Politics is in the air in this election year as the presidential race takes center stage. The good thing about this is that the media can report on the more substantive moral and legal issues that are flung from the otherwise predictive talking point rhetoric. Aside from the usual attack ads (thankfully New York is not a battleground state and is thus spared the worst of it) there have been huge debates recently regarding some of the issues that many of us in the 21st century, thought were concluded long ago that are worth mentioning.
I've always liked presidential politics ever since I was a kid, and it's usually the only time I pay really close attention to politics. Last election I voted for Barack Obama and I will so the same again this year. I don't always agree with what he has done, but for me, he is the far better choice than Mitt Romney, who I despise. Romney is so full of ethical self-contradictions it is beyond funny. He was a cutthroat corporate raider who put profits before anything else, and therefore in my mind epitomizes the sleazy, greed loving, business type who I think lack serious moral capital and is responsible for so much bad in this world.
I have spent a lot of time articulating my dislike for religion and the actions of religious authorities on this blog. But as our society becomes more and more secular and as the power of the religious wanes, I wonder, will the Mitt Romney-esque corporatist replace them as enemy number one to those like me who want a free and open, liberal secular society bereft of corporate domination? I have no doubt that the threat posed by the Mitt Romney brand of business leaders is a threat serious enough to warrant its own blog, and is perhaps a bigger threat than those posed by Islamo-facists.
So no, I will not be voting for Mitt Romney, not ever. But in this election cycle some surprising debates came up that I've not mentioned. Abortion came back up, and contraception, and the second amendment has been looked at closely in light recent high profile shootings. Let me just rant on these issues briefly to put my take on them.
Perhaps there is no more a controversial and divisive issue than abortion. While I don't particularly like the idea of an abortion happening, I am pro-choice on the matter because I do regard the fetus as a part of the mother's body and not an independent human being. A fetus, in its early stages of development cannot naturally survive outside the womb, and to me this is why I don't consider it an independent human being, capable of constitutional rights. The 1973 Roe Vs Wade decision of allowing abortions in the first two trimesters is I think a fair compromise. So I am pro-choice on the matter of abortion and every argument that I've heard otherwise has failed to change my opinion, even Christopher Hitches'.
The recent hoopla about contraception was in regard to whether healthcare providers should be covering it considering the moral objections of those on the right, mostly motivated by their faith. Now if I support abortion rights, of coarse I support contraception too. But should healthcare providers be forced to cover and pay for it? Yes. They are already covering things like circumcision, which many people including myself object to. But I am not in a religion and so my objections don't matter, right? If we're going to allow religiously based objections concerning this-or-that than why shouldn't we allow all objections? It's not like all religious people think contraception is wrong since about 90 percent of women have used it. And anyway, according the the Obama administration's compromise in the way contraception is handled by insurance providers, religiously affiliated institutions will not be forced to subsidize it, that will be handled directly from the insurance providers themselves. The bottom line is that I do not respect to any higher degree, the objections made my religious institutions than I do the objections made by organized secular ones.
3. Gun Control
I'm not sure if I've mouthed my opinion on gun control before but I generally agree in the individuals right to bear arms. It's in our constitution and it is a fundamental American right. That being said, the debate revolves really over what federal or state regulations are going to have on the sale of high powered assault rifles and the amount of ammo that can be bought. It certainly is fair to have reasonable restrictions on gun sales to convicted criminals, and the mentally unstable. And there is nothing wrong with making sure anyone in the market for a fully automatic rifle has to go through a few extra background checks. But should these types of rifles be banned altogether? Some say yes, some say no. Assault rifles have been banned in the past. It is not necessary for the hunter or protector of one's property to have fully automatic slugage capacity. So therefore I think a ban on automatic assault rifles is justified. Other than that, I strongly support the legal sale of guns to American citizens.
These debates are far from over but I will say that President Obama takes the side that I usually fall on. He's a social liberal who has protected the second amendment as I would want him to and he has passed tougher regulations on banks and corporations. Since we all know that the banks and corporations have our politicians in their back pocket, this fight along with the fight against religious bullying are the two fights worth shedding blood for. May the debates rage on!
Signaling Group Membership
1 day ago