Sunday, September 7, 2008

on why i take the presidential elections personally, or, three reasons why not to vote for mccain

so i'm back in the u.s. of a. now and right away i became engrossed in the presidential election. not surprisingly to people who know me, i already know who i'm voting for. no, he is not the messiah as he is being touted. and yes, i have beef with many of his platforms. i think his healthcare platform is weak and his foreign policy is not the best. and, there is no way he won't let us down. come on! he really is too good to be true.

that said, i have been looking at the mccain/palin ticket. with palin on board, many moderates are actually entertaining the idea of voting for mccain/palin. if you are one of those people, i'm including a few reasons why voting for mccain/palin would offend me personally. if you do vote for them, seriously, don't tell me.

1. the arts
obama supports the nea. big woop, right? well, the last 8 years have consisted of arts funding being slashed and burned, including complete elimination of arts education in public schools. obama has promised increased funding to the nea. he also has recognized the positive influence arts education has on raising general scholastic aptitude and has sat on arts boards. his platform also promotes arts-based cultural diplomacy (something most first world countries invest pretty heavily in), deeper tax breaks for artist, and health care for artists (which is included in the national healthcare plan. i don't believe he has singled out artists as a special group that will get healthcare or anything).

mccain has not published an arts policy, but has a record of voting for cutting nea funding. he is on record stating that he is against government subsidies of the arts, stating that tax payers shouldn't have to pay for "obscene" projects. he has stated that he supports giving money to states so that they can fund arts education programs (not necessarily in schools, however), but that's it.

nader, mckinney, baldwin, and barr do not seem to have any platforms on the arts.

2. the gays
if you know me, hell, even if you don't, you prolly know i identify as queer. i am legally female and have been with a female partner for over seven years. i have mixed feelings about marriage. if it were up to me, i would do away with the institution on a governmental level and leave it to individual religious institutions to sanctify monogamous relationships. instead, i would want the government to recognize domestic partnerships, which could include: "gay" partnerships, "straight" partnerships, sibling partnerships (where siblings live together and share household responsibilities/childcare, etc.), inter-generational partnerships (i.e. grand parents live with a parent and all adults care for a child or children--one of the most common forms on "non-traditional parenting"), non-blood partnerships (two friends live together for a long time and share bank accounts, parenting, etc.) and multi-party partnerships (polyamorous family units where three or more people share household responsibilities). these domestic partnerships would enable any parties involved to receive tax breaks, inheritance rights, citizenship/green card preferential treatment, visitation rights, and common-law privileges. but alas, only the leftest of the left queeroids are thinking of such institutions.

none of the candidates comes even close to thinking about this. however, i should say right here that i plan to marry my partner of seven years. we will most likely go to canada to do it. in canada, if either of us gets a job, the other will receive health care, be eligible for permanent residence, have visitation rights, etc. even if we don't get lawfully married! (i KNOW!)

the thing is, so-called "gay marriage" is a civil rights issue. it's about saying, "hey, you love that person and you want to profess to god or whoever that you plan to be with them until you die? well alright, then. here's a goodie bag full of privileges that we've given other people who have said the same!" if straight married people can get shit-loads of resources (shared healthcare plans, spousal hires, free usage of spouse's facilities), money (tax breaks and non-taxed inheritance rights), and recognition (visitation rights, and just plain empathy and love), then FUCK YEAH, I WANT THOSE THINGS, TOO! even if i have qualms about the institution. straight people who don't think gay marriage is an issue, or who think it is wrong, or who don't understand it are basically saying: love between people of the same sex is inherently inferior. this to me says: queer people are inherently inferior to straight people. ergo: queers are subhuman.

i don't like that.

obama says he supports civil unions. yes, it's kinda like the whole "separate but equal" thing. not nearly enough. that said, the mccain/palin ticket supports introducing a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BANNING GAY MARRIAGE. now and forever more. did i say that loud enough? according to my pristine logic outlined above, that means mccain/palin supporters are saying: queers are subhuman. incidentally, sarah palin's church minister believes prayer can "un-gay" people. yes, i know she has not said that (publicly) herself. and we've already gone down a dark road of slandering people because of their pastors. i'm not sayin'... i'm just sayin'...

nader supports gay marriage. mckinney says its "an important issue." baldwin is anti anything giving rights to queers. barr was a sponsor of the clinton era DOMA act and sees same-sex marriage as a state issue.

3. the gooks
let's not forget that mccain refers to asian people as "gooks," both in his head and in public. as a member of the racial group of "gooks," i find it really difficult to not get angry. it's true he said it long ago (in 2000), and he apologized for it since. but really. REALLY. think if someone said the "n" word in an interview. i'd take that personally, too.

so. really. mccain/palin makes me mad. particularly palin scares me. for a while i had some respect for mccain, thought that of the republicans, he had the most integrity. however. with the choice of palin as running mate, he lost that. considering that according to life insurance calculations, he has a one in three chance of dying during his presidency, voting for mccain as president is a one-third vote for palin as president. and really, i want to scream: they hate queers! they hate immigrants! they hate people of color! they hate artists! they want to kill us all!

i have other reasons why mccain/palin makes my skin crawl. but those are merely ideological. i don't take them personally. but really they go against what i do (art) and what i am (queer/asian american). and that's why i take a vote for them personally. really. if i have to emotionally blackmail you to not vote for mccain/palin, i will. vote for nader, vote for mckinney. hell, write-in hillary, if you want. just please, please, please: don't vote for mccain/palin.

thanks. us queer asian/asian american artists thank you.

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