Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Turning Republicans Rational

This weekend I had an in depth conversation with an intelligent and coherent Bush supporter.

I picked up some new insight and understandings, along with ideas on how to better convince these people to adopt my views, and how to inform them about where they are being mislead by the Republicans in areas that we already agree though it isn’t as obvious as it should be.

I’m not sure how easy it would be to sell these ideas to the masses since the masses don’t really pay much attention to politics, but trickle-down thinking might work out on the subjects of Abortion, Civil Rights, Religion, Gay Marriage, and Social Security.

Let me break it down:

Abortion

You shouldn’t try convincing someone that abortion isn’t murder, this is a very emotional issue that most people just won’t budge on. People who feel strongly about abortion one way or another will vote for whichever politician backs their view, regardless of how great or horrible the politician’s qualities are in other areas.

But I think Democrats can make some headway even with Pro-Life’ers, it just will take a little educating and maybe some minor policy tweaks in areas that I’m sure we can all agree on:

Countless studies have shown that realistic sex-education about condom use increases condom use without increasing sexual activity, and that "abstinence only" programs don’t work. Republicans will say that this simply doesn’t make sense, because thinking about it logically, it really doesn’t. We have to show them why it is true, and find a way to frame the issue so that the overall Democrat position would actually lead to a net reduction in abortions without actually making them illegal or difficult to obtain.

An outright legal ban on all abortions would cut back on the amount of abortions, but seriously, Bush has had four years to do it and the political climate didn’t let it happen. This is largely due to the fight we’ve been putting up, which we must not cower from, but if we can convince Pro-Lifers that making it illegal wont work and that they should try something new, we will come out with a pretty good compromise.

Here are some statistics to back this up:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/12/6/145758/107

A few abortion foe’s told me about how there are a lot of teens especially in urban black communities who don’t use any sort of birth control and have had five or six abortions without thinking anything of it. This strikes me as sort of gross, I can’t imagine birth control (by way of condoms or at least the pill or an implant) being less comfortable than an abortion. If this is a myth it needs to be widely debunked. If it is true, we really need to do something about it (making birth control options more easily available, education, whatever) – most of these urban areas are largely democratic where we already have the power to implement such programs.

Let me clarify that I don’t think we should cave one inch on abortion. They should be easy to get, and treated as a regular medical procedure that a woman has no reason to be embarrassed about. But we should do more to prevent pregnancies in the first place so that less people need to get abortions, kind of like preventing cancer through sun-block before it has to actually be treated.

While you’re at it, apply these ideas to the morning after pill, and global efforts to fight AIDS (by promoting abstinence only programs instead of condom use in Africa they are directly murdering thousands of people. We need to call them on this.)


Civil Rights and The ACLU

Every republican I spoke with strongly disliked the ACLU, but when I listed off the specific things the ACLU fights for, they were strongly agreed with. They thought the ACLU was ridiculous for mounting legal challenges on the words “Under God” being in the pledge of allegiance and the presidential confirmation.

Is this true? If it is, the ACLU really needs to focus on things that actually matter. If not, we need to debunk this and loud! There is no reason for the ACLU to be a strictly Democrat organization, the things they fight for are things an overwhelming majority of Americans will agree with when properly framed.

The only issues I know for certain that the ACLU strongly supports that a significant chunk of our population does not are gay marriages (which I will get to in a moment), and abortion (which I have just addressed). For the sake of strengthening the ACLU’s arguments all around, I think they should back out of back out of Abortion and leave that fight to organizations like Planned Parenthood. I don’t think we should back off on abortion, but I think the ACLU in specific should, it will be well worth the supporters we will pick up in other areas to better protect our civil liberties all around.


Religion

We are generally branded as a bunch of bitter atheists who are out of touch with God. I’m personally an atheist, but I don’t think religion has to be absent from the Democratic platform, especially when nearly all Democrat social ideas go along with morals preached by every major religion there is (including Christianity). The Republicans have hijacked the word “moral” to mean “anti abortion. anti homosexuality, and anti-profanity” while leaving out a whole slew of moral issues like dealing with poverty, the death penalty, education, and even economical issues and ethics.

We must stand firm by the constitution in not letting the government respect one religion over another, but we should be using the bible to fight for our social programs when our audience is the religious just as we use statistics and science to justify our social programs when our audience is academia.

Kos wrote something really tight about this recently but I can’t find the link, maybe later...


Gay Marriage

I don’t understand why, but there is far greater objection to the word “marriage” than to the granting of legal rights to gay couples. Since the Republicans I spoke with weren’t homophobic, they supported gay rights, just not the word “marriage” which they gave extra “moral weight” to. The compromise that everyone agreed on was for the government to stop using the M word all together and exclusively grant civil unions (regardless of gender), leaving the semantics game up to the church.

This would probably have to be passed on a state by state level, but I think it is well worth it and would do a lot of good.

As for dealing with the homophobic, we should keep trying to reach them, but really will just have to wait for the majority to die off like Racists a few generations back. These are some deep-rooted beliefs comparable to those on abortion that are really hard to change.


Social Security

There isn’t much for me to say that hasn’t been said by Marshal, Drum, Kos, or just about any Democrat blogger out there. It took a lot of explaining, but I was able to convince everyone I spoke with that there was no crisis and that the presidents plan was a horrible one. We just have to educate the masses in easy to understand terms.

====

Since I usually blog about parties and rock-n-roll this is a pretty long post, so I’ll shut up here.

I really don’t care if the people in power label themselves as “Republicans” or “Democrats” or “libertarians” or whatever, these are all just labels. I do care about what they do with their power, how good their ideas are for America (and the world), and about their leadership qualities. As it stands, Democrats best reflect my views, but I would love for the Republicans or anyone else to embrace a little common sense here.

2 Comments:

At 3:01 AM, Blogger Avi said...

There is some talk about this over at the DailyKos:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/2/8/44212/46703#6

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Freudian Crip said...

fianlly legit!

 

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