Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Super Tuesday Y'all!

Today, perhaps more than any other so far, its a giant challenge to stay the course and stay off my Facebook. It's the "Super Tuesday" primaries and I am a political animal cut off from my favorite watering hole. So of course I'm going to blog about it.

Because my state does stupid stuff like this: 

As I am typing this my congressional representatives are voting on a bill that would make it legal for counselors to refuse to treat people (read LGBTQIAA people).

"No counselor or therapist providing counseling or therapy services shall be required to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist; provided, that the counselor or therapist coordinates a referral of the client to another counselor or therapist who will provide the counseling or therapy. (WREG.COM)

In a couple of hours they'll also be voting to on a bill,

that would require public school students to use the bathroom assigned to the sex shown on their birth certificate. (WATE.COM)
I don't even want to begin to THINK how they're planning to police and enforce that one. 

Tomorrow they're planning to defund the diversity department at one of our largest state funded colleges and use that money to put "In God We Trust" on state and local police vehicles.  I kid you not.

SB 1912
Tennessee Senate Bill
Budget Procedures - As introduced, prohibits state funds from being expended in support of the office for diversity and inclusion at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; diverts such funding to a program for placing decals of the national motto on local and state law enforcement vehicles. - Amends TCA Title 9 and Title 49 (Openstates.org)
Wrapping up the week they're going to engage in a useless and expensive effort to turn back marriage equality in defiance of the ruling of SCOTUS from last June. 

THIS is why voting matters. Whether you believe that these are horrible ideas (and I do) or wonderful ones your primary means of influencing the outcome is in your right to vote. I was raised to believe that voting was both a sacred right and a civic duty. People fought and bled and died for you and me to have that right and its a sin and a shame that less than half of us exercise it in any given election. The only way a representative democracy like ours works is if all of us who are given the right to vote exercise the responsibility to actually do so. 

I was at Sam's club this morning after we went to the polls as a family and the guy in the tire center who had replaced my flat tire commented on the "I Voted Today" sticker I was wearing. He opined that what really mattered was not voting but voting for the right person. I didn't ask who he thought that was or offer who I did. I simply told him that I disagree. What matters is that you vote. 

I don't care if you are so disgusted with your options that you write in the Man in the Moon. You're exercising your rights and shouldering your civic responsibilities and by doing so you're letting your voice be a part of the conversation. If you tell me you don't vote, I really don't want to hear your opinion. If you can't be bothered to take the time out of your day that you're entitled by law to take and go and vote then you lose your right to complain about the outcome of the elections that you didn't participate in. 

And when I'm making those phone calls or sending those e-mails to my legislators on matters that matter to me you better believe that I remind them that I have a very long memory and I vote. 

So get out there and do it. We Did!

Until tomorrow, Peace. 

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