Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's About Me, Me, Me!

An Obama fan posted her reasons for liking Obama, and why she's "better off" since he became President.  Here's one of them, which is typical of the lot:
War: In my lifetime, there have been three wars – Viet Nam, where I worried for years that my brothers would have to go; the Line In The Sand, where I worried about my oldest son being deployed on a daily basis; and Middle East wars, where my granddaughter’s husband is deployed and where I worry that my grandson will go. Under Obama, we are set to pull out after training Middle Eastern forces to defend themselves. Under Romney-Ryan, they are set to give trillions more to the military, even though they didn’t ask for the money. That tells me there is another war agenda looming in the future. How many more lives should we sacrifice to pay for big corporation agendas?
First of all, as you can see, It's All About Us: she worried about her brothers who might have to go to Vietnam, about her oldest son "being deployed" in the first Gulf War; about her grandson who might go to "Middle East wars."  If she's worried about the millions of innocent non-Americans who were killed in those wars, she doesn't mention it.

Second, Bush didn't start the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to train "Middle Eastern forces to defend themselves."  And that's the last thing either Bush or Obama would want Middle Eastern forces to be able to do: that's why Obama is trying to crush Iran, after all -- so that Iran won't be able to defend itself against American or Israeli attacks.  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not born of any altruistic concern for the self-defense of "Middle Eastern forces," but from lust for blood vengeance against Muslims, any Muslims.  If this writer thinks otherwise, she should praise Bush and the Republicans for starting those wars. Yet at the end, she claims that the wars are about "big corporation agendas" -- what happened to America's altruistic concern for Middle Eastern self-defense?  And how does any of this make her better off since Obama became President?

Here's another "reason" why she's glad to wake up and Barack Obama is President:
Gay rights: I know that you can’t choose who you love or who you are attracted to. It’s an innate chemistry. It just is. I don’t see any difference in love between two same sex partners or two opposite sex partners. Love is love. To deny benefits to one couple while allowing them for another couple is biased and sexist. While I don’t think government should step into the bedroom, if fairness needs to be enforced by a law, I’m for it.
This is a mess in several ways.  Government stepping into the bedroom is exactly what civil marriage is.  As Wendy Kaminer once put it, "When you marry, you sign a contract you've probably never read, written by the state."  Several times I've encountered people who expressed their support for same-sex marriage by saying that they wanted the government to get out of the marriage business: but that was exactly what they didn't want.  They wanted the government to sanction and reward (with various benefits) certain couples.  Another speaker on a panel for a human sexuality class today said that people should be allowed to marry whoever they want, and again, he didn't really mean that.  I'm sure he was willing to leave our age of consent laws in place, and presumably he doesn't think brothers and sisters, or brothers and brothers for that matter should be allowed to marry.  And what about first cousins?  There wasn't time to bring this up as part of the discussion, or I would have.  I'll have to ask him about this.

As for the writer I just quoted, I'd ask her the same questions and add unmarried couples to the mix: should you have to get legally married to get those benefits, and if so, why isn't that a "biased" requirement?  Like most Obama fans, she has chosen to forget Obama's oft-stated, and only recently toned-down, opposition to same-sex marriage.  And I'm baffled by "... if fairness needs to be enforced by a law, so be it."  What kind of law does she have in mind?  Does she think that the law should require churches to recognize same-sex marriages?  Given how many people are vague about the difference between civil and religious marriage, I wouldn't be surprised.

So, someone wrote that (and more), and someone else decided to post it to a high-traffic group on Facebook.  I don't suppose a person should have to have good reasons for supporting a candidate or office-holder, or that their arguments must be either rational or factually accurate.  But this writer is well within the mainstream of the pro-Obama people I encounter.  And I found that profoundly depressing.