Emily Bett Rickards is a Canadian actress, best known for portraying Felicity Smoak in The CW television series Arrow. At 23 years old she is already becoming a major star and is being embraced by the nerd universe.
When I was younger, I thought of myself as a republican. I liked how they seemed to look out for small business. I was anti-gay. I liked guns and the Army. I wanted violent criminals behind bars. The democrats seemed to be a labor-driven party of Joe Sixpack and I didn’t really identify with Dukakis. A lot has changed the last 25 years since I identified as a Republican. Here, I’d like to outline positions that are as popular as Blackberries in the iPhone age. Maybe I should have said Windows 8. Anyway, these positions are losing positions simply based on sheer numbers. It might be wise to tear up the “hard line” and move some of these positions more to the center.
1) The gays
20 years ago, I would have been voting right in line with Republicans on these issues. My thinking at the time was that it is like 1 in 100,000 people are gay, so it must be some sort of deviant behavior. It turned out I learned later that my brother was gay, and because of all of the courageous people that came forward in the 1990’s, I realized my thinking was wrong. No, I did not fucking flip flop. I re-evaluated my position when new information presented itself. It turned out, that something like 1 in 10 people are gay. This to me sounds more of a natural state of being rather than some massive deviation. I spent time understanding their positions. I went with my brother to a gay bar and was happy to see a few hot lipstick lesbians as well as incredible karaoke. I started to realize that my brother had every right as I did to love someone without being scared of being put in the hospital for it.
You know what? Every one of you reading this has a gay brother, cousin, sister, friend, uncle, aunt, boss, co-worker, etc. Every last one of you. Some of you just might not know it yet, as people are still closeted out of fear of being disowned. The suicide rate of gay people is one of the saddest things in our society right now.
By sheer numbers, every time a candidate says he is against gay marriage, it costs him 10 percent of the vote plus anyone who has a friend/cousin/aunt/uncle who is in a serious relationship.
The solution: Adopt a platform which recognizes gay marriage as a legal entity, but feel free to keep it out of churches. There will always be a testosterone-filled guy bailing hay in Kansas who has a shotgun rack in his pickup truck who “hates queers”, but the truth is, none of your candidates will win another national election unless the platform moves towards the center.
Roe v Wade is now 40 years old. It’s time that people recognize this is law, and for those people who choose to have an abortion, it is their legal right. When I was a scared, irresponsible college kid, I was all for abortion. It seemed like a get out of jail free card. What the hell did I know about raising a kid, and I didn’t have a pot to piss in. I would have had to drop out of college and make minimum wage to help support the kid, who probably also would have wound up on some sort of public assistance.
As an adult who makes a significantly better living, and being a father myself, it changes how you think of these kinds of things. Every parent knows exactly what I mean right now when looking at your child. Today, I can also support my child much easier than I could have 15 years ago. So, today I’m against abortion for me personally, but I understand and respect a woman’s right to do as she pleases with her body.
The problem is that the right doesn’t really get their own arguments. There’s a bunch of circular logic that I need to point out to you right now…
– Abortions are bad, they should be banned
– We will not support birth control or condoms in schools
– We will not support sex education
– When the child is born, we will not pay for public assistance to help that child
– We will not support government programs to help pay for daycare so the single mother can work
– We will not support government programs to help this woman borrow money to go to college to provide for her child
– We will not support tax credits for this woman’s child
– We will not support free healthcare for this child
– If you are raped, it was God’s plan for you to have this rape baby
– If you are molested by a relative and get pregnant, you were meant to have this child
The current platform is “abstinence until marriage”. Yeah, good thing kids listen to adults. Good thing they don’t have raging hormones or want to bang everything that walks. The prevailing thought is that somehow you can convince kids to be pure and innocent until they get married.
Problems with this argument:
– This position is taken by people who cannot possibly have 1/10th the level of hormones I had.
– It’s like buying a house or car without ever seeing it. Part of any relationship is sexuality.
I once heard there are like 4,000 abortions per day and have been over 55,000,000 since Roe v Wade. I then started to think about how much public assistance money was saved with that number and realized without it, our population may be closer to 400,000 million right now. The vast majority of those babies would have wound up on some form of welfare.
The solution: Accept it as law. Stop trying to murder abortion doctors. Realize people aren’t perfect and abortions are cheaper than the cost to support them on the government dime for 18 years.
Spend your money doing the following:
1) Doling out birth control and condoms along with sex ed to keep pregnancy rates down
2) Cut back public assistance to anyone who has more than one child moving forward. No more “career moms” in the inner cities who live off of assistance.
3) Spend money putting together adoption services and match them with pregnant girls/women.
3) The illegal Hispanics
I heard the term “voluntary deportation” and it sounded like this…
Pedro: “did you know we are illegal aliens?”
Raul: “yes. It is quite disturbing. What do you think would should do about it?”
Pedro: “maybe would should go back to Mexico.”
Raul: “yes. It is agreed. We will go back to Mexico.”
The truth is, this was a policy meant to cut off illegals from getting jobs, attending schools, getting drivers’ licenses, etc. When they could no longer afford to live here, they would simply get the fuck out. Yeah. That’s the ticket. What a very, very flawed platform that is. If people get desperate for money, they steal shit. Then they get sent to jail, where they may or may not get deported. If they are deported, they simply come back over the border next week. Plus, unless you have cops or ICE agents in the parking lot of every Home Depot in the country every day, you will more or less never cut off day labor practices.
The solution: Let’s tax the shit out of them. You want to be here? Cool…we want your goddamn tax money. If you live here, you need a national ID card. If you want to buy cigarettes, you need your national ID card. Want to drive a car? National ID card. Rent a room? National ID card. Buy a house, get a bank account, take a shit…national ID card. Why aren’t we getting taxes from their bosses? Why aren’t they paying minimum wage? Use the tax money to build a really big goddamn border to keep out other illegal immigrants as a matter of national security.
4) Catering to the rich
You need to make something like $400,000 a year to be considered in the 1%. Yet the Republicans cater to this class for some reason time and time again. When I was a kid, Republicans looked out for small businesses. Now, they look out for the Waltons who are smashing small businesses to pieces. Yet small businesses are still brainwashed to think the guy taking PAC money from the Waltons is looking out for them? The Republicans cry foul if taxes go up on the rich 1% as if you’re taking the last of their bread off of their fine China serving platters. You are completely gullible if you think taxes going up a small percentage on the rich will affect our economy negative in any way, shape, or form. If you really think that, you need to sign your ass up for economics classes and finance at your local community college. The Republicans use this as gospel. Those that believe this are just not educated in this area enough to debate it. There’s no real other way to put it other than 20 Nobel Laureates in Economics disagree with you.
The truth is, your way of thinking (trickle down economics) was founded by a Communist named Karl Marx and became very popular by Reagan to, ironically, defeat communism. He defeated communism by outspending them and creating massive national debt, which continued on through Bush. The ultimate concept is that – get this – when the economy is good, LOWER taxes. When the economy is bad, LOWER taxes. There is no conceivable way that taxes should be raised under this plan. The problem is, under 20 years of Republican presidents (Reagan 8, Bush 4, Bush, 8) you have had ZERO surpluses because part of a budget is not only income, but expenses. You expect a robust national defense, tons of crime fighters, cops, teachers, mail, fireman, new roads, but you don’t expect to pay any taxes to do these government services. What role do you think government should play? Do you think cops should be in the classroom to protect students? That’s a government job.
Also, you somehow aligned yourselves with investment bankers. You made a really, really bad deal with the devil. Regulation is there to protect 98% of consumers from getting their 401k’s fleeced. Fuck you and your problem with regulations. The head of the NASDAQ ended up fleecing people for several billion dollars. Yes, you need to understand regulation is there to protect you from these assholes. It’s not being liberal to protect 98% of people from bad people stealing from them. It’s called making laws.
The solution: Stop pandering to rich bastards and start representing the middle class, which will get you a few more points. This means realizing that you must fix the IRS and overhaul the tax code, but you must do it without sacrificing revenue and may also have to close loopholes for the rich as well. Stop parking money overseas, and provide a one time get out of jail free pass to re-patriate your money with no tax penalties.
Here’s the deal. 15% of the world is atheist/agnostic. 7% of the United States is Muslim. We have Judaism as well here in large numbers. Every time you open your pie hole about God, 30% of America tunes you out. I don’t need to see a photo op of you in church. If you’re deeply pious, so be it. However, I think it’s very disingenuous for many of these politicians to make it look like they are more religious than they are. Who cares what religion you are if you know how to fix the economy?
Solution: Dial back God to the masses. This might win you a few more points.
What you do right:
1) Talk about self reliance and hard work. I like the message, but to somehow imply that a registered democrat like me relies on the government for handouts is just arrogant and stupid. I like the message, but don’t cast democrats as “anti”. Just say, “our party believes in hard work and self reliance”.
2) Guns. Look, you’re going to lose assault weapons. Who gives a shit, it’s not going to affect you. No one is taking a handgun from my house to defend against bad guys. This will never happen in this country.
3) Anti-union. You usually appear wayyyy too pro business on any issue, no matter what. I feel unions have really done bad things to themselves over the last 30 years and they simply don’t understand how the global workforce works.
4) Crime. After living in the hood for quite some time, I really wish there were tougher sentencing laws to keep these crazies off the streets. I just found out that I live in the 18th most dangerous city in the country. I want more cops, more jails, more bad people off the streets. I don’t want “hug a thug” and have them talk shit out.
5) Cutting expenses. While you appear to be the evil Darth Vader of the Medicare system, you are trying to balance the budget in one method – reducing costs. The problem is that there are never cuts on Defense, which are by far our largest costs.