Deborah is Ranting ... Again

Bear with me as  I try to get the site back up and running.  Between moving, changing computers, and FrontPage no longer being supported by my web hosting site, it has been a bit of a challenge.  Here we go!

Current Rant:  October 17, 2008 - a Pre-Election Rant and Request

Hey everyone, it Deborah.  Yeah, I know, long time, no Rant.

As most of you know, I have not ranted in a very long time.  In addition to no longer being a voice in the wilderness - much of what I had been saying about Bush, Iraq, and life in general was being echoed by blogs and websites I have had some changes in my life – mostly moving to a newer, bigger place, and getting a new computer that was no longer compatible with my website software.    But, right now, with the election around the corner, I figured it was time to pipe up again and impose my opinion on those willing to listen.  While I would normally send you a link to a web page, this time, I am just sending you an email about my thoughts of the pending election, because, my website has been down, and I have not got around to spending the time and money to buy a new program and redo the site.

 I am only going to focus on a couple of issues, those that are fundamentally important to me and I believe the direction of this nation.  Politics is very personal, and please feel free to delete this email if you find that what I say and believe to be inconsistent with your own beliefs.  But, if what I say hits a chord, or makes you think, please forward it on to others who still may be undecided as the election approaches.

 While there is a lot going on, I am only going to address two specific issues:  President of the United States and Proposition 8.

Barack Obama for President of the United States

With regard to the President, I was an unabashed Hillary supporter.  Unfortunately, she ran a terrible campaign, and lost to a worthy candidate, Barack Obama.  Rather than revisit the anger and accusations of the Primary, I will merely say that if running a national campaign is any measure of one’s ability to manage complex situations, delegate authority, and put competent, capable people into positions of power, then Barack Obama demonstrated without a doubt that he is more qualified than Hillary Clinton.  His choice of Joe Biden as a running mate was a thoughtful and deliberate one – I like Biden – I think he is a smart guy who occasionally puts his foot in his mouth, but generally, has the right ideas for the nation. 

 I am now an unabashed Obama supporter, and believe at this pivotal time in our country, he provides a genuine opportunity to move us forward as a nation.  I once told a friend during the Primary that Barack Obama could be either the most amazing leader of my life time, or the next Jimmy Carter.  The more I watch and listen to him, the more confident I am that he will be the former, and not the later.  I have friends and colleagues who worry that he is too liberal, and wants to do too much.  I honestly think that he will govern from the middle, and try as best he can to unite us as a nation.    My prediction, should he win, is that progressives will be disappointed, and conservatives will be surprised. 

 As for his opponent, John McCain, well, I knew John McCain, I admired John McCain, and the man now pretending to be John McCain is not the man I knew and admired.    The John McCain I see has neither the temperament nor the patience to deal with the complex, significant problems facing our nation. He seems mean, petulant, and angry.  His policies, to a great extent, seem to mirror many of the Bush Administration, and he, well, he is too old for the job.  Like it or not, we are talking about a 72 year old man who survived 5.5 years as a prisoner-of-war and four bouts of skin cancer running for President of the United States.  The actuarial tables indicate that he has approximately a 17% chance of dying of natural causes during his first term.

With those statistics, even if you liked his policies, you would have to consider his running mate when evaluating him.   Sarah Palin, in my opinion lacks the experience, temperament, and intellectual curiosity necessary to hold the office of President of the United States.    Despite all of the claims about her experience as the Governor of Alaska, I find her supporters focus on are her religious and cultural views as evidence of her qualifications.  This is very scary to me.   The separation of Church and State is something I hold very dear, and is fundamental to what has, and will continue, to make this country great.    I personally believe it is nearly treasonous to use someone’s religious and cultural beliefs as the sole qualifier for higher office.    

 Many on the right rail against Obama’s lack of experience (in addition to lying about his religious beliefs and his personal affiliations).  Well, they have a point, but throughout his personal and professional life, he has demonstrated some very sound judgment, and was chosen to represent his party by going through a grueling Primary process.   He has demonstrated the ability to lead, and to inspire, and is a thoughtful, steady presence who I believe I and can trust with my future and the future of this nation.  He is also the American Dream, personified.  It does not hurt that, in addition to being a constitutional law scholar, an effective Senator and a man that I believe can inspire greatness in this nation, is a loving father and husband.   If you have not decided on who you will vote for in November, I urge you to consider voting for Barack Obama.  Go to his website.  Read his platform.  Get informed. 

Vote No on Proposition 8

I believe Proposition 8 is a vile and evil proposition (ever notice they have the same letters?)  It is an attempt to write discrimination into the California Constitution.    I have some very good friends that support Proposition 8.  But, their argument that marriage can only be between a man and a women just does not make sense to me.    It is one of those statements that I keep on asking “why”.   And, more importantly, why should I, or anyone else, care about two consenting adults who want to pledge their lives to each other?    The same with the argument that allowing gay men and women to marry would somehow undermine the institution of marriage itself. Really? If the institution of marriage is so weak that two men or women marrying each other is going to undermine it, then perhaps  those arguing against gay marriage should look into the mirror when trying to assess blame. 

I have spoken to some gay friends about the issue, initially thinking civil unions were sufficient, and their response was clear – no we want to get married.  In front of our family and friends, we want to say “I do”.  We want the cake, the rings, we want a wedding.   For those gay men and women who want to marry, it seems to be specifically about the symbolism and the ceremony – they ability to say “I do” to the person they are spending their life with.  And, if a church or temple wants to perform the ceremony, who am I to say no?  Why should I even care?  The answer is, I don’t.   Well, I do care in that it is not my place, nor anyone else’s to tell two people how to define love, how to define commitment, how to define a family.

 As someone who, unfortunately, has not found that special man to share her life with, I can only sit back with envy watching those who have found the person they want to say “I do” to.    People are born gay, it is not a choice.  I remember asking a good friend when he first knew he was gay.  His response “when did you first know you were straight?”  There was no decision.  No choice.  No “lifestyle.”  It is who he is.  And, if we are all creatures of God, then who am I to tell him, or anyone else, that they cannot marry the person of their dreams.  Vote No on 8. 

Think, read, listen, and consider the facts and not the fiction out there right now.  If you disagree with me, hey, that is OK.  My father said that everyone should be able to agree to disagree.  Regardless, on November 4th, let your voice be heard, and Vote.

Copyright Deborah Alexander, 2008.