Friday, January 11, 2008

Warning: Don't mix politics and love!

So today ends the first day of my first week working full time in the last 5 years. I am so exhausted :) It has been good...E has survived morning parenting alone, D has survived late stay (only two days) and our house is still in shape since C has been home! Still, I need a bedtime!

Last night I went to see the Moisyev Ballet...check it out (be sure to click on English in the top right corner- unless you read Russian :)) It was AMAZING!...not like your typical Swan Lake was colorful and beautiful. When they come through again I am gonna take my sister and maybe even D....

Since I am still avoiding completing my comps (I know, I know...get to it)- I have been obsessed with the elections. As most of you know I am supporting Barack Obama. Although his charisma and eloquent speech are inspiring, I also believe his message is vital to us right now. I wish he was a little more liberal about gay marriage and am not completely convinced that his healthcare program will be sufficient. Still, his ability to work together with people will be a fresh change for the White House- someone who doesn't claim to know everything, but is willing to work with others, even those who subscribe to other political philosophies. Anyway, anyone interested in discussing the issues or wanting more information about him, let me know.

I will state as an aside that I am likely to support whichever Democrat gets the nomination since I think all three would be good presidents and I am a bleeding heart :) .....Unlike my husband.

So my big issue of the week...can your significant other, the one pledged to spend the rest of his/her life with you, your soulmate, the one who you know was made just for you...the other half of you...hold diverging political views? As a tree hugging lefty, I believe that I should be tolerant of everyone's views...and generally I am. One of my closest friends (RH) is a lifelong Republican and I really respect her does not affect our friendship, if anything it helps both of us from becoming too narrow minded. Anyway, since we moved we had to update our voter registration and my soulmate decided to change his lifelong affiliation with the Democrat party and instead register as an *independent*. Now, rationally I get this isn't the end of the world- but coupled with the fact that he has been moving to the more socially conservative side for the last 3-5 years, I am upset.

My politics are not just a hobby- they are an extension of my life mission...I believe that I have a duty to leave the world a better place than I found it...My goal it to help those that need it, to speak for those without a voice, and more than fight for equality...equality for everyone, regardless of race, sexual orientation, age, ability level, zip code, body shape, etc. I work in politics because I believe it is the pathway for creating such change (coincidentally, also the reason I support Barack). For my man, the one who is supposed to*get me* to move away from these views (that he held 11 years ago when we got together) is distressing to me. He makes comments about how many poor people (specifically his clients) think they are *entitled* to services...that it (poverty, drugs, child abuse) is a cycle and that they(poor people/his clients) have to do something to help themselves. For me, this completely disregards the institutional and structural deficits that help to cause and perpetuate inequality.

A recent event is a perfect and necessary example....someone very close to me has some MAJOR dental issues going on. This person has serious infections throughout *their* (I know not grammatically correct, but not identifying gender) mouth...they had two major abscesses removed last week, have at least 8 more abscesses still present and are likely to have ALL of their teeth pulled and then get false teeth. So I took this person to a specialist (a prostodontist) in a relatively wealthy area near where I live on the recommendation of my family dentist. It was the worse visit ever...the prostodontist took one look at this person and asked "do you even own a toothbrush?" The doctor continued to insult and humiliate the individual through the entire appointment. I believe he took one look at this individual, read that this person doesn't have insurance and assumed this person could not afford his ridiculously high fees. More importantly, he immediately assumed that this person's dental problems were caused due to "laziness, unhygenic behavior and drug use (yes he asked)". He didn't ask this person about his life, didn't sympathize for the incredible amount of pain the individual is in, didn't acknowledge that this grown adult was already incredibly humiliated by the situation. For me, this was a class judge this individual based on the individual's appearance and to treat him poorly...that is what is wrong with the world. Had he asked, he would have found out that this individual has lived indepenently since about age 15, served in the U.S. military (not overseas, but still), has worked (physical labor with no benefits) everyday of the individual's life and is a a single parent to a child and has been since the child was 2 years old, now 9. The individual has NOT had health or dental insurance, does not get paid for days off, does not have the resources, time or money to take care of the dental problem. Then, as the problem got worse, it quickly went down hill and the embarrassment factor came into play. I do not exonerate this person from all responsibility- but to judge the individual without any of the facts and treat the individual poorly (regardless of who the individual is) is the problem today.
Back to the point...I need the closest person in my life, my partner to support my battles. It helps if they are battles we fight together...especially since that was my experience for the first 5-7 years of our relationship...still, as a close friend reminded me, we all grow and change. I know that- but my beliefs are the essence of my being...just as I would never have married a racist or a bigot, or even simpler, someone who didn't want children, as that would belie fundamental differences that I do not believe are compromise-able, especially in raising children, I am having a pretty tough time reconciling his changing heart.
P.S. In trying to explain to him how I feel, I asked how he would feel if I became a die hard Yankees lover...he says he would be okay with that...right!

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