Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Something Different

This post is going to stray a little from the norm.  It isn't about our cute kids, or happenings around the Tang home.  It is something that I cared little about until recently.  It is about politics.

I'm not sure where to start.  A lot has been swirling around in my head recently, especially with the elections just around the corner.  Facebook "friends" ranting and raving about this side or the other has caused me to ask "why?".  One recently wrote "People that would vote for Republican candidates are seriously unintelligent mindless cattle waiting to be slaughtered..."

I am naturally very conservative, in my dress, demeanor, decor, you name it.  Does that make me mindless? Unable to think for myself?  It got me thinking though.  Why so much left vs right, democrat vs republican, liberal vs conservative?  Shouldn't we all be on the same team?  Aren't we all working towards a better America?

And then it got me thinking to how the Democrats almost have it right.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.  They seem to want to help the poor and needy. The problem is that they don't seem to want to put their OWN money where their mouth is.  (Just google republican vs democrat charitable donations).  If you want to help, get out there and help.  Give locally, volunteer at a shelter or food bank. Don't just raise taxes and hope that a trickle of it will end up helping the truly needy.   The government run welfare system is out of control.  Don't get me wrong, it definitely is helpful.  I have been on the receiving end.  It just seems to me that it encourages dependence.  Instead of a helping hand towards self-sufficiency, it makes it too easy to take the hand-out.  When Jason was unemployed, he received unemployment insurance benefits.  I have to admit, it was great.  He got a paycheck every 2 weeks, and he never even had to leave the house. I had him home with me all day, and if we ever wanted to go anywhere, he wouldn't have to put in for vacation time, or worry about what needed to be done back at the office. Our kids were on Medi-Cal health insurance, and we received WIC.  We didn't qualify for food stamps, however, because we have actually been somewhat monetarily responsible, so we had too many assets (car, and retirement accounts).  Now had we been up to our elbows in debt, and not put a penny away for the future, then the government would have given us a few hundred dollars per month to spend on whatever "food items" we wanted (including fast food, candy, soda, just to name a few).  I have never personally been given food stamps, but from everyone I have talked to that has, they give WAY more than you need.  I've heard people say they have never eaten better than when they were on food stamps.  How is this encouraging self sufficiency?  How are people supposed to make a better life for themselves when the government-run programs make it so easy to just keep taking?  And who is going to WANT to keep giving?  It's going to end at some point, and these people who feel that they are entitled to all the hand outs aren't going to know what to do with themselves when they are taken away.

I'm still trying to figure out how wanting to let the market do its thing without the government bailing everyone out makes me mindless.  How does wanting to protect my family and have a say in what my children are taught make me a cow?  How does not wanting to pay for someone's abortion make me unintelligent?  I don't understand.  They say women's rights are being taken away if planned parenthood is defunded.  I don't see it that way.  No one is denying anyone access to the services planned parenthood provides.  They are just changing who pays for them.  Just for argument's sake, let's say I want some plastic surgery.  Maybe a tummy tuck.  Who doesn't want nice abs, right?  I NEED a tummy tuck.  If I don't get one then my self-esteem will diminish as will my mental health and quality of life.  I am demanding that there be a program where free tummy tucks are provided for all.  And by free, I mean payed for by hard-working American's tax dollars...just free to me.  But what if you don't want to pay for my tummy tuck?  You are taking away my rights to have one, because I couldn't possibly pay for it out of my own pocket.  Sounds a little ridiculous, right?

Which leads me to my next point.  Agency and accountability.  And, just to warn you, I am about to get religious.  Because all of us right-wingers are religious.  Before we came to this earth, we fought a war in Heaven.  Not a blood spilling war, but a war of words and ideas.  There emerged two sides.  Jesus Christ's side, and Lucifer's side.  They both had the same end-goal, but two very different ways of getting there.  With Lucifer's side, he proposed a way for us all to get back to Heaven after our trial here on Earth.  He would FORCE us to make the right choices.  There would be no sin, because we would be unable to make the choice to sin. We would have no agency.  The other side of this was Jesus' way.  He proposed a plan where we would be tempted and tested and we would have to CHOOSE to do good or not.  We would get to exercise free will and make our own decisions and learn and grow and make mistakes.  And at the end, after we have done all we could do to make the right choices, and repent from the bad ones we would inevitably make, He would make up the difference.  The people who came to Earth are inherently good.  By our very nature, when we are feeling forced or coerced to do something, there will be resistance.  But, if given the chance, I believe that most people will help their fellow man.  They will lift up the weak and down-trod, because it is the right thing to do, not because some government program makes them.  Just look at the response from average Americans after a natural disaster, or for someone in need.  When asked nicely,  their generosity is astounding.  Wouldn't you help a friend or neighbor or family member if he genuinely needed it?  I think most would.


Messie Leavitt said...

Great post. I was at the same point as you about a year ago. I felt that I was conservative because I thought that conservative views were in line with LDS thought and liberal views were not. Boy was I wrong. Not that conservatives are not but, in my opinion, there is so much better being done by liberal policy makers. I think that it is important to not just look at liberals from a conservative point of view, but honestly fight for both sides. When you can argue for both sides, that is when you know the arguments enough to pick a side, so to speak. At least that is how I approached it.

A lot of people think that only one side is religious and the other is not. Well I am liberal leaning because I am a Mormon. Not despite. Because. And I think that is an important distinction.

Michelle said...

Amen to my sister, Heather...

Anonymous said...

Loved it. Great post Heather!

Jonny said...

It'd be nice to live in a nation that sees it all from one greater perspective, however, presidential elections act like Moses splitting the Red Sea. I am baffled at how two people can see an issue with such great difference; and how generally, class systems and social groups influence personal choices, i.e. generally, poverty stricken areas are more democratic and a majority of southern states are republican.

It gives me dead head all the way around when I hear extremists say things such as your cattle reference. Such statements exude ignorance and I can't help but think that their vote counts just as much as mine.

The Winkelman's said...

Heather!! What a great post! I could not agree with you more.., you seriously took the words out of my brain and typed them out. :) Hope you don't mind but I'd like to share this post with some of my friends.

the man said...

Whoa... Heather? Not gonna lie, I'm a little shocked, and a lot impressed. Kudos honey.

Amber Horspool said...

Heather, you should write like this more often! Love it!

Should Fish More said...

Well, I guess you found the election results somewhat less than you wanted. It'll be interesting to see what your party, the GOP, does now. From what I've seen, they feel they just need to re-package their message, and all will be well. At some point, they might realize that their program of social regression, of emphasizing the idea of wealth equals right, is not what most of us follow.
You seem to typify how most of the religious right think....and as long as you do, it'll work out the best for the rest of us, because we'll look at it and know it does not represent the majority, the vast majority, of the rest of us.

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Anonymous said...

Hello! I found you blog post to be very interesting. This is the first comment I've ever made to an user I'm not acquainted. First of all I love that you wrote something that's consider taboo in America... No I don't mean politics, but critical thinking. We need more people thinking in this country, and you're giving a great example.
I can tell you don't talk or think about this topics a lot, that's not bad, so kudos to you for writing in a deeply emotional way.
I'd like to add some clarity to your views, not by arguing either side, but by taking it from a broader perspective.
The two party system in the U.S. was placed there to keep you away from generating non-emotional thoughts. Usually you can argue any topic from both ways, and argue it for a long time.
The only problem is that (like many philosophers have found)you can argue for ever about right and wrong whenever you take two points of view to the extreme. So why do we have a two party system? well this is simple, because a group of people want it this way. I'm not talking about the lunatic belief that there is a cult or something like that where a group of grown man plan the future of our lives. No this is a real group of people, they are not politicians, they are not presidents, they are not regular folks that want to help people. No these people know what they are doing, they know what makes you emotional, and how to move you to play their game. For example, why do you think the government gives "aid" to the poor? Do they really give a lot of "help" to the poor? As you said, many people are living well on wel-fare, and food stamps. But why would someone decided to give us this option? Well, just like the Nazis, we need a scapegoat. Rich and middle class need someone to blame, to justify the taxes. We can't blame the military industrial complex, because if we do we are un-american, however we can blame the poor, because no one cares about them. There is no "association of poor people" in your government, or a representative for the poor people of America in congress. One distinction the really rich people make is not about color, or sexual orientation, is about class; is about rich and poor. If we look at the people that die in the world, the people that get bombed and massacred, they are not your average rich people from Wall Street, they aren't your growing economical leaders in China, no they are the poor countries that can't defend themselves, where the resources are the easiest to take. If a country like Russia decided to look for oil, they will not place their military in a place like Alaska, because the US has money, they would place their plants somewhere in Uganda, Nigeria, Iraq, or Yemen where they are easy to take over, and no rich person will ever complain.
So while you're here arguing about who in your community is the moron. They are there taxing you and having you pay for their Ferrari.
Do you really think that if you go to school, do your best, and make the right moves you will eventually become like them? no you can't you need to be born into it, and selected from the few to continue the slave house. Where do you think "money" comes from? What do you think a mortgage is? Who "creates" the money and makes you work to re-pay it. Only than you will know the reason why there is poverty, why there is crime, why there is a republican and a democrat. That's when you will wake up. The choice is yours... Red pill or Blue pill.

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