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A political note to the people I know

November 4, 2012

I posted this to my facebook page, and am counting it as a NaBloPoMo post. Most of those are on other blogs, but this one is tied to the real me, so here it is:

As the election gets nearer, and I note that more than a few people that I’ve filtered out of my political posts have nevertheless allowed me to see theirs, I am going to post this message:

Friends, I absolutely support your rights to vote as you think fit. That’s at the heart of our democracy. But also at the heart of our democracy is the idea of being a responsible and informed citizen. At the heart of our democracy is voting to support the rights enumerated in the Constitution, and the ideas on which they are based. Understanding the historical events that caused the founders to make their decisions, understanding the context of their times, and understanding the values of our own times is vital to being an informed voter. For example, the people who wrote and enacted the Constitution had a different definition of ‘equality’ than we do today; I don’t think any of us would agree that women or people who are not of 100% European heritage should not be allowed to vote, but they didn’t in 1789! So in addition to being informed, be honest with yourself: if you are reading this, you might always not have been entitled to all of the things you have today.

This is especially true for the women reading this. The things you take for granted, like:

* access to education (especially higher ed)

* the ability to make your own medical choices, including whether or not you are using some form of birth control (when I was born, b/c was not available in many states to unmarried women or to married women without their husband’s permission)

* the ability to work at pretty much any job you can handle physically

* the ability to keep a child conceived and/or born out of wedlock without being seen as ‘ruined’

*the ability to apply for a divorce on grounds other than infidelity — including the right to leave an abusive marriage

*the ability to own or sell property, or run a business, without a male relative’s permission

are only available to you today because we have allowed the Constitution to reflect social change. So again, be honest with yourself: will your vote deny to someone else an opportunity that you might not have had 50 or 100 years ago? What makes it all right for you to benefit and then deny someone else?

And speaking of honesty…

Yes, this is a horribly dishonest time in our political history. None of the candidates are blameless. But again, be honest, and be informed. Think about splinters and planks, and don’t claim to be voting one way or the other because of things that may not be true. For the record, here is what Politifact’s numbers say:

Overall, this is the breakdown of truthfulness for the candidates for President —


Romney 15% vs Obama 22%
Ryan 9% vs Biden 19%


Romney 16% vs Obama 23%
Ryan 18% vs Biden 22%


Romney 28% vs Obama 27%
Ryan 21% vs Biden 27%


Romney 16% vs Obama 11%
Ryan 36% vs Biden 16%


Romney 16% vs Obama 14%
Ryan 9% vs Biden 13%*


Romney 9% vs Obama 2%
Ryan 6% vs Biden 5%

If we leave out the HALF TRUE category, which is pretty much a wash (it’s a narrow Dem lead), it’s abundantly clear that what the Democratic party candidates have said has been consistently closer to the truth. If you don’t agree with the policies, then you shouldn’t vote for them. But I am really tired of people saying they are voting for or against policies and programs because they believe and repeat things that have little basis in truth. If you can honestly say that you are voting for a candidate because his *actual, factual policies* are most in your interests and your belief in the direction the country should take, then we may or may not disagree. But I am THOROUGHLY SICK AND TIRED of people telling me that they are strong supporters of values similar to mine, but nevertheless are voting against the evidence.

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