Would America be Better off Today with John Kerry as President?

One common statement I’ve grown to expect to hear from right-wingers who have grown frustrated with the blood being spilled day after day after day due to their voting to re-elect Bush is, “But at least we don’t have Kerry.”

It’s an interesting argument to suggest the country is somehow better off today than with John Kerry as president. But here’s one thing I know for sure that I think most of my conservative friends would agree with: Kerry would not appoint religious nutcases to scienced-based positions:

How to get a job in Washington, that balmy, bipartisan town: Direct an organization that opposes contraception on the grounds that it is “demeaning to women.” Compare premarital sex to heroin addiction. Advertise a link between breast cancer and abortion — a link that was refuted in 1997. Rant against sex ed. And hatch a loony theory about hormones.

You’re a shoo-in, and if your name is Eric Keroack you’re in your second month as deputy assistant secretary for population affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Keroack, a 46-year-old Massachusetts ob-gyn, today oversees the $280 million Title X program, the only federal program “designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them, with priority given to low-income persons.”

Science matters, and crap like this hurts people. I believe Kerry would have been mature enough to appoint experts in their field rather than religious politicians to hold positions like this.

Another area of agreement between me and my right-wing friends is over balance of power. We agree that the government works best when no single party controls all branches of government. Whenever that happens, accountability goes out the window and the country moves in dangerous directions. With that in mind, Kerry would have been an obvious choice with the GOP controlling congress in 2004. It’s not a far stretch to imagine Republicans holding onto congress in 2006 had Kerry been president.

Student Loan Rates Drop: Thank Democrats

For 1.5% of the cost of the unprovoked and unwarranted War in Iraq, Democrats have made a college education more affordable for 5.5 million students per year:

Democrats Slash Student Loan Rates

As promised, the Democratically controlled Congress voted to cut the interest rate on selected student loans yesterday:

AP — The House legislation, passed 356-71, would slice rates on the subsidized loans from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent in stages over five years at a cost to taxpayers of $6 billion. About 5.5 million students get the loans each year. … Democrats conceded Congress needs to do more to make college more affordable. But they said reducing student loan interest rates was a significant step toward tuition relief.

A lot of Republicans jumped on the bandwagon, but the Democrats are the ones to thank since this bill would not have made it to the floor under a GOP controlled congress. In fact, the “GOP controlled Congress voted in June of 2006 to raise the interest rate on one of the most popular student loans, called Stafford Loans, from 5.3 percent to 6.8 percent.”

Central Front in The War on Christmas: Eastern Wisconsin

A friend of mine from college thinks that George W. Bush’s Texas accent is real, that we’re winning in Iraq (yet he can’t define HOW we’re winning or what winning looks like), and that Democrats drink the blood of babies (more or less).

He also happens to be a member of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders defending Christmas from Democratic evildoers. While crushing his latest can of Busch Light (ironic when said rather than read) with his left hand, he forwards right-wing jokes with his right. Here’s the latest:

For My Democrat Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere.

For My Republican Friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

My friend celebrates the birth of a non-white, non-American, non-Republican person born to an asexual couple by making fun of people (Democrats) who, ironically, respect others without regard to “race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference.”

Here’s a previous exchange from over three years ago when he was convinced the media was misleading the American public by supposedly failing to report on how well things were going in Iraq. 465 Americans had already died in Iraq. 2,485 more Americans have died since.

I suppose it’s easier to fight (via keyboard) a fake war trumped up by a couple FOX News talking heads than to defend the bloodshed caused by President Bush.

What I don’t understand is why so many people NEED an enemy in their life. Is hate therapeutic? Does a polarized world-view give people a sense of place?

Here is my first shot at a theory on this: people who look down on others due to their political affiliation or religious beliefs would like to live in a simpler world. By dismissing the beliefs of the vast majority of Americans (the majority of Americans belong a different political party or no party at all), and the vast majority of the world (people of different religions, races, etc.), the world becomes a much smaller and more manageable space. It’s a comfortable world-view that comes without the burden of learning about other places, people, and religions beyond basic stereotypes so you can make fun of them.