To quote the late Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” All of my life I have tried to open myself up to different expriences, and different perspectives, not saying that I am completely innocent; I can be fairly close-minded from time to time. Normally, I’ve been talking about my sexual orientation, but today I want to talk about something different. I want to offer my thoughts on the current political climate. Now before I begin, I must confess that politics is not a topic that I feel 100% qualified to talk about, but I want to at least give it ago because I feel that now, more than ever I’m starting to see that we as a country are being torn apart by ideological differences and powerplays. I don’t think that this discussion would be complete without bringing up the “Affordable Health Care for Americans Act” also styled, “Obamacare” by supporters and detractors alike.
Before I explain my thoughts, I’d like to say that, “yes, I am a card carrying Democrat.” I’ve always wondered why I chose this party, and I would say that part of it had to do with upbringing. My parents were big fans of President Clinton back in the 90’s and I guess a part of me wanted to emulate them. When I registered to vote in 2004, I flipflopped between Democrat and Independent because partisan politics seemed to be a huge expenditure of energy and effort, I wanted to be free to think for myself, so I thought that labeling myself an independent would bring that out. I’ve slowly migrated back to the Democratic left after the election of President Obama, and I feel very comfortable with where I’m at. Last summer was a pretty big milestone— I participated in a voter registration drive for the first time. I guess I thought that I needed to fight for a candidate that would continue to spread a message of change and hope.
With all that said, I find that one of the biggest problems with politics is this constant desire that one’s political affiliation is somehow beyond reproach. I think that both parties have their share of problems. The Republican Party or the “Party of No,” as it has been called, has come off in my recent memory as only caring about their own—the rich and powerful. I mean, they do seem to be against anyone that does not fit into their “family values” platform. From marriage equality to abortion to big business and tax cuts for the rich I can definitely see this as a party that is always about rules. This is not to say that I do not have some problems with Democratic Party as well. I disagreed with bailing out banks that didn’t deserve it, starting new wars and Democratic politicians getting into hot water in their private lives—I don’t really care about what people do in their private lives, but it makes us look bad. I firmly believe that we should never look at our party as being unfallible because we are in for a huge disappointment. Politicians at the end of the day want our vote, and sometimes they will say anything to get it. That came off as totally cynical, but it IS the truth.
Despite my misgivings, I do love the fact that there are conflicting viewpoints on issues. I’ve been know to bump heads with people on the both sides from time to time. One of my best friends is a die-hard conservative, and feels that Obama is not doing a good job and that Obama needs to go, but on the other hand he was also one of my biggest supporters in terms of my sexual orientation. I remember when I told him that I was gay, and he told me that he accepted me for who I am and that nothing would change our friendship. I loved that he asked his mom, dad and Yiayia (grandmother) what he should do to be a better friend and how to be more supportive. I really appreciated fact that he and his family are all very so supportive of me it really restored my faith in humanity! It showed me that even though he and his family are very conservative, they are also fair and balanced. I’ve really been under the impression that that’s what we are really missing in today’s society. Open-mindedness, tolerance, fairness and trying to understand the other side even if we don’t agree. I want to make an informed opinion on issues, and what better way than to listen to what others have to say (what a concept!) I really don’t have time for the name calling and childish behavior that I see on other blogs or on blog posting. I can’t even count how many insults I’ve heard by both members of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. It irritates the crap out of me that we can’t have an intelligent discussion without bringing up Obama’s supposed “socialism” or Romney’s past indiscretions bullying a kid who may or may not have been gay—I really don’t think that Romney will advocate that people beat up gays, I just couldn’t see that.
I think that we need to come to a point where we can disagree without being disagreeable. Instead of spouting off slurs, let’s calm down and try to look at both sides of the issue. For example, I see the Affordable Health care for Americans Act as both a blessing and a curse (potentially). I think that it’s too soon to say that this plan is going to a complete failure or that it is going to be successful—let’s wait and see! Everyone wants to make up these apocalyptic scenarios of “What if?” What if this plan bankrupts this country? What if this plan is this? What if, what if? What if this plan saves Americans money? What if instead of incurring astronomic bills from having to go to the E.R. everyone is able to get seen by a doctor? These are things that we should think about. How is this going to benefit humanity? That really needs to be the deciding factor for how we all live our lives. Wherever we find ourselves socially, politically and otherwise. Not just how is this going to benefit me, but rather, how is this going to be a good thing for the common good of all? Just some food for thought, I guess.