Here's my political dilemma
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|Thu, 10-07-2004 - 12:44pm|
I've been really torn on a lot of the issues at stake in this election, largely b/c of my values. I am a Christian, but with that said, I'm having a hard time reconciling my religion with my vote. You see, my education/career have been focused on human services/social work. In this path, I've seen a lot as my work has been with homelessness and serious mental illness often intermingled with substance abuse as well. That give you some background?
It frustrates me that the federal minimum wage, in our area means that you'r have to work 118 hrs/wk just to be able to afford to RENT a small apartment (Afford being rent=30% of your income as is the standard by HUD/mortgage companies etc). You know, not everyone can go to college, nor do they want to...that doesn't make people who are taking the minimum wage jobs any less desirable as a person, but we, collectively as a society through our political priorities, tell them that even if they work their arses off they aren't good enough to have decent housing. And, the subsidies that the gov't offers to help these folks have been cut and cut to the point that waiting lists are 10 years long. Do you know what this means? It means that people who WORK HARD every day are forced into homelessness more and more. If the tax cuts continue to occur, HUD's budget for these very subsidies will continue to decrease and people living with them could be forced into homelessness after being told they had secured permanent housing. All this and I didn't even touch on the fact that as a social worker with an education, had I been single, I would have fallen in the low-income bracket for our area, as do our teachers, law enforcement, fire fighters, emergency service providers, etc. People often don't think this way as most are married and together they can make it. But what if you divorce (and 50% odds say you might), then the household is torn and the two new households are forced into poverty. Programs that help fight this are vital and yet they remain to get whittled more and more.
It frustrates me that while my husband makes a decent income, $45,000/yr, but 13% of that goes to paying an insurance premium that is vital for us to have as we have children and God forbid something medical happen, but should it happen we do have coverage. But $6000 a year doesn't seem very cost effective for what it covers in our actual consumption, 4 physicals a year and a few visits/year for sicknesses. But, to think of people who don't make that much paying as much/more for health care and having to decide against it b/c of cost makes me even more frustrated. We have too much medical technology/availability for this many people to not be able to access/utilize it.
It frustrates me that people are so focused on this war and whether we should/should not be there. Both sides got intelligence that indicated action needed to be taken, both sides leaned that direction. Ok, so now we know that the intelligence was skewed, whoops! We can't just back out with things hanging in the air, which unfortunately it seems most people believe that's what Kerry is going to do. I think the man is more intelligent than that, though just what he's going to do is a mystery to me from his voting record and from his vague answers. I agree that Bush has made some bad decisions, agree that we probably shouldn't be there, but I do recognize and value the fact that our military tends to favor him as commander in chief...that seems important too.
It does frustrate me about how black and white people try to make things on the moral front. After much internal debate, prayer, I've come to a conclusion. God gave us free will, he's not said, You MUST have me in your life, but rather Choose me if you will. The consequences vary upon your choice made, but you are allowed the freedom to choose which path you go down. So, why then are we trying to force choices of lifestyle through legislation? You know the gay marriage issue, abortion, etc. Granted, I do not agree with either,(yet on the other hand, if God forgives a muderer who repents, wouldn't He forgive a woman who had had an abortion? And sex is but a portion of who a person is) but does that mean the rest of the country must agree with me? I thought we were a "free" country and one that was rich in Judeo-Christian heritage. If that is so, wouldn't we emulate God best by offering a gov't that allowed choice? And then, instruct our children accordingly? And, socially, as Christians and Jews, there are many many instances in Scripture that say we should give to the needy and not hoard up material possessions for ourselves, but to spread the wealth for the good. Why then do so many Christians adhere to the Republican side when they blatantly support the rich getting richer? Because they say that certain ways are wrong? I just don't know that we should get in that practice of judging...rather than doing that we should be focused on what we can do in our own lives to bring glory to Him instead of condemning others. That's for God anyway, not for us. (For those of you who are not Christians, I hope I didn't offend anyone by speaking generally and assuming everyone should be a Christian, that's certainly not my intent!)
I'm just torn I guess....which side will actually carry through with their promises and actively work to improve the quality of life for our country?
Edited 10/7/2004 1:10 pm ET ET by hameyer