And I am relieved that this 2-year long campaign is DONE! With living in a Battleground State, I am exhausted by the sheer volume of ads and rhetoric and political rally visits. Dude…Obama’s ill-timed rallies in my area have screwed up my commute home on more than one occasion. No joke. McCain’s and Palin’s visits were on weekends or during off-peak traffic hours. Biden? I’m not even sure that man darkened our doorstep with his presence. Guess he figured since he lives so close that he could just wave at Virginia from his home (yes, I know Maryland is in the middle, but we’re talking about Biden here, not my geography skills). But at least he didn’t snarl up traffic.
But yes, I am relieved that this is all over. This has been an ugly election on a personal level. I have never felt like I needed to keep my mouth shut about my political leanings more in my life because the few times I’ve gotten fed up with the ranting from some zealous folks on the other side of the aisle, I’ve been called “Anti-Choice”. Yes, anti-choice. Because I disagree with abortion and believe in personal accountability and responsibility (if you think you’re ready for sex, you’d better be ready for the possibility of baby). I prefer the term “Pro-Life”, but if you want the “anti” prefix to try to give it a negative spin, the term “Anti-Abortion” would be more accurate because that’s my actual stance.
Women have a bazillion more choices than they did fifty, twenty, even five years ago…which is even more reason why I think abortion should be taken off the table. We have tons of birth control options, from condoms, spermicides, oral contraception, IUDs and other implants, Natural Family Planning, abstinence, surgical sterilization, and the morning-after pill. And I support all of those options to help you prevent an unwanted pregnancy or plan your family.
What I don’t support is the barbaric abortion procedure. And while I won’t be so graphic as to link to the images of the disposed bodies of these aborted babies, I will share a few details. If a woman decides to get a D&C, she may, or may not, be sedated. However, the baby is not anesthetized and is then torn limb-from-limb alive…similar to someone being attacked by a vicious shark. If the woman opts for one of the partial-delivery methods (usually farther along in pregnancy), the baby is partially delivered, and then the infant’s head is decompressed with a sharp instrument and vacuum suction to allow it to pass easier out of the birth canal. Again, no anesthesia is given to infant before this is performed.
The funny thing is that there is this crazy myth out there that babies don’t feel pain when they’re still in-utero. Sometimes I wish they already had air in their lungs so that the non-believers could hear the baby cry out. That in itself would probably be a pretty strong deterrent. But I digress…
The truth is the most primitive part of the brain, the brain stem, is developed by 7 weeks gestation. The brain stem controls the most basic life functions (breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, etc) and reactions to stimulus (startling, crying, suckling). Many women don’t know they’re pregnant until around week 6 (sometimes even a little later). By the time a woman decides to have an abortion, the child already has a functioning and developing brain and can feel pain. To put it in perspective, we are more compassionate with violent felons being put to death.
So, like I said, it’s not about not wanting choices for women, because that’s not the case: there are TONS of choices out there to prevent the senseless death of innocent babies; there are TONs of choices to prevent a highly invasive and expensive procedure; there are TONS of choices to prevent this procedure that includes all sorts of potential risks, like localized pain, heavy bleeding, dangerous hemorrhaging, uterine scarring, and psychological scarring. Tons and tons and tons of choices…just abortion should not be one of them.
I was also called a racist during this election cycle, which, if I wasn’t so shocked and offended, I would’ve laughed in that person’s face. The odd thing wasn’t that I was called a racist because I wasn’t voting for Obama (which I know a few other people were for that reason–odd since this is a political race, not a melanin contest), but because I generally identify myself as a political Conservative.
Frank, as we’ll call him, was at work watching CNN last Friday and I was working, not paying any attention to the TV. Suddenly he shouts out “Racist Talk Show Host!” and I look up sharply, see the byline on the person being interviewed and said, “no, Frank. It says ‘Conservative Talk Show Host,'” and I start laughing, thinking he misread the TV.
He replies, “same thing. All Conservatives are racists.”
I took a deep breath and calmly reply, “now now, Frank. You know that’s not true.”
He insists that it is, so I respond, more firmly, but still in a polite tone, “no, it’s not. In fact, by your logic, that means I’m a racist. Do you think I’m a racist, Frank?”
“No, you’re not a Conservative” he says, which is kind of a surprise to me that he knows my political leanings better than me.
I insist that I am, and he responds, “well then you are a racist.”
One of our coworkers starts politely warning Frank to back down and to drop the subject, but he ignores her and continues, “I’m sorry, but all Conservatives are racists.”
I ask him to prove that all Conservatives are racists, to give hard evidence, and he replies with the question, “well, what is a Conservative?”
I begin responding that “Conservative” usually refers, politically, to people who are fiscally conservative (low taxes), who reject the idea of a large government, who push for more traditional family values, and who believe in working hard to get what you want in life. But he interrupts me with the dictionary definition which states that they are “disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.”
When he read that definition he nearly spat it out in disgust, which irritated me, so I told him that was not the full definition, particularly in politics. I asked him again if he truly believed that all Conservatives were racists, and he insists they (we) are.
So I remarked, “well, guess what? You’re doing the exact same thing that you accuse the racists of…of making a generalized statement about an entire group because of the group they belong to, or you perceive them to belong to.”
He starts getting loud, insisting repeatedly “they.are.racists! Look at Rush Limbaugh!”
“What?!? He’s one person, and he certainly doesn’t speak for all of us! How can you base your opinion on an entire group of people from one person? That’s the same sort of hate that the actual racists employ!”
“No it’s not!”
“Yes it is. Hate is hate, no matter where it’s coming from! You are doing the same thing as what you are accusing all Conservatives of doing. You’re saying they’re bigoted and racist, yet you are making an incorrect and inflammatory statement about an entire group! I have met a lot of racists and they’re not all in the Conservative arena. There’s a few, but I’ve met plenty that are Moderates and plenty more that are on the Liberal side. They come from ALL walks of life, and they all.come.from.hate!”
Thankfully he finally shut up because at that point my voice had gotten louder; not yelling, but not exactly conducive to a work environment. I waited another minute to see if he was going to come back with another rebuttal, and when he didn’t, I finished what I was working on and left. I was really angry and shaking, but I felt that I kept myself under control fairly well, didn’t get shrill, and kept my personal feelings about him out of my argument (believe me, I was tempted to tell him what I really thought of him). On Monday, he barely said more than 2 words to me, which weren’t “I’m sorry”…so he’s still on my List.
There have been in other conversations that I get treated like some bumbling, backhills, illiterate, ignorant fool for mentioning that I planning on voting for McCain. I’ve remained respectful while trying to discuss the issues, yet I’ve been falsely accused of not supporting women’s rights, of enforcing my morals onto others, and of being uneducated. All because I wasn’t willing to drink the Kool-Aid, which technically was Flavor-Aid…how’s that for “uneducated”?
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