Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Not To Burst Your Bubble, But...

First and foremost WOOOOOOO! Though I have always been proud to be an American, I have never been prouder. My generation's children will grow up knowing that, no matter what happens, anything is possible.

That said, allow me to interrupt this moment of froufara with a bit of a reality check.

I remarked to my wife this morning that we've finally stepped into the 21st Century. And she said, "No, we've stepped into the 20th."

She's right. Race and gender should have been a non-issue. We should have walked away from that crap decades ago. By now we should have already seen this. Instead, we have had to grind our way through years of bigotry and fear just to get to this point.

Not to reduce Obama's achievement, because it is an immense achievement, but he had help. If it wasn't for the GOP fucking things up so badly over the course of the last 8 years I don't think he would have stood a chance in some key states. I think The Onion nailed it on the head with their story this morning, Nation Finally Shitty Enough To Make Social Progress.

The United States did not vote for the Democrats, we voted for Obama. He was responsible for pulling people together, for bridging divides and getting the votes of conservatives and liberals. The Democrats got lucky with a man who can comport himself as a leader, rather than just a runner of a country. They haven't had that sort of candidate in a very long time.

The nation is still just as purple as it was yesterday. The Democrats did not wake up to some liberal Utopia. Same sex marriage was banned in three states, for example, two of which had gone clearly for Obama. Though the Democrats made some sweeping changes to the political landscape, they owe it hands down to him.

The economy is still in the toilet. We're still in Iraq with no clear way out. Our energy policy is a shambles. Come January 20th, when Obama takes the mantle of his office, all those things will be true.

The election was the easy part. Now it's time to get to work.



pattinase (abbott) said...

Now we'll see if he can make lemonade out of lemons. Yes, he can.

Gerard said...

I'm not sure about the whole gay marriage thing. I still refuse to use the word marriage for same-sex couples. I firmly believe gay couples are entitled to all the legal and financial protections and rights as married couples. But, I just won't use the word marriage. That being said, the proposition there in CA was stupid and paranoid.

Maybe I would change my mind about gay marriage if both chicks are really hot.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

I'm curious, why is that?

The way I see it if marriage is okay for some people, why not all people? Granted, this argument could be taken to a ridiculous extreme ad absurdum (why not let 5-year-olds marry 40-year-olds?), but that's not what I mean.

What are your grounds for using or not using the word 'marriage'? How do you define it differently from a civil union, regardless of any particular state's definition? Is it different at all in your mind? If not, why not just call it marriage?

If it is, why? Why should one group get something different - I'm not even talking about less or more, just different - than another group? And if one happens to be lesser or greater in rights / benefits than another (which really is a subjective thing), shouldn't the other group also get those benefits?

Marriage can be a tremendous pain in the ass. There's paperwork. There's all that tax bullshit. There's the weird negotiating with the other person about all that annoying money crap. And then there's divorce. In some circumstances people can be stripped of almost everything they have just because they got tired of sharing a house with someone else.

I've heard the biological argument: "They can't have children and marriage is about having children." Which makes me wonder about my wife and I as we're intentionally not having children. Does that mean our use of the marriage label is invalid just because I'm not 'child friendly'?

Or the religious angles, all of which seem to boil down to, "God says so." That's an argument I can't really address, because it's so alien to me. I just don't 'get' religion. Something about the whole, "My invisible best friend is better than your invisible best friend," just doesn't make sense to me.

And if it is religion, do you make the distinction between the religious view or the legal view?

I'm not presuming that any of what I've mentioned above is where you're coming from. I'm certainly not trying to bust your balls here. I really am just curious.

Personally, I wonder sometimes if the gay community would have been better served by eschewing the marriage label altogether. By taking it on they're looking for validity from a group of people who are, for whatever reason, incapable of granting it.

Not that that's bad. In fact, it's necessary. They need to be recognized and treated like any other group of people.

But it's a rough road they've got ahead of themselves.

Gerard said...

Remember, I'm all for equal protection under the law. Financial issues, insurance, medical decisions, childbearing, divorce laws, and everything else should be the same between a married couple (man-woman) and a gay couple.

My preference for the word marriage is because I believe a married couple is a man and woman. It is a personal belief. I don't care if gay couples want to call themselves married but i disagree with the word.

My hang-up is about the word itself. That hang-up is stuck on the personal preference that a different term be used for gay couples. I understand that some people would see this as discriminatory in itself. Someone could make a strong argument about this by swapping 'gay' for 'inter-racial' or '[word for two different religions]'. But I won't do that because I like my idea.

Gerard said...

I also do not like the word 'blog'. I don't like to write it. I don't like to type it. I really do not like to say it.

I also dislike the phrases 'thumb drive' and 'jump drive'.

Gerard said...

And yet another word on the topic: I'm not totally dead-set against using "marriage" for all "unions". I suppose I would get used to after a while. If churches start to use "marriage" for gay couples that would influence me. I think of marriage as both a religious rite and a legal right. There lies part of my dislike.