Category: Politics

Closing off the Campaign

Congratulations, America, for putting in the man I thought was right for the job. The wind was taken out of my sails with the news that Proposition 8 passed, but I’ll get over it. Maybe by the time I want to get gay married, it will be a possibility.

Vote No on Proposition 8

It would be a bad idea for Batrock.net to suddenly become some sort of political platform but, as I’ve said, this is a pretty dang important week in American politics. This being the case, I’d like to take the opportunity to suggest that, if you’re Californian, you vote “no” on Proposition 8.
That’s the proposition that was originally called the “California Marriage Protection Act”. Marriage is in trouble? From what? Dolphins, no doubt. Yeah, I’d vote yes on that, it’s a valuable institution. That title was a bit vague, so it’s been renamed: Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry.

Oh, right. I’m a bit less certain about eliminating that right. This would appear to be another partisan issue, but we all know there are some secret and not so secret gay republicans. One of the most amusing parts of this campaign was the co-founder of “dating” site Manhunt resigning over the revelation that he had donated to McCain’s campaign.
Anyway, that’s why I’m surprised (but also pleased) to find that Arnold Schwarzenegger is against the proposition. If it takes celebrity endorsements to convince you of something, then they can tell you that Proposition 8 is far and away from the right direction for America and, by extension, the world.

Certainly, there’s a slippery slope argument: “if we allow gays to marry each other, what next? We’ll allow people to marry their pets! Paedophiles to marry their prey! Brothers to marry their sisters! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!” (This is also known as the “Katy Perry Effect”)
I’m almost positive that society does not actually work that way, and that such people are far larger statistical anomalies and could certainly recognise the stigma of their actions. There are forms of self-loathing that nothing can scrub away, and I’m not convinced that homosexuality is either one of them or a floodgate for legitimately repugnant activities.

Tonight I made the mistake of going into the internet moral dead zone of conservative blogs, which is something that I used to subject myself to all the time a scant eighteen months ago. You know why we shouldn’t let gay people marry? It just ain’t right. I’m sold. I actually saw one argument against gay marriage being that one politician had proposed easier access to tests for STDs. Clearly, people shouldn’t be getting STDs at all, so there’s no need to test for them: if they get them, it’s their own dang fault.

Seriously, in reality: gay people, except for those at the Folsom Street Fair, are exactly the same as everyone else. Maybe I don’t personally want to get married at this very moment, but why not let others? How does allowing them to marry affect you? It seems to me that a lot of “concerned parents” want their children to live sheltered lifestyles, where sex of any kind won’t occur to them until their wedding night – and if they find out that their partner is actually the wrong gender for them, too late! They’re already bound in the unbreakable contract of marriage, ’til death do they part. This is essentially not how the world operates at all: these sorts of things are going to happen, whether it is liked or not, whether or not the behaviour is taught, and a society conducive to people not hating themselves and praying for suicide is the kind of society that I approve of.

This is not simply about eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry: it is another kind of slippery slope into a deep and scary “don’t ask, don’t tell” world, where children grow up knowing nothing of reality. If they hear of these mythical “homosexuals”, they will only know them as horrid beasts who conduct immoral lifestyles. All of these worries about schools “teaching” gay marriage are illogical: a school should not make a moral judgement in the imparting of knowledge. I do not recall any of my history teachers explicitly labelling Hitler “evil”. Gay marriage existing will lead to the acknowledgement that gay marriage exists, which of course leads to the acknowledgement that gay people exist. For whatever reason, we can’t be having with that.
In typing that, I realised that America is also the country where evolution is also a term that’s not allowed within fifty feet of so many schools. Education may be condemned as a Godless liberal pursuit, but sometimes I’m inclined to think that the Christian Right is winning. Religion has no place in government, but I’m not going to condemn its very existence. Proposition 8 encroaches on my livelihood, and countless other people like me, who are almost certainly better at maintaining that livelihood than I am. This is playing with people, here, and it’s not an acceptable way to conduct a nation.

I forgot to mention that several churches have publicly opposed Proposition 8 because of its denigration of humanity. I salute these organisations.

Always useful resource Towleroad has collected much information on Proposition 8 in this handy post, including PSAs by Samuel L. Jackson, Kathy Griffin, and the aforementioned Republicans Against 8 ad. Proposition 8 may be a California only Proposition, but it has wider reaching implications. I’m making an appeal to humanity here.

If this is incoherent, it’s because I’m tired, but it’s important that you vote No on Proposition 8 if the responsibility is in your hands.

Vote! ’08

It has come to my attention that there is an election on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. Now, I can’t vote in it because I’m either not an American citizen or I am a convicted felon. I can’t quite remember which.

The point is, this is a very important moment in history. It’s important every four years and, unlike Australia, it’s not compulsory for Americans to vote. I think that apathy is a dangerous weapon, and that a nation should not end up with a leader that it doesn’t want because you can’t be arsed to vote. It should be fairly clear who I would like to win this election, but that’s neither here nor there: the point is that you should go out there and let your vote be counted. There should be no “oh, Candidate X is going to win anyway, I don’t need to go out and vote”, because if everyone thought like that no one would be elected and they’d go for the default president option, a machine called “Presitron 1800”, which was built in case Washington chose not to take up the post way back in 1789. A 219 year old robot is not the right choice to rule the “greatest force for good in this world”.

If I wanted to be more partisan on you, I’d post in big bold letters “A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for Osama Bin Laden“, or I’d say “Obama/Biden – Osama Bin Laden … coincidence?”
Well, crap, looks like I’ve been beat:

A FOX News watching source seems to indicate this image is a fake. It may well be, and if so I’m sorry (and don’t think I’ve forgotten when that first example happened to Kerry in 04).

So, Americans, go out there, and exercise your democratic right and all that. Or vote for a third party candidate, throw your vote away! Wahahaha! Seriously, though, the American Presidential elections are weighted such that they have a direct impact on the future of the entire world. Remember, no matter which candidate you vote for, things are going to change.


Sarah Palin pancakes courtesy of Dan Lacey