31 August 2012

I'm Freaking Scared: Some More Politics

Guys, I gotta take a minute and be real with you. I'm scared. Like, seriously and legitimately scared. I'm really terrified that we may actually end up in a country with Romney and Ryan in charge.

I'm a woman. I am a married woman, in a very healthy, stable relationship- and we are not prepared for children yet. Therefore, it is important to me that my birth control continue to be available. Not because I'm a "slut," or because I'm sleeping around, but because my husband and I would like to be able to do married-people things, and not have a child that we can not yet afford or properly care for. My husband is currently serving in the military, supporting this country, and we do not want children until he will be home to see them grow. Romney and Ryan both support health care plans that do not cover birth control, instead wanting to teach abstinence only education. Obama wants to lower the cost of contraceptives at college clinics and for low income women, increase education to reduce unwanted pregnancies, and overall supports women making independent decisions. 

Similarly, I do not intend to have an abortion in my future- unless of course I were raped. Because as it turns out, my body is not able to distinguish "legitimate rape." According to an interview on NPR with Nick Baumann, "tens of thousands" of women who are raped become pregnant each year- and that's only about 5% of rapes resulting in pregnancies, according to statistics from Planned Parenthood and other medical sources. About half of those end in abortion. And let's not even get me started on the term "forcible rape" because... isn't that a little redundant? Romney and Ryan both, overall, voted against abortion ever chance they've gotten in recent years. Although it is interesting to note that as recently as 2011, Romney has said that while he is personally against abortion, it should be a woman's right- despite the fact that he has been voting against it since 2005.

The fact of the matter is, women get pregnant. Whether it's an uninformed child who didn't get a good health education, a woman who can't afford birth control, or a broken condom- things happen. We need to stop being "pro-birth" and start being "pro-child." An unwanted child, one that the parent(s) can't afford and aren't prepared for will not be a healthy, happy, and well-raised child, and that isn't having the best interest of the child at heart. 

I am a teacher. I am an unemployed teacher, currently, but a teacher none-the-less. Mitt Romney doesn't want to help me. He doesn't think class size matters. He supports English immersion, and not helping immigrant students learn the language. He supports NCLB, but not public education. Obama has voted to support public schools and charter schools, and has invested in all levels of schooling, from preschool through high school. He wants to reward schools that retain students, and does not support NCLB. I am public school educated, from kindergarten all the way through college, and I feel that I received a great education, and I believe that public schools need to be supported and improved. and yet...

I have $18,000 in student loan debt. $18,000 from a public school. Putting that into perspective: I come from a single-parent, low income family. I did receive a bit of state assistance, and yet I still owe $18,000 in loans. Neither Romney or Ryan mention anything about student loans on their websites, although Romney did oppose Obama's loan forgiveness plan. That plan? Tax credits for students, loan forgiveness for public service, and the ability to do public service to pay off loans. 

I am a member of the LGBTQQA community. Obama wants to allow gay marriage, there should be no federal law stopping it. He opposed Prop 8, and also wants to crack down on hate-based crimes. He believes being gay is not a choice. Romney is a supporter of the "one-man-one-woman" definition of marriage, and does not support gay marriage in any way.

Now, here's my biggest issue with all of this: remember when a president had bigger issues than civil rights? Remember when there was actually fiscal reasons to vote for someone? I'm only 23, but I remember at some point like, taxes? and things like that? They were important parts of an election. This year though, it's all about women's rights, education, gay rights... Beyond that, it's all about Obamacare versus Romneycare (which... not that different?) I wasn't afraid of a candidate when my civil rights weren't the biggest selling point, but now I am. 

I'm scared that in the next three months, I will be forced to sit back and watch all of the rights be stripped away from myself, and most of the people I care about most. And really, there's nothing I can do about it.

Oh, and one last thing. For those of you who still think that Obama hasn't actually done anything in his four years, please allow me to direct you here: What The Fuck Has Obama Done So Far

Also, let me just direct you all to this awesome post by my friend at thealmosttimewhat disney taught me about politics, which you should also check out :)

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