Politicians really bug me.

At one point I was involved to some extent with politics.  I knew someone who was going to run for congress and I was going to be working on his campaign.  He decided to choose love over politics, which is probably smart in the long run.  My problem was that he let a lot of people down and he never gave us any explanation.  He just decided not to keep in contact with people when he moved.  That upset me and made me question the choice he made.  My point to this is that because of him, and because of a few people I met along the way including Citizen X, who has horribly neglected his blog of late and The Freetarian, who has finally found somewhere other than BlogTalkRadio to put his show I am not a complete stranger to politics.

This is not an arena that I am always comfortable commenting on.  It’s all convoluted and every single politician has a ego the size of Jupiter.  Every politician thinks his or her stance on something is the only right one and there is no room for debate.  The reason nothing ever gets done in DC is because no one can agree on anything and neither side is not willing to meet the other half way.  According to the last census there are 307,006,550 people in the US.  That is 307,006,550 people from different walks of life, different religions, different opinions and ideals and only a small fraction of this population works in DC to have these voices heard.  However, the right special interest group with the right amount of money will be able to buy mouth time from these politicians to ensure that their voices are heard over the general public.  And speaking of special interest groups, those with almost scary Christian convictions are almost always catered to.

If I hear one more time that this country was “founded on Christian beliefs” I am going to throw up.  I don’t care if this country was founded on a love of grilled cheese and bacon, not everyone subscribes to the same belief system and to make laws based on religious beliefs (abolishing abortion because, according to some religious beliefs, life begins at conception or not allowing gays to marry because The Bible says that marriage is supposed to be between one man and one woman – just to name two) is to force those who don’t believe the same way to conform to that belief and life as if they do.  This is the sort of thing that people talk about when they talk about being bullied by Christian belief.  Somewhere someone forgot that we are supposed to have separation of church and state and politicians have been allowed to use the political arena to preach religion to the masses.

And every so often a politician with no decorum opens their mouth when they should keep it shut.  The most recent case of this has been Mike Huckabee.  I have been thinking about what he said about Natalie Portman for the last two days and the more I think about it, the more it annoys me.  In case you missed it, here’s what he said:

One of the things that’s troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.’ But there aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. And I think it gives a distorted image that yes, not everybody hires nannies, and caretakers, and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock.You know, right now, 75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids — across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. And the cost of that is simply staggering.

First of all, where does he get off comparing an actor or actress to an average American?  That’s like comparing apples and bananas.  He says that Hollywood stars are painting a distorted image.  Hello!  Hollywood!  Is there anything that isn’t distorted or unrealistic?  These are people with more money than the rest of us.  These are people who life “the life” as we call it.  We live vicariously through these actors and actresses by following their lives and watching their movies because we want to escape from our difficult lives for a few minutes.

So Natalie Portman is pregnant.  How does that affect me?  How does Angelina Jolie collecting children from around the world affect me?  It doesn’t.  Huckabee should go work for TMZ if he is worried about what kind of example a pregnant, unmarried, Hollywood star serves.   Using Portman as a stepping stone to make the point that 41% of all live births in America are out of wedlock is pretty low.  59% of children are still born to couples who are married.  All this statistic tells me is that Huckabee doesn’t approve of 41% of all the babies born each year in the US.

Statistics are wonderful, you can manipulate them to mean anything you want.  What that statistic alone does not tell us is how many of those babies are born to couples who are living together and have good solid relationships but have chosen not to get married for whatever reason.  That statistic doesn’t tell us how many of those babies who were born to rape victims.  Those statistics don’t tell us how many of those babies are born to single mothers because the fathers died after the child was conceived.  The statement that 41% of babies born in the US out of wedlock does not give us the big picture, which changes everything.

His statement “Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care” is nothing but a slam at every single mother out there and it also paints a very distorted picture.  Huckabee hasn’t come right out and said it, but he has implied that women still need men to take care of them and that they should be ashamed for having children and no man around to take care of them.  There are a lot of single mothers out there who do have an education, a job and don’t live on government assistance.  There are a lot of single mothers out there who are single because they ended an abusive relationship.  There are single mothers out there because their spouse has died.  There are single mothers out there because we don’t provide the sex education that teenagers need.  Instead money is taken away from government programs if they talk about anything other than abstinence.  Let’s narrow down the real problems and start working to fix them instead of making huge generalizations.

If you want to talk about government assistance, Mr. Politician, let’s talk about how a lot of military families qualify for food stamps and WIC.  Nothing is done about that.  These are men and women who are putting their life on the line every day, who are sent to foreign countries away from their families who aren’t paid enough to pay the bills and keep food on the table.  Our military should not be living below poverty level.  I don’t want to hear the crap about how they get free housing and medical.  Let’s talk about people who get stationed at Norfolk.  On the average your tour of duty at any one station is three years.  Housing has a 2 year waiting listing because there isn’t enough of it.  Then you have to have two children of opposite sexes to get in.

My point is, there are so many things that politicians should be worrying about because there are so many things broken, yet they are worried about the wrong things like pregnant Hollywood stars and the image they project.  If the message that Hollywood stars are sending is such a big deal, why isn’t anyone using Charlie Sheen as an example for the war on drugs or the importance of mental health screenings?

I better shut up now before I give someone ideas.

It’s bunny time…

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