If you would have asked me several years ago, I would not have said the whole world comes down to Republicans Versus Democrats.
Sadly, I’m changing my answer. For me, it hasn’t been that simple until recently. The Republicans are voting for things that set a frame for their ideal America. In this America, women have few rights, there are no lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people, there are immigrants-but only for purposes of exploitation, and people still are under the illusion we have the greatest system in the world.
I bought a pack of forever stamps the other day and each one had one of the following words: “Freedom,” “Justice,” “Equality,” and “Liberty.” Those are words that have come to be trademarks of the United States of America, and yet their meanings are unclear.
When entire groups of people are being denied human rights by others, I think that certainly, those words must mean different things to different people. Whose justice, whose liberty, whose freedom, whose equality are we speaking of?
I would say life, freedom, and our happiness and wellbeing come before politics. Freedom is based on equality. If all of the people of our nation are afforded the same rights to participate in the society, there is equality. When there is equality, there is justice. When there is justice for all, there is liberty and freedom for everyone. Right now, this is not the direction we are headed.
Politics are key to us upholding these values as important. Voting for or against the laws Republicans are setting into place that are anti-women, anti-gay, anti-anyone-who-does-not-fit-gender-norms or anti-immigrant may be ultimately the deciding factor about whether or not we have rights. It may mean whether American women are seen as equal participants in the nation as men or not. It may mean whether LGBT Americans are equally protected from violence. It may mean whether violence against women, LGBT people, Native Americans, and immigrants is elevated. We are not in a bubble. We are interconnected.
Pass laws here in the U.S. that say women are unequal and we raise the level of violence against women worldwide. In most places, women are still second class. Might as well set us back to third class, fourth, fifth- is there such a thing? It doesn’t matter. We are striving toward equality OR we still don’t have equal rights. The GOP has shown over and over again that they don’t care about or value women, LGBT Americans, immigrants or the poor.
While the Republicans continue to pass countless laws that suggest women are not equally participants in this society who can make decisions for themselves, while they have called women who want access to birth control sluts, while they pass laws that ultimately lead to women being seen as less than and put women at more risk for violence, while they take away protection and rights from women who are being hurt, beaten, raped, abused. While they say there is no wage gap. While they take away laws to lessen the wage gap. While they push for birth control to be banned,…
they also continue to say there is no War On Women.
While they push laws that take away rights from immigrants and bolster economic incentive for the private prison system, while they pass laws that profile people of color, while they push state constitutional amendments against lesbian and gay Americans getting married, while they push laws defining marriage as one man and one woman when couples and families in America don’t all fit into that category, while they push changes to laws that protect LGBT Americans and Native Americans from violence and from receiving support for violence committed against them, they put immigrants, LGBT Americans, and Native Americans at a greater risk for violence,…
they also continue to say they are for small government and freedom for all.
Their actions have been loud and clear and yet they say women are delusional and the others groups (immigrants, LGBT Americans, and Native Americans) are second class and therefore not human and have no say so). By them saying we’re crazy, they are not listening. By reducing groups to non-human, they are saying very clearly that anyone in these groups has no say so. These power plays are also tactics of the War.
Their overall argument is that Democrats are creating something out of nothing for political gain. If the saying: “A politician is only as good as the people he/she listens to” is true- Who are they listening to?
It’s not LGBT Americans, immigrants, children of immigrants, Native Americans, or anyone advocating on behalf of these groups and equality for all. There is very little attention being paid to these particular groups of people; more and more, they are systematically being oppressed, invisibilized and made to be seen as non-human.
Women, LBGT Americans, immigrants, Native Americans and poor people all over are saying this is a War. We are saying that our rights are being assaulted, that we are being put at risk for violence. We are saying we are not happy with what the GOP is doing.
They are not listening and that shows they do not value a great percentage of Americans.
They are also saying women are ridiculous and delusional. Remember when Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said, “If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars.”
About women, the real message is is this: women are dumb enough to believe anything they are told. Women are hysterical (which plays on an old theme). Women can’t figure this all out for themselves, they don’t get it.
About LGBT Americans, the message is this: you are second class and disgusting sinners.
About Native Americans: We conquered you once, we are just assuring you stay in your place.
About immigrants: We can do whatever we want with you to make money.
These messages are central to the War On Everyone. The GOP is messaging these deep and it doesn’t have to try very hard because those messages are built into the institutional structure of America.
Wage war and when the GOP is called on it, they tell everyone what a fiction it is- This is not only a tactic of the War, it makes the case that there is a war.
Equality, Justice, Liberty, and Freedom must be for everyone.