This is not a political blog, but I will post on political topics here from time to time. So, fair warning.
Just in case you weren’t already aware of this, I am a leftist and I care about leftist things. So, you can breathe a sigh of relief at the fact that I have very little to say about American party politics beyond the fact that the party system is broken. I have quite a bit to say about equality, though. We do not have enough equality in the U.S.
Since this blog is devoted to pop culture and smartassery 90 percent of the time, I am only able to write about two or three political topics. That means I have to prioritize. When I bother with politics at all, my political blogging has to be about things that really matter to me. Here are my three top priorities:
Marriage Equality. This is at the top of my list because it really bugs me that two people can be in a long-term relationship — a real partnership — and if one of them is hospitalized, the biological family can have the healthy partner escorted out of the hospital and make decisions without consulting them. There are also issues with insurance coverage, federal benefits, and inheritance that are being decided in the wrong way on the basis of sexual orientation. I am as sorry as I can be about the fact that same sex marriage offends some peoples’ religious sensibilities, but this is not a religious question. It is a legal question, and we have a secular legal system. When I look at how far the country shifted on this issue in 2013, what I see is a turning tide. This issue will remain at the top of my political agenda until we have a consistent legal standard in all 50 states.
Poverty. We have class problems in this country, and we are in denial about them. We need to recognize class for what it is, and start talking about it in clinical terms. Investing $2000 in the stock market does not make you a capitalist. $200,000 a year in income does not put you in the same social category as Bill Gates. Bourgeois manners do not make you middle class. Economic inequality will be dealt with in the next decade or two, one way or another, because our economy is so unbalanced that we cannot sustain the status quo indefinitely. It would be better for everyone if it were dealt with by policies rather than by mobs. Just in general, mobs are vicious and destructive and not accountable to anyone. They suck. Please, let’s find a way to deal with our economic problems that doesn’t involve mobs.
Spying. This is here because everyone knows it’s going on and it is a good conversation starter and it is easy to make jokes about. I really consider the whole privacy debate to be over, and my side lost. Effectively, the strength of your 4th Amendment Rights is contingent on whether or not you can pay for them. Still, there is some value to beating a dead horse because it is a good way of explaining to younger people what society could be like, and what we’ve lost over the last few decades.
If I had more time and space to blog about politics, I would also be talking about the drug war, the school-to-prison pipeline, and a lot of other things.
The internet is great for spreading ideas and coordinating, but if you want to do something that matters politically, you have to be willing to do it in your own community, or else you’re wasting your time.
I have no interest in writing political stuff just to hear myself talk and feel smart. I can get those things from writing book reviews. My political posts are written with the hope that they will have an effect. By which I mean, they will motivate people to get out and do stuff.
image: A Pondering Mind