I am stunned at the shenanigans in the election process...bordering on downright cheating. But then I am new to the whole thing and I've been assured this kind of behavior goes on in every election.
In years past, I did not really give a crap about politics. Really….I was not interested. My instincts told me that my vote did not matter and had minuscule impact on the overall results. I was taught in school that it is our civic duty to vote. In spite of knowing women and minorities were bullied, imprisoned and tortured because they demanded their right to vote, I just did not feel led/motivated/inspired to make a trip to the polls. I also felt that most candidates were just the flip sides of the same coin. So I directed my attention to other things. Like work, raising children, spiritual interests, moving here and there and everywhere.
So what was the instigating factor in my gung ho preoccupation in this election? Two fold. I am married to a man who is very focused on what is going on in politics….viewing things through a far right lens. I can’t think of any issue he strays from that political perspective. From climate change to evolution. From marriage equality to police brutality, think far right and those are his views. And he has never been shy about proclaiming them. On a daily basis. I am a centrist that leans left. The far right narrative, on many (most) issues, violates my sense of right and wrong. My “who cares” political perspectives started to evolve. Some of these issues seemed like things a Christian should have an opinion on. My thoughts started to solidify and I started to push back…..sometimes just in my head…..and other times out loud. (Emphasis on loud)
And then Bernie came along. I have found him to be a man of integrity…honest, fair, principled and focused. And I agree with him on 90% of his policies. Yes, I know, he is a democratic socialist, a term that has dogged him in this election. People have disqualified him on the label alone….but I find many of his policies and beliefs to be very centrist…leaning left….like mine. On military intervention, gun control, the economy, corporate welfare and greed, super pacs, immigration, healthcare for all (although I am not really smart enough to figure out single payer/multiple payer etc, I just know that something…SOME THING has to be done to reform the system) free or affordable college, updating our crumbling infrastructure, police brutality….I agree. As far as abortion, I am pro-life. Not just pro-birth like many of the far right….pro-LIFE. And the life of a little Palestinian child….an Iraqi child….a child born to crack head parents in a ghetto is at least equal to a fetus.
In the words of Sister Joan Chittister -
"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."
This will be a conversation I am going to continue over the next few days/weeks/months. I'll stop here for today.. Time to leave for work.