What determines our ideologies? Why do wealthy liberals like Seth MacFarlane and Warren Buffett support higher taxes for the wealthy? Why do straight liberals care about gay rights? Why are liberal men pro-choice? Because while they do care about themselves, they also care about others; they're compassionate, they're empathetic.
If you're a straight, white, American-born, fair-skinned, Christian, male business owner who is in the top 1% of the economic spectrum: vote Republican; vote for the party that is fighting to maintain your power and privilege.
If you're not all of those things and you vote Republican, why?
If you're a member of the LGBT community, the Republican party is pushing legislation on state and federal levels to limit your rights. They think it should be legal for your employer to fire you for the sole fact that you're gay. They think bullies who harass you in school should be protected. They don't think you should be able to marry the person you love. Even if you are in a lifelong, monogamous, committed relationship, they don't think you and your partner should be treated any differently than complete strangers.
If you're not white, or even if you look like you could have been born in a different country, the Republican party believes that you should be required to produce paperwork showing your right to be in this country on demand. And if you don't carry your birth certificate, student visa, or work permit with you every where you go, they believe you should be detained. This is the definition of racial profiling.
If you're a Muslim, Republicans think you're a terrorist. They believe you have connection to radical terrorist organizations in the Middle East. They don't believe you should be allowed to open up places of worship where you want, even if you're following local zoning and tax laws. If you're an Atheist, they believe you hate Christians and family values. They believe their Christian beliefs are superior to yours and that they should legislate on behalf of them (who cares about the 1st Amendment, anyway).
If you are a female, Republicans think you are too dumb to make your own healthcare decisions, and that they should make them for you. They don't believe employers should be required to pay you the same as your male coworkers, even for the same work. They believe that if you are raped and a pregnancy is the result of said rape, you should be required to carry the pregnancy to term. They believe that if you are raped, and you file charges, you are a, "rape accuser," and only a, "rape victim," when the offender is found guilty.
If you are someone who is employed by someone else, Republicans believe that your employer should be able to pay you whatever he or she wants, that there should be no standard (minimum wage). They don't believe that your employer should be required to provide you with healthcare. They don't believe that you and your coworkers should have the right to form a union and bargain for better work conditions, in fact they think the employers should be able to set their own work conditions. You think without federal regulations you would get good pay and your workplace would be safe? Doubtful.
If you are not a millionaire or billionaire, the Republican party thinks you are a lazy freeloader. They want to take away things that benefit the poor and middle class, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public transit, public education, clean water and air standards, public roads, Pell Grants, etc. Although most of those things are paid for by your taxes, they don't think you deserve them, they'd rather use your taxes to bail out big banks and give subsidies to oil companies.
Generally, I don't like painting groups of people with broad strokes. I know there used to be diversity amongst Republicans, now they're all cut from the same cloth. Consider the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary as an example. Ron Paul was the most extreme and Mitt Romney was the most moderate, but their differences were so minuscule they're not even worth mentioning.
Groups like the Log Cabin Republicans and Concerned Women for America bother me. Their dedication to vote for people who want to strip them of their rights doesn't make any sense to me. This makes me think there are only two reasons why people keep voting against their own interests: they are too stupid to know what's going on, or they're masochists, they like being degraded and belittled.
Conservatives use a handful of arguments against gay rights. Some of the most used arguments are that homosexuality is in defiance of biblical teachings and that marriage has traditionally been between one man and one woman.
Religion and tradition have been conservatives' arguments against other social movements in American history.
The arguments for and against slavery in the mid-1800s were some of the most contentious in American history (what other issues have single-handedly led to a civil war?). Abolitionists' arguments were primarily about human rights. Those who believed in slavery pointed out that the Bible tells slaves to obey their masters (Colossians 3:22), and that slavery was an element of society for thousands of years, it was "tradition."
The women's suffrage movement, which started in the 1850s and lasted for almost sixty years, had similar debates. Conservatives argued that traditionally, men led and made the important decisions, while women were homemakers and caretakers. They argued that the Bible told women to submit themselves to their husbands (Colossians 3:18), so giving women the right to vote would be defying biblical teachings.
Slaves were legally freed in 1865, but racial equality has still not been achieved. The African American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s included a wide array of issues, including voting rights, segregation, and anti-discrimination legislation. Supporters of the movement argued for human rights. Opponents of the movement argued for tradition. Historically in America, African-Americans had been viewed as inferior to Caucasians. People who argued against the movement believed that life in America as we knew it would be over if racial equality were to be achieved.
These types of arguments perpetuate every social issue in modern history, including reproductive rights, interracial marriage, and gender roles.
Opposing gay rights used to be a winning issue, just consider "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Time is changing, and so is public opinion. Same-sex marriage is legal in six states, the District of Columbia, and even some Native American tribes. One of the two major parties in American politics even added marriage equality to its official platform. And polls show that more people support marriage equality than oppose it.
"American history is really a war…It’s a battle between those who want to extend freedom and opportunity and rights and those who want to restrict them. It’s taken a long time, it’s been a brutal struggle for women’s rights, African American rights, for gay rights…but in the end, the people who fight to enlarge our liberty, tend to win the argument." -Chris MatthewsProgressives are fighting to enlarge our liberty, and they are slowly but surely winning the argument for LGBT equality. If the people who oppose gay rights were alive in the mid 1900s, they'd be the ones protesting the end of segregation. In the early 1900s, they'd be the ones protesting against women's suffrage. In the mid 1800s, they'd be the ones protesting against abolition. Conservatives are on the wrong side of this issue, and the American people are starting to see that. Soon enough they'll look just as stupid as the conservatives of previous eras.
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