Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Two Cents

Okay. I don't get to vote in the U.S. presidential election. I'm okay with that. First of all, I'd vote for Nader, which would make me very unpopular. I also have some crackpot conspiracy theory about the upcoming election that looks more credible almost daily, but is still a long shot. Maybe, if you're good boys and girls, and ask me nicely, I'll share that crackpot theory with you. I'm safe, because I'm not in the States. Unless I want to travel to or through the States, in which case things might get sticky.

However, if I'm right, it'll be worse, so there's that.

I got distracted. Excuse me.

So, I can't vote, but that's okay. I have more choices up here, anyway. And there are actual differences between our political parties. For instance, we have a credible Green Party. And a substantial labour party, then our own neo-cons, and a party that only wants to get Quebec out of Canada, and other than that, they're quite reasonable. The Liberals used to be really electable because they had no core values, and looked like the party you wanted in power. Now they look like a bunch of pussies.

See? Way more interesting. It gets even better if you understand that until about five years ago, we used ot have two conservative parties, and then the mean one ate the other one (which was slightly less mean, but still mean enough to sign NAFTA).

All three major candidates are Christians in the US, and apparently Americans like it that way. Fine with me. I ran provincially here as an out atheist, and it was largely a non-issue. You can keep your bigotry, Americans. That and your supernova economy, though I bet you'll feel obliged to share that with the rest of the world. Thanks, by the way.

Some goofus named Medved says that it's very reasonable for Americans to be afraid of atheists with political power. PZ Myers points out that Medved is stupid, but I feel I have something to add.

Medved's arguments go thusly:
  1. Atheists would be hypocrites because the trappings of office in the US are often religious.
  2. Most Americans are religious, and they like to elect people like them.
  3. Terrorism.

Allow me to rebut.

  1. Hypocrisy seems to be part and parcel to politics. I shall use the Republicans as an example. (Though the Democrats, Conservatives, Liberals, NDP and the fucking Labour Party would all likely serve just as well. In North America, and in Europe, the Greens have not had the chance to be hypocrites yet, though I like to think they'd be different.) The Republicans say that big government is bad for the economy. They shrunk the government, privatised most of its services, and went to war with their private army. The economy has not responded well. In fact, for this bunch of geniuses, a smaller government costs WAY more. Republicans don't like poor people, and resent them mooching off the state. But when rich people mooch, it's cool. Republicans hate gay people. Many of them, however, like gay sex. Republicans enacted a bunch of laws called the Patriot Act to catch terrorists (the Democrats helped). As far as I can tell, the laws have been used to catch two Democrats. Some Republicans are pro-life, but don't mind killing people, so long as they're not fetuses. I can't imagine any atheist president being more hypocritical than this, especially since they can just opt out of religious stuff, or have a religious cabinet member take the hit, but feel free to offer your suggestions.
  2. If Americans like to elect people like them, then most presidents are lower middle class, right? Oh. How about blue collar workers? I see. How about second- or third-generation Americans? No? Then most presidents must have only a high school education, or a diploma from a trade school or community college. No. Well, to be fair, all presidents have been white, because all Americans are white. And men. Most Americans are white men, right? In fact, they aren't. Americans pick the best of a bad lot every four years. What happens is the two wings of the corporate party offer up a choice between this Christian white guy or that Christian white guy (occasionally, they offer a different kind of Christian, like a Catholic or a Quaker, but for the most part, these guys are WASPs). And to be fair, many Americans are considering a woman or a black guy for the top spot, but ideologically speaking, there's little. Bottom line: there's hatred in them thar hills, and it's no surprise. Canada's not really any better. We already had our first female PM, but we didn't elect her. No brown, black or yellow guys yet. I'd like to think that if a smart, charismatic, and electable atheist offered themselves up, they'd have a shot at it.
  3. And finally, terrorism. It seems to me that the thrust of this argument is that since Islamo-Nazis are crazy, we have to be a little like them, or they'll hate us even more. They have their imaginary friend, and if the POTUS says their friend is imaginary, they might do something rash. That even smells stupid. And how is it better to say, "Sure, we're trying to kill you, but we're Christians. We're just like you! Not like those dirty atheists..."

My two cents. Not even worth that, I'd wager, because I don't even get to vote.

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