America's Principled Conservatives Are A Dying Breed

America's Principled Conservatives Are A Dying Breed

The GOP is a house divided.
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Arizona Senator Jeff Flake arguably gave the most important speech in Congress since Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States back in January. In his speech, the Senator, now considered a bleeding heart of the pre-Trump Republican party, reamed his party, the President and the current political climate. Not to mention that the junior Senator announced his retirement. This came as a major shock as he, along with Senator Bob Corker and John McCain and now former President George W. Bush also voiced their outspoken opinions on the current state of affairs in Washington and around the country. His opinion piece published in the Washington Post titled "Enough" couldn't have been more perfectly titled. Enough is enough.

These four men represent a dying segment of the Republican party, the principled conservative. Speaking on behalf of Sen. John McCain and former President George W. Bush, these men are principled in their commitment towards ensuring American prosperity and sustainability. Neither of them are perfect, one far less perfect than the other, but they have always been consistent.

As for Senators Flake and Corker, they represent another side of the current GOP establishment that are increasingly becoming fed up with President Trump and the utter disregard for truth and faith in our institutions. They are the bleeding hearts of the Republican Party and the real conservative movement in the United States today.

Donald Trump is not a conservative and only a Republican in name only. Beyond his flip-flopping from party to party in his past, (which is fine frankly a man can change his mind) his populist and nationalist policies and positions are threatening to the stability of a vibrant and healthy democracy. Inconsistency is tricky to deal with. We expect the Democrats to be on the left and the Republicans to be on the right, the liberal vs conservative divide. However, Trump's populism blurs the lines and has prevented any form of progress since he took office. The Democrats get a taste of what they want, like infrastructure, and the Republicans get a taste of what they want, like tax cuts. Unfortunately, neither of these can exist. One could argue that it's good to have a President that isn't consistent and has varying views on issues, but it's become apparent that it just isn't working.

It also doesn't help that Donald Trump is not a principled and calculated man. His inconsistencies in his positions and policies also branch out to his disregard for the truth and the institutions he swore to uphold. Now, Sen. Flake and Corker are not shining examples of people who have always been top-A congressmen. Due to the need for political expediency, the Senators were not overwhelmingly supportive, even though Flake was more outspoken than Corker... neither of them were fans. But, if Donald Trump was supposed to be the Republican nominee for President, it's totally reasonable for these two to support him during an election.

The death of the GOP and it's re-birth into some Bannon-inspired zombie has resulted in the death of civility. Many miss the days of the Tea-Party with people running around with tea-bags in their faces arguing to get the governments hands off of social security. (Read into that as much as you will.) The party of McCain and of Bush is dying. Flake and Corker are not going to seek re-election. Trump may claim victory now but the fact of the matter is that Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are cut from the same cloth as McCain, Bush, Corker and now Flake.

The house is divided, but the GOP and Republicans nationwide need to figure out what is next for the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Reagan.

Cover Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Jeff_Flake_by_Gage_Skidmore_2.jpg

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

SEE ALSO: To My Closeted Self, I Have Something To Tell You

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Banning Abortion Kills Women, So Stop Saying Anti-Abortion Activists Are 'Pro-Life'

“Women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.” —First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1995
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With the recent introduction of a bill that pretty much outright ban and criminalize all abortions in the State of Ohio — one that is very much illegal and very much unconstitutional — as well as the passing of a bill that would ban abortions after fifteen weeks in the State of Mississippi and other anti-abortion laws all over the country, it’s time to take a look at what “Pro-Life” really means.

Every person who says that they’re “pro-life” cries that abortion is murder. “Babies have a right to life!” Well, yes that may be true, but what about women who already have their lives?

Abortion is a very difficult, extremely emotional decision, and I pray that I never have to make that choice, but women have abortions for a variety of reasons — including their own health. For some women, pregnancy is dangerous; it might kill them. If a doctor tells a women that her life is in danger and her only option is terminating a pregnancy, why would anyone want to deny her the choice to save her own life? Doesn’t she have the right to life; the right to continue living the life that she already has?

People also cry about the horrors of late-term abortion, but late-term abortion is an extreme case and only makes up a minuscule percentage of all abortions performed in the US. Late-term abortion is not something that doctors just do because someone doesn’t want a baby; these pregnancies that are terminated late are wanted, but they can’t happen for some reason or another.

Many of the babies that are aborted late-term often suffer from genetic mutations or disorders that would make their lives extremely short and painful, if they’re not stillborn. So, the parents make the difficult decision to end the pregnancy so that their child doesn’t suffer. Why would anyone want a baby to suffer unnecessarily? Why would anyone want to make parents watch their child suffer, knowing that their child is going to die anyway?

Abortion is also an option for women who become pregnant out of rape or incest. Why would anyone want a woman to have a permanent reminder of a traumatic experience for the rest of her life?

“Pro-Lifers,” also cry “Adoption! Adoption!” but what about the kids already in the system? Why do we want to add more children to a system that is already over saturated? People say that women should give up unwanted children for adoption instead of aborting, but nobody wants to take care of them and the thousands of other kids in the system who need homes.

There are a variety of other reasons that lead to a woman choosing to have an abortion; however, none of those reasons matter or, frankly, are anyone else’s business. A woman’s right to choose is HER private, medical decision. It’s her life and her body.

Would it ever be acceptable to tell someone they can’t have plastic surgery or that they’re not allowed to have a life-saving cancer treatment or they are banned from seeing the doctor when they’re sick? Wouldn’t that be ridiculous? People would be outraged if there was a group of people telling everyone they can’t make their own medical decisions.

So, why is it okay for a group of people to call for the ban of a medical procedure and harass women for choosing to get that medical procedure?

Making abortion illegal doesn’t get rid of abortion. It only increases unsafe abortions — the kind you think of that happened in the “olden days” before Roe v. Wade of women in alleys using coat hangers. If a woman wants an abortion, she’ll find a way to have one, and those ways are often dangerous.

When abortion is completely illegal, women die unnecessarily.

They die from infection and procedure and pregnancy related complications. Why would anyone want these avoidable deaths, when legal abortion is a safe medical procedure that is performed by actual doctors in sterile environments?

If so-called “pro-life” people want to reduce abortion rates, then why don’t they support access to birth control and comprehensive sex education — two things that have been proven to reduce abortion rates because they reduce unplanned, unwanted pregnancies?

The “Pro-Life” movement only focuses on the unborn babies — lives that aren’t even guaranteed to begin with. It treats women like baby making factories by placing the life of a fetus ahead of the life of the woman. The movement doesn’t care if women die as long as their babies are born no matter what because, “The Bible says abortion is a sin.”

Well, news flash. The Bible says a lot of things are sins: divorce, adultery, lying, swearing, premarital sex, and the list goes on and on. If we’re basing our laws in a democracy off of what the Bible says is wrong, then why aren’t we trying to throw every divorcée in jail and harassing every couple that goes into a courthouse to get divorced? Why aren’t we condemning people who have extra marital affairs?

Anti-abortion laws are anti-woman. It’s just another way that women can be treated like second-class citizens, being told that they can’t make their own medical decision and that their life isn’t valued over the life of a fetus that’s not even capable of life on its own until its gestational age is around 24 weeks — a time that most abortions in the United States are performed long before.

And for Ohio to try to outright ban abortion, that’s what the Ohio legislators are saying: they don’t care about women or see them as worthy of life when compared to a fetus. It makes me ashamed to be an Ohioan, and every other Ohioan should be ashamed too because if this somehow becomes a law and somehow isn’t struck down by the Supreme Court, women all over the State of Ohio will die from avoidable infections and complications.

So, “Pro-Life?” Why don’t we just come out and say it? “Pro-Life” isn’t really “pro-life,” just like “Pro-Choice” isn’t “pro-abortion.”

“Pro-Life” is “pro-fetus and pro-fetus only,” and women be damned because to the “Pro-Life” movement, their lives don’t matter.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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