Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dear Facebook Users...

Please save your political opinions for a better forum, especially your ignorant, rude opinions. This election season has really brought out the true colors of people on Facebook. Hiding behind a computer it is very easy, I think, to voice your opinions about things and, A. be totally uninformed, but think you sound super smart, and B. not have the fear of someone calling you out to your face. I don't generally air my political leanings on any public forum because, well, they are personal. If you know me well, you probably know my party alignment and what I believe, but that information is just not for everyone to know. When I was little, I can remember my parents talking about elections and voting and I don't think I even knew their political viewpoints. This may be because, as a 5 year old, I didn't really "get" politics, but I also think it's because politics are private. Maybe to be debated and discussed with close friends (or an AP English class...), but not to share with every acquaintance (and, let's face it, stranger) you have.

That being said, I am particularly disgusted with the narrow-mindedness of some people. I will probably focus, here, on more conservative comments I have read because I haven't seen many disparaging comments from a liberal base (the liberal base seems to be more rah! rah! Obama). This is my favorite recent comment from multiple FB sources:

"Obama will take the early lead on Tuesday. Then the Republicans will catch up when they get off of work."

How close minded. I have many friends and family members who are democrats. Every single one of them has a job. They are teachers, businessmen, nurses, etc...Each one of them pays their own way and works hard for their families. Republicans aren't the only people who work. This comment seems totally off base and completely, and utterly ignorant (not to mention rude). (And, many will, but please don't read into this as my own political inclination, I think anyone who read this would see how awful the comment is...)

I have also read numerous lies about the referendums passed in Maryland. There were three referendums passed in Maryland that made local, and national, headlines. They are:

1. The Dream Act
2. Marriage Equality
3. Expanding casinos and table games (I am not going to talk about this one...)

First, the Dream Act. I have been doing a lot of reading lately about the candidates and the various referendums because my AP class has been doing research of policies and current issues facing our nation. Many people believe the Dream Act just gives illegals the right to pay in state rates at state universities and take legal citizens spots. This, however, is not completely true. In all, I believe 12 states have adapted some form of the Dream Act. The way it will be enacted in MD is actually the strictest interpretation of this law, thus far. The MD law has the following provisions:

1. The parents of the student have to have paid taxes in Maryland for 3 years.
2. The student must attend 2 years of community college prior to transferring to a 4 year university.
3. The student must graduate from a MD high school.
4. There must be intent to apply for permanent residency.
5. The student must register with the selective service.
6. The referendum provides that students qualifying for in-state tuition rates by this method will not be counted as in-state students for purposes of counting undergraduate enrollment.

So, you must meet these standards to even qualify. This means, ultimately, that very few students will likely qualify. Meaning...spots will not be taken away from MD citizens at universities, and students will not be wasting time or money. It is actually quite a process. Additionally, the goal of this it to not only get more undocumented citizens to become citizens, but to also, eventually, have more tax paying citizens. Students who attend a 4 year college are more likely to get a better job...and will then pay taxes. I teach Puritanism, I can't help but think that my own ancestors were the ultimate illegal immigrants...came to America, took land, scared the Native Americans away (but first took their food and used them for help), and eventually pushed the Native Americans onto reservations.

Finally, the Marriage Equality Act. I will say, I am all for this. Enthusiastically. I have many gay friends who deserve the same right to marry that I am afforded. They are good people, they are in loving relationships, and they have every single right to be married to the person they love. This has nothing to do with church. Or God. Or any of that. It has to do with two people loving one another. It has to do with equality. Bottom line.

(I think the divorce rate, infidelity, celebrities who marry for 2 seconds and are revered as gods, etc...have much, much more to do with the loss of the sanctity of marriage than two people, of the same gender, who love each other desiring to marry...)

So, I saved my moderately political rant for my blog. I know, still public, but not out there like Facebook for everyone to see (I mean, you have to click this link to read this!). Again, I am not saying if I am a democrat or republican, I just think, when it comes down to it, we all need to have faith in humanity. We must treat each other in a civil, respectful way. By any other means, means nothing will ever be accomplished. I want my daughter to grow up in a society where she feels loved, and respected, and accepted no.matter.what. I want people to look within themselves and realize that we must band together and not let our bipartisanship blind us to the humanity that connects all of us. We do have a rough road ahead, and would have had one no matter who was elected president yesterday. So, please, the next time an election comes around think before you speak, or write, status update...whatever.

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