I just finished reading Al Franken’s Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, and I’ve gotta tell you, every page I turned got me angrier and angrier about the political polarization of this country and the agendae of the opposing factions of right and left. I know this has probably been debated many times before, but I feel the need to discuss this.
At the outset, let me just say that, for my part, I consider myself a little left of center. Therefore, I will start with the conservatives (don’t smirk, lefties, I’ve got a bone to pick with you, too!). For example, let’s take two “hot-button” issues–a woman’s right to reproductive choice and same-sex marriage. Now, if we are to take you at your word regarding your personal moral values, it would seem that neither of these issues directly impacts you. Why, then, do you constantly try to impose your values on the rest of the populace through lawsuits and legislation? Let me give you an example: a lot of people dress badly. My senses are offended by some of the clothing combinations some people wear. But I’m certainly not going to pass out petitions and try to enact legislation demanding that everyone subscribe to my taste or suffer legal consequences! This issue is between the sartorial offender and his/her mirror. By the same token, if you don’t believe in abortion, by all means, don’t have one ! But please respect the rights of the rest of us as adults to make an intelligent, informed and highly personal decision for ourselves. And as far as same-sex marriage goes, I have one question: What the hell do you care? I mean, what’s the divorce rate now, something like 50%? It seems that your definition of marriage isn’t exactly foolproof. Why then do you insist on denying commited same-sex couples the same legal rights and protections the rest of us enjoy? No one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you or your children into a same-sex relationship, so what does it matter to you? Remember my example above about the clothing? You have every right to be offended; you do not have the right to turn that offense into laws to make the rest of us toe your moral line!
Now, for some of the “liberals” out there–your brand of “political correctness” is really getting out of hand. I am not a religious person by any means, but I am certainly not offended by the display of a Nativity creche, even in a public park, and I doubt that most people are. It’s not like there are bands of armed Christians dragging you in front of it and forcing you to your knees to worship at it! And now there’s controversies about the display of the Ten Commandments. I don’t know about you, but apart from the “I am the Lord thy God” one, aren’t these the basis for most of our laws? Not to mention some pretty good rules to live by?
Don’t we have more important issues to worry about, like the economy, loss of personal liberties, crime and violence, and the growing apathy among the rest of us that allows this kind of insanity to go on? Can’t we all just agree to disagree on the moral issues and focus on what’s really important in this country, like jobs at a good wage, affordable housing, reducing our dependence on fuel imports, and realizing that there’s more to being a strong nation than just the ability to kick butt?
We have three inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. With those in hand, we can probably figure out the rest.