Diversity Voting

Men and women should vote for the same reason

I don’t respond to most of the weblog postings that Halley Suitt writes about women in general. I do think she tends to promote stereotypes as often as not. However, I also think that sometimes she breaks stereotypes by presenting the concept that women can be many things and still be womanly or even girly if that’s what she wants.

But today, I have to write in strong disagreement with her 12 reasons women should vote for Kerry/Edwards. And indirectly, I also disagree with the USA Today story that inspired Halley (link to which will most likely disappear, since it’s to Yahoo News.)


The USA Today article writes:

Women have long tended to shift toward Republicans as they get married, have children, return to regular churchgoing and acquire wealth and mortgages. In 2000, 63% of single women voted for Gore, but only 48% of married women did. As the ranks of female business owners and homeowners grow, fewer may be inclined to lean to the political left.

However, the same can be said for men. Men, if they become business owners, tend to shift to Republican in their voting. That women do so also, just shows this is not a gender-based difference. Also, people of both sexes, as they get older and have kids, especially if they become regular church goers, tend to lean more Republican.

So why are we differentiating between men and women, as if somehow women aren’t of the same species? Why do we focus on the W vote, and totally neglect the M vote?

Instead of disagreeing with USA Today for this differentiation, Halley actually supports it, but thinks the article didn’t go far enough. In this, she was effective, and made good use of arguments and counter-arguments. But she still supports the dichotomy between men and women, as if how we think is so different that we might as well be from different cultures.

She writes:

No woman looking at the pictures of the prisoners of the Abu Ghraib prison can be anything but devastated by this ungodly treatment of humans under Bush’s watch. As a mom I find it disgusting that anyone ever let it happen and then, never took the blame. Those people — despite being our hated enemies — are the sons of some mother somewhere. No person should be treated that way. All mothers know that in their hearts. It makes me cry to imagine it and makes me ashamed to have been a part of it — which as an American I was forced to acknowledge — they did it in my name.

By implication,then, is Halley saying that men, Dads, could look at these photos and not be devestated? That somehow men are immune to feelings of disgust and sadness when seeing another person humiliated? That men can’t see the photos of these men and think of their own sons?

I know that Halley is refuting the Security Mom phenomena, whichs is nothing more than a cold, carefully crafted and fostered necon (yes, I have adopted this word now, I have seen the light) manipulation into making it seem that all women should vote for Bush because all our babies are going to be killed in their schools and in their beds if we don’t. I applaud Halley’s approach, even while I wince at it.

(BTW, yes, your babies are in danger now–if your babies are grown up in and soldiers in Iraq, or if you live in Iraq. Outside of this, your babies are more in danger of being sexually abused, hit by a car, killed by a serial killer, catching a fatal disease, or dying of a bee sting, than killed by terrorism in this country. Frankly the Security Mom agenda–with its images of the frail, semi-sexy, God fearin’ woman holding a German Luger–is a bit of joke.)

Still, returning back to Halley and the USA Today story — is the implication then that there are no Security Dads?

As for voting for Edwards because he’s a ‘babe’ who supports his plump wife — nothing like pointing out how heroic Edwards is because he didn’t dump his wife when she gained weight.

“By gol, that’s a darn brave boy that is. Look at his wife — takes courage, you know that?”

What I don’t understand is why Hilary didn’t dump Bill when he turned into a porker.

Bottom line, we’re more alike than not. If you cut us, do we not all bleed? In fact, can’t we even use each others blood and organs to survive? We are the same species, and though society does enforce subtle behavior differences, we still share the same culture and the same values.

Isn’t it time that we focus more on the candidates and what electing each of them can mean, then our sex, and what it means?

Political Voting

Scared into voting

I recovered this from the Wayback Machine in 2023. Boy, I don’t agree with it now. After the loss of women’s rights, rights for members of the LGBTQ+ community, rights for people of color…people had better be scared into voting.

Michelle Malkin points out a flyer making the rounds here in Missouri that …includes a 1960s photograph of a firefighter hosing a black man that reads: “This is what they used to do to keep us from voting.”

I agree with Malkin that this not only is deliberately misleading and inflammatory, but it’s also going to backfire. As Malkin has unfortunately pointed out, most of the racist activity in the South was committed by the so-called Southern Democrats–before they jumped the party after Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights activities in the 1960’s.

According to the ACT spokesperson:

Sara Howard, ACT’s Missouri spokeswoman, on Sunday defended the handouts as part of a voter-education effort. She said Republican concerns may stem from reports of increased voter registration among minorities.

“The Republican Party knows that generally when African-Americans vote in large numbers, Republicans lose,” she said. “They will do everything in their power to try and prevent that from happening.”

I would say anyone with half a brain should be concerned with this type of tactic. Which I guess says a lot about the mental capacity of the ACT people.

However, I also disagree with a Malkin quote that says:

It’s worth noting that, by my count, all Missouri governors from 1945 to 1973 were Democrats. (Via The Political Graveyard: Segregation – and violent resistance to desegregation– was driven and perpetrated in large part by Southern Democrats.

As I just said, this was true – up until the 1960’s. Then most of the Southern Democrats jumped ship, and became the core of what is now known as the Republican Fundamentalists.

Blacks should vote for the same reason all races should vote – because voting is as much a responsibility as a right, and we all have a stake in the outcome. However, no one should be scared into voting, or voting a certain way: whether it’s stupid Democrats using old white/black fears to scare blacks into voting for Kerry; or stupid Republicans using new terrorist fears to scare all of us into voting for Bush.


On Voting

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Some of the political pundits are weblogging the local results of the election during the day. I won’t check for results until after the polls closed and the true results start coming in. I’m not a newspaper or a television station — people should check those for up to the minute results.

It’s interesting but I’ve made no secret of my vote this year — I’m voting Democrat in all national elections. Why? Because I want to stop Republicans from gaining control of the House, the Senate, and the Executive Branch. Many people don’t agree with me, and perhaps our votes will cancel each other out, but I do what I can. So does b!x, who has a MT category called Vote or Die.

Halley from Halley’s Comments mentions that she won’t disclose how she votes. She talks about how her mother would never tell her father how she voted, and she follows this custom. And I can respect this.

However, the times are a changing, and I not only want to vote, I would like to influence how you vote, especially with this election. So I’ll tell you that I’m voting Democrat for the national elections, but I’m voting Green Party for all local elections. Not only do I want to stop a Republican take over of the national government, I also want to send a message to the Democrats that the only reason I’m voting for Jean Carnahan and Dick Gephardt is to prevent this take over — next time, if they don’t stop being Republican wannabes, I may decide it isn’t worth it and vote Green or Independent all the way.

Another person who isn’t reticent about his political views is Mike Golby, a friend of mine from South Africa. Mike isn’t a man who has much patience for President Bush, and isn’t very shy about expressing his dislike. I agree with much of what Mike says, though I don’t necessarily agree with his use of the terms “Shrub” and “King George” for President Bush, though sometimes the terms slip through.

(I disagree with the terms primarily because I think they shadow the message we’re trying to make — that the President is a man who has a lot of power, and who has not held himself accountable to the basic freedoms on which this country is based. That the President is a man who still hasn’t answered the questions that have been asked about a war in Iraq, and who seems to be in far too much of a hurry to commit us to an action that will leave us bloody, very bloody.)

Use of terms aside, Mike is very good at reminding us in the States what we have to lose if we don’t start paying attention and voting with our heads instead of our fears:

In their apathy, Americans have let government slip increasingly quickly into the hands of the moneyed elite at a time when the gap between rich and poor has never been wider. They have handed government over to big business. Businesses, as we are reminded throughout our eight-to-five lives, are not democracies. They are tyrannies. Their systems, rituals, aims, objectives, and means of achieving them are very different to those of governments. Business is, or should be, the antithesis of government. That is why, for hundreds of years, we have had the private and public sectors. Business has set up office on the Capitol and is governing the United States and the world through authoritarian dictats, dictatorial takeovers, and a blatant disregard for anything not counting as self-interest. It seems Americans couldn’t be bothered to get out there and do anything about what amounts to a very real threat to the fundamental laws and values governing their lives.

Democracy is the enactment of the American constitution. It’s not getting much exercise these days and it shows.

Whether you shout it from the rooftops, or whisper it silently to yourself in the voting booth, exercise your right and responsibility to vote.