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Utah voters passed 3 progressive policies last November.
- Prop 2 – legalizing the use of medical marijuana
- Prop 3 – Expanding Medicaid health insurance
- Prop 4 – an anti-gerrymandering measure
Utah voters also elected Republicans that are openly against legal marijuana, Medicaid and are pro-gerrymandering. Now, Utah voters are outraged that the newly elected Congressman are dismantling the Props that the people approved coming to the conclusion that your vote doesn’t matter. Is that actually true?
The new year has caused me to be very self reflective. What are my strengths and weaknesses as a parent, wife and friend. All the normal resolutions bump around in my head. Cook more, eat healthy, read to the kids more, keep the house cleaner, etc. It is a familiar routine. There has been one major difference with this new year though. Last year I launched the blog. I have spent half of the year in a new, and often uncomfortable, place. Putting my political views ‘out there’ definitely threw a wrench in things! I struggled to cope with hateful comments and unsolicited sexually explicit pictures. I felt weighed down by the workload, pressure from my self imposed deadlines and constantly behind on the other duties of my life. I went through months of self doubt after opposing arguments made their way through my social media accounts on a near daily basis. Because of this, I spent many hours examining my own positions. Why do I feel the way I do? This was the question on my mind as I was reading through the Declaration of Independence recently. There’s a section in it that we all are quite familiar with:
“…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
After months of introspection, this line jumped off the page for me. This single line, and my firm belief in it, can explain the roots of my progressive views. First of all, the definition of unalienable must be understood. Unalienable, nowadays inalienable, means unable to be taken away or given away by a possessor. So, unalienable rights cannot be taken/given away. The rights that are specifically listed are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In my mind, the industries that impact these three rights, that cannot to be taken/given away, should not be for- profit.
Life: It’s time for universal healthcare
The right to life is directly impacted by the healthcare system. Every living and breathing human should be able to get the healthcare they need regardless of age, condition, financial position, housing status or any other factor if life is truly an unalienable right. Insurance companies, personal finances and employment status dictates an Americans right to life as it stands currently.
Liberty: No for-profit prisons
Prisons or immigrant detention facilities shouldn’t be financial goldmines for anyone. This only incentivizes longer sentences and more detainees directly impacting the unalienable right to liberty. The prison system and society don’t integrate former inmates back into regular life efficiently causing people to continually end up back in prison. If we treated liberty as the unalienable right that it is we would focus more on rethinking how we treat our incarcerated community to help ensure liberty is restored and sustained.
Pursuit of Happiness: Public education from PreK – Secondary Education
The pursuit of happiness is all about retaining the ability to change your circumstances. Education is vital in this pursuit and should be available to all from preschool through secondary education. As it stands now, banks and universities decide who gets to try, therefore deciding who gets the unalienable right to pursue happiness. There should be a public education option at every level of education to ensure that every American has equal opportunity to change their station.
These things, driven by empathy, are what forms my basic ideology. This is why I find myself on the left side of the political spectrum. Some call these ideas radical. I call them bold and ambitious. Having a healthy, educated population is an investment that is worth all the time and money that would have to be spent to make it a reality. 2019 will be full of surprises I’m sure. Hopefully some bold, ambitious policies will be one of them.
There seems to be a steady drumbeat of headlines warning democrats not to drift too far to the left. Fears of isolating moderates is cited as the primary reason for holding the center. This debate reminds me of a conversation I had with my dad a couple years ago.
I was dating someone (the person before I met my delightful husband lol) and we had just decided to become exclusive. Now, this person had an ex that was still in love with him. He made time for her and insisted that I couldn’t be part of it because it would hurt her feelings. For me, this felt like we were not exclusive. I was complaining to my dad about the the situation and I was coming up with solutions we could all live with. “ Maybe he could see her once a week,” I would say. “Maybe he can only hang out with her in group settings.”
My dad was listening to me negotiate with myself without much to add. Finally, I asked him what he thought about it. He told me if you come to the table with the solution that you’ve negotiated with yourself then, for sure, you won’t get what you want and you will likely agree to something you think is completely unacceptable. It stopped me in my tracks. He asked me what do you really want? Do you really want the person you’re dating to see another woman once a week? Do you really want another person to have the power to put boundaries around your relationship?
Clearly the answer was no to both these questions. What I wanted was for him to tell her that he’s dating someone else now and that their relationship was over. Sure that sounded bold and he might reject it, but that’s exactly what I wanted. If I was going to compromise, I should enter the negotiation with exactly what I want even though I truly believed I wouldn’t get it. If I started the negotiation with a position that was already watered down then I was bound to be pushed further than I would like to go. There’s also the off chance that by starting with what I wanted, I might just get it.
This conversation with my dad is so similar to the debate that is going on the in the democratic party right now. While I understand the fear of moving to the left, I think it’s time for democrats to be bold, to say what they we think, even if the chances of that happening once in office is low. We must come to the table with uncompromised positions. The compromising happens after you take office.
A campaign needs to be easy to understand. Trump proved to us that quick, digestible positions make a big impact. Build a Wall! Repeal and Replace! Of course these positions would have to be watered down in office, but the bones of what was constantly chanted run through the administration to this day. Why can’t dems do the same? Healthcare for All!, which can mean repairing the ACA, moving to a Medicare for all system or anything in between. Education For All!, which can mean more funding for public schools, free college tuition or anything in between. Justice For All!, can mean comprehensive criminal justice reform, protecting illegal immigrants rights or anything in between.
Sure, each of these things are complicated and will take multiple steps to achieve, but the bones are there. The country is so diverse. Every candidate should feel free to say exactly what they believe will help the constituents they are trying to represent. 2016 turned us on our heads and it’s time to try something new. The risk/reward is in democrats favor. We should run like we have nothing to lose. It’s gonna range from screaming Abolish Ice in California to pro-gun liberals in Pennsylvania and we have to be ok with that. I love that people are deciding to run on strong progressive positions. Fear of being ‘too left’ has lead us to this point and it’s time to think outside the box. We need to move forward unafraid of what the other side will say because the other side is ever ready to twist anything democrats say no matter how moderate the position. We should just go for it!
Read more about this subject here:
Here in Utah, I am a Democrat in a Republican state. I am a nonreligious person in a predominantly LDS community. I am a mother of a special needs child. I am a stay-at-home mom in the age of the working woman. I have spent years feeling isolated. I started this channel to find other people that might feel the same as I do. This video is a little more about me.
After the election of Donald Trump, I found that my husband and I lived on different planets. The more we talked about social issues and politics the further apart we drifted. I decided that it was time to take a different approach with him. I listened, I asked questions and I highlighted examples from our own lives, many having to do with our autistic child, illustrating why I feel the way I do. After a year of constant discussion, we have found each other again.
I truly believe that if everyone can use a little more empathy, look up and see what others are going through everything would be a lot better. My goal is to encourage people to lean left to create a society that is more inclusive, more empathetic and safer for all.
It is time to come out of hiding. My goal is to empower you: the silent observer. To provide knowledge to every American man, woman, and child who has an opinion but has been falsely convinced that they don’t know enough about politics to be allowed to share it. Abandon that belief. You are an American. Your voice matters. Rise up and stand for what is right. For family. For justice. For equality and humanity. This blog is for you. And together, our strong collective voices can change this world for the better.
Follow live on Twitter: @blumom_redstate