Friday, October 26, 2012

What A Leader Looks Like

Big bird, binders full of women, and of course horses and bayonets.
The Presidential debates were red meat to the hungry internet. In fact, I hardly watched the debates but rather viewed them through facebook and twitter feeds. The commentary was priceless.
There could not be two candidates more diametrically opposed on the ideological spectrum. On one hand, I see an elegant statesman and then I see someone who will say whatever they have to say to win.
In following all this on the internet, I see some friends and family members liking the Romney page and though I value a difference of opinion surely they know that this opinion devalues me? Romney would seek a constitutional amendment to define marriage, supports and defends DOMA (which has been deemed unconstitutional in 8 courts now), considers hospital visitation for gay couples a "benefit" not a right (just how would you feel?) and look at his Mormon LDS church (no doubt where all his "charity" $$ goes) and tell me how you think he would lead the ENTIRE nation:

No matter how disgusted I am with divisive politics, exhausted and overspent and feeling like not enough aloe rubbed over too much sunburn, it must be said this is no longer just politics - it's personal.

I just spent a week on a houseboat in Utah's Lake Powell with 12 other gay guys and about 10 of them had been raised Mormon. Not one of them emerged to who they are now undamaged, having been indoctrinated inside that tightly bound box of conditional love, fear and expectation. Seeing how they each have survived (some better than others) could earn yourself a PhD in psychology.

The quest for fairness can not be seen from a framework of scripture because one day your desire for equality might be trampled by someone else's god and when that happens I hope you would not stay silent. You can't lecture Leviticus 18:22 without heeding Leviticus 11:9-12. And while you banish gays and shellfish, you must also cast out menstruating wives and daughters because Leviticus 15:19-30 says so. This cannot be picked apart. The bible is not your SALAD BAR.

It seems most people speaking for Jesus have entirely forgotten he would be hanging out with ME.

I wish I wasn't on the internet so much because I know too much. Just this week another pastor has compared gays to Hitler, and yet another has said we deserve to die ("according to the bible"). It would be comical if it weren't hurting people and driving others to suicide. The anti-gay "propoganda" law in Russia has proven just how ludicrous now that they have crucified Madonna, imprisoned a girl band, forbidden marches, signs, groups from gathering and now... investigating a brand of milk for being illegal as they claim it promotes homosexuality to children because of its rainbow logo:
So thank you internet, because I know too much.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you, BUT... is it too easy to find this kind of proof? One of our shortcomings as human beings is that we continually look for evidence to support what we believe - and avoid or ignore evidence that does not support what we believe. Call it laziness.

So I try to focus on conflicting evidence: the 100 catholics who signed a pledge to support marriage equality in Maine (against their bishop), or the 1,000 catholics in Washington state who have done the same thing. I try to remember the NAACP officially supports marriage equality and that a few pastors, even black pastors in the south like Frederick Haynes III, have spoken out in recognizing that the US is governed by constitutional law, not biblical law.

This is in no small part due to the watershed of President Obama affirming his support of equality. All this in an election while not... invading two countries, your precious stockpile of shotguns or your uterus. Do you think a man like Romney could ever conceive of what it's like to be anyone else? To be me, and have feared my family? To be a woman and fear the night? To be black, and fear the police?

In President Obama I see empathy. A man who continually treads the (too little-trafficked) high road and knows we are each, above all, earthlings who deserve a fair deal. That is what a leader looks like.


Tony said...

Yeah Jesse!

Actually, it’s not that you know too much, it seems that about half the country is woefully uninformed or is wearing ideological or religious blinders.

The latest is that Evangelical pastor who says that Hurricane Sandy is God’s judgement because we have a “pro-abortion/homosexual, Muslim Brotherhood promoter, Hard Left Fascist” President. (Pretty neat trick to be both Hard Left AND Fascist, but if you’re as ignorant and bigoted as that self-styled “End Times Expert,” anything is possible, I suppose.) Proves my point, I think.

As for the storm, good thing you’re not living in the East Village these days. Lower Manhattan seems to be under water, there’s no power and won’t be for days. Subways are flooded and no buses are running, so you couldn’t even escape to mid-town for lunch at Jean-Georges in the Trump Tower.

Also, good thing Romney’s not prez, because in the primaries he said he wanted to either de-fund or eliminate FEMA. Obama is using his authority to funnel extra disaster relief funds from FEMA to NY and NJ. Even blow-hard Republican Gov. Christie of NJ praised the President for that on national TV this morning. So Republicans love the Federal government when there’s a disaster, but not while the sun is shining.

Then, just the other day in Toledo, Ohio, where Jeep has their biggest manufacturing plant, Romney actually said that Jeep was going to open a plant in China and take jobs out of Ohio to China. Chrysler even issued an statement calling Romney’s claim false and saying that on the contrary, they’re expanding the Toledo plant and adding jobs.That creep will say anything and the crowd he was in front of cheered like mad. See? Blinders.

The hypocrisy and lies are so disheartening because of how many people eat ‘em up. So I decided the best thing I could do to counter that sick feeling was to volunteer with the Obama campaign. I’ve been phone banking and going door-to-door for the last three weeks and will do so the last four days of the campaign to get out the vote for the prez.
What’s encouraging is that more volunteers are coming out of the woodwork. That could make the difference here in Virginia and the election, and I think it just might.

Jesse Archer said...

Hey Tony thanks for your comment and the volunteer work you're doing. If I weren't hiding out in deep blue states (or remote island continents) I could be of so much more service, like you.
Yeah, it's mind-boggling what people will believe, and they so eagerly eat it up even when its against their own self-interest!
Further to the FEMA mention was Paul Ryan's hating on the stimulus, which thankfully Biden called him out for during the debates since he asked for all that $$.
Now Billy Graham is at it again - have you seen he's taken out a full page ad in the NYT to call for support of "biblical marriage", at the same time scrubbing from his website the former language calling the Mormon Church a heretical cult. I guess... better the devil you know? And talk about cherry-picking. It's all the same and so familiar - selectively interpret sections of the bible to comport to your human bigotry and attribute it to god. Ugh.

Tony said...

Hey Jesse -

I saw Graham's NYT full page ad (I subscribe to the print edition) over breakfast the morning it appeared. URP! I'm disappointed in old Billy. In the past he used to be more circumspect. Not that it's an excuse, but I think I see the hand of his wacko homophobe son Franklin, who got him to issue a statement supporting the anti-gay CEO of Chick-fil-A this summer. I think the son is manipulating the old man in his dotage. Too bad.My parents knew and liked him and his late wife Ruth back in the day, and I met him on the golf course. Seemed like a good guy then. Oh well.