Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Believe - A Queer Liberal Witch's Manifesto

Inasmuch as Sharing is Caring, here is an abbreviated list of my beliefs as they relate to the political and society at large. Please remember that this list is incomplete, in no particular order, and likely, at best, a crude expression of some of my most passionate beliefs.

I believe that we need to take care of each other.

I believe we've been sold a lie that we're all in this on our own. That we can choose our own destiny and that, if we just work hard enough, we should be able to pull up our bootstraps and carve out our own destiny.

Honestly, I believe that greedy people sell us this malarkey because they don't want to share.

I call bullshit.

Nobody - successful or destitute - gets where they are in a vacuum.

We all need each other. And, moreover, we all need to be there for another. There is nothing that will feed your spirit more than loving and supporting another person. It doesn't even have to cost you anything. Love, support, encourage, bear witness to. All of these things cost you nothing but carry so much weight.

I believe that nobody chooses poverty.

Neither by choice nor by lack of effort. Nobody chooses poverty. And providing the poor with food, shelter, medical care, mental health services, and other basic human needs does not encourage their laziness.

Further, I believe that facts and statistics support my belief that the majority of the poor are disabled, elderly, or individuals not fortunate enough to be able to get a job that allows them to support themselves and their family.

I believe it is unconscionable for any person in America to go without.

With a special shout out to those that don't feel the government (i.e. "my tax dollars") should provide for the basic needs of the poor, but also don't support the charities that work to fill the gaps. Who the fuck, exactly, do you believe should be doing it?

I believe that democracy life is not a spectator sport.

I have a coworker who voted yes on Proposition 32 because she disagrees with our union's politics.


To me, that's like banning Taylor Swift because you don't like it when her songs come on the radio station you're listening to (and if ever there was an analogy fitting something I'd do, there it is). The thing about unions (and, in a larger sense, politics in general) is that their politics are member driven. Which means you have to get involved & get your voice heard. Yeah, that means work. It means putting yourself out there and making connections and taking the time, energy, resources to affect change. Often it means doing all of those things and then, at the end of the day, it's not going your way, anyway.

So, yes. It can be very frustrating. Maybe so much so that you choose doing nothing & bitching about it over putting the work in to attempt change. But it certainly should never mean that the better choice is to cut off the nose to spite the face. The laziness or ineffectiveness of some should not dictate the law for others.

I believe that taxes, voting, and jury duty are parts of the price we pay to live in a civilized society.

"No taxation without representation" doesn't mean "no taxes". It means that you get a say in how much taxes are and how they're spent. And you do. You use your vote to elect representatives to make these decisions. Sometimes you use protests or taking pen to paper or phone to ear or shoe to ground to get your voice heard by your representatives. Maybe it's not a perfect system, but it's the system we have. If you don't get active in it, you're the one that's losing your voice.

I believe in putting your money where your mouth is.

I believe that one should be willing to back one's beliefs and opinions up by supporting organizations, programs, charities, laws, etc. that work towards advancing causes in line with one's beliefs. Because we're not all made of money, this can be by way of volunteering, in the many forms that takes. And remembering that every little bit helps, even a couple of dollars.

I believe that you should have a better argument than a logical fallacy.

And if that's the best you have, you clearly have nothing worthy of my consideration.

Further, if you're trying to get my vote for a political office, you should have a better platform than being against tax increases. Because that's about the most disingenuous argument ever. Instead, try telling me what you plan to do for us.

As an example, the most recent election included seats on our city council. One of the candidates based the entirety of his platform on his unwillingness in increase our taxes. That's swell and all, but what I really want to know is what you plan to do to help our roads, schools, our burgeoning homeless population (there is no homeless shelter in our city), and how you plan to protect the services that make our city pretty awesome to live in. Guess what? I don't mind paying a little more for better services. I'm buying into this city, not renting, and, to me, it's well worth my investment to know that fire, ambulance, police services will respond should I ever (knock on wood) require the assistance. I appreciate knowing that the roads are maintained, that traffic lights are responsive to the needs of traffic, that emergency services are provided in minimal time.

People who don't feel like they should have to pay for these things? Maybe they can go ahead and go live in someone else's city.

I believe that I am not where I need to be but I am so far from where I was.

I am learning how to move away from the things that no longer serve me, and, instead, focus on the things that feed me, my spirit, and allow me to be the best me that I can.

I believe that we are all perfect, just as we are, and that we are, each of us, a work in progress.

Yes, I do believe that people can genuinely change, evolve, grow. I believe that's what we're here for. What the point of life really is. Sure, not everybody gets this. Not everybody is willing to put in the work to change, evolve, grow. Maybe they are too lazy. Maybe they don't see a problem. But to use these examples as proof that "people don't change" is a fallacy and an insult to the rest of us.

I believe in feminism - all the way down to the way we use words, the way we display women and men, the way we portray gender in society, and the way we perpetuate a rape culture.

Maybe I don't believe that it should go as far as referring to school sessions as "ovesters" versus "semesters" (snaps if you get the reference), but I do believe that misogyny is so deeply ingrained in our society that most of us only ever see the most flagrant examples. This offends me deeply, and I believe that it encourages the continued oppression and violation of women in our culture, including that so many feel that it is perfectly acceptable to discuss a woman's body as though the subject were up for debate or open for questioning and the decisions of others.

I believe that neither gender nor sexuality are binary, but, instead, exist on a spectrum that is vast, wide, and sparkly.

But you may have already known I believe this.

Furthermore. I believe that where a person lives on this spectrum should have no bearing on how that person is treated.

We should all be treating each other with respect, love, and honor.

Yes. I said that.

Yes, you can treat another with respect, love, and honor without that person "earning it". It's simple. Just don't act like a jackass. Hold space for others. Trust that, regardless of how a person may act in the moment, they are likely deserving of the level of respect, love, and honor that the situation calls for. It really doesn't take a lot.



Wine Dog said...

You don't have to earn it, but you do have the ability to lose it.

I have long believed that Timothy McVeigh deserved an insanity defense because anyone with a manifesto automatically qualifies.

dolphyngyrl said...

To the first part - agreed.

To the second part.... Why? Do normal people not think it sounds like a cool magic trick?

Also, we already know I am WAY not THAT KIND of crazy.