An Attempted Return to a Less Enlightened Era

Election day is one week away, and early voting ends this Friday. I spoke a few weeks back about just how insane the Republican party is this year, courtesy of pressure from the Tea Party. However, we’ve seen some major headline cases in the past few weeks showing just how crazy some of these people are, and it worries me. Now, I mentioned before that normally, I’m not a single party voter. Not all Democrats are good and not all Republicans are bad. But this year, we have Republicans trying to push back on more than just gay rights, but also women’s rights. And the sad thing is, some of these Republicans are women themselves.

Most of us by now have heard of the comments made by Todd Akin, U.S. Senate nominee from Missouri, who said that in cases of “legitimate rape,” a woman’s body “just shuts down to prevent pregnancy.” And as of last week, we now have Richard Mourdock, U.S. Senate nominee from Indiana, who said that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” The sad thing is, these two nutjobs are not outliers here. This year, there are 28 non-incumbent people running for a Republican seat on the Senate, and 12 to 15 of them agree with these views.

And these are just people wanting to make changes to existing law. There are others who have passed such crazy laws. In Arizona, a law was passed back in August that made it so that women are considered pregnant from “the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman,” effectively placing pregnancy at beginning two weeks prior to conception, or as one politio put it, perpetual pregnancy. The law was presented by Rep. Kimberly Yee (yes, a woman), passed the legislature in April, and was signed into law at the end of August by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (yes, another woman).

It’s not just the women’s rights issues here either. We all know about how much the GOP hates gay people. This year, the North Carolina Republican party has now added discrimination against gay people to their party platform. Let me clarify that. They oppose discrimination, but then make it very clear that they son’t consider sexual orientation to be a valid category to protect from discrimination. Texas is the same way. The Kansas House of Representatives passed legislation allowing for a religious defense in discriminating against LGBT people, thus legalizing discrimination. Not to mention people like Michelle Bachmann, who runs a reparative therapy clinic with her (totally not gay) husband. Let’s face it, the GOP has a history of hating on gay people.

And poor people. And races other than white. The list goes on and on. Basically, the GOP this year is all about one very specific group: educated, wealthy, white, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied Christian men. Seriously, they are pandering specifically to the intersection of pretty much every oppressor group out there and discriminating against minorities, and are beginning to do so with much more vehemence than years past. If you are a member of an oppressed minority, or several such minorities, and want to vote Republican this year, you’re voting against your own interests.

So I hope you’ll all go out there and vote, and do so soon. And more importantly, really look into the facts behind the people running this year, both local and national, and consider how these people, both in their opinions, personal history, and voting history, affect you and those you care about. To steal an idea from the era of romanticism, we are all members of the same brotherhood and sisterhood of personhood. Why would you want to discriminate against your brothers and sisters?

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