Today is finally here, and I am grateful in so very many reasons. It is Election Day, and we as a country have the opportunity to vote for those we eel most likely to lead the country in the manner we believe in. It is with our votes that we as citizens are given a voice, a chance to speak out loud. And in the spirit of lifting my voice, I am proud to say I will be voting for President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden.
I know this should come as no surprise for anyone who knows either me or this blog. It is certainly not the first time I have placed a vote for Vice President Biden, a long-time senator for the great state of Delaware. But to be honest, it would take something great for me to support the Republican nominees, with the foundation build on hate and distrust. After all, every candidate in the primary signed a pledge to promote discrimination against taxpaying citizens of the United States. You can read it for yourself, complete with Governor Romney's signature.
Romney pledges to force his hatred of gays on the rest of this great country. At a time when President Obama had He signed this doctrine to not only promote legislation that will discriminate against tax-paying Americans, he also seeks to write hatred into the Constitution, an document heralded for it's celebration of the rights and freedoms of the American people. Governor Romney and the entire field of candidates knowingly and willingly signed this pledge, and I can only believe they plan to hold to it. But it not just the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens who should question what the future looks like. Women must also take note of the Romney-Ryan platform, which includes taking away the ability to make your own decision about your medical decisions, in a way no man will ever consider. They believe no woman should be able to choose whether to carry a pregnancy to term no matter the facts, be it due to rape, or if it could affect the health of the mother. I suspect, however, this would be different should rich white men ever be able to be pregnant themselves. They also do not support legislation that calls for equal pay for women.
On the other hand, the Obama administration has been in the forefront of the battle for civil rights for the LGBT community. They put an end to the hurtful 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, and to not defend the prejudicial 'Defense of Marriage Act.' The administration worked to defend a woman's right to choose, as well as her right to have equal pay for equal work. They have also worked with groups to try to work with kids and groups battling against bullying in schools and beyond. Whether it is because of your weight, height, religion, skin color, or sexual orientation, we must learn to appreciate one another rather than alienate.
The Romney-Ryan ticket would also dismantle the health care reform in order to turn it over to the private corporations that made it such a disastrous situation to start with, as people were met with rising costs and diminishing coverage. This system stripped citizens of healthcare, and the rising costs left millions without a doctor to call their own, save the emergency rooms, which enabled the health care industry to raise rates even more, a cyclical plan that continues to leave more and more without insurance. You see, unlike the politicians, none of us have lifelong healthcare guaranteed.
The Obama-Biden ticket put into place the first real health care reform since the Johnson Administration put Medicare into place in 1965. Despite the shouting condemnation from the opposing party, the plan is remarkably similar to one already in place in Massachusetts while a Republican Governor was in power.
And while the Republicans ask if we are better off than we were four years ago, I for one can answer a resounding yes. I remember than four years ago, the bottom was falling out of the economy, with banks threatening to fail, followed quickly by the auto industry. In just seven years after being handed a robust economy from the Clinton administration, President George W. Bush and his administration seem to act like a bull in a china shop, lobbing tax breaks for the wealthy while increasing the spending on wars in the Middle East. The final year of that administration, the economy fell into deep recession, the banking and auto crises the worst since the Stock Market Crash of 1929. And when I hear about the economic policies of the current nominee, I hear similar language and promises made by the Bush Administration that lead us down this path in the last decade. Notice they are not talking about the last Republican Presidency during this campaign, bringing out any of the key players to campaign for the 2012 ticket. Are they afraid you will see the similarities of the policies, or are they just running from their past?
There is also this odd (to me) preoccupation with somehow thinking their freedoms are more important than those of anyone else. While they have a distaste for the enactment of hate crimes, or any thought that prejudice exists, they seem to swear that their own freedoms are constantly being curtailed. They believe that anyone who might voice an opposing thought it violating their free speech, despite no arrests for jail time is involved. It seems their free speech is to say whatever they want, at the expense of my ability to speak freely. And the expression of their religious freedom is to legislate doctrine into law, no matter the beliefs of anyone one else. And that would include those of one of the Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson. The writer of the Declaration of Independence often wrote of a need for a separation of church and state. I don't care that they or their religion are against a women's right to choose, as long as they do not take the choice away from anyone who might feel differently. That is what makes up the concept of choice. Fora group of people saying they want to live by the words of the Good Book, they seem to have forgotten that it was written that God gave Adam and Eve the choice to eat the fruit in the Garden of Eden, and didn't make it unavailable to them. So why do they feel the need to create laws to do the contrary?
So I will leave you all with a song, as this blog and I am wont to do. Here is a video of Eric Himan singing "The Protest Song" off his album 'Resonate.'
You can purchase 'Resonate' from iTunes and Amazon. I would also like to take the opportunity to tell you to do the same, and take the opportunity to raise your voice by taking the time to vote. There are local, statewide, and national elections that are in play, all waiting for you to do your civic duty.