Let’s Get Presidential, Shall We?

I’m not nearly as bad ass as Wyclef Jean. If so, and if I was President, I too would getelected on Friday, assassinated on Saturday, buried on Sunday, and back to work on Monday.

Alas, I am not the President. And good thing, too. Because once I returned to work on Monday, everyone would have nothing to argue about. I’d make this country damn near perfect with my plan.

Isn’t that what everyone with an opinion on politics thinks? I know it’s easier said than done to fix a country with problems as monumental as ours, but can we agree that the last four years have been a large improvement over the preceding eight?

I’ll start this blog with a disclaimer – I am officially registered as a Democrat and voted as such in 2008. That being said, I align myself with certain ideals of each major party, and despise certain aspects of both as well.

The most important issues to me will never be decided by a debate. Candidates have far too much at stake to be completely honest with the public. I would pay attention to the political banter on TV that so rudely interrupted New Girl a couple of weeks ago, as long as the candidates were being fully truthful.

I understand that they can’t be. They have to appease multiple demographics of voters and ooze political correctness. But any insight on the issues I care about might as well have been answered in Swedish; it was like sign language to a blind man.

Again, I know that politics have come to this. It’s the only real way for candidates to survive. But can we get a little honesty out of these guys, please?

Regardless of who you are voting for or why, just make sure to exercise your right to go to the polls tomorrow and make a difference. The results will directly affect you and your family, whether you like it or not. And if you DON’T go vote, then you have no right to complain about how unfairly the government is treating you.

I wrote this blog simply to outline the six issues I personally feel most strongly about in this election. I know who I’m voting for, and I might move to Canada if he loses, mostly because I’m a sore loser.

Just kidding, it’s because I think the other guy will ruin this country. Now that I’ve had my moment of extremism, let me get to the meat of this blog:

Gay Marriage

I’m not going to harp on this one too long, because I just wrote a full blog about marriage equality a week ago. Please go through and read that if you want my full take on the issue. All I will say is that I believe denying the LGBT community a basic human right is more than selfish. And regardless of what anyone says, it is the same as racism and prejudice were during the Civil Rights era. African-Americans were persecuted for their skin color, something they had no choice in, just like homosexuals are being denied their rights for their sexuality.

Education

I have been fortunate enough to go through pre-school, elementary school, middle school, high school, and four and a half years of college without paying  a dime of my own money. My parents saved up for years to put my sister and I through school because they knew the value of a good education. Both of us are looking at B.A.’s in our desired fields and are slaying job interviews along the way.

There are a ton of families who did not save enough money, or more likely, COULD not save enough money for that same opportunity. If these politicians truly want to improve this country’s education and start catching up to all the nations who have surpassed us, they should stop forcing the firing of teachers, cutting of school programs, raising of taxes and tuitions, and the emphasis on testing.

Economy

Oh, boy. Everyone’s favorite topic of discussion. It is my understanding, as a human with common sense, that if you have a certain amount of money, you can not spend more than that limit and go unpunished. The United States have certainly kicked that rule in the nuts and laughed over the years, huh? When you are zillionbillionkatrillions (it’s a number now…) of dollars in debt, you’d think the process of re-paying would be much more urgent. Yes, there are hundreds and thousands of things that government money needs to fix, but you’re telling me in a trillion-dollar annual economy, our government can’t stash away money in order to get us back in the black? Where has all the money gone? Damn you, A-Rod. Damn you.

Defense

Don’t forget, people. George W. Bush got us into Iraq, Barack Obama is getting us out. That doesn’t necessarily get the U.S. off the hook in my mind, though. Since when did we become everyone’s way-too-overprotective big brother? We have troops in nearly every country in the world, and we wonder why the U.S. is hated. Spending money on the military is great, as long as they are protecting us at home and abroad – nobody in their right minds wouldn’t appreciate what our troops do for us. But as the most powerful and dangerous military in the world, do we really need to test the limits of this? I want to be safe, but I don’t want to build a barbed-wire fence around a croc-infested moat, around a wall.

Global Warming

There is no denying the facts; hurricanes and storms have gotten bigger, faster and more devastating in the past few years. Ocean levels are rising, polar ice caps are melting and nobody seems to give a damn. Was the environment a topic even touched on publicly by any candidates this fall? It is our responsibility as citizens of this planet to make sure there is a livable home for future generations. Stricter measures on clean energy, reduced use of oil and pollution must be taken. Ignoring that the Earth is changing and getting sick is like being an elderly who visits the doctor for a check-up, gets diagnosed and prescribed for multiple illnesses, and goes home saying “Ah, it’s natural. It’ll cycle out. I’ll be fine.”

Healthcare

If I had it my way, everything would be Canadian…er…free. But I know that’s never going to happen in America. I’m not saying insurance policies should be more lenient or that healthcare should be less expensive, but am I supposed to believe the people who say they care about American citizens, and then don’t go to the greatest lengths possible to protect them? What is more important than your people’s’ health? All I’m saying is somehow, some way, healthcare needs to be affordable for anyone.

I’ll spare you my thoughts on abortion, gun control and immigration, which I also consider huge issues. You’re welcome. You could finish the entire Harry Potter series twice before I would be done with that.

Anyway, that’s just my take on the issues that I read into the most. I’d like to compare our country to the plight of my alma mater’s football team. Bear with me here.

In 2002, Washington State University went to the Rose Bowl. By the time I arrived in 2007, they were struggling to win two games, let alone be in the bowl conversation. After last season, along came Mike Leach to coach, and it all changed.

The 2012 version of the Washington State Cougars is still pitiful, but much improved. We used to lose 69-0 (no joke – at home to USC my sophomore year). Last year Stanford beat us 44-14. This year, we came within 10 seconds and one play of beating them.

Leach brought hope and a YES WE CAN attitude to that team, and they are finally, slowly climbing their way out of obscurity. Yes, there are bumps and bruises along the way, as with any rebuild. But he’s done a great job so far with what he was given.

If you don’t get the allusion here, I can’t help you. When a team has hit rock bottom, you can’t expect a new coach to come in and snap his fingers to suddenly fix everything in one season.

Have patience, people. Eventually, under this coach, we will return to glory.

These are my opinions, nobody else’s. Feel free to agree, disagree or argue with me. No matter what you do, get out to the polls tomorrow and exercise you right to VOTE! Follow Jeremy on Twitter @Jamblinman and follow this blog if you like what you see.

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Shouldn’t Men Be From Venus Since it Rhymes With…?

I’m not going to lie…I only titled this blog in such a fashion because it forced you to think the word “penis.” Hah! Suck on that! Wait. No. Don’t really su–oh god, what have I done?!

For some reason I write about things I can’t personally understand or identify with. My first novel, which has been started and stopped more than your car in a friendly Los Angeles freeway commute at any given hour, will be from the point of view of a 20-something female.

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I’m not a girl. I do have a sister and a mother and a girlfriend and plenty of other female friends though, from whom I can draw inspiration and make educated guesses. So you may wonder how a straight guy is really going to write a blog advocating gay rights and get you to buy in, believe in it and change the world one opinion at a time?

Insert “lives in San Francisco” jokes here. Now insert joke about the association of the word “insert” to that previous sentence…done? Okay, good.

Let me start with an admission. When I was younger, I knew I was a boy, but I didn’t realize there was anything wrong with enjoying Shania Twain and The Secret Garden. When I was about 10 years old, walking around the house singing the only part of Shania’s song I could remember (“MAN! I feel like a woman. Dun dun duh nuh nuh DUN DUN!”), my Mom stopped me and said:

Jeremy. Don’t sing that part. It’s…weird.

Boom. Just like that, a dawn of realization hit. Society says NO!

It took me a while after that to realize I just didn’t care. I like that song, I liked Kelly Clarkson, I still like Call Me Maybe. I can out-quote anybody, white, black, Lebanese, male, female, gay, straight, or Mormon when it comes to Mean Girls.

Whatever. It is what it is. But even minor differences and preferences like that are considered “queer” or strange. Yet, I’m the most stereotypically average human being on this planet. So why are homosexuals and other LGBT individuals considered so different that they shouldn’t get to enjoy the basic, lawless human right of falling in love and being wed?

I’ve yet to see a good reason from anti-gay groups on why gay and lesbian people shouldn’t marry. The most common “reasoning” I see goes like this:

1. The bible prohibits it.

2. Because it’s weird and doesn’t make sense.

3. It’s bad for children.

4. It’s like a gateway drug.

5. It’s against nature.

Allow me to enlighten. First of all, it’s okay to admit our past generations were ignorant. They won’t be offended, trust me (They are dead; sorry not sorry.).

In the bible, which is a completely fictional (Okay, really? Prove me wrong then.), yet very important and relevant (There. HAPPY?) collection of stories, other “rules” would outlaw speech by women, eating a ham sandwich or seafood (People in New Orleans and Boston read that and went Oh, HELL no!), and football. 

How many people just read that sentence and thought “Screw that, dudes can marry dudes as long as Adrian Peterson keeps dropping 25 points per week for my fantasy team!”? That’s what I thought.

The bottom line is that LGBT individuals are among a large group of people who are getting pushed around because they are a minority to those who believe in whatever God is.

In America it’s the “norm” to be a white, Christian family. Yet we have the most diverse, multi-cultural community in the entire world. Out of the 312 million citizens in the United States, about 9 million are LGBT. So what I’m hearing is that even though nearly 4 percent of Americans are a part of the LGBT community, that group does not qualify for basic human rights.

THAT law of God can be accepted and enforced. But we can ignore those silly rules about football and ham because it’s fun to watch or eat.

Right. That makes sense.

And you know what else is “strange,” “confusing,” or “weird?” A black President, a CongressWOMAN, people skydiving from space, volcanoes, how Hunter Pence physically functions, why flapping the Airhead in the wrapper until it’s a tiny square makes it taste better, Christmas music before Halloween, why Nicolas Cage still lands acting roles, and public transportation in major cities.

Shit happens. Things change. Adapt, as you do with your fall fashions and taste in music.

The argument that it’s bad for children infuriates me for many reasons. Yes, a “standard” upbringing is a mother and father for the child. And in more than half of these “standard”  marriages, the mother and father end up separating.

Possibilities of divorce in a homosexual marriage is also there, but they will take their chances. The argument that children need to be raised in a standard family is completely moot, given how often that standard family is ripped apart – forget if a child is born from birth, test tube or divine intervention…as long as the parental guardians devote themselves to loving and raising that child, I see no problem with it.

The fact that I even have to dispute the gateway argument is a bit disturbing. If people truly think that pedophilia and bestiality would suddenly have a shot for legality based on gay marriage being legalized, they are more insane than I thought. Having sex with animals and dead people is, arguably, rape. It sounds silly, but seriously, where’s the consent?

Lastly, being gay is not unnatural. Different? Sure. But I won’t take it back to the minority argument; I’ll simply leave you with this list of common animals that have been scientifically observed to display homosexual or transgender behavior:

Cats, dogs, giraffes, elephants, dolphins, lions, horses, salmon, lizards, frogs, snakes, chicken, ducks and penguins.

Try explaining that to your straight, religious, “normal” children as they cuddle with the family cat in bed, clutching a stuffed penguin.

To anyone who believes religious doctrine suggests gay rights should be denied, talk to one of your own HERE. Point, set and match.

Now that I’ve successfully proven that the anti-gay marriage reasoning is stupider than trying to surf in Hurricane Sandy, enjoy trying to come up with more excuses as to why a basic human right is being denied to millions of people.

I’ll be waiting. And when those people realize that they are essentially telling LGBT couples not to breathe, maybe…just maybe…it will change.

You don’t have to listen to me, but take my opinion for what it’s worth. Vote for marriage equality and gay rights in any aspect of the upcoming elections. You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @Jamblinman.