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Charles Karel Bouley Headshot

Focusing on Nonissues Is the Real National Threat

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Karel Trying To Convey a Message to North Carolina (Photo by Erick Pearson/Erickseye)

I could not be more over it, and I think most of you are with me.

As I sit and hear some caller on the "Stephanie Miller Show" today talk about how what North Carolina just voted to do (constitutionally ban same-sex marriage in their state) is a good thing because gay people "dilute" the "sacred institution" of marriage, I actually believe that I'd rather put a dagger through my hand than hear this trash just ONE MORE TIME.

What North Carolina and 29 other states in some way, shape or form did or have done, is again prove to be an embarrassment to the progression and development of the United States of America and prove, yet again, that bigotry disguised as God, wedge issues disguised as important, and hatred disguised as politics are alive and well this election cycle. 

Future generations will hopefully look back at this time as the social regressive dark ages, a Bushtonian Era conservatism rooted in ignorance and fear. Living in this time is frustrating at best for any person who understands what the 14th Amendment to the Constitution means; Jefferson was so clear on how equal equals equal. 

But what I won't do is listen to this ridiculous debate -- or engage in it -- and nor should you. Guns, God, gay people, abortion, birth control -- please wake me when you get to an issue that actually affects all Americans as our country lays dying in the ICU of the world. We are on life support, with constant plasma (money) infusions from China, our largest organ donor to keep us alive. 

On my radio show, I recently got a call from a 61-year-old woman with MS named Lynn. Her husband is 62. He lost his job, then she lost what little income she had. "We did everything right -- the American dream, worked hard, bought a house, paid our taxes," she stated as tears welled up and her voice waivered. "Now, we've fallen into an abyss. We can't get aid because we own a house, but it's about to be foreclosed upon. I can't get health insurance, COBRA is $2,000 a month and because we have a house I don't qualify for state or federal aid. No one will hire us, because we're too old. ... Karel, we have no where to turn, we feel like we want to die," she concluded.

In America. In my country. Story after story like this can be heard on my, or any progressive show. In California on May 12, 93,000 people will lose their unemployment benefits, joining the 670,000 that have lost them already. Why? Because the Federal money is being cut off. The rule is the state's unemployment rate must be 10 percent higher than the last three years. We went from more than 12 percent to 11 percent, and that 1 percent drop means goodbye to benefits for 93,000 people. What will they do? Who knows (or cares) really. There's no real welfare system that works any longer, no safety net. 

On May 8 the Senate voted and Democrats won with a 52-45 vote to keep student loan interest rates at what they are now and not double them. The money would come from taxing high-end stockholders of private corporations more for Medicare and Social Security. Touching the rich? Republicans, of course, have threatened a what -- say it with me -- filibuster, so even though the bill WON by a majority of two votes (seven total), a simple majority no longer can win in the Senate, a vote must have 60. That's not what the founders intended and we should get rid of the filibuster right away, invoke the nuclear option as it were. Or stop wasting the VP's time as the deciding vote in the Senate if a 51 majority isn't enough to do anything anyway. Of course, John Boehner's House wouldn't have passed the bill anyway.

Oh, and in Indiana they think sending a Tea Partier to D.C. in some way will help them. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), told me just last week in an interview, "This Tea Party Congress is strangling America; they are obstuctionist with a stranglehold on the Republican Party and are crippling our nation..." I'll take her word for it, and so should the people of Indiana.

Now those things matter. The misguided residents of North Carolina simply don't. The ad nauseum debates that will now go on about same-sex marriage don't mean a friggin' thing to you in your life, even if you are gay. Because know this: It will be legal, nationally, one day. Period. End of story. How do I know? I've read the Constitution and there's only one way to interpret it. I've even made a T-shirt and bumper stickers to express my belief: Equal = Equal  

Marriage prohibition is a national disgrace that only shames those that support it, just as Don't Ask Don't Tell was a national shame that was a blight on our military, laughed at by the rest of the world. 

And if we don't get to equality, and if people don't start paying attention to real issues and leave guns, God, gay people, abortion and birth control (coupled with religion) behind? Then as a nation, we deserve to fail. We are not the United States of America; it seems we are not united on anything. Our ignorance about real issues and the elevation of nonissues such as GLBT marriage or birth control could be our undoing. 

Putting gay marriage on the ballot gets all the extremist to the polls, and Republicans need those led by Rupert Murdoch off to slaughter to vote the way they want them to; so they appeal to the worst among them. And it works. Karl Rove's classic playbook -- wedge issues get wackos to the polls and Romney needs wackos. After all, for three years the same people voting for Romney have been screaming about President Obama being a closet Muslim. They have some problem with Muslims, but not with Mormons. As much as Mormons and Mitt try and run from the tenants of their own faith, my understanding is that Mitt Romney wears holy underwear (temple garments) that allegedly protect him from harm (so no Secret Service scandals, at least; the underwear will do the job). He believes a man read things off tablets in a bag, things like black people are black because they have the mark of Cain upon them, and that when he dies he will go off and populate a planet. They have no problem with that, but IF President Obama WERE a Muslim, they'd have a problem with THAT? Hypocrisy reaches a fever pitch. 

If America wants to continue to fixate on nonissues such as gay people, guns, God, abortion and birth control and ignore the corporate fascist theocratic state we are quickly regressing into, then when we fall as a nation, and we will; it will be well-deserved and worked for thoroughly by those who profit most from it. 

I'm tired of defending Americans and their actions like yesterday. We are a nation in serious trouble, and the "A" in USA does not stand for "Accident." Nothing happening from the foreclosure crisis, economic crisis, education crisis, health crisis or any of the other 100 crisises we have are accidents. We are this way because someone wants us this way.

North Carolina, and others, pull your heads out of your evangelical arses before you wake up and find the only promised land you have left is heaven because America became a wholly owned subsidiary of China, too broke to object and too fat to do much about it.

It only benefits the powers that be to have you, or us, continually focus on the small, insignificant issues, to fight the same battles over and over and over again, instead of solving these and other problems and actually MOVING FORWARD.

Forward. Today, President Obama proved that the truth of the issue is what moves America forward, as on May 9, 2012 he dared do what no other President, including Clinton, has done while in office: he has said he support same-sex marriage. The support is appreciated for those on the side of civil liberties, truly. It is courageous in an election year, but as my friend Gavin Newsom told me once, "When is it ever a good time for equality, especially politically? When is taking a stand ever truly convenient?"

I'm happy he supports same-sex marriage but, much like when Vice President Biden said it, I, for one, don't really care what either of them think about the issue. I care more about their support of the Constitution, particularly the 14th Amendment, because that's what supporting same-sex marriage truly is about -- equality. I applaud both the president and vice president for their recognizing that the Constitutional protections of equality and freedom apply to all Americans regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Marriage is contract law, and if two people meet the requirements to enter that contract the law can't use race, religion, or gender to keep them out of it. That was the argument in the Loving v. Virginia case that granted interracial marriage, and it's a sound argument now.

But I will give credit where credit is due and today, hats off to President Obama for at least saying enough is enough, let's solve this and move on, let's look forward. It is one of the most supportive things any president has said about the GLBT community and it will cost him politically. Right now the machine that is the right-wing media is HUMMING with ways to poltiicize and criticize this.

And to them and America I say, some dudes love dudes, some gals love gals, get over it and get out of the way of their love. You've got much bigger issues to deal with or else you'll wake up with institution of marriage protected from a nonthreat, but your country completely assaulted and taken over by the the very real threat of the corporate right.

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