Thursday, August 2, 2012

Voting "Bock!"

 "Bock! Bock! Bock!"

Let's talk about Citizens United v. The Federal Election Commission (2010).

Waaaaaaay back in the late 1970s, my political science professor taught me that the branch of government that would have the strongest effect on my day-to-day life was the Supreme Court.  Decades after decades, decisions after decisions have proved him correct.

Thanks to the Citizens United case, our wallets are now our voter registration cards and our nation's cash registers are our ballot boxes.

Anyone who doubted Dr. Street's wisdom only needed to drive past a Chick-Fil-A yesterday to witness an object lesson. While I cannot confirm this figure, I read today that Chick-Fil-A - that supporter of "Biblical Families" - earned an entire quarter's of profits in one day. One. Day.*

If one individual, Mike Huckabee in this case, can mobilize such an economic tsunami, those of us who hope for President Obama's November reelection should sit down and make some plans.

Do not be deluded.  Put down your delicious glass of Pinot Gris and LISTEN. 

It is extremely likely that our next president will be Mitt Romney.


President Obama swept into office on the votes of individuals who were not "players" in prior elections.  Many of those individuals did not get exactly the things they had hoped for.  For this reason, they are unlikely to believe that voting is worth the effort.  Evangelical Christians do not have this problem.  They will not stay home, no way no how.

Several years ago while waiting in a checkout line, I heard a child tell his mother he wanted a rubber chicken he spied on the display rack.  She replied, "Sweetheart, you don't need a rubber chicken."  After a pause, he said, "I want something I need."

Isn't this what voting comes down to?  We all want something we need.

Right now, voters need reassurance. They want to believe that one candidate or the other will quash their fears and deliver a rubber chicken.

Guess what?  There is no rubber chicken.

Instead, there are RIGHTS. And LIBERTY.  And FREEDOM.

Basic civil rights - like marriage and decisions about your own actual body - belong to all Americans, gay, straight, purple, male, or female.  Those uppercase words are in danger for many of us.

I will put my money where my mouth is.  I will respect the right of those who disagree with me to vote for whomever they choose.  I will respect the rights of those who do not believe a woman's body is her own to not get abortions.  I will respect the rights of those who do not believe gay Americans deserve the property advantages marriage bestows to stay home from gay weddings.  And I will support the right of evangelical Christians to buy chicken sandwiches until the cows come home.

After all, this is America.

If, however, you believe that rights are universal - without regard to color, gender, or sexual orientation - I beg you to do whatever you can to bring out the vote for President Obama in November.

Everyone deserves more than a rubber chicken.

*Correction: This figure turned out to be an exaggeration. The last figure I read was eight million, a record one-day profit. Still...the money here is stupendous.