In over three months of unemployment, I have spent a majority fraction of my waking hours thinking about, looking for, and worrying over finding a job. This we know, as I have beat that particular horse too often in the annals of Irish Gumbo. This week was no different.
Right now, dear ones, I don't want to dissect the job hunt. I want to get something different out of my head. Something that has been incubating in there for weeks, and that I finally put my finger on today.
In my time that has not been spent on job searching activities, I have had the opportunity for steady engagement with current events. Not always to my benefit, either, as I tend to mouth off at the computer or the television when perusing or watching the news. I have had many opportunities to indulge my love of reading and research in following threads on a wide range of topics. When something catches my interest I savor the opportunity to follow it until I decide I have learned enough, not when the dictates of the outside world say I am done.
In an election year this carries noticeable risk. Especially when one has strong feelings and opinions about many things involving the human condition. This year it has been especially acute given all the attention lavished on the issues of what constitutes marriage, families, gender politics and equality. When this is mashed up with regressive social thinking, bigotry, hatred and exclusion, it becomes a big thought bomb. Today it blew up in my face.
A lot of wind has blown from the mouths of conservative, right-wing, supposedly religious people in the past few months. A lot of foul, obnoxious wind. Much talk has been aimed at the supposed damage that has been done to "God, America and Family" by those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people. We have presidential candidates signing pledges vowing to be faithful to their spouses and to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and opposing same-sex marriages, while continuing to maintain the false premise that homosexuality is merely a "choice". We have politicians who have been divorced multiple times (including cheating on a spouse while trying to divorce them) telling us our morals are corrupt and "America has lost its way".
There are people who call themselves serious contenders for the office of President of the United States, and seem to think nothing of condemning lives they obviously don't understand. They claim to stand for the ideals of a country founded on the principles of life and liberty written into the U.S. Constitution. It is a poor joke to claim one stands for individual freedom while ostracizing and attempting to legally exclude whole groups of people from the benefits and protections of the law. It is abhorrent to use hate and ignorance to tell anyone, not just Americans, you don't deserve to be treated as an equal human being because you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person.
What that amounts to is saying: you are not human.
It is a classic sign of a fascist mindset to designate a class of people as The Others, The Different, The Outsiders, in order to galvanize the remaining people with fear and hate, as a method of exerting political control. Look at the governments of Nazi Germany, Mussolini's Italy, the Soviet Union of Stalin. Look at McCarthyism in the 1950's. The thread continues into today. Look at the idiocy that spews from the organizations supporting Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, any of them. Better yet, look at the statements and actions of the people themselves. Signing ridiculous pledges. Claiming that the morals of the country are being destroyed by people who don't marry, or want to marry a person of the same gender; that ruin lies down the path of acknowledging someone who was born one gender realizes they are really another.
You know who else makes hateful, ignorant, repellent statements like that? Groups like the Taliban, and other religious fundamentalists. Groups who want to control what you feel, who you love, what life you want to live. It is terribly insulting to me, and incredibly dangerous to others, to be told that my morals are corrupt...because I don't think the way they do.
My morals are just fine, thank you. I don't need some ignorant, power-hungry buffoons deciding for me what is right or proper, especially when their definition of right and proper is based on taking away freedoms and arbitrarily designating some people as not worthy of love, respect or protection under the law.
To sit and listen to someone slander tens of thousands of their
fellow citizens, to hear the hypocrisy behind asking for their votes
while working to deny them basic rights, is abhorrent beyond endurance.
They cannot claim to know what is best for all citizens, because they
have demonstrated they do not have empathy for or understanding of all
those citizens. Anyone who cannot see the crippling inconsistencies in
their ideology, and expects me to ignore those inconsistencies, has no business
running the country.
I am not a lesbian. I am not gay. I am not bisexual. I am not transgender. I am a heterosexual male. Most important of all, I am a human being, as is anyone who identifies as LGBT.
To condemn people to the status of sub-human, not equal, because of
their inherent identity is probably the most revolting perversion of the
American ideal I have witnessed in my lifetime. The claim that we are a
compassionate, humane and free society will remain a joke if
intolerance and hate become the rule of law.
We all deserve love and respect based on who we are, not on someones ignorant and hateful definition of who they think we are. I cannot accept, will not accept, will not support any political hopeful who wants to exclude human beings from society based on lives different than their own. Different does not equate with wrong.
Heterosexual. Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transgender. We all identify as one of those. The common thread is that we are all human beings. It saddens me to think there are forces out there that want to deny many of us our humanity. Those forces must be opposed.