Friday, February 29, 2008

It's More Important Now



By Donatra and PraetorOne



Having a baby can change one's perspectives in ways that one never would have suspected.  Throughout the summer, fall, and winter we knew that we did not want or child to be raised in the Republican cuckoo land that has become the United States, and now that our child, a healthy baby boy named Jeffrey Michael, has arrived in the world we are more determined than ever to turn this country around while there is still a country left to actually turn around.  I don't know if any of you out there are new or expecting parents, but as far as my husband, PraetorOne, and I are concerned we are even more dedicated to changing this country than we were during the run up to January 13th, the day that our first child was born.


So what do we want?  That is a loaded question.


First and foremost we want to see an end to the war in Iraq--as quickly as possible.  Thanks to George W. Bush we are now stuck in this quagmire and if John McCain has a say in the matter we'll be there for at least another decade or two with even more American involvement.  That is not a thrilling prospect.  I suspect that on some level, McCain, who is well known for his occasional outbursts of temper, is STILL bitter about the time he spent as a POW during the Vietnam War; and far from making him more sympathetic to the horrors of war, I suspect that he believes on some level that since HE had to suffer that OTHER young men and women might as well suffer too.  In other words, we need a Democrat in the White House who will do more than issue half-baked platitudes about how much he or she supports the troops.  We need  a Democrat in office who will support the troops so much that he or she is willing to stop the open bleeding and bring them home right now.


Another thing that we would like our child to experience is the sensation of growing up in a nation that actually produces and sells real products.  I don't know about you but as a new mother I am sick and tired of purchasing baby toys, bottles, paper diapers, etc which are made in China.  This will probably come as real shock to some people but there was a time when we actually produced real products; quality automobiles, toys, appliances, etc and when we didn't sell off our natural resources; when we were owed money and not paying it out through the wazoo in interest to foreign nations.  For that matter we would also like to scrap trade agreements like NAFTA which have proven disastrous for every nation involved.  The free traders simply didn't know what they were talking about when they proposed these monsters, and no that they have been instrumental in destroying the American economy the free traders are too proud and arrogant to admit that they ave screwed up royally.  To remedy the situation we need more democrats who will again, stop the open bleeding, and switch from free trade to fair trade agreements, essentially burning NAFTA and its sister agreements in the same way one would burn a 20 year mortgage--with absolute glee and celebration.  Call us funny, but we want our child to live and thrive in a country where American jobs produce American products for sale both, here and abroad.   We want our child to benefit from good wages and workplace protections, and we want him to benefit from an affordable education system, perhaps even a publicly funded college/university system that won't bury him under years of debt.   We understand that there will always be service sector, burger flipping, jobs, but in the past those jobs were meant for teenagers, as stepping stones to better things, not jobs for adults with homes and families.  In short, we want our son to grow up in the America of old; a thriving, productive America of strong workers and strong unions--where eight hour work days and workplace safety standards were the norms and not the exceptions.


And then we have that little matter of health care.  We know that we won't stay young forever, and by the same standard we know that our 

child will grow up, marry, and have children of his own.  Those are normal parts of living.  But by the same token we also see a lot of squeezed individuals who are forced to raise families and take care of sick parents at the same time.  This may be an acceptable situation to the Republican Party but it is not at all acceptable to the parents/children who are forced to deal with both, the problems of raising a younger generation and caring for an older generation.  Physically and financially this is an unfair burden on the squeezed individual who undoubtedly has enough trouble taking care of just one generation.  Now toss in the costs of medical procedures, medical devices, and drugs, and you have a nightmare for which only the wealthiest of Americans can afford to pay.  So what do we want?  We want what a majority of Americas want and what most industrialized western nations already have:  socialized medicine.  There, we used the word.  Socialized.  Learn to love it and get over it because any opinion poll you take reveals that this is what the American people really want.  Hopefully we can see a day when we have enough Democrats in office with a Democratic President who will be able to pass the proper legalisation.  And we hope to see some movement in that direction during our child's lifetime.


Of course all of this will be meaningless unless we get a handle on the environmental degradation that has been another outstanding trademark of the Bush Administration.  We desperately want to see science, logic, and reason replace the faith (some might say delusion) based reality in which this Administration and its cadre of flat earthers have been ruling here since  2001 and probably before.  We want to get a handle on global warming; clean our soil, air, and skies; clean up the damage that Bush has done and get back to the kind of serious ecological/environmental protections that we instituted during the 1970s. 


In a related topic, we want quality schools.  We want strong science programs based on cold hard facts.  We don't want the pipe dream of Creationism to replace the Theory of Evolution.  We don't want the Germ Theory of Disease replaced by a belief in possession, evil spirits, and bogeymen.  The Theory of Gravity works just fine as it is, and we don't need George W. Bush replacing it with the "W" Theory of Celestial Duck Tape.   And while were at it, let's get rid of the No Child Left Unrecruited clause in No Child Left Behind.   We are perfectly capable of telling our child what we think about war and we don't need some representative from the Bush military industrial complex to sell our child a barrel of goods about challenges and educational opportunities through the military.  If our child was to go to college we will help him in that endeavour.  We don't need some recruiter pawing through his personal information or calling us at our home.  We do not appreciate a bloated, federal program which takes the local control out of education and which forces children to learn how to take tests without actually learning anything else.  Nor do we appreciate the fact that No Child Let Behind crowds out educational opportunities for art, theatre, and drama, condemning children who might be talented in those areas to drudgery and overall failure. 


Likewise we want a stricter separation of Church and State.  This will come as a shock to some, but since Praetor dumped the Buddhist faith and started to attend a very liberal Episcopalian Church, he has again proven that he doesn't need George W. Bush and the Radical Religious Right to select his religion for him.  He was a strong proponent of Church/State Separation before and he is STILL a strong proponent of Church/State Separation.   We don't need any level of government, be it local, county, state, or federal, telling us how or when to pray.  We don't need multi-ton monuments, crosses, and public displays to remind us of our values.  And if you DO feel that you need an external symbol to remind yourself of your religious beliefs than review quickly the sincerity of your morals and values.  At the same time we see no reason why we should be compelled to support the prayers, symbols, and so-called morality of any belief system save our own. 


We also want our son to grow up in a nation that values Constitutional liberties.  For even years we have sat by while George W. Bush. the Neocons, and the Radical Religious Right have routinely defecated on the Bill of Rights and called it proper.   Well, we know that torture, invasion of privacy, snooping through peoples papers, phone calls, and emails, and nauseam are not in sync with the Constitution and anyone who thinks they are needs to go back to grade school for a remedial class in civics and basic American government.


In short, we want our child to grow up in a civilized America, not the barbaric parody under which we have been living since 2001. 


So what about you?  If you're a parent do you have any hopes for he future?  I what kind of country do you want your sons and/or daughters to live?  We'd love to hear from you.


Donatra and PraetorOne



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