Slow Clap for Mr. President

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I apologize for being MIA lately — between graduate school, graduating in less than a month, moving, interning, job searching, life has become a wee bit crazy. So much has happened in the news that I’ve said “man, I need to blog about that” but alas, I never did. I mean, Tan Mom! Are you serious? Oh and the picture floating around of Hilary Clinton not wearing makeup… top news right there. And did you hear allowing women to vote was the worst decision in the nation’s history? North Carolina made a really stupid mistake, too. I could write on a-many of things, but I’ve decided to reflect on a status that I saw on Facebook. It reads:

If you believe President Obama doesn’t know how to help our economy or believe in the tenth amendment or the rule of law, you will not be sidetracked by this gay marriage issue.

By the way, I think now is a good time to just say THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT! (more on that in a second).

Now, I am not here to debate President Obama’s ability to better our economy and disclosure: I had to look up the 10th Amendment (hey, it’s been a while since A.P. Government, okay?). Right, duh — FEDERALISM. Okay, so I’m not here to argue pro or anti Federalism either. What I am here to do is to address what I believe to be a huge downfall of our bi-partisan system that is so eloquently reflected in this Facebook status. Thank you Social Media.

What this status implies is that the economy trumps all other social good — in this case, social good being equality. Historically and generally speaking — I am not saying this is an absolute — Republicans have focused on fiscal issues (i.e. the economy) and Democrats have focused on social good. Well, unless of course you consider the Republican’s strong efforts to get inside my vagina and uterus (yep, that IS what she said) — that was definitely a focus on “social issues.” This dichotomy of priorities is why we never progress and our economy fails and our morals and values slip away. We can never agree on either “hot topic” as my ladies on The View would say. So how are we supposed to improve the economy, grant rights to states, and promote social good and equality? That’s right, we can’t.

President Obama endorsing same-sex marriage after a travesty of a decision coming out of North Carolina is HUGE. But I think we need to unpack what it really means and consider it in this dichotomy and why we can’t get anything done. He made a public statement saying that he used to think civic unions would be “sufficient” but that he has come to personally realize that same-sex couples should be allowed to get married. In a society that still holds very strong homophobic beliefs that violate the rights of the LGBTQ community every day, this is a very brave statement to make. The first of any President to do so. And his competitor for president, Mitt, said in Oklahoma City on Wednesday that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman. He has strongly supported this belief for well… forever. Indeed, there are political underpinnings to this statement that President Obama made. It was a strategic announcement. But words are not as loud as actions. Don’t get me wrong, I am VERY happy that he has made this endorsement. I hope the nation heard it loud and clear. But at the end of the day, I believe Obama is going to comply with those 10th Amendment rights and say it is up the states. If you’re not following along closely, that means that he has supported equality in theory but will not implement it across the nation. I’d say that is a huge loss for the United States. He’s yet to say it — but it’s my prediction.

Equality should not be up to the states to protect or not. I mean, how backwards does that really sound? Don’t worry, people in Illinois are allowed to be treated as equals but you people in North Carolina, let’s face it — you’re not deserving of equality. And Obama has just conceded to the political sphere and this dichotomy holding us back. We can never just focus on the social good – EQUALITY – nor can we ever make a sound moral decision without some political attack or underpinning. Therefore, we’re stuck in a society where people’s rights are compromised for the well-being of a political environment and presidential campaign.

Decision-makers heads are so far up the asses of the next guy to vote for them that they haven’t been able to actually READ the research. You know how I know this? Because people are STILL clinging to the false assumption that a child needs a mother and a father. No, actually, research shows having a two-parent home is a protective factor. Never said anything about MOTHER and FATHER. Ya know why? Because research has yet to show 1) an inherent value in having a mother and father 2) that same-sex couples are a harm to children.

My hope for our country as we embark on yet another presidential election is that somehow, someday, the blinders are removed from every politician, money is stripped from their pockets, and Democrats and Republicans alike can sit at the same table and have a productive, coherent, and intelligent conversation about these issues. Until then, I am not going to give a standing ovation to Barack yet. For now, I’ll give him the slow clap.   

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