We’re currently fighting three wars overseas – Thanks, Obama! Way to keep those promises. – one of which the administration is fervently trying to avoid calling anything close to a war or conflict. As a veteran my thoughts and sympathies are with those who are doing that dirty work, even when we’re hearing about atrocities being committed by our troops. I believe that those atrocities do not represent the whole and I hope the military deals with them as harshly as possible.
However, I want to focus on the war at home. America loves wars. They’re good for employment – look no further than me for proof of that – and in times past they gave us a cause to rally around. Not any more. While most of the people in my country are the same – trying to provide for their families or selves and striving to live a life that leaves them satisfied – we’re being divided along ideological lines, and I’m just as guilty of it as anybody else. I find myself choosing sides more often than looking at an issue from all angles. It’s not a choice I want to make but I feel like I’m being driven that way.
Why would republicans seek to repeal a law that “has helped Minnesota achieve the lowest teen pregnancy rate on record, and it’s been an important tool for medical providers for four decades now.”? Simple answer: because it has some association with abortion and abortion is a wedge issue that can get the bases fired up. I think most people would say that our priorities should be fixing the budget and trying to make America prosperous again, but instead we have this. A purely punitive effort, much the same as defunding Planned Parenthood. The republicans are declaring war and they feel justified by the tea party victories, even while not focusing on issues that the tea party represents. This law doesn’t do anything to reduce the size of government or cut spending, or help create jobs. It’s purely vindictive.
The same applies to defunding NPR, although the republicans can at least cloak that under budget cuts (truly a drop in the bucket compared to military spending and medicare/medicaid, which neither party will touch). Even while decrying their reasons for this, I hope it goes through and NPR finds ways to survive without government aid. Then, no longer will the republicans be able to bitch about NPR.
And then there’s this: http://www.mediaite.com/online/fiscally-conservative-gop-push-house-vote-to-put-in-god-we-trust-on-federal-buildings/ This is nothing but a distraction, even those pushing the bill know it won’t pass, but again it fires up the base and they can say they made the effort. It seems like our country is being driven more toward religion, as long as it’s the right religion, whatever that is. We all know what it isn’t: Islam. I prefer my country to be open to all religions and endorse none. We need to look no further than the middle east to see what happens when one religion becomes dominant for any period of time. I don’t want wars, but I understand that sometimes they are necessary. I don’t want holy wars, and I think that as long as there is religion we will have them. I don’t remember where I read this quote but it’s true: nobody goes to war thinking their god isn’t on their side. I want us free of god if we chose to be, and free to practice religion if we so choose. I don’t want the government getting more religious; that is the wrong direction. Especially if you claim to want less government in your lives.
So, the lines are being drawn and they are becoming increasingly clearer. Most of us don’t want these lines but it is getting more difficult to ignore them. These are only a few of the examples of where the lines lay, and they really are imaginary. With this post I’ve put myself on the other side of what I’m trying to claim doesn’t exist. I’m choosing sides while I’m saying there aren’t really sides to choose. I’m buying into the rhetoric because it’s too loud to ignore, and because I don’t want to ignore it any more.
What side are you on?