This election is known as a “watershed election,” also known as a “political realignment. Having been raised by a liberal Democrat mother in a progressive Angl0-Catholic parish, one would expect that I would reflexively support Barack Obama and the rest of the Democrat tick and would vote NO on Proposition 8. That is indeed how I will vote. But even if I did not have those background cultural advantages, I would still arrive at the same conclusion. This is not even a close call. The last eight years have seen an unnecessary war, loans made by irresponsible banks who did not exercise due dilligence to either their stockholders or their borrowers, resulting in home prices out of sight which have now come crashing down along with everyone’s life savings in the stock market (including mine), all of which have handsomely profitted the people who supported Bush while leaving the rest of us holding their feedbags. Just this morning, I heard on the news that three financial insitutions that have received federal aid still plan to handout, collectively, over $20,000,000,000 in year end bonuses, averaging over $100,000 per person! As a taxpayer helping these companies, I’m offended. Barack Obama wants to give a tax break to folks like my wife and I, who make substantially less than $250,000 a year, while under his system people who make more than that will pay more taxes. And McCain wants to cut their taxes on speculation that they’ll invest and create jobs in the United States. I see two problems with his thinking. First, who really needs $250,000 a year to live? We live on much less than that and we’re quite comfortable. Quite honestly, if perchance I made that much money in a year I would not know how to spend it. I would probably save some for a rainy day and donate the rest to progressive Anglo-Catholic parishes. Second, to opine that such folks may invest and create jobs is pure speculation. Barack Obama would see that in fact happens by using the tax money collected from these folks for things like infrastructure projects replacing our aging roads and choking rail system. We simply cannot trust people to use money for the public good, and the past eight years have proved that. And then there’s health care. I’m an asthmatic and for many years had trouble obtaining insurance and in particular, insurance that doesn’t exclude my pre-existing condition. I can recall May 1986, when I was hospitalized and stuck with an $11,000 bill which an insurance company did not want to pay, lying to the insurance company and harassing its adjusters (including calls to their homes at night) to finally get the bill paid in full. Granted, the conservative people would thoroughly disapprove of my behavior in doing that, but to this day I am proud I did it and would do it again. That’s because along with Ted Kennedy, I view healthcare as an absolute human right not conditioned on ability to pay vindicating whatever I did. The point is, if we elect Barack Obama, that will not be necessary anymore.
And Proposition 8? That’s a no-brainer. I am VERY heterosexual to the point that I worship my wife (Sharon aka Beeper), and hold all things feminine as God’s precious gift to humankind, but just as God made me that way, I accept that God didn’t make everyone like God made me. Sexual attraction is a given, it is not a choice. Long ago I processed same-sex relationships—my mother was an actress with many gay friends (including man-man couples that visited out home)–and I grew up in a choir of boys and men, more particularly in the alto section, where straight guys like me are vastly outnumbered. I simply don’t share the moral indignation the right-wingers have for same-sex attraction. If Mark is attracted to Jimmy I am fine with that–I don’t get how that’s different from the attraction I feel for Sharon aka Beeper. It’s all good in God’s eyes as far as I’m concerned. It was a privilege indeed for my wife and I to serve as acolytes at the first of many same-sex marriages at St. Pauls Pomona, CA. So NO ON EIGHT – NO ON HATE!