Saturday, October 27, 2012
Who will I vote for?
It probably comes as no surprise that I will be voting for Obama come election day. That vote won’t matter in my state, however, since Romney will win the state of Missouri. Your vote does matter in Iowa and the swing states, though, so I want to try and reach out to you during this important time. This will be the first time I will have ever voted primarily democrat in a presidential election.
Truth be told, my vote is primarily because of social issues. Yes, I should place more weight in the economy and job growth. Even if I held these higher than social issues, I could still make a strong case for voting Obama.
In terms of the economy, it is slowly recovering, but the growth is not slow (Washington Post). Unemployment continues to decrease ever so slowly. The GOP complains that although both are improving, they are not improving fast enough. I agree that it would be great for the economy to improve at a much faster rate. However, with the lack of details given by the Romney/Ryan camp, I don’t think I would be confident in gambling a slow recovery with a risky alternative. You may have heard arguments from the democrat side that the math doesn’t add up. It doesn’t. I can’t make sense of it as a mathematician. That is primarily because the details are missing. That doesn’t mean that a Romney administration couldn’t do just as well with the recovery or better, it means I’m not willing to gamble just to see if they can.
Should America gamble slow improvement for something that cannot possibly guarantee faster improvement? And with 2 billion more in defense spending, quite possibly drive us faster into debt and cause a leveling out or relapse of the economy? Again, I’m not willing to take that gamble.
So, back to why I’m really voting for Obama. With four Supreme Court Justices in their 70s it is vital that we ensure intelligent and liberal minded judges take their place. When we have this surge of evangelicals trying to reverse Roe v. Wade, it is crucial that this matter be taken seriously. We also need judges of reason and intelligence who will uphold the unconstitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act when democrats get the strength to repeal it. These two points I will highlight and describe in detail why I believe these things should happen.
On Abortion and Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision made by the Supreme Court, alongside the more general Doe vs. Bolton, that upheld a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy during the first trimester. Once a fetus is past the first trimester, states can begin regulating it however they feel as long as there are always exceptions for the life of the mother.
The most troublesome thing I find with the issue of abortion is not what people think or feel about abortion, but that people or organizations want to inflict their viewpoint onto others. If someone believes that life begins at conception, then if that person happens to become pregnant by whatever means, then they are free to exercise their belief and carry the pregnancy to full term. Personally, I feel they should have the choice to go against their beliefs if they want to. Government has NO PLACE in the personal and private medical decisions of a woman.
Many people are extremely concerned about the rights of the unborn child, and somehow forget about all of the rights of the living and already born woman. The decision by the Supreme Court in 1973 addresses this, for they had to think about it deeply. In their final decision, they used the term “viability:” used as “potentially able to live outside a mother’s womb.” It is at this stage where state may make their own laws on abortion as long as exceptions for the life of the mother are sustained.
What makes me angry is that these laws and legislation have been made by men who will never be in the situation of having an embryo or blastocyst inside their bodies that could come to full term. They won’t have to deal with an unintended pregnancy with people like Paul Ryan, Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock making a decision for you that should rightfully be yours. Men cannot empathize. Men will never be pregnant. Nor will they be pregnant by the result of rape. Men can only imagine ourselves possibly being kidnapped by an evil doctor that would give us a sex change operation and then implant a fertilized egg into our newly developing wombs, and then set free into the world. In that situation, I would not want to be set into a world that was dominated by people like Todd Akin, Paul Ryan, and Richard Mourdock. If they tried to tell me what to do with my body in that situation, I would kindly tell them to go and fuck themselves. It shocks me that America isn't doing the same.
All of these hard-core pro-lifers genuinely are concerned about abortion, but are completely ignorant and contradictory on how to effectively reduce the incidence of abortion. When intelligent legislatures would like to provide free contraception for women, which research can back up as a great way at reducing the number of abortions, the ignorant and contradictory knee-jerk response from the right is to oppose such legislation, trying to tie it into a breach of a first amendment right, which is total bullshit.
When candidates like Romney and Ryan are up for election, and there is a threat that a Supreme Court Justice will be replaced by one of these ignorant, contradictory thinkers, I get very frightened about where this country could go. With an overturning of Roe v. Wade, a more likely scenario in this case, this country could easily return to the violence levels of the late 70s and early 80s (see Freakonomics).
On the Defense of Marriage Act
This act was signed into law by President Clinton in September of 1996. Since then, Clinton has become a strong advocate of its repeal along with the Obama administration. Romney pledges to combat any kind of repeal if he is president. Several federal courts have found sections of this act that are unconstitutional.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman and allows states not to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. You may agree that a marriage is between one man and one woman, and that is how the definition of marriage should remain. I am fine with that belief or stance, if that is indeed what you believe. But let me ask you a few questions about DOMA.
What is it that this act is defending? What are you defending by believing a marriage is between one man and one woman? This type of marriage, and all of the rights and privileges of that marriage has never been, nor ever will be, in jeopardy. EVER. So again, I ask, what is this act defending? A definition of a word?
I find it appalling and oppressive that there are humans in this world that value the definition of a word over the rights of other human beings that they cannot begin to understand and would like to maintain control over. This is strikingly similar to the civil rights movement in trying to obtain equal rights for blacks. Here again, we see the common theme of people and legislators trying to impose an ideal onto others that has no affect on themselves. So what if there is same-sex marriage?
I have evolved over the years in this category as the president has in his first term in office. I once thought that it was immoral for two people of the same sex to be in a relationship together and that it was right and just that I voted to maintain the traditional definition of marriage and to make sure these kind of people did not have the same rights that I had, because what they were doing was wrong. Then I evolved to a stance that, although I still believed it to be immoral, who was I to impose this belief and make a decision regarding other people’s rights? I would remove myself from the vote, thinking I cannot vote for such a thing because I believe it to be wrong, but I cannot vote against it because I am not someone to judge. Then I evolved even further in my understanding of morality.
Those that do cast their vote against same-sex marriages and the equal rights shared by traditional marriages are the immoral oppressors of our society. I now am of the stance I must vote for the people I may not understand to counter the votes of the oppressors. Many years from now, the advocates of DOMA, and those that do not want to give the equal rights to same-sex couples that they deserve will be looked upon as we look upon the former legislators and individuals that wanted to keep segregation in place, and not give blacks the right to vote.
It is important for the world to progress. It is important that you do not vote for Mitt Romney.