I watched a bit of the Florida Republican Presidential Debate tonight and I was in awe. More than awe, I was insulted. As an American who is far from conservative or Republican I find it absolutely insulting that within our two party system those candidates are the best we can do in search of national leadership.
I’ve been frustrated with the state of politics since the 2004 election, mostly because of the lies, the back-and-forth, and the money that was wasted on the production. Sadly, in the past 8 years none of that has changed.
We have a federal law claiming corporations as people. We have regressive taxes crippling local economies; taking money away from education, social services and capital investment projects. We have relentless under and unemployment. We have legislators undermining labor unions through ‘right to work’ policies and removing collective bargaining. We have a private sector that doesn’t guarantee a livable wage or benefits. We have a foreclosure crisis, an educational crisis, and environmental crisis.
And what is the kicker? In MN there will be a constitutional amendment making it nearly impossible to raise taxes, cementing the inequities of the tax code into our state constitution. In MN there will be a constitutional amendment making her a Right to Work state, which allows people to join and receive the benefits of labor unions without paying dues (which kills the bargaining power of the union and in turn results in lower wages and less benefits.) In MN there will be a constitutional amendment stating marriage is between a man and a women which will be the first discriminatory amendment in our state constitution. And in MN there may even be a constitutional amendment around women’s reproductive health options.
America, the land of the free, has been operating its laws and practices through the constitution since its inception. The liberty and justice people expect have been based on the constitution. The constitution is for granting rights not taking them away.
So while the conservatives have a majority in the state house and senate, and are expected to fix the economy, housing crisis and social service system, they are spending their efforts making it astronomically more difficult to ever tax the rich and gain state revenue. They are spending their efforts destroying labor unions, the very entities that have made benefits, retirement, medical leave, etc an expectation within our workforce. They are spending their efforts bringing conservative religious values into our state constitution, attacking same sex couples and pro choice sexual health options. AND they are trying to implement voter ID laws making it more difficult for the poor, the elderly and students to vote so in future elections it will be increasingly difficult for their non-supporters to vote in general.
These potential amendments make me scared. They will destroy a state I love and cripple all future candidates from actually representing the interest of their constituents.
You can say this doesn’t affect you, you can say you don’t believe in voting because politics are corrupt, but it will affect you. These amendments, these policies, and these politicians will impact your life. It’s time for people to stop being oblivious to what’s going on. It’s time for people to take notice of the policies and amendments that are floating around at the state and federal capitols. And it’s time for people to be engaged with the political process. Talk to your state senator, testify at a committee hearing about health care, do fucking something. Because if we don’t we’re looking at a corrupt, unjust, dismal future.