Wednesday, November 05, 2008

post-election post

So, Barack Obama.

And, so far, almost assuredly Yes on Prop 8 in California, denying the right of marriage to same-sex couples just months after the California Supreme Court ruled that such a ban was unconstitutionally prejudicial. Simple solution: legalize discrimination. I can't say very much with intelligence for very long on this issue, before the rage overtakes me, and I've spent all my intelligence on it today talking with students.

It's intellectually so damaging and painful even to think through the arguments that I've blown a gasket. In sum: no one person or group's moral or religious conviction gives that person or group moral authority to impose their will. That's the tyranny of the majority, not democracy. Further: every argument for Prop 8 was both based on a false premise, and intellectually dishonest. To wit: the claim that Prop 8 was needed to avoid having clergy being held legally liable for choosing not to marry same-sex couples. (1) Legal same sex marriage does not impose legal demands that any clergy member marry anyone against his or her will. (2) Any clergy member could be sued by anyone for anything at any time, so Prop 8 will not protect them from this. In effect, then, Prop 8 does not do what the proponents claim it would do. Since it will not do this, it only achieves one, simple, legal effect: to discriminate against same-sex couples.

That's it on this one, for now. I'm done. Ask me again, and I'll start insulting breeders.

Back to Barack Obama. Aside from my feeling like he's going to be a good president, I'm proud we elected him. I think the effect on "race" issues is being overblown, but electing a black President is clearly historically important.

On the way home from night class, I remembered two presidential political comments I'd made in the past. One is that Obama fits the pattern of the last 48 years of TV presidents: better hair wins. (Seriously, somebody should be studying this.) The other is that I randomly remembered a satire I wrote November 7, 2000, the year Bush was not elected President, but later selected by the US Supreme Court. It was a satire mainly of US narrow-minded political life, and of US newz media. It was also, in the context of that year, a satire of the result of that election, to wit, that there was no result on November 7. It's titled White Guy Wins Election. And you know what? It's not going to be funny any more.

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