Bear with me, Peeps. I won’t go on and on about marriage equality or reproductive rights this time. Although, I could. For real. But, here’s what I will go on and on about:
- Patriotism: I got an email the other day calling into question the Obamas patriotism. Apparently both Michelle and Barack have “disrespected” our flag and our National Anthem. I have no clue if the claims made in the email are valid, I guess I should’ve actually bothered to research them. But, I didn’t really need to. I truly think that having convictions about the flaws in our national identity is ultimately incredibly patriotic. We are one of the most influential nations in the world and we should work to be more globally respected and responsible. My grandfather was a gunner in a fighter plane during WWII, served in Japan during the Korean War, was a firefighter in his civilian life. He’s pretty much as Real American Hero as you can get. It’s been a while since we’ve been close, but I distinctly remember a conversation we had years ago about George W. Bush. The gist of the discussion was that Pop-pop felt ashamed of our nation’s foreign policy and how we were being perceived by the world at large. When he risked his life for the USA we were responsible, brave, and true. He felt like the leadership at the time had led us down the wrong path. It broke his heart. He said that being an American used to mean something good. He didn’t feel that way anymore. And he isn’t some supposed villainous politician with alleged socialist leanings and questionable heritage. He loves this country and wants the best for it. Much like how I suspect the Obamas feel on the matter. See, Peeps, it really is just a flag and just a song. They are just symbols. The real honor behind those symbols is what we should really be passionate about, what we should really be fighting for. Man… I just deleted a great line because I don’t want to go too far. I should put together a random blog post one day off all sentences I delete in fear. Gah. Moving on.
- Government assistance: I read a CBS news article last night outlining reasons why Obama seems to be winning among women. The article itself was benign. What got me all crazy was the comments. Oh, the comments. Two that stuck out at me were “women must love handouts because they are always clipping coupons” and “women want everyone else to pay for their birth control”. *sigh* Okay, I’ll let that other one go for now. I did promise not to get onto that particular topic again. So allow me to address the women and handouts ridiculousness. We’ll get into feminism later, mmkay? Let’s discuss the term “hand out.” I can only assume this commenter meant welfare, unemployment, food stamps, day care vouchers, etc… Listen, Peeps, you never know when you’re going to need to rely on government assistance. Hard working, responsible people face layoffs, mortgage foreclosures, unexpected family upheavals… I’ve been on unemployment before. My firm made big cut-backs back in 2002, and I found myself without a job, in a new apartment, and depressed. It took me 6 months of sending out resumes and going to interviews and career counselors to find a job. If it weren’t for the support (financially and emotionally) of my boyfriend and my family, I would’ve had to lose my apartment, who knows how I would actually feed myself! I count myself lucky that all I had to seek assistance for was the unemployment checks. I learned today of a woman who one minute was an employed, engaged, mother of two kids with a third on the way… next minute she’s unemployed, heartbroken and single, and needs to find a way to keep a roof over the heads of her kids and food on the table. She’s made it to the other side now and wouldn’t have been able to find her footing if not for government assistance. So, if you think that most people on assistance are just expecting to be rescued and sit back on their lazy asses and collect cash and food and free health care, you’re a closed-minded idiot. I hope you never find yourself in that same boat and have to swallow that bitter pill of regret over your words about handouts. Kinda funny how when the rich get handouts it’s called a “bail out”. Hmm.
- Feminism: Alright, now. I am a feminist. Duh. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t be. I’m not educated in sociology or politics enough to eloquently use smarty pants terminology about patriarchy or what have you. What I am able to articulate is that not being a feminist makes as little sense as not recycling to prove a point or whatever. You know those people who are like, “Yeah, our county has a free recycling program, but I’m not gonna bother. It’s too much hassle. They can’t tell me what to do…” Aiye, yie yie! Back to the subject. Everyone in the world has a mother. Whether they are close to their mothers or not is not entirely relevant. Denying that the person that grew you in her womb and gave birth to you is remarkable, or thinking her somehow a lesser human being, just really indicates that you hate part of yourself. Think about it. And those married gents out there who preach against the “feminist agenda”, well, do you mean to imply that the woman you’ve pledged your life to, who provides half the DNA of your offspring, isn’t an equal person? Hm… what about you fathers of daughters? Again, like with the example of the mother and wife, someone who will carry on your bloodline isn’t worthy of equal treatment/pay/opportunities? Huh. Mind-boggling. Don’t even get me started on WOMEN who aren’t feminists. I just… no words… Look, Peeps, being a feminist doesn’t make you some man-hating, hairy-legged, anti-establishment kook. Being a feminist means standing up for equality for all people.
- Gun Control: This one is a fairly new issue for me, Peeps. I never took the time to think about how I stand on the issue until recently. A school shooting in my town really brought the issue home. Why are guns so readily available to our youth? Why are they so readily available, period? Alright, I get it’s a constitutional right. Maybe I’m not very understanding of it because I’ve never really had the urge to shoot anything. Unless you mean shooting fire or ice balls at evil little mushrooms or flying/non-flying turtles. I don’t get why a seemingly sane person I know actually “Liked” the FB page dedicated to the Columbine shooters. I’m hoping it was done to show some sort of solidarity for “The Right to Bear Arms.” I can’t imagine he likes that kind of violence. But, anyway… I get that people like to shoot targets as a hobby. They get adrenaline rushes and whatnot. I can also understand hunting. It’s a lifestyle and as old as time itself. I can even understand wanting a firearm for self-defense or home protection. What I don’t get is why you need to keep shot guns or high-powered rifles in your home… Keeping a handgun locked in a safe place seems reasonable. Keeping your gun case stocked with dozens of lethal weapons in full view of your family, your kids and neighbors and strangers alike? Unneccessary in my book. Ya know how horse riding enthusiasts or hobby pilots keep their horse or planes “stabled” in proper places? Why can’t shooting hobbyists or hunters keep their guns stored in some sort of club facility? Safe from the general public? You’d still have ownership and the right to use them, but they’d be kept safely away from loved ones and enemies alike? Sounds like a plan to me. Get on that, Peeps.
The reason I keep climbing on that soapbox and spouting off on my political, spiritual, and other personal philosophies is that I’m using the only real power I have, my “Voice”, to hopefully inspire a change in attitudes or to encourage more open-minded discussions. What good are beliefs if you don’t share them, talk about them, and learn from them?
Thanks for letting me rant.