NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that the intent of this post has been mis-interpreted. I am *actually* 'pro-choice' to use the standard terms. This post is trying to highlight hypocrisy and the corruption of emotionally charged language to mean very narrow political things while ignoring the broader definition. I am trying to explain that the 'Catch Phrases' paint liberals (of which I am one) into unnecessary corners. We should reclaim that language and re-broaden its definition to mean what it REALLY means.
Something that frustrates me about liberals in general and Democrats in particular is that they seem content to take the carefully chosen language constructs the Right manufactures and paint themselves into the corner that was laid out for them.
With the Health Care Reform bill they managed to smash out of that corner and get the job done anyway, but they still failed to take control of the debate and wrestle it like the true wordsmiths and salesmen the Republicans are.
They need to take control of the language and redefine it for us or they will continue to lose elections even if they have found the courage to stand up for legislation they believe in...
I am pro life
I believe in life. I believe in allowing people to have the life they choose and make choices about their body. I believe in the life of a mother forced to make a terrible decision.
I believe in the life of the mother that might have prevented her unwanted pregnancy if only actual data from real life was listened to when we're told that teaching abstinence doesn't work. Life tells us that condoms and sex education works. So I believe in listening to life.
I also believe in lives that are out on the street because we fail to look after the poor. We fail to provide for their basic needs like shelter and healthcare. I believe in the life of people in foreign countries - life that is equal in value to my own. I believe that you can't invade their countries or prop up their dictators without having violent reactions. That's just how life works and how people protect the lives of their families. When life gets desperate you take desperate actions.
I believe in life. I am pro life.
The life of undifferentiated cells, however, is only one form of life. I believe that abortion should be safe, legal and rare because I am pro life, and life happens. Abortion is horrible, however, abortion is going to happen if it is legal or not. We need to safeguard the lives of the young mothers involved. There are many, many lives to consider.
You know who is pro choice. Republicans. They believe that the government should get off our backs and let the free market decide. They choose to believe that making money is more important than providing basic checks and balances to make life a little easier for people.
They believe that we should have the freedom and choice to pick an insurance company and they should have the freedom to choose to screw their customers. That is pro choice. They believe that gays and lesbians had a choice when it came to their sexuality. They choose to believe it matters to them.
I am Strong on Defense
I believe in defeating those who would hurt us. I don't believe in fighting a tactic. Terrorism is not something you can defeat any more than you can defeat walking or shooting a gun. A war against terrorism is not being strong on defense, it's being weak on language skills.
I know that being strong means having the courage and conviction to know when I am wrong, to understand my enemy's motives properly (and not the characature some might choose to paint) because I know that without understanding their true motives and methods I am just flailing around like a defenseless fool.
I am strong on defense because I understand that defense is not hurting defenseless people, but rather helping those people defend themselves against ignorance and violence.
I am strong on defending the freedoms and liberties that I believe in. I am strong enough not to let 'Terrorists' scare me into compromising my way of life.
I am strong on defense.
I believe in protecting a flag
I am against burning Flags. Actually no, not flags, but rather the things those flags represent. The American flag represents the freedom to burn flags. So I believe in protecting the flag by letting people burn it. Because in burning it they are demonstrating the power of that flag to transcend any moment and last forever. By performing the symbolic act of burning the flag those people are at once making their point and undermining it. I believe in the flag to transcend its own burning.
I believe in Civil Unions and defense of Marriage.
I believe all marriges should be civil unions. Why is a religious institution handled by the Government? Why can't any two people (including heterosexuals) form a civil union in order to confer certain basic rights to each other and leave the government out of it. Why is marriage not protected by and sacred to the church instead of allowing it to get corrupted by Government.
If you want to get Married in the eyes of God, then go to a church. If you want a legal contract to confer rights onto another through the state, get a Civil Union. They should be two, separate things and the church can make up any rules it wants about Marriage, and the state shouldn't discriminate when it comes to unions.
I am a regular Joe
I hate being elitist, I don't like reading books and I sure as hell don't like to over think problems. That's why I am not a politician. I also can't run very fast or very long, that's why I am not an elite athlete either.
I'm sure as hell glad that elite people run our government though, and run our races, and practice law and do all the other important and hard things they do. I am glad that the elites who run for office think through problems properly and consider the complex systems that make up our society rather than knee jerk reactionary 'ordinary people' who would easily let their emotions and mob rule guide them.
I love regular people, I want to have a beer with them. But I don't want them running any country I live in.
I have faith
I am full of faith. I believe deeply in the things I believe. They are different from the things you believe but that does not make me a 'non believer'.
I have a strong moral compass - one I spent a great deal of time thinking about and defining for myself. In some ways, I might have given more thought to morality than you have.
As a wise man once said, You believe in things that have not been proven; Well I believe in people despite abundant amounts of evidence to the contrary. That is faith. I have more faith in the divinity of people (something Jesus taught) than you do.
I might not believe that Jesus (or anyone else who has been elevated to his status) was God, but I believe in his message. His actual message of unconditional love and forgiveness for all. I believe he taught us to look after the least among us and to turn the other cheek. That means that bombing other countries, allowing the poor to persist and judging others for their sex, race or geographic location is the exact opposite point of having faith in his teachings.
He also taught us to be free thinkers, not to believe in institutions just because they are there. He was a rebel who blasphemed the religious institutions of his time.
I have more faith than you in the actual words and deeds of Jesus. And that means I am not afraid of all the scary gays and terrorists and flag burners out there. If you question my faith you are simply showing a weakness in your own.
I could go on and on... but you get the idea.
What words would you like to reclaim for reality?