Wednesday, September 12, 2012

fired up

School starts for me today, and I just noticed that I haven't written anything here in a month. In that time there's been an abundance of delicious heirloom tomatoes, a lot of hot weather, a hurricane (Isaac), the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 (yesterday), and two starkly contrasting political conventions. The first, which featured a collection of Latinos, African-Americans, and women (no gays) paraded in front of an almost exclusively white audience like a dog show. Its keynote speakers bullied the airwaves with resentment, accusations, and offensive claims to "take back our country," and to "keep America American" (a slogan which, I should mention, was also used by the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s), yet surprisingly little in terms of specifics of policy, and virtually no mention of the men and women serving in our armed forces. Oh yeah, there was also a speech from the Vice Presidential Nominee, whose accusations against the current administration were found to be gross untruths by numerous fact-checking organizations, and a curmudgeonly and confused octogenarian who embarrassed himself and everybody else by arguing with an empty chair.

The second convention, which looked a whole lot more like an accurate and diverse representation of the United States in which I live, featured an array of elected officials and citizens who seemed truly concerned with the dangers of continued tax cuts for the wealthy, corporate loopholes, and the Machiavellian social agenda that the other party has proposed. 

I have no knowledge of any previous political convention, like this past DNC, where nearly every speaker made reference to the unfair discrimination of gay and lesbian people. I don't believe this was simply a well-crafted ploy for liberal votes, but rather a sincere position for change in civil rights which will ultimately result in saving American lives. (I know that reads like extreme rhetoric, but perhaps you might not understand what it's like to grow up in a world where everyone and everything, EVERYTHING - school, church, family - tells you that you're wrong; an abomination, a pariah; something to be avoided, laughed at, shunned, beaten, or worse. In other words, an environment where killing oneself seems a viable escape from the daily torture of living.)  It was certainly a far cry from the Republican convention where people were shouting that they need to be protected from gay people destroying the 'sanctity' of their way of life, or that the 'gay agenda' is a threat to their religious freedom.

I am quick to admit that corruption and hypocrisy abound in both parties, that the Dems have a lot of work to do and that a second Obama term will undoubtedly be an uphill journey, but I also noticed a palpable feeling of hope and community during speeches from the First lady, former President Clinton, Lilly Ledbetter, Julian Castro, a fiery Joe Biden, the President, and others. 

I don't like too much time to pass between postings here, and my new semester starts in less than a few hours, so I don't have time to go into too much more right now, but I wanted to at least check-in on the recent political shenanigans, even if only to touch the very tip of the behemoth iceberg of what's at stake in the upcoming election. Romney is a tool; a spineless, blank political puppet who will say whatever his advisers and financial backers tell him to say (this is an auction, after all), Ryan is a flat out liar, and while Obama is basically a moderate Republican that the right has painted as a gay-Muslim-Mexican-socialist, he is the best hope we have right now. A Romney presidency would take decades to recover from (if ever).

I'd love to rant further, but I've gotta put on my new back to school outfit and get ready for class.