Tag Archives: NO on prop. 8

People Who Should Stop Talking

The idea for this post comes shamelessly from this brilliant video by my friends and coworkers, James and Amy, located here: http://youthnoise.com/user/feedthem/blog/view/12928/ I highly recommend you watch it, preferrably not in a library or other “quiet” place. Learn from my mistakes.

There are some people who just shouldn’t talk. That’s not to say they shouldn’t have the right to talk- the First Amendment is sacred, etc, etc, etc, and I’m a big believer of the rights of people, even really, really, painfully stupid people, to open their unwashed mouths and  spew lies and ignorance, as difficult as it might be to accept/listen to. But I’m pretty sure I have every right to simply wish those people WOULDN’T talk. So here’s my list of people I wish would shut their filthy mouths (in no particular order), in addition to James and Amy’s choices (including O.J. Simpson, Sarah Palin,  and Amy), all of which I fully agree with.

1. Bill Kristol

Perhaps no one is more connected to the destructive neoconservative movement than William Kristol, New York Times columnist, Weekly Standard founder, and son of Irving Kristol, largely regarded as the founder of neoconservatism. Bill Kristol is perhaps one of the few people who refuses to admit just how damaging neoconservatism has been to the US’s image abroad.

It is, after all, neoconservatism that has gotten us into much of this mess. It is the neoconservative ideology that put a target on Iraq and decided it was the going to be the first war in a series that aimed to transform the Middle East in the American image of a 21st century country. It was the neoconservative policy of  “democracy through a barrel of a gun” that brought upon us mountains of debt, international disdain, and the tragic deaths of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as thousands upon thousands of deaths of innocent civilians. But after of all these tragedies, what does he recommend in his most recent column? More military spending.

2. YES on 8 self-appointed “victims”

On November 4th, 2008 in California passed Proposition 8 and took away the right for loving gay and lesbian couples to have the same protections under the law as straight couples. Thousands of marriages were potentially dissolved (the issue of whether the proposition was retroactive or not has yet to be decided by the CA Supreme Court), and countless other couples who were waiting to get married lost that right. Parents lost legal protections over their kids, couples who had been together for decades lost the rights to visit each other in hospitals and inherit each other’s belongings, and gay and lesbian couples were told that their love didn’t matter as much as straight love.

But the real victims of this proposition, if you weren’t aware, were those that pushed for its passage. Yes, they targeted a group of people and took away rights they already had and cherished. Yes, they ran vicious attack ads in which they lied about the consequences of gay marriage. And yes, they repeatedly used Nazi imagery when describing gay marriage. But, as Jonah Goldberg writes, it is them who are under attack! How dare equal rights advocates describe them as “bigoted” or “homophobic” or suggest that they are esentially walking into people’s homes and tearing up their marriage certificates. Such vicious attacks, which of course don’t suggest taking away anyone’s rights or discriminate against any group (not even Mormons), reveal the true bigots! A good response to this  ridiculous and self-pitying idea is here.

3. Norm Coleman

Norm Coleman wants a recount! After the Minnesota State Canvassing Board declared Al Franken the victor in the Minnesota Senate race today, Norm Coleman declared that he would take the fight to court in order to ensure all votes were counted properly. This in itself is not a ridiculous request (other than the fact that ballots in question had already been counted multiple times in the first recount process). The problem is that when it was originally thought that he had won the race all the way back in November (2008!), Norm Coleman went around asking Franken to step aside. “It’s up to him whether such a step is worth the tax dollars it will take to conduct,” Coleman said, telling reporters he would “step back” if he were in Franken’s position.

Oh, also he is one of the most corrupt members of Congress. Or, you know, he was.

3.5. Ann Coulter/Bill O’Reilly, but they don’t deserve acknowledgement.

There are certainly more- anyone have any suggestions?

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Done and Past

It’s over. The election, that is. I have spent the last 2 weeks “recovering,” by which I mean further putting off all of the things that I put off to do after November 4.

It was certainly an interesting ride. I spent my election day waking up at 6am and doing visibility in North Berkeley for NO on 8, the campaign to maintain the rights of same-sex couples in California, that unfortunately ultimately passed (more on that later).

I also was lucky enough to work for the Barack Obama campaign (spoiler: we won this one) in Reno, Nevada. I’m ashamed to say it was the first and last thing I did for the Obama campaign (which I should note that I fully and passionately support, regardless of my earlier work for Hillary), but I was glad to be a part of it nonetheless.

It has been said many times, most no doubt better than it will be here, but that Barack Obama will be president is an incredibly groundbreaking feat. In Europe, the United States is often thought to be a land still filled with racism and hatred (granted, much of this is probably true, but not to the extent believed). Great Britain, Ireland, Turkey, Finland, and others in Europe have all had women Heads of State, so having a woman president or vice president would not have been a huge deal for them (not to say that it wouldn’t have been a good thing). But a minority, a man who a little over 40 years ago may not have had the right to vote or marry a white woman? That is something that even Europe, in many ways proud of its progressive thinking, cannot claim to have had. For the first time in a long time, the United States is leading the world in a revolutionary and positive way, in overwhelmingly choosing to overlook racial divides to elect a black man as president. [Where is Europe’s Obama? this interesting BBC article asks] It’s a wake-up call for a part of the world that has gotten rather fond of hating and looking down upon us for the last 8-odd years.

Much is promised by Barack Obama, but he cannot, of course, perform miracles. He will not in his (hopefully) eight years, solve global warming. He will not untangle the US from the Middle East. He will not eliminate poverty, or world hunger, or racist tensions. He is one man who will direct American foreign and domestic policy, and many of his hands are tied up in the fact that much of what he will be doing is cleaning up after the Bush administration. He could not have come at a better time.

I went to a talk by a panel of polisci professors at my school answering the question “what will Obama change about American foreign policy.” The three of them differed on several things, namely, what to do about Iraq and the Israel-Palestine conflict, but what they could agree on is that the most important thing that Obama will bring to American foreign policy is not change itself but the concept and promise of change. That is, if foreign leaders and people think the United States is going to change dramatically, they will start treating it differently, and that is what actually could begin to facilitate the change necesary. They will begin to stop thinking of us as imperialists, bullies, etc, and even if we maintain many of the same policies (most of which are too old and embedded to be changed), good things will happen.

So I am excited, as you can probably tell. There are certainly still far too many racists in this country, as any visit to a white supremacist or conservative message board will tell you. But Obama’s election is a new American revolution, and I am incredibly excited to be a part of it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized