Sunday, November 11, 2012

Real People

My husband posted a fantastic rant on his blog about political discourse that you should all go and read.

And it's exactly right - I get really pissed off at people who think that things like not having access to health care, marriage or reproductive choice either doesn't truly affect others, or shouldn't truly affect others, or that "others" aren't real because they aren't the person commenting themselves and have different lives, experiences and issues.

To me, it's like saying "you said your mom has cancer and came very close to facing a situation in which she was uninsured through pure misfortune...but whatever, I don't care that your family might not have been able to afford to treat your mother's cancer had things gone even slightly differently, because allowing for the idea that she and everyone else should have access to basic health care that they can afford violates my worldview, and my worldview is more important than your mother, because to me she's not a real person."

These issues are very real to me, as someone who has contraception sensitivities, a mother who came very close to having cancer and no insurance, who has gay friends who want to get married, friends who have been unable to afford the best medical care and friends who might need abortions, friends who are victims of rape (well, one friend I know of and probably others I don't, because I don't pry into private lives that way), friends who have made something of themselves after getting a leg up. I've been lucky, personally, but these issues are very real to me...and I have no patience - none - for people who would rather preserve their views as political abstractions than look at real life.

And little patience - although I am learning some tolerance - for people who vote for those whose platforms would harm those real people, even if they don't agree with them. I have little and less patience for complicity. I only barely tolerate it because otherwise I'd have to think that slightly less than half the electorate are all terrible people, and that's no way to live.

Also, on a somewhat tangential note, this:

Why Romney Never Saw It Coming

Basically, Jon Stewart was right when he said to Nate Silver that what scared him most about a Republican victory wouldn't have been Republicans in power (although as a woman that too is pretty scary to me), but that it would have meant a victory over arithmetic, and that's just horrifying. How could we trust someone with the economy (or anything else) if they defied basic math? This 
quote says it all: 

"The Obama team would shower you with a flurry of data—specific, measurable, and they’d show you the way they did the math. Any request for written proof was immediately filled. They knew their brief so well you could imagine Romney hiring them to work at Bain. The Romney team, by contrast, was much more gauzy, reluctant to share numbers, and relying on talking points rather than data. This could have been a difference in approach, but it suggested a lack of rigor in the Romney camp." 

- and this is why I am totally OK, happy even, with Obama back in office. I know some folks think he's *too* conservative and has played politics rather than upending the establishment, but at least I have faith that they're doing the math, going by numbers, and making decisions based on data rather than "I think so, so it's true, and all my rich white friends agree."

At some point I'll shut up about American politics and get back to Taiwan, but not quite yet.

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