Saturday, August 25, 2012
Today's MOMENT OF ZEN 8/25/12
Words by F LoBuono
I recently posted on Facebook some thoughts regarding the comments made by Missouri Congressman Todd Akin. They were so egregious and outrageous that they became front page news. They were everywhere. Therefore, I believe it is unnecessary to repeat exactly what he said. I was, as I believe most Americans were, shocked not only by the insensitivity of the comments, but by the sheer ignorance of them. PLEASE! We're talking about Biology 101 here!! Add in the fact that this man is in a position of power, and is looking to gain more, is downright frightening. As Representative Akin is a Republican, I challenged my Republican friends by "accusing" them of publicly denouncing him while still adhering to a political agenda that, in a sense, condones, if not downright supports, his basic premise. I defended my "accusation" by explaining that the presumptive Republican Vice Presidential Nominee, Paul Ryan, while publicly condemning Mr. Akin had, also, many times in the past, worked with him on legislation that would define legitimate rape. Legitimate rape? In addition, the day after I wrote the post, former Republican Governor and Fox News host, Mike Huckabee, not only defended Mr. Akin's comments, he actually endorsed him in his senate race!! WTF?!
Well, it created a real shit storm. People were passionate on both sides. One person even wanted to "de-friend" me! Some readers suggested that I stick with my "kinder, gentler" writing. But, as is always the case, I stand by what I wrote. I also see one of my missions in writing this blog as to act as agent provocateur. I want to stimulate people out of lethargy and into action. I want them to think deeply. And, more importantly, I want them to feel deeply. I want them to strip away the petty bullshit and get to the core of issues. And, sometimes, that means to agitate. It always reminds me of a story that I had heard about one of my personal heroes, Frederick Douglass. Mr. Douglass was walking down the steps of the Capitol one day when a young black man approached him and asked, "Mr. Douglass, how can I help the cause of my people". To which, Mr. Douglass replied "agitate young man, agitate".
So, once again, in the spirit of Frederick Douglass, I agitate by posing this question, especially to those women who may be reading: how can you support a Political Party who, ultimately, would deprive you of the right to make decisions about what's best for your body? Because THIS is what this debate is really about. It's ultimately about abortion, morals, and basic civil rights. It's a about denying a woman's right (and, therefore, a human right) to choose. GOP politicians like Akin, Ryan, Huckabee, and Romeny would do just that. It's not about some yokel making idiotic comments about when and how women get pregnant. Oh, no, it's much more than that. It's about how they would impose their own moral values on a woman, and, therefore, on all of us. As a FREE American, this is unacceptable. And it's important that it's clear that, through this, I'm not supporting abortion, but, rather, I'm supporting choice! It's so simple: if you don't believe in abortion, don't have one!!! In a truly free society, when it comes to intensely personal and private matters, government has no right to interfere.
Most people in general, but Republicans in particular, feel this election is a referendum on our economy. I agree that it is, indeed, one of our most pressing concerns. So, they feel that our candidates should stick to that issue. But, again, I challenge them to go beyond what appears to me to be an unhealthy lust for wealth in the traditional sense, i.e. people having more money. However, there is more than one way to define wealth. It certainly does mean (as it should) that people, in a free market society, deserve to be rewarded for their efforts by being given the means to live a comfortable life. But HOW this is accomplished makes all the difference.
The GOP economic policy has been defined as trickle down economics. This method rewards the ultra-rich with incentives to make even more money so that they, in turn, will re-invest in our economy, stimulate job growth thereby creating more wealth for everyone. Well, I'm no economist but from what I have read there is overwhelming evidence that this certainly does not work. The rich just get richer and the poor, poorer, creating an even larger chasm between the "haves" and the "have nots" that is already too large in our Country! In addition, there are other ways of measuring so-called wealth. A society that values ALL of its citizens equally and gives ALL of its citizens every opportunity to live well should also be considered WEALTHY. Social issues truly define a society as either poor or wealthy. Therefore, whenever we elect a leader, they should represent the values that we hold most dear. And, to me, money is not one of those values but freedom of choice most certainly is. Therefore, they must be part of our debate.
A popular Republican mantra is to have a smaller and, therefore, less "intrusive" government. Sure- when it comes to business. In this case, BIG BUSINESS gets cut all of the breaks and it is free to make untold profits. Some of it might even trickle down to the little guys. However, when it comes to social issues, they're all over us like a cheap suit. They would impose their moral values, their religion, their judgement upon all of us. This is less intrusive government? No, it is quite to the contrary. This is indeed unacceptable.
So, I ask everyone to search their very souls to look for the light of tolerance, acceptance, and compassion -from within these values lies TRUE freedom. When you find it, you'll know what to do - VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE.