We’ve all see the ads. We’re inundated with them, especially on television and online. Yeah, yeah, we KNOW we should vote and all that, but this is just a midterm election, so it isn’t that important to vote this time, right?
WRONG! It is extremely important to vote, especially if you are a member of any sort of fringe or alternative group. Yes, I could give you the “our forefathers died for our right to vote” and “suffragettes and people of color fought sexism and racism in the streets and in jail cells to give you the right to vote” speeches in an attempt to guilt trip you into voting. But while these things are true, knowing what’s going on in the political arena and how it could affect you and the people you love is often more of a motivator. And yes, when you vote, it is important to know what the parties and the individuals you vote for actually intend to do. Go to websites and do some research. It doesn’t take a lot of time to learn a lot of information.
If you’ve listened to our first podcast it’s pretty clear that Craig and I are both extremely liberal. We’re far more liberal than the Democrats are ever likely to be. However, because of who were are – including the fact that we are polyamorous and part of the umbrella group of people who practice ethical non-monogamy, we feel that it is important to look at which party will best protect our interests in that respect, as well as in others. While we don’t always agree with the Democrats, our chosen lifestyle sometimes takes priority over other considerations.
First, we want to be sure that we, and all of our partners, have access to reasonably priced health care. Not only do we want those we care about to be healthy, but in a non-monogamous lifestyle the prevention of STIs is extremely important. For any women we are involved with, especially, be they ourselves, our spouses, girlfriends, lovers, mothers, daughters, friends, etc, we want them to have equal access to healthcare. We want them to be safe and healthy. We expect that their insurance premiums shouldn’t be higher, nor should they be refused certain reproductive services, such as basic birth control, simply because they are women. In some places women’s reproductive rights are actually at issue in this election.
Speaking as a sexually active woman, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – unwanted pregnancy. Anytime one engages in intercourse there is always a chance of pregnancy -however minute. It can happen despite the most careful planning and is a reality that we have to face in our lifestyle. I’ve never had to deal with it myself, and pray that I never do, but for other women, I believe that they and their partners should be able to make those choices themselves and have safe, affordable, legal options. Clearly there is one party that will support that freedom to make choices and another that would prefer to take them away. As a person who could one day be faced with that choice myself, I will vote so that both monogamous and non-monogamous women can make their own choices.
Speaking of families, as poly people, we are naturally very concerned about and involved in the concept of “family”. The Republican party has spent the past several years trying to mandate the definition of “marriage”, which certainly limits the concept of “family”. Their understanding of “family values” would have you believe that our various polycules, quads, vees, triads, anchors, extended chosen families, etc are not “family” AT ALL!! While there may currently be no party that is willing to fight on our behalf, in this case I’ll follow the theory that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” – especially since that party has been supporting the fight for LGBT marriage equality.
Other issues that are not directly poly-related but that are on the table with the upcoming elections include minimum wage increases, internet neutrality, cutting social security – again (this was done not long ago and is a ridiculously meager amount to begin with), more wasteful attempts to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, no immigration reform, and threats of impeaching the President for doing nothing other than what past Presidents have done. All of this to detract from the fact that nothing will get done for two years while corporations continue to receive more tax breaks, more jobs get shipped overseas, and the middle and lower classes find it increasingly difficult just to survive.
While I/we don’t think the Democrats have all – or even most – of the answers, I will be voting for them in the upcoming election because I believe they will protect more of my interests as a bisexual, poly person than any other party will. Whether you agree with me or not, I admonish you to do some research and to vote on Tuesday. Whether it seems like it or not, EVERY election is important!