I’ve been listening to the news for years now, and I’m fascinated/sad/angry by the difference between what Americans, on the whole, believe and what laws, policies, etc. actually look like.
First among the controversial issues that the government (judicial, legislative and executive branches) is abortion. While numerous states, courts, and legislators rush to judgement about abortion. Americans , by and large believe that women have a right to decide about their bodies and there are complexities involved in conception and childbirth that we have never faced or even considered. Americans don’t believe in either the pro-abortion or the anti-abortion position.
No woman wakes up one morning and says to herself, “I think I’ll have an abortion” or “I want to kill any life within me”. No woman says to herself, I want to be raped, have incest, or want to die so this baby can live without a mother. No woman wants to watch her child die — in her body or outside of it. No woman wants to see her child suffer in her body or outside of it.
Women are both capable of knowing who they want in their vaginal cavity. Because of that, they are capable of being responsible for anything that happens as a result of someone being there. Americans want to let them make those decisions and give them the tools and support to make those decisions. Americans also want them to make that decision by discussing it with good men who want the best for them, and medical professionals who know what they are doing. In short, most Americans are actually pro-life. They are not pro-pregnancy or pro-abortion. They want the best for the people they love and whom they intentionally create .
Next controversy : Americans, far and wide, gun owners and non- gun owners alike, want assault weapons banned. Every single day in America in 2023 there’s a mass shooting, There is no one who isn’t touched by this. The number of people that have lost their lives in the years since Columbine is absolutely huge.
Why? People around the world can tell us, people with no political axe to grind. Assault weapons do exactly what they are supposed to do — kill, and kill a lot of people. Why would we even make them for general use by your average person? There should be no market for civilians to buy them. No gun maker should be able to sell them. Period.
Yes, there will still be mental health issues here, but we won’t be creating them via mass trauma. Yes, a mad person could kill people with a knife, but it’s a lot harder to have the same impact. Yes, we have a Second Amendment which is part of our culture, so we can’t take away all guns. Yes, hunters use guns, and they should be able to. They are not the the problem. Real gun owners understand guns and know what they are doing around them. The look to be safe and responsible. Tragedies will happen, but most Americans want to stay alive and they want the people they know to remain alive.
Financially, the amount that we spend to protect ourselves from these weapons, the amount we pay out in insurance for the murder of those killed, the lawsuits involved — all of these things are caused by assault weapons which are designed for just such an occasion. People who care about money at all know that, in addition to the human cost (and that can’t be overstated, of course) should understand this.
Nearly every poll I have seen or heard about say that most democrats and most Republican voters want assault weapons banned. Again, if America was a democracy and the voices of the people mattered, the scourge of mass killings would end simply by banning the guns make war on civilians possible.
The last thing I see that is controversial in political circles, but not much at all among citizens is gerrymandering. The fact some politicians get to make any vote have less importance is a tragedy and yet when maps are drawn for districts, the point is almost to make one political party dominant. That’s not right.
There must be a way to have non-partisan groups doing the design. I don’t know how we make that happen, but we must. I know that former Attorney General Eric Holder and former-President Obama have been involved in fighting for such things, with a group called “All On The Line “. They are very clear that they want pro-democracy, not pro- Democrats re-districting.
That said, I’m not sure Republicans can buy into anything with the Obama name on it. In the meantime, look around and find someone who is doing the work and join them.
Right now, we have a government that doesn’t seem to be responsive to the majority of Americans. Last time I checked, we didn’t call that a functioning democracy. First, we have to force politicians to listen by giving them actual skin in the game. If they can’t be voted out, they don’t care what we think.
Once they actually are listening, far fewer people will die due to gun violence. That’s what the people want, and that’s what the government can provide. Doing something is better than almost nothing we’re doing now. Thousands not dying is a good thing, obviously, and a majority of people want that.
Then, a stable rule of government, figured out by elected representative who actually represent the majority of people, that keeps women (who are already alive) and deals with the fetus as respectfully as possible, taking into account all of the health issues of the mother, especially ones non-medical men don’t even understand or know about, and using the best medical advice possible. This might be as as simple as government backing out of the situation altogether, and letting doctors decide the best course of treatment, in consultation with the mother, the father and all involved parties. Whatever it is, we need to do it, and we need to do it as soon as we can, — most Americans want this as well. It ought not be that hard through a democratic process which respects citizens.
If America at this moment in time were a democracy, we’d have less deaths and less division, meaning culture skirmishes rather than culture wars.
Let’s make government work again, shall we?
Resisting With Peace,