Where to begin?
I understand you don’t care about me. I understand that because I am not a corporation, because I have a uterus, because my name doesn’t end in “Inc.,” because I don’t make $25,000,000 a year that I am not now, nor will I ever be, important to you. I get it. All I have is my vote. So I understand that even if you were to read this, you would ignore it. I understand that even if I were standing in front of you reading this, you’d act as if you were listening, pat me on my head, and send me on my way. But I’m going to keep going. Because I foolishly believe that my vote counts. That my voice counts. And that if I keep yelling, maybe one day you will pay attention.
So here’s what I want to tell you.
- This is not a theocracy. Your religious views do not get to dictate policy. If you are religious, I expect your faith to guide you. I do not expect it to overrule science and common sense. If it is doing so, I assume that you really have NO faith, only religion. And, yes, there is a difference. I understand that some of you believe the Bible to be the same as a scientific journal. It is not. It is not science. Creation is a story, no different than the ancient Egyptian tale of Khephri rolling the sun like a huge dung ball through the sky to account for the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. I can believe that story. I can teach my children that story. I can learn that story in school as a tale of history, but is not science, and because you don’t agree with science based on your religion, does not mean you get to ban it.
- Like abortion. Your religion may teach you that abortion is wrong no matter the circumstances, but you do not get to tell me what I can do with my body and my family based on your religion. Oppose abortion. Come up with ways to make it obsolete, but until you do that, stay out of my body. House members, two weeks ago you gave the thumbs-up to one of the most disgusting pieces of legislation I have ever read. You called it the “Protect Life Act”. Those of you who voted for it, called yourselves “pro-life”. You are not pro-life. You are pro-fetus. Please be specific. This bill, much like a personhood amendment, does not respect life. When you want to talk about when life begins, you want to use science, but ignore it all other times. Your definition of life does nothing to respect the soul or consciousness–the very things that make us human. The division of cells as life is something we share with a guinea pig and a carrot. The division of cells is not what makes us human. I understand the anti-choice movement has truckloads of money they’re willing to throw at anti-choice legislation. I get it. Maybe you won’t take an outright bribe, but you’ll sure take those campaign contributions since you’ve got to run for office every few years.
- I hope that you at least have the decency to be ashamed that you brought this bill up at a time when we’re still looking at an almost double-digit unemployment rate, but I understand that’s a wasted hope. I get how much you like to use women’s health and the dark specter of abortion to divert our attention from that 9.1% unemployment rate. In fact, it’s the only time you seem to acknowledge women exist– which is weird since there are about 100 women in Congress.
- You spend time pandering to corporations while ignoring people protesting your treatment of those corporations. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe we wouldn’t have so many bright young people occupying Wall Street if you did something to help them occupy Main Street? If competition is part of a free market, give these people incentives for jumping into that market. Start understanding that job training leads to job creation. Not everyone needs to go to college. We have got to stop educating all children to be college professors (as Sir Ken Robinson says, “educating from the waist up.”) and then ignoring them when they fail at the task. Personally, I’d love to see some incentives for people to open up groceries so I could choose from more than Kroger or Kroger to do my shopping. I’d like you to give incentives to cities that add bike lanes so more people have more access to those groceries. I don’t want you to employ me. I want you to make it worth it to my neighbor to employ me.
- Insurance companies are not the champion of the little man. They are businesses wanting to make money, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But please understand that I don’t want you in the business of getting me good health insurance. I want you to create a climate that gets me good health care.
- As a member of Congress, your personal best interest and the best interest of the district you represent may not always be aligned. You work for us. You do what’s best for the district. If you want only to serve your personal best interest, leave Congress and go be a job creator in the private sector. I hear there are fabulous benefits in that.