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Where does everyone stand on Roe v. Wade? I was sort of surprised to be the only one in the class last week who identified that issue as one of the most vital, especially since the women outnumber the men in the class. I guess Day 92 - June 10, 2008 - The Vote is in YOUR Handsit just hits home with me. I’ve been faced with this situation twice in my young life, and let me just say that it’s the most difficult thing a woman could be faced with. I give a lot of reverence to all the women in the world who have been in my position and made it through with their heads held up high.

Palin annoys me on a multitude of levels, and I disagree with 99% of everything that’s come out of her mouth thus far, but her pro-life stand interests me – and not in a good way. She is completely against abortions, even in the case of incest and rape, and she has stated that “an innocent life should not have to pay the price for another’s mistakes.” Really? And what do you call someone who has been raped, taken advantage of, scarred for life? Aren’t they paying the everlasting price for the “mistake” of their rapist?! It is horrible to have to abort an innocent life and have to possibly live with the aftermath, but there are two lives involved – not just one – and people like her seem to lose sight of that. I always said the people who spit up the most get it thrown right back in their faces, and it’s sad that she still hasn’t been at least a little more considerate with this issue, seeing as her seventeen-year-old daughter is now pregnant. Every life is precious. Everyone deserves a chance to live. I get that, Palin. But nobody deserves to get raped and have to be burdened (because that’s what it becomes) with the responsibility of another human life when they did not ask to be put in that situation.

I am also irritated at McCain for agreeing with Palin 100% on that issue. Sorry, but no uterus = no opinion. Maybe that’s ignorant for me to say, but what do men know about carrying a child? What do men know about childbirth? What do men know about the physical, mental, and emotional changes that women go through after having children? Perhaps that’s wrong of me to say, but I look at it this way: I’m not going to tell anyone what to do in a difficult situation if no matter what I say or do, I would NEVER EVER EVER be able to “be in their shoes.” It’s easy for McCain to say he is pro-life – I would be, too if I couldn’t understand firsthand all it entails to be pregnant and go through all the changes and make the endless sacrifices only a mother knows about. Ignorance. I think that’s what it boils down to.

I don’t want to offend anyone or their views. I’m willing to hear everyone out, but this is a topic I am especially sensitive and passionate about all at the same time. Don’t be too hard on me on this blog if you disagree with what I have written – put yourself in my shoes first. It might help to understand where I am coming from.


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I like John McCain too.  He is an affable man with a certain charm to him.  Isn’t that a prerequisite for being elected?  However difficult they may be to live with or to work for, the side shown to the electorate must be appealing.  Reagan, Clinton, and Bush 2 couldn’t have been more engaging, each in his own way, and they were all rewarded with two term presidencies.  Charm is immediate and easy.  Facts are difficult, challenging, and hard work.

Most Americans are too busy, tired, or dare I say it, lazy to take the responsibility to investigate the presidential choices.  We speak of the candidates’ character with out really differentiating what is and is not an important aspect of it.  Cheating on their wives is not a pertinent issue to determine fitness for office.  To be sure it is a sexy, juicy tidbit more on the order of a National Inquirer article than a NY Times one.  What then, is an important barometer of character?  Perhaps their overarching philosophies on the issues would be a good start.  Do they feel that their opinions and views should be forced on others, or do they allow for the great diversity that is America?

The problem I have always had with the so called “right” is their rigidity on their positions.  A prime example is the abortion debate.  I know of no one on the pro choice side who likes abortion.  What is there to like?  But the reality of the situation is that illegalizing abortion does not work and its sinfulness is largely a Christian concept.  And yet, where is the empathy for women who carry a severely handicapped child?  They are on their own once the child is born.

A more moral, if you will, approach is to work to eliminate the need for such medical measures.  Yet these same right to lifers fight proven techniques for keeping unwanted pregnancies from ocurring in the first place.  This very rigidity has caused Sarah Palin to now face this issue in her own family.  If she had not been opposed to any meaningful sex education in the schools, including contraceptive availability, than her daughter’s pregnancy would and should be off limits.

The “right” has used Christianity as the basis for their arguements, which is patently un American.  We are a pluralistic society, not a Christian theocracy.  The founding fathers were quite clear on this.  As Jefferson wrote in his Wall of Separation letter, “religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God. . .”  In 1797, in the Treaty of Tripoli, with the approval of George Washington, John Adams, and the United States Congress, it is stated that the “Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

One of the greatest issues facing us as a nation today is how to fight terrorism.  As we become endlessly embroiled on several fronts, from Afganistan to Iraq, from Pakistan to Iran, we must take a more nuanced approach.  Again, rigidity is not the answer.  McCain’s philosophy of militaristic might as the sole solution is not a winning or modern approach.  Why must we continually antagonize those with whom we don’t agree?  Be it Russia, Cuba, or the Middle East, we must engage, not overwhelm these regimes to make a safer world.

This is a difficult task and will require someone who is limber in diplomacy.  One who can bend when needed and accept a compromise stance.  The world supported America when we invaded Afghanistan.  We had just cause and the Taliban were universally hated and mistrusted.  There are many points of agreement we can come to with Muslim nations that would preclude our making more enemies than we started with.  Obama wants to explore these options.  Yet when Obama proposes dialogue with (gasp!) regimes considered our enemies, he is ridiculed as hopelessly naive and inexperienced.

As the saying goes, “If it aint broke, don’t fix it.”  By contrast, if it is, do something new.  Our policies are certainly broke.  Those who broke them shold not be rediculing those who propose meaningful change.  Rigidly “staying the course” is one of the main reasons we are in this mess.  In life we appreciate those who say, “I made a mistake and I will work to fix it.”  Why do we not accept, much less demand that in our leaders?

I would vote for a true maverick.  By definition, a maverick should stand up to the big guys.  Go his own way.  It requires no maverick to stand up to the poor and disenfranchised.  To say yes to lobbyists and big business interests.  Obama, by virtue of his policies is more maverick than McCain.  It takes a maverick to be a community organizer.  After all, who are you organizing against?  The powers that be.  I do want a maverick as our next president.  America needs this now.  But who is the true maverick?  One that rigidly sticks to his belief system, even in the face of contrary evidence, and insists on all of us adhering to this, or one who will stand up to the powerful for the benefit of the average?  One who will not punish the powerful, just hold them accountable.  One who is not so rigid, or beholden to those that are, that he cannot look logically at issues and adapt.

This overarching rigidity, stemming from a moral certainty, keeps the conservative base from being able to change, either with the times or because of new facts and information.  Let us leave our candidates room to change their minds on the particulars of an issue with out calling them flip-floppers.  It is how they approach their ideology and their power that is if the greatest importance.  I, too like John McCain.  I just like Obama more.

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