Just the ramblings of another atheist dismayed by religion's grip on society. Science works.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
"This is the most important election ever." Like the rest of you, the hype gets old for me as well, but there is some truth to the statement. Incredible legislation on state ballots that could make an instant difference. From renewable energy mandates to legalizing marijuana, from state sovereignty to the makeup of our Supreme Court. Far left candidates will be elected to balance the powers that be; this election cycle could greatly change the world that we live in.
Supreme Court Justices are aging. Who controls the White House during the next four years could have real impact on how "we the people" live our lives. Three justices will enter their eighties during the next administration's reign. I think if Mr. Romney wins the election, he will fill any vacancies with pro-choice and pro Defense of Marriage Act judges. If President Obama is reelected, we could possibly get judges that have a more centrist/left stance. We can go back to back alley abortions and discrimination, or we can move forward; simple as that.
Marijuana laws are always discussed, but no one ever talks about an end to the forever drug wars. We imprison non-violent offenders at an alarming rate. We demonize a large percentage of our population for no real purpose. It is not any more immoral than a drunk population, but we treat it as if it is the drug of the devil. Three states have ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana this year, and in two of the states legalization appears imminent. There's a movement to get rid of marijuana prohibition and this is where it starts. When a state says use is legal, like what happened during the prohibition on alcohol, the rest fall like dominoes. Then the federal government will have to change its position.
Thirty states have started to develop and finance renewable energy. Around the Great Lakes, Ohio's 2009 law requires 12.5 percent of its electricity to be provided by renewable energy by 2025, making it a leader in clean energy in the area; and creating 25,000 jobs at the same time. Michigan is getting ready to step up to the plate. The ballot initiative there actually changes the state's constitution and requires that 25 percent of the state's energy requirement to be met by the year 2025. Besides the clean energy jobs that would create, it would also make the state a leader in renewable energy production. To be expected, big energy companies are aggressively campaigning against the measure. One of my favorite ads states that by voting yes on this proposition it would increase the average family's bill by 2,500 dollars. If the bill is read, it mandates that energy companies cannot raise the rates by any more than one percent or 50 cents in a year. No one I know pays 250,000 dollars a year for electricity.
For every decent proposal on the ballot, there's always one that negates common sense. In Arizona, they have a state sovereignty proposal. This is aimed at getting control of Federally reserved lands. Arizona want complete control of the land - excepting Indian lands and those they've given to the feds - so they can rip out whatever resources may be there. As the majority of states go cleaner, Arizona's flawed leadership wishes to continue to pollute. The Grand Canyon will no longer be very grand.
I bring up state initiatives as a reminder to everyone to check out local initiatives. In Michigan, we are also voting on Michigan Supreme Court Justices, three liberals against three conservatives. We've been conservatively controlled for too long.
As for the main event, the presidential election is clear. We keep the slow momentum building the economy and middle class, or we give more tax breaks to the rich. We protect a woman's right to make her own health decisions, or we go back to back alley abortions. We move forward in combatting climate change, or we continue to rely solely on fossil fuels. We stand for education, or we decide that creationism is good for our children. We protect freedom of and from religion, or we allow the rabid right wing theists to have ever more influence in our day to day lives.
Yes, this election is the most important election of our times. As atheists, we can only vote for those whose goals are aligned with ours. So far President Obama's team has not shown itself to be anti-science. Though the president professes beliefs that we do not share, he is not trying to force those beliefs on the populace.