Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Apple Pie and American Politics

I think this article is right, for some of the 2020 candidates the catch phrase response for hard ball questions are "Well, I want to have a conversation" which in reality means, "I got nothing." From McKay Coppins,

"The truth is that when politicians are pleading for a national conversation, it is usually because they are trying to avoid one."

Perhaps in contrast (I don't know really) today I was listening to the Bernie Sanders interview on the NPR Politics podcast and heard him frankly say that when it comes to gun control and mass shootings he doesn't know what the solution is outside of banning assault rifles. I want to believe that when leaders admit they don't have a solution, but they are completely invested in finding one (and as a bonus have legislative history that shows their commitment) it can invite voices to the table. More voices means more ideas which means better ideas which means solutions. I really believe this is the very best chance we have at sustaining a working democracy.

Speaking of conversations, yesterday I went to meet with my Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie. Ivie, recently came out as Utah's first gay Republican government leader. This gave a lot of us progressives here a moment of pause. I didn't expect Ivie to start voting like a wanton lib (snowflake lib?) but I did think his particular situation (being raised in this homophobic county in the closet his entire life) could be a conduit to having our voices heard. Last week he voted for a non-binding anti-abortion "resolution" which was more about dog whistling and circus tricks for fellow commissioner Bill Lee than it was about a serious debate on women's health care choices.

I called him out on social media. His office contacted me for a meeting. Yesterday, after passing an entire hallway display of photographs after photographs of past white, male, conservative, straight (for all we know) commissioners I entered into Ivie's office for a solid chat about why I believe women should have full autonomy over their own health care choices. We disagreed on some things, but we did agree on two things: Utah County needs to do more about comprehensive sex ed, access to birth control and better options at our county health department AND the non-binding anti-abortion "resolution" was a asshole move (my word, not his!) (also I didn't say that word in the meeting, I am a lady)(ladies can say asshole anytime they want, of course)(I choose to curse strategically, like at my children when I need to) in attempt to rally the base over women's bodies.

Which makes me really, really sick. And take serious pause about living here--like I do every single day of my Provo-living life.

But he was willing to accept data on the rates of internalized misogyny here in Utah County which makes things tricky when you see and hear women on the daily support policies and positions that continue to oppress and hurt them and other marginalized groups. It makes no sense, until you see the data and are forced to ask yourself--"Yeah, why is it so many women are ok with the gender inferiority in almost all areas of their lives?" I know because I used to be one of those women. I mean, I am still in many ways trying to pick apart my own penchant for oppressing everyone but the faces of men in those photographs lining the hallway.

I think that's all I wanted to say on that today. I mean, besides, Lord, let us beat Trump I pray with all the vigor of my social-justice-warrior passionate heart.

In Michelle Obama's name, amen.