April 14, 2024

Both Parties are the Same! #1 FLPCB HHSC 15-03 , also known as Conscience Protection for Private Child-Placing Agencies

Voter turnout during the US midterm elections was pathetic. There was a definite lack of critical thinking and due diligence evidenced by opposing Republicans, Libertarians, and apathetic liberals in the “Freethought” movement, who repeated the soul sucking canards “Both Parties are the Same” and “It’s a Broken System” during the mid term elections. Aron and I tried to encourage people to vote, but were met with an onslaught of sanctimonious people acting as if not voting was more conscientious a choice than voting.

These same people can’t really be surprised by the slew of theocratic state legislation by the Republican majority state legislatures and state governors given a majority during midterms. This is a party that 57 percent of whom think that Christianity should be the national religion. Indiana is one state among many responding to legalization of gay marriage in many states by passing “religious freedom” bills modeled on the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision. Which neatly answers the question, “What about the Constitution?” to those privileged enough not to have theocratic overreach affect you on a very personal level, or obtuse enough to not realize in many states they already live in a theocracy. My question to you is ,”Who decides what is constitutional?” Also, don’t abdicate your civic duty to a piece of parchment.

It may be that Aron and I are already intimately aware of what the Republican party has become living in Texas. And to the misguided folks citing the party of Lincoln, I didn’t know Lincoln, but that party is no party of Lincoln and hasn’t been since Ronald Reagan over 30 years ago.  As already noted it is dominated by a more aggressive and Christian voter base that is better organized and better funded than the Christians that saw teacher led prayer removed in the 1963 Abington School District v Shempp decision.

No party this far off base has ever been reasoned with. It has taken the Supreme Court to check theocratic laws, civil rights violations, etc. The party of Lincoln changed to what it is today for 2 reasons: votes and money. So if you are a Republican left out in the cold, the winds will not shift as long as there is an unopposed evangelical voting base that is fortunately for them well funded. No hand-wringing and pleading alluding to the rise of secular voters is going to change that until appealing to Christians isn’t the path to overwhelming success like gangbusters. The forecast for that looking at the conditions of the party now is 0 percent. There won’t be a change until and not before Christian votes and money dry up.

How do I know that? I have testified in front of the majority Republican Texas School Board. Witnessed for myself the teflon smiles that hide pointy sharp teeth. The eyes that glaze over as you give then a damn good reason to not miseducate Texas schoolchildren that Moses had a profound impact on the US form of government. I have spit into the wind and basically gotten the M’kay! Bye Now! They couldn’t lavish enough praise on the other evangelical testifiers. Don’t believe me? Here is the video. I had to explain to one of the more notorious boardmembers that bias is indeed an error. Did both parties vote the same? No. All Democrats voted against the white-washed biased theocratic textbooks that one tenth of the country’s schoolchildren are stuck with for the next ten years!

Before anyone can say move from the South, and basically forget millions of historically illiterate schoolchildren -Two Words for you: Ted Cruz! He is now in charge of Congress’s Science Committee, because people handed a majority Republican Congress to him because they were afraid of Ebola and ISIS and also averse to voting. Our only hope for sane climate change laws in the hands of Ted Cruz, climate change denialist! Can you say “Doomed” children? I knew you could.

Before I address too much and this gets too wordy this is what I have decided to do. I will post a series of reasons why “Both Parties are not the Same” and not voting won’t fix “The Broken System” until the 2016 Presidential elections. So if your real tired of politics, take an energy drink or whatever it takes to stop making excuses and do something before it is too late.

In fact, here is a mini-reason it is already too late for Florida, where state employees understand they are not to use the word “climate change”, CLIMATE CHANGE! is already a reality for Miami is already having problems with rising sea levels. A proud moment for wait for it…Republican Governor, Rick Scott, who swears they have conversations about it, but never really gets around to what it is! Yeah! Florida keep electing those Republican governors, who promise you that gays won’t be allowed to marry. It neither picks your pocket or damages your fresh drinking water like just 9 more inches of sea level rise will, but if that is what is important to you!

Nathaniel Gill attempting to reason with modern day Pharisees, who swallow a camel a strain out a gnat. Matthew 23:24
Nathaniel Gill attempting to reason with modern day Pharisees, who swallow a camel and strain out a gnat. Matthew 23:24

But here it is, a very good reason to not vote Republican for the foreseeable future, and coincidentally it is from Florida. I dare you to watch this video all the way through as a boy tries to reason with the Republican State legislature, and still tell me -Both parties are the same!

As 10-year-old Nathaniel Gill spoke passionately in defense of gay adoption in front of a committee hearing in the Florida statehouse, he was gleefully cut off by the Republican chairman.

Even though Florida state Rep. Charles McBurney had the power to grant him extra time to speak, he disrespectfully shut down Nathaniel Gill’s testimony with a smile.

Gill was in the middle of telling the committee why they should not pass an anti-gay bill that would ban same-sex couples from adopting children. Dubbed the “revenge” bill, the conservative-backed legislation would make it legal for adoption agencies that receive stat (sic) funding to discriminate against same-sex couples and deny them the opportunity to adopt kids who need a home.

If you watch this child try to explain how his brother, who had to beg at 4 years old to feed him as a baby, was separated from him because state authorities didn’t believe the boys should be adopted by a gay couple that was caring for them, and still think taxes are your deciding issue or you can do nothing -you are heartless. And need I remind you the Democratic Party is center right anyways and a tax increase that will affect most top wage earners significantly is unlikely.

I can’t resist this one parting thought, though probably I should. If you needed proof that all Christians can do to LGBT in this country “legally”(being charitable) is not bake you a cake -there it is.


17 thoughts on “Both Parties are the Same! #1 FLPCB HHSC 15-03 , also known as Conscience Protection for Private Child-Placing Agencies

  1. I have stated here and other places that the xtian theocracy is growing because people who care but think the system is broken WONT VOTE!!! There is a quote from ??? that goes voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. THIS IS WRONG!!!! The Dems are not perfect nor are the Greens BUT they are many times better then what we now have. If the rePUKEians win anything in 2016 we are being doomed to irreversible climate change, xtian theocracy, and increased plutocracy and as Indiana and others have shown xtian sorry-ass law is not unthinkable. And if you DON’T know what those words mean, you definitely Do NOT want to let the rePUKEians into more power.

    Here is another question for y’all…..what party do the police and prosecutors and the judges belong to that are allowing them to become paid state directed killers of minorities???? I’ll bet money on them NOT being Greens or Dems.

  2. I like to call the present-day Republican Party the party of Jefferson Davis. The party had started off as a northern regional party, but over the last half-century, it has switched places with the Democratic Party, and its stronghold is now the ex-Confederacy.

    Some Republicans apparently agree. MS Senator Trent Lott: “The spirit of Jefferson Davis lives in the 1984 Republican platform.”, he stated to a Sons of Confederate Veterans gathering in Biloxi, MS that year.

  3. As to voting in Presidential election years but not in midterms, I’m rather baffled. It’s almost as if many Americans consider the President the real leader and not a member of a de facto ruling committee that includes Congress and the Supreme Court. Almost as if the President is some monarch.

    Has anyone ever asked such people why they vote in Presidential years but not in midterms? Someone ought to try to find out.

    That’s a much bigger problem with the Left than with the Right, or at least what passes as a left wing here in the US. However, some on the Right also seem to have that problem, like all the Ron Paul groupies.

    1. It’s almost as if many Americans consider the President the real leader and not a member of a de facto ruling committee that includes Congress and the Supreme Court. Almost as if the President is some monarch.

      Well, duh. Most Americans have no freaking clue how our government works and have forgotten what little they learned in high school civics classes. The media isn’t helping much, either. Mainstream political commentary always refers to the entire freaking government with phrases like ‘Obama’s presidency’.

      Get rid of your conditionals, and you’ll have your answer. There’s no ‘almost as if’.

  4. We old geezers can remember back to, say, 1960, when there were about twelve Republicans in the entire state of Arkansas. Through the sixties/seventies the Democrats essentially split: the Jefferson Davis branch, largely southern and white, joined the Republicans. The northern, labor-allied branch courted the black vote and became more liberal, with Lyndon Johnson doing a pretty astounding reversal of course to lead a lot of that trend.

    Today’s Republicans, at least throughout the South, are all converts from Dixiecrat.

  5. I get the argument that we should vote, because our rulers are going to rule us whether we like it or not, whether we do anything about it or not, and at least we might have some sort of positive influence.

    But I also get, and can’t tell whether other progressives generally get it or not, that a vote for Obama was ultimately a vote for mass murder not only in the nations we are overtly at war with, but also in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. I supported him, the first time around, precisely because he was promising to end the torture regime (he hasn’t, and still keeps known innocent prisoners in Guantanamo), end Bush’s spree of invasions (he increased it), end extrajudicial killing (including killing of American citizens) by means of drones (he greatly increased it), etc., etc..

    Yes, on the third hand, I get that Obama is “good” on other issues (for some value of “good,” at least). But apart from Presidential elections, where else in life would you accept the notion that empowering a serial killer is the moral thing to do, because “at least he’s not as bad as the alternative serial killer”?

    What we really need is considerably more radical reform. What we’re getting is a steady slide into a warfare/police state. And although there certainly are material differences between the parties, both are driving us toward that destination.

    1. I understand the point about Obama and war. But look now, Obama has brokered a deal with Iran to stop them from building nukes. What would the GOP had done with presidential power? Take any paranoid justification to invade Iran and kill lots more people including Americans. All to further destabilize that region even further.

      It is not the GOP is reprehensible and the Dems are peachy.

      It is also not that the GOP are jingoistic genocidal maniacs and the Dems are slightly altered mirror copy either.

  6. But I also get, and can’t tell whether other progressives generally get it or not, that a vote for Obama was ultimately a vote for mass murder not only in the nations we are overtly at war with, but also in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.

    Not necessarily. Do you really think that McCain or Romney would have been less war-hawkish? We’re stuck in a two-party system, because of the way that the Constitution structures the government.

    By the time we get to the general election, you can think of a vote as either for someone or against the other guy that actually has a chance of winning.

    The fine tuning you’re looking for needs to be handled at the party level, in the primaries.

  7. Narf, I agree. One ought to get involved in the primaries.

    Duverger’s law is worth studying. The ideal system for multiparty representation is proportional representation, so why is it considered unthinkable here in the US?

    1. Hell, just a simple instant-runoff system would take care of the party system. That’s what I would prefer. Putting a wild-ass outside candidate as your #1 vote would have no effect, as long as you put the higher-probability candidates in the appropriate order. Some sort of proportional representation system would also be nice, though.

      I think that no one is seriously talking about solving the two-party problem, because the two parties who are on top like it that way, and the pundits apparently don’t think it’s a big issue, I guess. We have a lot of inertia to overcome.

  8. As to the US Constitution, I suggest rereading it. It’s possible to elect the House of Representatives by proportional representation without amending it, though one must do it state-by-state and one can only do it in states with more than one House delegate.

    1. Well, yeah, but if we expect anything to be accomplished on a state-by-state basis, I think we need to give up now.

  9. Just as importantly, most people do not vote in local or state level elections, which is where most of the federal representatives get their start. So right down to the beginning levels, the extremists have the advantage. And the electors cry about their lack of choices, when they let other people make the early, important decisions.

  10. The GOP has succeeded in large part by combining a top-down coordinated strategy and media messaging effort, a money machine, and a bottom-up strategy.

    Strategy, talking points and messaging coordination comes from on high. Think tanks provide ideological grist and counterpoints so that no liberal statement or critique, no matter how well rooted in logic and reality, need ever go unanswered. Think tanks, corporate boards, and fellowships, particularly when combined with book deals and speaking fees provide for a very deep bench. These provide safe income for those tasked with delivering messages so shocking and idiotic that they both shift the Overton window and potentially make the messenger otherwise unemployable for a considerable time.

    The funneling of public property and government money into private hands and rewriting of rules to make corporate profits easier, in return for private money going into GOP campaigns drives the system. Bottom line remains: Buying a republican pays dividends in unions thwarted, regulations sidestepped, sweetheart deals offered.

    The bottom up strategy is a tenacious blight as every national change gets translated by local officials who can selectively support or resist selectively. It has also been the GOP preferred sop to the Christian right. It is also a useful placeholder. School boards, utility commissions, beautification committees are small time but locally useful.

    Progressives have no such organization, are not willing to subordinate their desires, and demands for ideological purity, to a larger cause, and are not engaged at the local level. The left, as a point of honor, make sure supporting left leaning causes is almost always a loosing proposition for contributors.

  11. I have friends and acquaintences that don’t vote. It’s sad to see them convinced of doing the very thing that inadvertently helps contrarian powers.

  12. Bit late to this perhaps, but here goes. Politics IS broken. Let us first take that as simple fact. Liberalism, Libertarianism, Conservatism… these are political philosophies each starting with a different set of premises. So, of course they can never agree using the same logic. These philosophies exist as windows into the real world of economics and politics, but using only one as the lens you use to view the real world will make you myopic. ALL political philosophies have merit. You can certainly create say, a safety net, but you will still have to create the capital to do it. (Liberals tend to forget that EVERYTHING cost money, no matter the morality behind it. Conservatives seem to forget the moral philosophy at the center of their icons like Adam Smith).

    The two-party system we currently have is the death-knell of the US, at least according to several of our founders. John Adams said the two party system “is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution”. (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Adams). Washington warned of it in his farewell address (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Washington%27s_Farewell_Address#22). Does not the two-party system force us to choose the lesser of two evils? And if so does that not mean that all you are ever doing is choosing evil? Also, I bring up our first two Presidents for a reason, that being that current politicians spend some 40% of their time schlepping for money for their _next_ election. Add in the lobbyists and special interest groups and really we are back to where we were before the Republic existed… no actual representation.

    Folks like to claim issues as ‘Liberal’ and such, but this is cognitive dissonance. There are issues, and there are political philosophies from which to look at those issues. You do not have to tie yourself to a single political philosophy and when you do you have basically shut your eyes to lots of other understanding that is needed to understand issues.

    I’m not condoning the choice to not vote, but I think it is foolish to write people off as simply apathetic. These complaints about our political system ARE VALID arguments in and of themselves. It comes down to whether you want to throw your name into the hat and are willing to take the backwash of crap that always accompanies the two-party system circle jerk. As a life-long atheist I don’t fear religion. I fear religious people, and people can be religious about all kinds of things (go to a football game). The liberal or conservative who has taken their political philosophy and warped it into a theology that cannot be challenged and MUST be the correct moral philosophy is every bit as scary as Ken Ham could ever be.

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