This isn't knitting related so if you don't want to read it, don't. I rarely post anything political here so please excuse this one post.
This post started as my comment on Indigirl's post about gay marriage rights, and Bonne Marie's joke about Jeter for president. And then I started thinking, and now I feel the need to write it down.
I'm not an American citizen so I do not have the RIGHT to vote in this country. I'm a permanent resident so I have every other right and duty except the right to vote. I pay the same taxes, use the same forms, go to the same schools, etc. But coming into the country I stand on the other line to go through customs. I still have to follow the same laws but I have absolutely no say in any of them.
For those of you who DO have a say, I implore you to please think about that privilege and excersize it, and please do it wisely.
I call myself a "fiscal republican," in that if I were allowed to vote I would tend to vote along the republican party line because its general fiscal stance is what I believe in. I believe in less taxation, smaller government, fewer laws, state rights, more "laisez faire." I don't tend to agree with most of its social views (I'm pro choice and in favor of gay marriage) but if the fiscal fundamentals were in effect, those social views wouldn't be relevant (in order to outlaw gay marriage more laws have to be passed, more money has to be spent, more government involvement which is the exact opposite of the ideal).
I gotta say, though, that Bush has succeeded in alianating one of the few young adults I know who would have voted republican if she were allowed to vote. Not only is his ridiculous zeal for banning gay marriage obnoxious and embarassing, his proposed budget is a joke. What I want to know is, who actually agrees with his stance on all these issues?? Most republicans today are not the crazy conservative republicans he seems to be representing -- most of us tend to be more progressive, at least most of those I've met.
In history, the president up for re-election almost always wins. If I had a say in it, I would not vote for him. Now, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't vote for Dean either. But either way I have no say.
I wish there were a party that would encompass my views and which had a chance of winning, but unfortunately our country seems to be doomed to a two-party system in which we pick from bad and worse (4 years ago I would have voted for Bush, cuz the alternative was worse). Even though I don't personally have the right to make that horrible choice, I still think about it and it still affects my life.
So basically, what I'm saying is, if you have the right to vote, please do so wisely. It really matters, and it's a luxury that your neighbors and friends don't necessarily enjoy.