Monday, June 25, 2007
Between the Lines
Now, on the heels of that theological blog, I would like to point out that, in general, I’m not an advocate of polar divisions. I believe that none of us has it all together, or has it all figured out: not one person, not one party, not one group, not one church, not one country, no one. I also believe that no matter what we do, there will be flaws because we are all selfish and we will never work in such perfect harmony that we will manage to discover the perfect balance and the perfect compromise. This is why I love democracy, though. It is our differences that keep our nation going. If there were not a difference of opinion, we would never be asked to examine what it is we truly believe and determine how to move forward. I do believe however, that our political parties contribute to polarization, which impedes progress. It makes it a sick sort of contest. I mean, they can’t agree for fear that they’ll hand votes over to their opponent. Thus, they contribute to polarizing the population and impeding progress toward social justice. How? Because so many have come to believe that if you align with one party you can never agree with the other, and you must find half-truths and misleading statistics to support the party’s view. This frustrates me because I want to see people in this world taken care of. I want to be a blessing because I am blessed and I would love to see our country do the same. This means taking care of the poorest, and having the richest giving the most. This means the strong fighting for the weak and the bold speaking for the mute. But most importantly, it means doing something. It means breaking this trend of discussing ideals and beliefs and taking action, action that brings about a change that accomplishes something. That’s why I’m an independent. I just can’t align myself with either party because they both have their problems. I was thinking about it today in the shower, though, and I realized that in many ways, the Democratic party has bigger balls than the Republican party. This is not to say that the Democratic party is a big strong man and the Republican party is a demure woman because quite frankly there are many women who have bigger balls than men…I include myself and my chesticles in that statement. But the fact of the matter is, the Republican party spends a lot of time trying not offend those with money and power…because then they might lose their jobs. This causes them to be all talk at times. They speak about protecting life and caring for the poor, but have not been known for proposing practical or workable solutions through which to do this. Why? I believe it is because they can’t seem to separate one issue from another. They can’t enact a workable solution for reducing abortions because those interest groups who support them would not be satisfied unless the plan addresses all of their beliefs regarding sex. And for some reason they allow homosexuality to be lumped into the same debate as abortion and the war in Iraq. I believe this is why the most impressive solution to the abortion rates in the US that I have seen came from the Democratic party. The Democrats who put together this plan clearly identified their goal (to reduce the number of abortions in the U.S.) and then outlined how that might be achieved using a variety of approaches (education, funding, etc.) This, in my mind is a prime example of the Republicans making it a point to TALK about valuing life and the Democrats actually ACTING to protect life. Now, of course, this also brings up my problems with the Democratic party. The Democratic party works so hard to be the opposite of the Republican party that they have come to pick and chose what issues are included in social justice. The Democratic party is much better at acting and is great at proposing practical solutions to issues of social injustice, but I feel that they work so hard to be politically correct and to be different than the Republicans that they refuse to acknowledge all social injustices. That is why I must specify that the bold and decisive proposal written by Democrats was not in fact supported by the party as a whole, but rather by Democrats for Life. (Yes, there is such an organization, and yes there are actually congressional members). Many registered Democrats believe that only Republicans “respect life” (As evidenced by my sister saying things like “Pro-life, that’s so Republican”). Similarly, Republicans can be so closed minded as to think that they are the only ones who value life. In all actuality I find myself torn because I want to see actual progress made in matters of social justice, but I do not want to see issues which I am so passionate about fall by the wayside. So, who am I supposed to vote for? The party that will work to protect and provide for some of the oppressed? Or the party who will talk about protecting all but probably fail to follow through with any type of impressive plan. Oh, the woes of being an independent, I see that each party has its strengths, but I can’t quite reconcile myself with their flaws. This is why I believe that if some of my bold and decisive, liberal, Democrat friends and I could find ways to work together, we could do so much. I truly believe it would be a powerful coupling to have a bleeding heart idealist like myself aligned with someone who would be bold and decisive in acting. The world will never be perfect, and we will never agree on everything, but honestly…who doesn’t want to make things better than they are?