On Sunday, I drove to church with a parishioner who struggles with paranoid schizophrenia. After I picked her up, I told her I was really glad that she wanted to come to church. She fixed me with a concerned look: “There’s so much fear about the election. I knew that church was the safest place I could be today.”
This particular parishioner is completely dependent on the universal health care we have here in Massachusetts. Among the many things that frighten her is Mitt Romney’s promise to do away with the national version of the same universal health care he signed into law when he was our “severely conservative governor.”
So when I stepped into the voting booth this morning, I voted for my mentally ill friend and everyone else who feels consumed by fear. I also voted for my marriage to PW. And I voted for a future full of elbow room for my three daughters, and any daughters or sons they may have, and any marriage commitments they may one day want to make. These are some, but not all, of the visions I voted for this morning—a future where:
- Insuring a woman’s reproductive freedom is as important as insuring a man’s ability to maintain an erection for up to four hours.
- Two people who want to make a lifelong and lovelong commitment to each other can enjoy the legal protections and responsibilities of marriage, regardless of their sexual orientation.
- We join other countries as diverse as Mexico, Canada, Rwanda, Mongolia, Israel, India, and Bhutan in providing universal healthcare, and we compete with countries such as Germany and Singapore in making significant investments in scientific and medical research.
- We heed the warnings that abound in our environment and begin working with other nations on the difficult task of ending global warming.
- Any redistribution of income flows in the direction of abundance to scarcity, and not the opposite, which has been the norm for the better part of the past 12 years.
- We make sacrifices on behalf and in honor of the people who put their lives in harm’s way to ensure our safety and security. In short, never again should we go to war without increasing taxes to pay for it.
- Taxes are understood to be an investment that ensures the strength of our social fabric, and are not an evil to be avoided and eliminated.
- Our elected representatives level with us rather than lie to us.
- Our representation at all levels of government reflects our extraordinary national diversity.
- We leave no one behind, regardless of their demographic descriptors.
- We guard the right to vote with more fervor than we guard the right to buy weapons, and exercise it with reason and critical thinking.
- Being smart and well-educated is something we want for every person, and seek in our elected representatives.
- Everything is music.
P.S. Thanks to my friend Jason McStoots for the graphic at the top of the page.