Let me start by saying that no political party is perfect, and that I’ll never agree with any President on everything. However, this year’s election is probably the most important with respect to defining what our country will look like in 30, 40, 50 years than any other in my (30-something-year) life. It matters. Here are three reasons why no Republican will get my vote. I’ll give you a few more tomorrow and after that, I will be posting about each of these issues individually in greater detail and with sources.
1. I have a vagina; so does my daughter
That’s right. I have a vagina and I love her. That’s not to say that she never pisses me off. I don’t enjoy her having to help my uterus do its thing every month and there are certainly times when she has a mind of her own. But guess what? She’s mine and I get to control what goes into and comes out of her. ME. Not my doctor, not my governor, not a priest, not the President, not some old white men in Congress. Not even my husband. Certainly not YOU. I do. If I don’t want a baby in there, I will take birth control and if I have an unexpected pregnancy, I will choose whether or not to carry that pregnancy to term and no, you may NOT shove an 18-inch wand up there and lie to me about it during that process. No one else gets to make decisions for my body. Period. Full stop. End of discussion.
My vagina is not a liability. It is not a preexisting condition. It is not an excuse to pay me 70% of what a man makes for the same work. It is not a license to rape, abuse, or harass me. It is simply a body part that I, and I alone, get to control. If you want to control my vagina (or discriminate against me because of it) in any way, you will never get my vote. If your party platform includes a belief that you have a right to control my vagina, I will always, always vote for your opponent.
My mother and grandmother’s generations fought for these rights for women, which is why it is so disheartening we’re even having these conversations in 2012. But let me tell you this: I will fight with everything I have to ensure that my daughter is able to control her body, and is treated as an equal citizen regardless of her parts.
Politicians, consider yourself warned: I vote with my vagina. Got it?
2. I am a liberal
I don’t say that in a political sense. I mean it as defined in the dictionary:
“favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties” “favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression”.
I do not believe our government has the right to tell you how to exercise your right to life, liberty or pursuit of happiness unless it infringes on someone else’s rights. In other words, sleep with whomever you want, as long as it’s another consenting adult (or two or 10 for all I care). Worship who/what you want. Whether you’re male, female, young, old, black, white, Muslim, Hindu, Wiccan, Christian, rich, poor, farmer, banker, athlete, gay, straight, working mother or stay-at-home dad, you have the right to pursue your happiness without interference from other people or your government. Our government has protected a set of civil liberties for ALL of our citizens, not just a select few of a certain religious persuasion, racial background, sexual orientation, or financial standing.
Those candidates who want to expand, not limit, civil liberties get my vote. Those who want to deny others the same rights they themselves already enjoy do not. Pretty simple, eh?
3. I believe the most vulnerable in our society need our help, not disdain
In 2010, 20.2% of households with children in the U.S. were food insecure (meaning they did not know where they were going to get their next meal). This, in the UNITED STATES, the wealthiest nation in the world. Children who are food insecure are more susceptible to health issues and developmental delays. They are more likely to be hospitalized, perform more poorly in school and to be aggressive, hyperactive, and anxious. Hungry children simply do not learn as well as those who are fed. They develop issues in childhood that follow them throughout their lives.
We, as a society, have a responsibility to our children. I know what some say. “They have awful, lazy parents.” “Their parents sell their SNAP cards to buy drugs.” That logic is failed and is not borne out by the facts, and even if it were true that every single one of these parents is a worthless, lazy loser who is ripping off the system, how is that a child’s fault? Why would we punish a child for a parent’s action? How can we call ourselves a civilized society and developed country when fully 20% of us don’t even get enough to eat?
If we want to really end poverty and hunger in this country we have to do it from the bottom up. We have a responsibility to take care of our kids. Healthy children are more likely to be healthy adults. Kids who can learn can because they have full bellies stand a much better chance of going on to higher education and breaking the cycle of poverty. Handicapping our children to score political points is unconscionable and plain wrong.
And that’s just food. I don’t have enough space to even start on medical care, or assistance to any other group than kids.
If you are someone who puts food and medicine for our children on the chopping block before anything else, you do not get my vote. Ever.
Stay tuned for more great reasons to vote blue this year!