Can’t Change My Mind So Stop Trying

I am temporarily lifting my self-imposed moratorium on discussing politics. The reason for this is twofold: one, I already voted, so now all I’m doing is waiting for the actual election day for all my losers to be announced.* Second, though I have stated it multiple times, I still have conservative friends that think if my situation changes I will magically become a Republican. This is patently not true, and failing a complete collapse of the ideals of the current Democratic Party, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

*Not that I didn’t vote for some winners. I still think President Obama will win the presidential election, though my vote in Utah isn’t going to help him because Romney will win this state by a ridiculous margin. I also think a could of the local elections I voted in will win, but it really is hard to predict Democrats winning anything around here.

One friend points to the fact that I hope to be wealthy someday, and that I will grow increasingly frustrated with all my hard work being taken from me and going to other people that don’t work as hard, as if this is a new system that was implemented under the current administration. Wealth transfer has been occurring in this country since the Great Depression, and it hasn’t really affected the growth of the country over the past 80 years.

There are certain things that a developed nation should provide for its people, and we in the United States do a pretty good job in my opinion. Our people tend to be able to read, though performance in school tends to trail the rest of the world. We have programs to ensure that people get food if they are unable to afford it, though often not enough to buy the healthiest things at the store. We tend to provide folks with a place to live if they need it, though the panhandlers around Salt Lake would probably beg to differ (unintentional pun doesn’t make it any less funny!). But one area where we tend to trail the rest of the world is in taking care of our citizens when they get sick.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I feel like I brought it up in my “Why I’m voting for President Obama” post. I don’t think that the Affordable Care Act, as it’s currently written, is perfect, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. Other countries, with much smaller economies and higher taxes, have long provided basic health care for their citizens. Why were among the last to do so is still a mystery to me.

Nevertheless, we now have something in place, should the Republican-controlled House of Representatives fail in their attempts to get rid of it, that will allow us to take better care of our people. That is ultimately  better than the alternative, where folks are rendered bankrupt by medical bills and people work jobs they hate for insurance that doesn’t cover enough in the end anyway. People will still make horrible decisions when it comes to food. And choosing not to exercise. But I like to be an optimist and think that in the long run, a healthier country will be better for all parties involved. And if it is something we can do without causing catastrophe to the national budget, I’m all for it.

The other point that I want to bring up is that my political choices go beyond higher taxes and rising national debt and a lot of the other “hot button” issues currently out there. I like to think that I care about people in general, and as such, I don’t think it is any business what they do in their personal lives. With that in mind, how can I support a political party that wants to take one of the inherent rights we have as human beings away from us? Why do Republicans think that same-sex marriage is bad, that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the military is a good policy, and that abortion is bad? All these things represent personal choice.

It doesn’t matter to me, as a heterosexual male, one way or the other. I’ve been married before. It’s really not it’s all cracked up to be. Yet you have folks like Rush Limbaugh, a mouthpiece for a large part of this country, a man who has been divorced three previous times, saying that allowing same-sex marriage ruins the sanctity of marriage. Four marriages prove that it’s no big deal.

I was also in the Army for a little over 10 years, and I’m pretty sure that I served with some closeted homosexual Soldiers. Were they worse than others because of their sexual orientation? No. If they were worse, it was because of their failings in the military structure, not who they wanted to go to bed with at night. The military isn’t for everyone, gay or straight, but everyone should be able to bring a significant other to family day and be treated like everyone else.

Finally, while I am not a woman, I have been known to enjoy their company before. This great article explains why it would suck if folks cut from Romney’s cloth ran things, especially when it comes to the ladies. It’s already bad enough that there are places that think abstinence-only sex education is a good thing. Further restricting access to women’s health services is not just a problem for the women of the world; it could greatly impact your chances to build…more than friendships with them. I won’t even delve into “legitimate rape” and the other nonsense that has come out of some mouths this election cycle.

As long as my currently-favored political party let’s people make their own decisions about things that affect them, I will support them. It’s only partially about the economy. These things are more important to me than paying more taxes in the future on the off chance that I am wealthy. And though there are some things that I would like to see changed about how things are done here, we have a pretty decent system all things considered. So please refer back to the title of this post the next time you try to convince me that I am wrong or your way is better. It will save us both some headaches.

Until next time…

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