’s see how we move forward as one nation. Where are the points upon which we can compromise? I would love to see all liberal policies enacted, but I can’t, and they won’t be. It’s not the world according to Mel – it is the world according to the American People. So, it’s time to stop attacking Mr. Obama (who sent the jobs bill to the congress), and start calling congress (who has refused to even discuss it).
I am so glad this election is over, now maybe we can look at how much alike we are instead of how different.