So I had a few things to say the other day about how I felt after seeing President Obama speak at Colorado State University. But after hearing the speech, I have a few more things to say:
And women, oh dear women. Let’s not be histrionic about our reproductive rights. Mitt Romney has no power over whether you get to terminate your pregnancy. He can nominate a Supreme Court Justice – if one of them dies or retires – and then that Justice will do whatever the hell he or she wants. Overturning Roe v. Wade would only give states the right to make their own abortion laws. Some will allow it, some won’t. Just like today’s differing abortion limits in various states. Essentially, the worst that can happen is that you’ll have to take a day trip to another state. And yeah, I do think that any woman in the world can figure out how to make her way there. Unemployed crackheads can still do $50,000 in blow every year – because they want it bad enough. If a woman or girl wants one bad enough she will get it, because women are resourceful.
I hate to simplify this issue because I know the hysterical screeching about the rape and the incest abortion clause is so much fun (and gets so many juicy clicks), but, for goodness sake, in the cases of rape or incest, take the motherloving Day After Pill or Plan B. You know instantly whether or not you’ve been raped, or even made a drunken mistake. So, take the damn pills. That’s what it’s there for. And if that is disallowed somehow, here’s a little secret for you – Plan B is an overdose of birth control pills. That’s it. That’s the whole secret.
Romney has no intention of outlawing birth control (he won’t have the power to either). Mormons use birth control. As do most Christians and most Republicans. The very small minority of people who don’t use birth control in this country are not a threat to me or you. So take a deep breath and focus on nurturing your womb. And your soul.
Has Obama really done a lot to improve women’s economic experience? Is his cabinet full of bright, intelligent women? (Obama, 6; Bush W., 6) Are there all these wonderful economic policies that pay women equally or is there still a 23 cent differential? Is there a wonderful safety net for stay-at-home moms who end up divorced? Are there a bunch of women leaders in corporations? Is there suddenly a major drop in teenage pregnancies? Is there some awesome workplace policy that creates a positive work/family balance for “family values?” During his speech President Obama made a comment that I thought was pretty choice, “Do you want a congress made up of a bunch of men?” Because you recently grew a vagina, Barack? Because under your administration things have dramatically and wonderfully improved for women? Because you want us to believe that you somehow love and respect your wife more than Mitt Romney does, maybe because she had a job? Really?
I read only one article, last year, about Paul Ryan’s economic reform ideas and I thought his was about the only realistic plan I’d heard so far. Harsh maybe. But realistic. Do you realize that 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day in this country? That’s 10,000 people qualifying for Medicare and Social Security. Per day. Most of them are richer than me and you. And they will still be cashing a Social Security check. That my generation will have to pay for. And they are going to live another 30 years. Some of them will live for decades with chronic illnesses. Expensive chronic illnesses needing lots of care. So even our children and possibly their children will have to pay for this. Get reproducing folks, because there are millions and millions of baby boomers about to enter their senior years and they expect fantastic free health care and social security checks. Who has a realistic plan for that? Ryan? I don’t know. Maybe.
Naive Ideologies are Easy
We make arguments so loud and long that we stop questioning our own ideology. And we often do it when we’re way too young to have even formulated a real opinion about our own positions because we haven’t acquired the relevant life experience. Abortion is an entirely different issue when you’re the one who is pregnant, or yearning to be. The economy is a vastly different issue, when you’re the small business worried about how you’ll pay taxes by the end of the year and feed your kids.
I have not watched one debate. Not one hour of CNN. Certainly I have not polluted my brain with Fox News, the cause of 95% of high blood pressure in America. I have ignored news articles deliberately. I have clicked “hide” on every. single. person. on Facebook who pollutes my consciousness with rants about their political rightness and how the other side is a bunch of anti-American morons for having a differing opinion. Why?
Every hour I have not watched CNN has been another hour that I get to maintain my internal peace. Every second I have not watched FOX News has been a second in which I have not been furious with asshats. Every issue I ignore, is another thing that I don’t have to be stressed out about. Every political conversation I have not had with a relative or friend is a relationship that has not been damaged by condescension, divisiveness or baffling irritation.
This is America, everyone has a right to be wrong. And I have a right not to hear about it.
The truth is that I can’t solve anyone’s problems right now. Maybe never. I can vote. Period. The end. I have no control whether or not women are allowed to get abortions, my opinion about whether they should is irrelevant, what is relevant is whether or not I should. I am powerless over whether or not insurance companies are money sucking turds who screw over their customers, hell I don’t even have any insurance. I have no idea how we’re going to pay for baby boomers to retire in the style they’ve become accustomed to and they are going to get old whether I like it or not (and I do like them, I do, well a lot of them anyway). I can’t control whether interest rates go up or down.
Accepting my own powerlessness is paradoxically freeing. I don’t have to fix this. Or convince you that I know how to fix it. Or even convince you that Romney or Ryan or Obama know how to fix it. I don’t even have to believe that any one of them can fix it to roll the dice and vote. I don’t have to believe that Romney is a woman-hater. I don’t have to believe that Obama is a Muslim non-US-citizen. I don’t have to understand why other people need to believe that in order to justify their political positions.
My position right now concerns staying above water and improving my own family’s economic condition. Putting gas in my car, feeding my kids and keeping the mortgage current. And I want a really nice pair of black leather boots. I just do.
If Obama loses, I’ll have won anyway. Because this political season hasn’t made me crazy.