I’m watching some folks in a forum rehash bits and pieces of the abortion argument, and in response to the token extreme-right-wing-christian, the much more liberal majority keeps asking, what gives you the right to give your opinions the force of law?

It’s painful. They are so heartbreakingly close to making sense, but they cannot ask the question of themselves, and without that…


(To clarify: They’re exactly right on the topic of abortion. It’s nobody’s business at all. The terrible thing is that they cannot seem to generalize from that observation. If one may not give one’s opinion of abortion the force of law, then why can one give one’s opinion of motorcycle helmets the force of law? Or one’s opinion of proper income distribution

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, for that matter…they are so damned close to the root of the thing, they could see it from where they are, but they never will. There’s a beam in the way.)

Here’s something else that baffles me:

I’ve got no idea why anybody would be puzzled by the reluctance of folks who are behind on their mortgage to just call their lender and try to work something out.

When you just can’t pay

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, what good would it do?

And even if you could pay something, the prevailing image of lenders of all types is that they aren’t willing to take that. Perhaps that is incorrect, or perhaps things have changed, but my impression has always been that you’d do better talking to a wall, and it’d be less humiliating. If that impression is incorrect

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, they might want to publicize the fact.

You know…

You wouldn’t have to worry so much about how much of your money they’re taking and who they might be giving it to if you could see that they have no true right to do so.

You vote

, you “legitimize” their theft, and then you complain that they don’t conduct the raids to your specifications.

You sound like children, and not particularly bright ones.

You wonder why folks don’t vote?

I can talk all day about the abstract issues behind all of this, but try just looking at my life:

We’ve fallen a bit down the economic ladder. Extended unemployment, yadda, yadda, yadda. In an effort to keep a roof over our heads, I’ve taken a job at the Mega Lo Mart, stocking stuff and stuff accessories. My choices this November will be between Fellow A and Fellow B.

Fellow A is the representative of Party R, which has a reputation for celebrating the awesome force that is the American worker while showering hate on the same. Last time I checked, Party R was thoroughly convinced that people in my situation don’t exist, and that if we do then those are the just wages of our own irresponsibility. The party-line talking-point blah blah blah says that nobody even attempts to support a family on minimum or near-minimum wage jobs, and that the other party is misguided in its attempts to meddle with the minimum wage because it only affects a few teenagers with their first jobs anyway (when really, of course, that’s not the problem with it at all, but bear with me, here). Also? I was supposed to know that I’d someday suffer misfortune *before* I had sex with my husband, because I clearly didn’t have the resources to support those kids if I’m having trouble supporting those kids. There’s no such thing as bad luck in Party R.

How am I supposed to vote for that?

Now Fellow B, he’s from Party D and he talks a real slick line. But Party D? *They’ve* got a reputation for looking at folks like me and deciding that we need to be helped. And how do they help us? By taking money away from *other* hardworking folks and giving it to us, of course. After we grovel appropriately and prove our worthiness by completing mysterious rituals designed to humiliate. When they’re done taking the hope out of you, those same folk then get to point to you as an example of just how damned hard it is to lift oneself out of poverty and they justify their jobs thereby. Few note the irony. Actually managing a climb out of this pit of despond results in that money that you worked for being taken to give to someone who hasn’t escaped. Now that’s an incentive program!

How am I supposed to vote for that?

Seriously. Does a body even *need* a philosophical basis to avoid the whole mess? A choice between two brands of authoritarianism, both of which wish to use my life and my hard work as political chess pieces…what the hell kind of choice is that? And why am *I* the one being reviled for saying, neither, please?

The world truly has gone mad.