Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Voting

Finally! After today there should be an end to the robo-calls, at least for a while. Why anyone thinks they would do anything except make me less likely to vote for their candidate, I don't know. But I still haven't made up my mind about who to vote for. As far as I can tell, both of the presidential candidates I am considering mostly support the issues I use as a touchstone: abortion and gay and lesbian rights. I can't vote for anyone who doesn't agree with me and George Carlin ("pro-life is anti-woman") and Anne Lamott, who captures my particular sense of outrage about the abortion rights issue in her essay "The Born" in her book Grace (Eventually):

I wanted to express calmly and eloquently, that people who are pro-choice understand that there are two lives involved in an abortion--one born (the pregnant woman) and one not (the fetus)--and that the born person must be allowed to decide what is right: whether or not to bring a pregnancy to term and launch another life into circulation....the most important message I can carry and fight for is the sacredness of each human life, and reproductive rights for all women are a crucial part of that."

I also can't vote for anyone who could possibly increase the small, daily insults to human dignity suffered by a person like David Sedaris. Here is one quandary he describes in his essay "Chicken in the Henhouse" in the collection Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim:

The man in the elevator had not thought twice about asking Michael personal questions or about laying a hand on the back of his head. Because he was neither a priest nor a homosexual, he hadn't felt the need to watch himself worrying that every word or gesture might be misinterpreted. He could unthinkingly wander the halls with a strange boy, while for me it amounted to a political act--an insistence that I was as good as the next guy. Yes, I am a homosexual; yes, I am soaking wet; yes, I sometimes feel an urge to touch people's heads, but still I can safely see a ten-year-old back to his room. It bothered me that I needed to prove something this elementary. And prove it to people whom I could never hope to convince.

There are lots of bigger issues at stake in the coming election, but I'll stand by my conviction that my touchstone issues tell me something about how a candidate thinks. It's simply not clear to me that any of my old strategies for deciding are going to work as well this time around. It's not clear that's a sign of progress, though. If Mr. "I don't believe in evolution" Mike Huckabee gets any votes, that's truly frightening.

3 comments:

lemming said...

Whoopie G. has been very active in the pro-choice world. When her teenaged daughter came to her and said, "Mom, I'm pregnant and i'm keeping the baby" she was startled, but that that this gesture only confirmed teh rightness of what she stood for - her daughter HAD A CHOICE.

gotu said...

Pennsylvania's primary isn't until April 22--I wonder if it will matter at that point?

Huckabee is not only an evolution-denier, he's also a homophobic sexist. I'm glad he's gone (for now, anyway).

lemming said...

We get to vote in May. At this rate, my vote might actually count.