I wrote this back in mid-May, long after I'd stopped teaching (before any crazies jump on me for trying to "indoctrinate" young minds with my Democratic demonics). I took it down for a while because I didn't want to feed the trolls. But now my platform is bigger and more influential. So here goes again.
Ah, the upcomiong PA Senate battle between Joe Sestak (Democrat) and Pat Toomey (Republican)! Should be an interesting race, and you can probably guess for whom I'll be voting. But is there actually any debate as to who cares more about Pennsylvanians and will work to help make things better? I think not.
To enlighten yourself on the specifics, here's a good read: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126990200
Let me now just break down the race even further. I'll do it by the big issues:
To regulate financial instituations or not to regulate?
Why is anyone even asking this question? Clearly, de-regulation did not work and, in fact, led in large part to the recent (massive and still ongoing) recession. Trickle-down economics has never actually worked in any measurable fashion. Tax cuts didn't and don't work; if they did, we'd all be sitting a lot prettier than we are right now. We've tried it the conservative, pro-business way for decades; now it's time to give it up, already, free marketers. What's needed are politicians who will work to protect the little guy's money, not the financial monopolies or the richest one percent. How does keeping the majority impoverished and financially sort of helpless benefit America?
Who could be against controlling guns? Honestly? I could argue that hardly anyone has a true need to hunt, but I won't even bother. Why do Americans still really need the "right to bear arms?" Isn't this an antiquated Constitutional remnant from the days when citizens actually had to worry about an evil dictatorship pushing them around? I don't want to bear any arms, and I definitely don't want my neighbor to have guns. Guns are for killing; that is their only purpose. Voting against gun control is like playing Russian roulette with your family. You wouldn't let your child hold a gun to his or her temple, would you? So why would you vote for less control over these weapons of personal destruction?
Smshortion: The Elephant in the Room
I find it interesting that voters who are deeply concerned about eradicating abortion could be, at the same time (perhaps they don't even realize it), voting pro-gun, pro-war and anti-environment and in opposition to helping save lives through expanded and lower-cost health care.
I understand that abortion is a touchy issue, and I actually don't like it, either, but I think that other issues need to be considered, also. Voting for the "pro-life" candidate could also mean voting against gun control, voting against public health care, and voting for a politician who helped drag us into unjust wars that have killed hundreds of thousands of children (and adults). This absolutely negates the fact that these same politicians somehow aligned themselves with anti-abortion forces.
Seriously. Think about it: what good is done by voting for the anti-abortion candidate if he or she is for killing in so many other forms?
"Single issue" voting is a huge, huge problem. You can't be pro-gun, pro-war, pro-unchecked pollution, and opposed to healthcare reform and still be truly, honestly pro-life. The world just doesn't work that way, and to think it does is called hypocrisy (not to mention ignorance of all the facts). There are many Catholic Democrats (and some nuns I've met) who completely agree with me on this.
What is each candidate pledging to do to help curb pollution and rehabilitate our battered environment? If we're talking about the pro-big-business candidate, the answer is: "Nothing useful." It's very difficult to be on the side of manufacturing and big business and also manage to effect any meaningful environmental reforms or protections. (Consider Rand Paul's recent statement claiming that Pres. Obama is being--paraphrasing--mean to BP, and to criticize that big oil company is "un-American!")
I am not saying that people/businesses should not be allowed to make money; what I am saying is that businesses should be allowed to be as profitable as they can be, but just not at the expense of our environment or our childrens' future. Do business a little differently, but do business. It IS possible; just try it. With a few tweaks and precautions, it can be done. It's too expensive (in terms of future cost) NOT to conduct business in a green manner. Again, voting to help the environment and save the Earth for humanity is the only true "pro-life" stance.
This is one of my pet subjects. Thousands of people in PA alone lose their health care coverage each day. (I am one of them.) COBRA costs more than I can make now; health care costs have been going up 20% a year. That is not sustainable; it is not affordable; it is unconscionable, and no, we do not in the U.S. have "the world's best healthcare." We have the world's most expensive healthcare. Politicians need to help fix this problem.
Is your candidate doing anything to help? How can families survive without lower cost options for healthcare?
More later, perhaps. That's all for today...must write my book.