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.