November 14, 2012 Comments Off on Got Politics?
What I learned from this election is that I have no political opinions because every election I’ve voted in (okay, so not all that many) has been dominated for me by human rights issues, which are not politics. It reminds me of the Confucius quote in The Diamond Age: “The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the Kingdom, first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge.”
Everything starts at the bottom. Before I can even begin to care about reducing the national deficit—which seems like an enormous problem to me and one that I can’t believe everyone isn’t panicked over—I need to feel safe in my personal rights. I need to know that I will have free access to birth control and abortion services if I need them. I need to know that I will be allowed to marry a woman (odds are it will be a man, but I like to keep my options open). I need to know that I can say whatever I want without fear of government retribution and that I deserve the same pay as a man. When my own life is safe and in order, then I will be able to learn and care about politics. Not before.
Hopefully sane Americans have sent a successful message with the trouncing of Romney/Ryan, not to mention Akin, Mourdock, Rivard, et al.: Can we please talk about politics now?