The following are irrelevant.

Posted: February 15, 2008 in america, Bush, congress, democrats, election, freedom, impeachment, irrelevant, legislation, lies, republicans, silly, stupid, voting, waste

This will come as a shock to some people, but what follows is a list of what I consider political “non-starters” this year. They are issues that are either peripheral to the main discussion, or are dangerous distractions from the real problems that we face as a nation. They are in no particular order, since placing a list of national non-priorities in a hierarchy was nearly impossible. So sit back and prepare to be offended.

  • Gay Marriage. Politicians and pundits who bloviate endlessly about this are wasting both time and air. The Republicans and their cronies in the Fundy-Wacko community would love to believe that this is the biggest threat to morality and virtue since the last biggest threat, but in reality it’s a blip on the radar scope. Does it really matter, cosmically speaking, if Peggy wants to marry Sue and Joe and Steve want something more than a “civil union”? No. Does the fate of our nation hinge on preventing such unions from occurring? No. Does it affect my marriage and my children? No. There is an inherent biological component to homosexuality, and being exposed to it does not increase your chances of “becoming gay.” You either are, or you’re not.
  • Abortion. Make no mistake about this – I am personally opposed to the practice of abortion, especially the vicious and despicable method of performing late-term abortions commonly known as “partial birth”. I would like nothing more than to see this procedure outlawed, and soon. However, at present, the debate has been stifled by the shouting of bigots and hatemongers on both sides. The extreme left would love to overlook the fact that abortion does, in fact, destroy a human life, and often leaves the (former) parents grieving and in psychological trauma as a result. The extreme right has been desperately trying to ignore the fact that it’s been their policies of “smaller government, less regulation” that have led to wage stagnation, rising costs of living, and people being so desperate that when faced with the expense of a child, abortion seems a more viable option. It’s time to move past the rancour and try to reach some middle ground. It’s the law of the land, so we might as well accept it. Oh, and if it’s going to be an accepted medical procedure, let’s try treating the clinics that perform it like hospitals. Regular inspections of their facilities and medical documentation would be a good start.
  • Illegal Immigration. This relative non-issue has been made into a hot-button topic by racists and bloody-minded right wingers across the country looking for someone to blame for problems we’ve pretty much created for ourselves. The real problem isn’t that illegal immigrants are coming across the borders and “taking American jobs”, and it isn’t that terrorists could sneak into the country and pose as plantation workers. Illegal immigration has been a fact of American life for decades, and will continue to be so whether we ignore it, or build a fence, wall, force field, or whatever. Walls won’t keep people out, and it’ll only be a huge waste of money and effort if we build one. No, the main reason our economy is in the shitter is not because of illegal immigrants – it’s because of the unethical and frankly despicable behavior of American corporations that have shipped America’s manufacturing base overseas in the quest for cheaper labor and less regulation. It’s not Jose’s fault you lost your job last year – it’s Joe the CEO’s fault. But it’s easier to blame the brown-skinned person, so that’s what the right-wing wacko racists want you to do.
  • Taxes. Once again, it’s time for a reality check. Every year, we get to hear from the usual suspects that the reason the American middle class can’t get ahead is because taxes are too high. Meanwhile, since Bush’s last round of tax cuts, the rich have increased their share of the national wealth from merely stratospheric to astronomical, while middle class wages have actually declined. Check out Robert Reich’s column from yesterday’s New York Times. Anyone who hasn’t felt the effects of rising costs of living and stagnant wages is either rich or not paying attention. So take taxes out of the picture. Americans, in fact, pay the lowest taxation rates of any industrialized nation, and it shows. Our government currently is having to borrow money just to make operating expenses, and has recently voted a stimulus package of hundreds of billions of money from God-knows-where. The dollar is sliding down the toilet compared to other currencies, if this is any indicator. And our government fiddles while Rome burns. What we need is higher taxes, on the upper levels of income.
  • The Stimulus Package. So our elected (and one selected) officials finally woke up to the fact that the economy is in deep shit. Good for them. But as I’ve said before, putting $1200 in the pockets of the average American family and hoping it’ll “turn the economy around”, when the real problem is that the family in question isn’t paid enough to live on in the first place, won’t solve the problem. This is irrelevant, pointless, and mostly a waste of time. After all that money’s been spent, or more likely, put in the bank for later, the economy will continue its inexorable slide into oblivion. It took 30 years of Ayn Rand-style cutthroat capitalism to get us in this mess, it’s not gonna be solved overnight. Besides, trusting the lot currently occupying Washington to fix the economy is like finding out the guy that just wrecked your car is also a mechanic, and then taking it to him to get it fixed.
  • Ronald Reagan. Why is every Republican candidate trying to run as the next Ronald Reagan? Is it because he was truly a great president, the apotheosis of conservative ideals, or is it because their own merits and abilities are so meager and uninspiring that anyone else looks great in comparison? Please, guys. Reagan was an adequate president. If you can’t run on your own ideas, stay out of the race. Reagan is dead, and good riddance. Try, just once, to be yourselves for a change.
  • Bill Clinton. I’m trying to be even-handed here. Yes, Bill Clinton is irrelevant. It’s eight years since his administration sailed into the sunset, and the left still can’t let go of him. Fortunately there’s only one candidate running as the next Bill Clinton. Unfortunately, it’s his wife. She gets the same note that I just sent out to the Republicans – if you can’t run on your own merits, stay the fuck home. Clinton was a mediocre president who got lucky (in more ways than one). He was not a military genius, but he did learn to respect the military he commanded. That’s something Bush II has never learned yet. Besides that, he did commit perjury in front of a grand jury. Granted, it was about an illicit sexual affair with an intern. But perjury is perjury, whether it’s about sex, lies, or videotape. So the impeachment, however frivolous, was well-earned. Oh, and to all you Clinton defenders who keep saying “how could he have” about the intern in question – Monica Lewinsky was a babe then, and she’s a babe now. Get over it.
  • George Walker Bush. Well, this pretty much goes without saying. The best we can hope for is that he fades ignominiously into the dustbin of history. Sadly, the messes he’ll leave behind will take years, maybe even decades, to clean up. America, I hope you’ve learned your lesson.
  • Republicans. Pasty-faced, rich, middle aged white men are so out this year. GOP, prepare to be PWNED.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m sure there are a lot of other non-issues to discuss, but I honestly don’t feel like it at the moment.

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Comments
  1. stevo says:

    Not only has there been no Ayn Rand style capitalism for the past thirty years, but there has *never* been Ayn Rand style capitalism, which is completely free of all government interference.
    It’s Ayn Rand style capitalism that this country (and world) desperately needs. Eliminate all government interference and coercion, and the economy would fix itself.

    stevo

  2. Sandman says:

    You are partially correct. There has been government regulation, but only at the most minimal level, and the government’s ability to enforce said regulations has eroded to the point of nonexistence in recent years. Regulation without teeth is no regulation at all.

    The result is what we see now – the economy has reverted to the same conditions that existed at the turn of the last century. Workers have barely any rights, companies can actually punish employees for organizing, and wages have declined for all but the top 5%.

    “Eliminate all government interference and coercion, and the economy [will] right itself?” It took government interference and coercion to right the economy the last time a disaster of this proportion happened, in 1929. Unfettered capitalism wrecked it, and government regulations and liberal interference fixed it.

    Corporations are like children, and they’ve got to be treated as such. Let them do their own thing, and they’ll run roughshod over the people that do the hard work.

    Case in point – Wal-Mart. Used to be an employer of choice for many people. Now it’s a synonym for corporate greed and abuse. The relentless drive for lower and lower prices has led us to buying toxic toys from China, from a company that refuses to allow its employees to organize and actually use the benefits they’re supposed to have.

    Sorry, I guess I was wrong in my first sentence. You’re not even partially right.

  3. Sandman says:

    P.S. Thanks for the comment, anyway.

  4. Christopher says:

    Does it really matter, cosmically speaking, if Peggy wants to marry Sue and Joe and Steve want something more than a “civil union”? No.

    As a gay man in a 16 year long relationship with my same-gender partner, I am always taken aback by people — usually straight but not always, who still don’t get it, vis a vis gay marriage.

    The institution of marriage immediately conveys 1,638 Federal and state goodies and perks to the man and woman entering into the union that me and mine don’t get. Your partnership gets the cake and the icing atop it, while we get the crumbs.

    Fact:

    Access to marriage is a necessary part of achieving equality for LGBT families.

    Beside the 1,138 rights and responsibilities that are bestowed on married couples from the federal government, there are another 500+ rights and responsibilities that come from government with marriage.

    These state protections include medical decision-making authority, inheritance rights, immunity from having to testify against a spouse in court, access to Family Court for orders of protection from domestic violence, divorce and the ability to adopt children as a couple. Many of these protections (for example, a Workers Compensation death benefit for a surviving spouse) can be achieved only through marriage or some other governmental recognition of a family and cannot be obtained by any legal document a family may create in an attempt to protect itself, like a will or living will.

    LGBT families need these rights and responsibilities as much as any other family and expect equal access to the structures government has created to support families in times of need.

    This reason for marriage, of course, is in addition to the reason that most people get married: because two people in love want to make a civil, social and spiritual statement to themselves, their loved ones and their community.

    I would urge to reconsider and take into account the validity of the struggle for marriage equality in the U.S.

    Regards,

    Christopher

  5. Sandman says:

    First of all, thanks for the comment. Congratulations – your relationship with your partner has lasted longer than the “average” traditional marriage. I wish you all the best.

    I only meant that while I fully support same-sex marriage, I also believe it is not a central issue of this electoral season. It is but one battle in a much larger war. The candidate who stakes a major portion of his (or her) campaign on it is wasting his effort. Admittedly, if you are one of those on the front lines of this particular battle, it is of great importance. However, the major issues of this year – the War in Iraq, the Housing Bubble Crash, the looming Bush Depression – all dwarf those I outlined in my post.

    That being said, I believe anyone willing to make the commitment to honor, love and cherish another human being for as long as they both shall live, deserves for that commitment to be recognized under the law.