Gun Control, Abortion Rights, LBGT Civil Rights (someone please tell me how this is not a Civil Rights issue) – quite a bit going on this week and next. As our Congress spends the majority of time playing pocket pool and continues to demonstrate ineptitude beyond belief, they systematically ignore where this country has been and is heading in these areas. Recent legislative efforts by Kansas and North Dakota (again, both states that never make the top 10 list for admirable points for which most strive) to outlaw abortion, again demonstrates a vendetta against Women’s rights and a direction counter where most people in this country are. The Supreme Court this week will hear two cases crucial to the pace of progress in giving LGBT citizens their civil rights and equality under the law. Gun Control – little progress in even what a thinking and feeling person might think would be an easy step forward – Universal background checks.
In every case the American public who, as a whole, is well ahead of the political musings and stances, makes it clear they support abortion rights (a woman’s right to choice, let’s be clear), LGBT equality and the right to marry, and better gun control (in particular Universal background checks). The problem is in the details as we look at the state and local level and the way political divisions have been drawn. We end up with a clear division of view of where the Federal should have rule and set law and where it should fall to the State and Local. While I don’t always believe the Federal Government is right and should be making choices for States, I would be more inclined to move decision-making for these specific issues I’ve cited to the State and Local levels if I actually believed they had the intellectual and social where-with-all to make smart decisions. Again, my judgment to sure but making decisions based on bible teachings, views that harken back to how we used to treat both women and Blacks in our country and lastly, some misguided view that the government is trying to take everyone’s weapons seems to fall short of the yardstick of a civilized and informed society.
“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” – Mark Twain
That being said, I am willing to take a shot at letting the states have their way. We can move these sorts of decisions out there and let the states decide for their people. However, I suggest we should also begin to play approach out to the full extent of the concept. If you really want the Federal government out of your shorts, sounds good to me but then let’s make it incumbent on the States to then provide everything the Federal Government provides today – try that for health care costs. We can let the States deal with the repercussions of making abortions illegal. We can watch as States continue to outlaw LGBT Civil Rights. We can let more idiots own guns in those States that want it and watch more people die from the results. End of the day, the costs, both financial and social, can sit with the State.
What happens is that we get more pockets of the same type of people living in different states as people with a social conscience and intellect migrate either to those more progressive states. We can watch the distribution of income and educated people move around at the same time – sorry but I would expect that the median income and level of education isn’t going to rise in the South or places like North Dakota and Kansas. And these states will lose most everyone there who have kept their state within arm’s-length of civility and humanity (maybe even Texas has a few). At some point it will become obvious that the longer-term impact of attitudes and mindsets from the 50’s isn’t a step forward. Sad commentary but maybe we let them have what they want. I for one might actually see my Federal tax bill drop a bit when I’m no longer having my tax dollars going to states that are the “Takers” and depend on Federal support to run their states – interesting that as of 2011, we now have 30 of the 50 states having 1/3rd of their state budget dependent on Federal funding (my state is one of them) and two states (Oklahoma and Louisiana) with more than 50% of their state budget Federally funded.
Sometimes you just can’t protect people from themselves. However, we can only hope that people at some point realize that life isn’t a smorgasbord – it’s basically “Eat what’s on your plate” – some you want and some you don’t but in the end it’s all there for a reason. And if you’re good, you might get some .
“All government — indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act — is founded on compromise and barter.” – Edmund Burke