Friday, December 12, 2008

Budget Cuts

Where are our priorities in South Carolina? To further explain please read the following:

"Earlier cuts took away money for school buses, and the latest round couldn't completely protect schools. They will lose money for gifted and talented classes, along with other programs funded by the Education Improvement Act.

The biggest cuts were $76.6 million to the Department of Health and Human Services, $23.6 million for the Department of Mental Health and $21.5 million to the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.

Specific cuts already announced include money for adoption services, sex-offender monitoring, advocacy efforts for disabled residents and programs that serve children with autism and those with spinal cord injuries.

Higher education loses a combined $123 million, or an average of 15 percent at each institution." Yvonne Wegner, Post and Courier, October 31st.

Budget cuts for gifted and talented classes? health and human services? mental health? sex offender monioting? What is the SC legislature thinking? The bigger question is what are they not cutting and why? Please Obama get us out of this economical downfall!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Not A Underdog Anymore

"Why Vote? My vote doesn't count here." Many people, young and old, have felt like South Carolina has been a no-chance-for-change-state for years. It has been 32 years since we have seen our state vote blue, but this year there is some promise of change. I am constantly trying not to get my hopes up of seeing my state become blue this year, but wouldn't it be amazing if it did? CNN and most news channels still say the SC is a solid red state, and maybe they are right. Recent polls say that Republicans are at 58% and Democrats are polling at 39%. According to the polls we will be seeing SC covered in red on election night. However, something has been happening in SC this year, and it may end up surprising many conservatives who thought they had this state in the bag. A couple of factors play to Barack's favor: 1) the democrats out voted republicans in the 2008 presidential primary 2) the democratic party in SC is largely African-American 3) the last person we voted for has completely ruined our economy and standing in the world.

We have also seen some other changes in SC these past few years. For starters the Stonewall Democrats have arisen in the state. Two openly gay delegates were elected to attend the Democratic Convention in Denver from SC. SC was second only to California with the number of people attending the GLBT caucus in Denver. Incredible. So I beg everyone to not just count SC as a red state. Democrats don't be fooled by Republicans telling you that your vote doesn't count. Get out and vote! Get your friends out to vote! Get out and vote early, so we can turn this state Blue!!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What is all this talk about change?

This question will really begin to be considered through the average American voter, as the Democratic primary race comes to an end. I have hoped for Mrs. Clinton's victory, but as many of her supporters have already seen, she has been defeated. Although my hopes of having her as my president have faded, I know that I must fully support the winner Barack Obama. McCain and Obama have entered the general election race and left Hillary behind. There are many things that this country needs at this point in time, but a Republican is not one of them.

So here we are, at a pinnacle of "change?" What is this change and where will it come from? Even McCain has announced his proposal for change and what that means, but does everyone really want change? It interests me that this many people are looking for radical change, but I don't see anyone doing much about it. People all around me ask where are the youth, the college students, all of the radical hippies? Where are they? Shut out. At the South Carolina State convention it was evident. I witnessed many young people trying to do what they believe in, trying to stand up for what is worth fighting for, but there was no support to be found. I have heard the media redundantly call the election in the hands of the "league of first time voters," but all I see is a continuous power struggle inside the "old time politics." We are being ignored again and again, and its time to stand up and be heard. The beautiful thing about young voters is the fact that money hasn't destroyed them yet. They are passionate about things getting done by grassroots action. They feel that they are not more important than anyone else, everyone should be taken care of, and treated equally. So this is my plea: Please Barack Obama do what you say and take care of me.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Hot For Hillary

I have had many inner debates during this last election on who I should support, and I'm sure that these debates will continue because of how important this election is to me and my fellow LGBT voters. There are very serious issues at stake with who we choose to be our next Democratic candidate, and I admit it is very difficult to choose one out of the very qualified candidates we have been given. So who is it going to be? Biden, Hillary, Obama, Kucinich, Gravel, Richardson, Edwards, or Dodd? What issues are most important? LGBT issues, the war, health care, poverty, taxes, or abortion? All these things must be taken seriously, but which candidate has all the answers to all the questions? I think we all know the answer to that. There is no person with all the answers, and as unfortunate as it is none of these people will end all suffering in the world. This should not deter people from participating or "practicing" politics. Every issue that has come to a triumphant conclusion has not happened over night, but has taken years of baby steps. So here again we arrive at our problem, who shall inherit this diverse and divided nation (and world)?
Well maybe we should start with an easier question. Who should not inherit this nation and world? I think most of us agree that it should not be Giuliani, Paul, Thompson, Huckabee, Romney, McCain, Hunter, or Tancredo. I also believe that we must support someone who can win. I'm sure all LGBT people would love for someone like Kucinich to be President; however, as much as we hate to say it, there are other factors in choosing a candidate. I believe one of those factors, unfortunately, is popularity. I believe that it is in fact late enough to see that our next Democratic nominee will be either Hillary, Obama, or Edwards.
So here we have them, our candidates from which we may choose! (Applause is welcome)

This is where things become more tedious. All three of these candidates are very similar on the issues with some exceptions. So lets begin with John Edwards. Edwards says that he is the strongest advocate of eliminating the threat of poverty, which is a major positive factor, but I'm not sure how much I trust Edwards. Also, I believe Edwards is the most uncomfortable with LGBT issues out of all Democratic candidates, and gives me reason to not support him. So now we Obama and Hillary. Both of these candidates would be firsts for the United States. First African-American or first woman.
Before I continue, I would also like to ensure that I believe that any of the Democratic candidates would be a much improved situation and most or all are over qualified to run this country. With that being said, I will support whoever the nominee is for the Democratic Party; but for delegation purposes I must choose a Democratic candidate to support and I have chosen Hillary.
Some may disagree, but I feel that Hillary will be the strongest of the democratic candidates and will be not only the strongest advocate for LGBT persons but also the person who will actually get things done regarding my closest to heart issues.
Some will argue that her husband's record on LGBT issues is poor, and it was; however, I believe Hillary will come through with her openness to LGBT people even with support from Bill. Also, she has repetitively spoken to the HRC, and is close friends with Joe Solmonese.

Here are some quotes from Hillary:

"Are you ready for a government that treats all Americans with dignity, and equality no matter who you are, or who you love?"

"I'm proud to stand by your side. I want you to know that just as you have always had an open door to my senate office, you will always have an open door to the White House, and together we will continue our struggle against hatred and our stand for equality." (To the Human Rights Campaign)

Through all the videos and sound bytes that I have seen of all the candidates, Hillary has shown me that she will be the best candidate for LGBT people. And because my blog concerns LGBT politics I will leave my other issues out of this conversation.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Something To Read While I'm Taking Exams

I wanted to post something and just read this article for my Extremist Politics class. This article is written by The Blue Mountain Working Group and was featured in Eyes Right! Please read and discuss.

Remember this was written by the authors at the bottom of the article, also known as the Blue Mountain Working Group. In other words, I did not write this, although I wish I would have I think its amazing.


Please read the following statement and discuss it with your family, friends, and colleagues. This statement is meant to spark discussion of how best to defend democracy & pluralism in light of the continued victories of secular, religious, and corporate right-wing forces that employ scapegoating and demagoguery.

We are a group of individuals interested in joining with others to rebuild a multi-issue movement for progressive social change that can assist in informing and organizing broad coalitions to reverse the ominous right- wing backlash currently sweeping the United States. In May, 1993 we came from across the nation to the conference center in Blue Mountain, NY to share our concerns about the growing prejudice and scapegoating being provoked by intolerant and anti-democratic religious and secular movements of the hard right.

A wide range of individuals participated in the three-day meeting, including organizers, activists, journalists, academics, and researchers. Some had institutional affiliations, others did not. All the participants had been involved in educating about or organizing against right-wing campaigns at the local or national level, and had shown a commitment to respecting diversity and valuing cooperation. The goal of the gathering was to meet and discuss our experiences and ideas, develop a national perspective, and begin to outline a strategic response that reflected the diverse communities where we work and live. We carried out our discussions with a sense of purpose, a knowledge of history, a commitment to thoughtful and thorough discussion, a desire to learn from each other, and a humility born of painful experience heightened by an apprehension of peril. This statement is one result of our ongoing discussions during the past eighteen months.

We see the current general right-wing backlash as one of the most significant political developments of the decade, combining well-funded national institutions with highly-motivated grass- roots activists. To effectively counter this movement, we believe it is essential to understand the specific and complicated components of the political right wing across its many forms, and the often conflicting and competing aspects of right-wing theory and practice.

While the political right in the US can be bewildering in its complexity and shifting identities and allegiances, its players historically have assembled their core tenets and shared agendas from the same set of beliefs. They include conscious or unconscious support for white privilege; male supremacy; subservience of women and people of color; hierarchical religious and family structures; the protection of property rights over human rights; preservation of individual wealth; a rapacious form of unregulated free market capitalism; aggressive and unilateral military and foreign policies; and authoritarian and punitive means of social control. They also include opposition to the feminist movement and abortion rights; democratic pluralism and cultural diversity; gay rights; government regulations concerning health, safety, and the environment; and minimum wage laws and union rights.

The most activist segments of the US political right working within the electoral system are distinct from traditional conservatism, with its support for the status quo, as well as distinct from the far right or ultra right, with its overt theories of racist biological determinism and open support for individual and collective violence. We see some overlap among these tendencies, especially in local campaigns, but contend the current coalition effort uniting diverse right- wing activist groups around specific common themes represents a historic phenomenon that has appeared before in US history during times of economic and social stress. Various activist right- wing movements have historically been called the hard right, intolerant right, authoritarian right, regressive right, reactionary right, nativist right, populist right, radical right, extremist right, moralistic right, orthodox right, traditionalist right, nationalist right, exclusivist right, self-righteous right, elitist right, zealous right, theocentric right, theonomic right, and theocratic right.

We feel the phrase that best describes the essence of the contemporary activist right-wing movement is "anti-democratic right." The main goal of the anti- democratic right is to craft a reactionary backlash movement to co-opt and reverse the gains of the progressive social movements of the 1960's and 1970's which sparked the ongoing civil rights, student rights, antiwar, feminist, ecology, and gay rights movements.

To achieve this goal the anti-democratic right works in many arenas -- cultural, social, artistic, electoral, legislative, legal, political, academic, journalistic, religious, and theological. It has an infrastructure that engages in research, strategic analysis, media outreach, fundraising, education, community organizing, and direct action. The specific segment of the anti-democratic right that most concerns us is a growing coalition of well-funded reactionary political activists working with authoritarian religious zealots to define what it means to be an American in narrow, spiteful, and exclusionary terms.

The leaders of the anti-democratic right recognize that many persons have real grievances over various social and economic problems in our society, but these leaders cynically divert attention away from a serious discussion of these complex issues toward targeted scapegoats such as African-Americans, Asians, Arabs, and other people of color, Spanish-speaking residents, feminists, lesbians, gay men, immigrants, welfare recipients, Jews, Muslims, the disabled, and other persons, many of whom are still seeking equal access to the promised benefits of our society.

In a country confronting complex problems, the anti-democratic right offers simple slogans. In a society of many cultures, the anti-democratic right offers a monocultural vision of citizenship. In a society struggling for participatory democracy, the anti- democratic right offers elitism, exclusivity, and submission to authority.

The leaders of the anti-democratic right are deeply troubled by critical thinking, cultural diversity, and dissent; and they warn about the chaos of mass democracy and pluralism, and the evils of liberalism and secular humanism. When they speak of traditional family values, they often speak only of those values which traditionally have reinforced disproportionate access to power and privilege for certain segments of our society -- the upper class, males, whites, heterosexuals, northern Europeans, and Christians.

Many leaders of the anti-democratic right depend on fundraising through direct mail and televangelism, where using divisive and polarizing scare tactics to raise money has become commonplace. We have seen some leaders of the anti-democratic right use deception, false or unreliable statistics, pseudo-science, and pseudo- academic research. They opportunistically promote stereotypes, scapegoating, objectification, and irrational conspiratorial analyses alleging secular humanist treachery. They gracelessly exploit divisiveness, dehumanization, demonization, and demagoguery. They smugly act in a moralistic, self-righteous, even sanctimonious manner. They seek to impose their rigid and uncharitable views on every American. The danger they pose to democratic pluralism is real.

The anti-democratic right seeks to control what we read, the music we hear, the images we see, how we learn, what happens to our bodies, how we worship, and whom we love.

The rise of the anti-democratic right in our country occurs at a time when racial nationalism is sweeping Europe. We have witnessed the murders of immigrants, people of color, and religious minorities in Germany, and the spread of anti-Jewish bigotry across the continent. Who could have predicted the brutal ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia or the election victories of neo-fascists in Italy? In our own country, hate crimes and physical assaults on persons in targeted groups are on the increase. We have seen the shootings of abortion providers and bombings of clinics. We should not be complacent and dismiss the possibility that an economic or social crisis in the US could serve as a trigger for some hard-right religious zealots or reactionary racial nationalists to engage in paramilitary activity or unleash a campaign of intimidation and violence that could destabilize our own country.

It may seem a remote possibility, but it can happen here. We know from history that authoritarianism, theocracy, demagoguery, and scapegoating are building blocks for fascist political movements; and that people mobilized by the cynical, regressive, populist- sounding sentiments sown by a Ross Perot can be harvested by the angry, divisive, racial nationalist rhetoric of a David Duke or Pat Buchanan. We also know the paradox of fascism is that when most people finally are asking whether or not it is too late to stop is. Better that resistance be early and preventative rather than late and unsuccessful.

Because we believe the anti-democratic right is a growing social movement, we see three immediate tasks to protect democratic values: 1) defending diversity within a pluralistic society, 2) maintaining the separation of church and state, 3) protecting the right to privacy for all people.

We share a sense of urgency. Time is of the essence. We must stop the hard right anti-democratic backlash movement before it inflicts more damage on our society. In defending democracy and pluralism we must refrain from using the same polarizing techniques of scapegoating, demonization, and demagoguery that have been so successful for the anti- democratic right.

As we fight intolerance we will consciously strive to resist using the same intolerant tactics we oppose. We will respect diversity while defending democracy. We recognize that many of the individual grassroots activists being mobilized by the leadership of the anti- democratic right are sincere and honest people with real fears concerning jobs, family, schools, and personal safety. They are not our enemies, they are our neighbors and potentially our allies.

We defend the right of all persons to hold religious beliefs and moral codes without government restriction or interference. But we insist that in a constitutional democracy the arguments for legislation and regulation be based on rational debate and factual evidence that demonstrate a useful purpose and a compelling government interest. The leaders of the anti-democratic right wave the flag, wrap themselves in the cloak of religion and claim they speak for God and country. We are not attacking God when we confront those who pridefully presume to speak for God. We are not attacking religion when we challenge those who imply that only persons who share their specific narrow theological viewpoint can claim religious or moral values. We are not attacking our country when we rebuke those who peddle a message of fear, prejudice, and division.

To stop the right-wing backlash we must help to build broad popular coalitions that include at the core all the communities under attack by the anti- democratic right in its many incarnations; and we must also include in these coalitions all persons of good conscience willing to defend democratic pluralism. Our allies are all persons who oppose theocracy and control by an authoritarian elite, and all persons who are willing to stand up for a real, dynamic, and vibrant democracy.

As progressives we believe there are many values we must uphold in building any principled coalition. Our method of work as a progressive coalition must reflect diverse styles, perspectives, and goals. We must speak with many different voices representing the many different threads that weave the social fabric of our nation. We see progressive social change as an ongoing process involving persons from many constituencies and issues working together whenever possible in an alliance for democracy and pluralism.

Our alliance embraces the struggles for racial and ethnic justice especially for persons who trace their identity to Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific Islands. Our alliance embraces the struggles for fairness and tribal rights for the native peoples of this continent.

Our alliance embraces the movements seeking equal rights and safety for women. Our alliance embraces groups promoting a woman's right to control her own body, defending abortion rights, advocating comprehensive sexuality education and family planning, and seeking implementation of gay-positive curricula and AIDS awareness education. Our alliance embraces the equal rights movements defending the lesbian, gay male, bisexual, and transgender communities.

Our alliance embraces those seeking social and economic justice for African- Americans and the eradication of the vestiges of slavery and second-class citizenship. Our alliance embraces the struggles against scapegoating of immigrants, people of color, and welfare recipients. Our alliance embraces groups challenging racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Jewish prejudice.

Our alliance embraces the impoverished seeking dignified work and a living wage. Our alliance embraces residents of the inner city seeking control and revitalization of their communities. Our alliance embraces those in rural areas seeking to preserve the family farm and fighting for fair agricultural and land use policies. Our alliance embraces persons opposing the anti-regulatory Wise Use, Sovereignty, Counties, and States Rights movements. Our alliance embraces groups fighting for a decent minimum wage, accessible child care, compassionate welfare regulations, and meaningful job training. Our alliance embraces alienated youth and the isolated homeless.

Our alliance embraces persons learning to overcome physical, emotional, and psychological challenges to independence. Our alliance embraces movements for a sound environment, better schools, bilingual education, and universal health care. Our alliance embraces persons decrying religious bigotry against Jews, Muslims, Catholics, and other belief systems. Our alliance embraces groups resisting militarism, ultra-nationalism, fascism, and genocide.

We come from churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of spiritual worship and secular reflection. We come from labor unions, non-profit agencies, progressive businesses, foundations, membership organizations, and social clubs. We come from farms and ranches, industrial worksites, office buildings, schools, colleges, factories, and the streets. We come from cities, suburbs, and rural areas. We are organized and unorganized, and work inside and outside the home. And we yearn to build a true alliance that unites all of us on the basis of mutual respect as we defend democracy and pluralism.

We see a synergistic interactive relationship among activists, organizers, researchers, journalists, and academics from these various movements and constituencies as resulting in the most informed and useful analyses, strategies, and tactics to bring about effective action for social change. We believe there must be two-way interaction between the national and local levels. The needs and specific issues of local partners must inform and shape national strategies, and at the same time, the resources developed by national groups must be made available to grassroots organizers to stimulate informed discussion of various strategies and tactics. At the leadership level, there has not yet been sufficient cooperation of potential progressive allies, and many people in national organizations still need to be educated about the serious nature of the threat posed by the anti-democratic right.

Hard experiences have taught us that short term tactics that divide communities for the sake of individual electoral victories are short-sighted, frequently backfire, and even when successful, weaken the type of long-term coalition building that is necessary for eventual victory. It is essential to develop an analysis that bridges issues, helps communities understand the threat to them, and pulls together diverse constituencies and issues. The anti- democratic right has been successful in reframing the public debate over key issues such as family, morality, and children. We must participate in and reclaim this debate.

We believe in full equality for everyone -- nothing more, but nothing less.

Ours is a vision of democracy where all have an equal voice. Of a democracy where progressive populism encourages active participation by all residents in open, full, and honest debates over legislation and government policies. Where we elect our government representatives on the basis of ideas, not images. Where the consent of the governed is informed consent, not manipulated consent. Where the wealth of wisdom possessed by a political candidate is more important than the reach of their wallet. Where elections offer real choices rather than rotating elites. Where the majority sets policies while consciously respecting the rights of the minority; and both the majority and the minority have their grievances carefully considered, and have access to representation. This is the promise of our nation. We must work to see this promise achieved, rather than see it eroded by the regressive populist- sounding demagoguery of the anti- democratic right.

Our goal is twofold: we must stop the hard right; and we must pursue the unfulfilled promises of a healthy pluralistic democracy: justice, equality, security, and fairness -- the real American Dream.

Many of us who met at Blue Mountain have continued working together as an informal network, and this has helped us gain the perspective we need to be more effective in our individual tasks fighting the right in cities and states across the country. It is vital that we all share information, advice, criticisms, and assistance as we learn to work together. The anti-democratic right has a multi-issue strategic agenda, but its tactic is to focus its attacks on one high-visibility target constituency at a time. No single segment of our society has demonstrated an ability to resist these attacks alone. We must learn to work together. We urge everyone who desires to defend and extend democracy to join together in forming broad and diverse locally-based coalitions to resist the rollback of rights; to block the backlash; to fight the right.

The leaders of the anti-democratic right say their movement is waging a battle for the soul of America. They call it a culture war. We believe the soul of America should not be a battleground but a birthright, and that culture should be celebrated not censored. We believe America is defined by ideas and values, but not those limited by religious beliefs, biology, bloodlines, or birthplace of ancestors.

The time has come to stand up and vigorously defend democracy and pluralism against the attacks orchestrated by cynical leaders of the anti-democratic right. History teaches us that there can be no freedom without liberty, no liberty without justice, and no justice without equality; and we look forward to success because we know it is through the never-ending struggle for equality, justice, liberty and freedom that democracy is nourished.

Russ Bellant Journalist/Researcher Author: "The Coors Connection" Detroit, Michigan

Chip Berlet Journalist/Activist Political Research Associates Cambridge, Massachusetts

Anne Bower Executive Director/Editor The Body Politic Magazine Binghamton, New York

Robert Bray Fight the Right organizer National Gay & Lesbian Task Force San Francisco, California

Mandy Carter Director, A National Call to Resist Campaign National Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum Washington, District of Columbia

Fred Clarkson Journalist/Researcher Co-author: "Challenging the Christian Right" Northampton, Massachusetts

Marghe Covino Co-Founder, Project Tocsin Sentinel Institute for Research & Education California

Elias Farajaje-Jones Howard University School of Divinity Washington, District of Columbia

Suzanne B. Goldberg Staff Attorney Lambda Legal Defense New York, New York

Barbara J. Hart Legal Director, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence Reading, Pennsylvania

Kate Harris Reproductive rights organizer Consultant to non-profit groups California

David Mendoza Ex. Director, National Campaign for Freedom of Expression Arts Activist Seattle, Washington

Scot Nakagawa Activist/Organizer National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Portland, Oregon

David Nimmons Social justice activist Gay and lesbian community New York, New York

Suzanne Pharr Writer/Organizer Women's Project Portland, Oregon

Skipp Porteous President, Institute for First Amendment Studies Research & Education Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Tarso Ramos Researcher/Activist Western States Center Portland, Oregon

Loretta Ross Program Research Director, Center for Democratic Renewal Atlanta, Georgia

Barbara A. Simon Gen. Counsel, Institute for First Amendment Studies Research & Education Massachusetts

Urvashi Vaid Organizer/Author Human rights activist Provincetown, Massachusetts

Thalia Zepatos Writer/Organizer Campaign Consultant Portland, Oregon

Organizations, when listed, are for identification only. Drafts of earlier versions were circulated among selected activists and researchers for their comments. This final version reflects the substantial and thoughtful input of many persons other than those whose names appear on this page.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Where I Have Been

To my readers,

I am very sorry for being missing in action for the past few months. I have had an extremely hard semester which has taken my blogging time away; however, now that this semester is finally over, I will be getting back to my love, politics.


Some important things that need to be addressed:

1) The state primary is coming up soon and the LGBT community of SC needs to be ready. Not only ready to decide who it wants to be our candidates, but ready to be apart of the delegation process. The South Carolina Democratic Party has set a goal to have 3 openly gay or lesbian delegates to this year's National Democratic Convention. This is NOT a quota, but a goal, and will be very hard to fill if there are not many active openly gay people running for a delegate seat. I will be running this year for a delegate seat, but still want others to run because I want to have as many chances for openly gay men and women to have their voices heard and their presence noticed. There are a few things in which one must do to become a delegate. First, one must choose a candidate to endorse, because the candidates have a great say in who gets to be their delegates. Secondly, one must attended their county and state convention to be eligible to attend the national convention. So this is my hope that every LGBT person of SC that is involved with politics to try for a spot in the National Convention. If you have more questions contact me and I will send you Tom Chorlton's Delegate selection plan. My email is

2) Who I am now publicly endorsing:
I am now publicly endorsing Hillary Clinton which I will be writing about frequently from now on. One thing I wanted to mention with my endorsement of Hillary is that this does not mean that I feel negatively about all candidates, but through all reason I believe that my support should be for one of the top three and out of those three, Hillary has my vote; however, my voice, only goes as far as to speak for myself, not for any person.

3) Activism:
I have felt that there has been an extreme lack of interest, especially among my fellow generation, in this election and the political process in general. I hope that everyone will allow their voice to be heard, because you can and must be heard if you want things to change.
So in whatever talent you possess, tell the world what matters to you. One of my classes this semester is drawing, and for my final project I had to create an inner self-portrait. It can be seen below and shows my feelings about what is happening to OUR nation.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Expectations for The Citadel

On Monday people from around the nation will be in Charleston to see the 8 democratic candidates battle it out at the southern battelground, The Citadel. I am very excited to be attending the historic debate hosted by youtube and CNN because this debate will be the first with all questions asked by voters. I am very excited about this debate because of its location (The Citadel) and the type of questions that will be asked. Although CNN and Youtube will be able to choose which questions get aired and asked, the general feel of the debate will be different because of the forum. Also, the location should play a major role in the general feel of the debate. Who would have ever imagined eight top democrats standing on the property of The Citadel. For those of you who are not familiar with The Citadel, it is the South's military academy, with a long tradition of conservatism. For example, The Citadel opened its doors to the first woman in 1995. I would say that's a little late, even for conservatives. As Democrats are preparing to have an all night session in congress to bring attention to the congressional battle over the war in Iraq, the top representatives from the Democratic Party will be standing neck deep in the tradition and "values" of the military of our country. Many people will be expecting awkward feelings as Democrats fight against the war. So what will they say?

I believe this is a very easy question to answer...

The Democrats will and should stand up for the troop withdrawal while standing in The Citadel; however, they will focus not on the policy of the war or any reason for leaving besides bringing the troops home. This should make everybody happy right? I can only hope that my personal favorite, Joe Biden, will stand up and set himself apart and attack the policy and reasons for withdrawals.

Should bringing the troops home be the reason we want to end the war? I think the reasoning behind that argument is completely naive. Servicemen and woman are doing their job, and are doing the best job they can do with the supplies and missions given to them; however, the reason we need to be leaving Iraq is not because troops need to come home. Has anyone forgotten the whole peace thing? I am against the war for the simple fact that it is a war, and yes this war is stupid and we have entered it for stupid reasons, but aren't all wars stupid? Yes! So I challenge all Democratic candidates to stand up when asked the question why should we leave Iraq: "Because we are in a war? Why else?"

A question that I hope arises at the debate is the already asked and answered question about Don't Ask Don't Tell. At The Citadel there is an underground group of students that no person in this country, except for me, likes to talk about. LGB (purposefully left out the T on this one for obvious reasons) students at The Citadel will be wanting to know which candidate will let them speak? Don't believe that there are LGB students at The Citadel, well think again. I hope that one of these candidates will stand up for these students and allow them to serve our country and be who they are at the same time.

I am very excited to see this debate unfold and hope that it will live up to my expectations. I am also in the process of making a calender of sorts for the post-debate parties by request of the most recent comment. I know the Edwards campaign party will be at the American Theater on King Street.