It's 2017. This is the year of political shitstorms and absolute disasters. As rumors for calls of Trump's impeachment begin to loom around us, and the political shitstorm grows wider and more encompassing, I am all of a sudden encountered by the things I, a liberal not-quite-Democrat but definitely politically-informed voter, am so sick and tired of hearing from my conservative friends and family about the current hot button topics.
1. "I'm not against gay people, I'm against gay marriage."
This statement is often followed by something along the lines of, "It ruins the sanctity of marriage." And Kim Kardashian's 72-day marriage doesn't? Members of the LGTBQ+ community are as much human as the rest of us, and they too deserve the same liberties. Let me backtrack. It is their fundamental human right to have the same liberties as straight people. Finally, it's time to erase the argument that also includes the statement, "Gay people didn't exist when the founding fathers wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights!" That statement is nowhere close to factual.
2. "I'm only against illegal immigration, I'm not anti-immigrant!"
Okay. There is no difference when all is said and done. Laws against illegal immigrants end up profiling the ENTIRE Latinx community, and once it becomes institutionalized profiling, those who fight for that legislation end up being very anti-immigrant.
3. "I'm only fiscally conservative."
I am guilty of saying this before I did my research. First of all, that's not a thing. Second of all, if you were really concerned about the economy, historically, you should probably vote Democrat.
4. "All lives matter!!!!!!!"
Hey, you aren't wrong. All lives do matter. However, there are some lives who aren't victims of institutionalized racism. This racism results in wrongful police stops that far too often result in shots being fired for reasons such as, going to a gas station to get candy (Trayvon Martin), playing with a BB gun in a park (Tamir Rice), or simply having a broken taillight (Philando Castile). Meanwhile, the man who shot up a (black) Church in Charleston was given a bulletproof vest and kindly escorted to a waiting police vehicle when apprehended. This is only my personal opinion, but I believe the Second Amendment has created a group of second-class citizens composed of anyone of color. These citizens can be too easily killed by a gun-toting, Second Amendment-crazed person just for fitting a damn stereotype.
5. "I support tax breaks for the rich because my parents worked hard for their money."
That's probably true - but your parents are also probably white and can afford an increase in taxes. Statistically, people of color and women tend to be in the lower economic classes where they are constantly struggling to make ends meet. On average, white families are worth SIXTEEN PERCENT more than black families. Latinx people only earn eight percent of what a white family does. Are you claiming that black and Latinx families aren't working as hard as your family? (If the answer to that question was yes, congrats! That's institutionalized racism at its core). Lower taxes for the lower classes literally puts food on the table.
6. "People are just mooching off the government."
First of all, food stamps do not put a strain on the government. They actually help stabilize it. 54% of people on food stamps live below 50% of the poverty line and 34% live between 50 and 100% below the poverty line. In 2011, the poverty line for a family of 3 was $18,530. You try feeding, clothing and housing 3 people for less than $18,530 a year. Along that same vein is the welfare issue, which most Republicans want to cut. 35% of the country's population is on welfare, with 31% getting off welfare in a year and 43% between 3 and 4 years. So, there aren't exactly a whole lot of people who spend their entire lives "mooching off the government."
7. "Liberals are snowflakes whose feelings are too easily hurt."
Well yeah, when you consistently marginalize, diminish, and dehumanize my friends and family, often those you don't even know, I'm gonna get a little upset.
8. Just about anything that comes out of Tomi Lahren's mouth.
9. "There is no war on women, they just need to suck it up."
Oh, really? What about Trump's first 100 days? Or the multitude of anti-abortion and abstinence-only laws and legalizing the murder of abortion doctors? Or the gender wage gap? Or the stronger emergence of rape culture and increases in the number of rapes, but a decrease in the number of rapists convicted? (I'm looking at you, Brock Turner.) Or jacking up the prices of birth control under the AHCA? Or the fact that 3 women are murdered every day from domestic violence and 1 in 4 women will be the victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives? But you're right. There isn't a war against women.
And hey, I'm not saying we liberal Democrats have all the right answers, or even any of the right answers. But we live in a day and age where we dance around this notion that the amount of money you make or where you were born, determines your worth in this society. It's 2017, people. Let's start compromising.