I took a wine work junket with a colleague up to Paso Robles a few days ago and on our drive we decided that on certain important issues of our day it was important for people holding progressive views, those views which the inexorable progression of history show to be correct and which will eventually come to pass, to stop equivocating and to forcefully stand up for their beliefs. Push back. Argue. Persuade. But don’t “have a conversation” and don’t fucking compromise.
Now, I warn you, I’m going to get a little political here and I know I’m not saying anything others have not said before and I’m not trying to blow anyone’s minds with my opinions, I just really feel a need to say this stuff right now.
On the following three issues, I will not attempt to see the other side of the argument and I will not agree to disagree and I will not give ground. These are issues that are black and white and if you have an opposing view then you’re just wrong and that’s the way it is.
1. The richest country in the world should be able to provide effective universal single-payer health care at little or no direct cost to its citizens. It works in every other developed country in the world. It does not eliminate choice. We have a family friend who is a private physician in Finland. You can purchase supplemental health care and insurance plans in European countries with socialized medicine if you can afford to and choose to. But a baseline of care similar to what is offered by HMO companies like Kaiser Permanente is required by a civilized society so that every American will never again have to worry about health emergencies destroying their lives or ending them prematurely.
2. Any two consenting adults who want to commit their lives to each other should be able to enjoy all the legal protections provided by society. Call it whatever you want, but call it the same thing whether it’s a homosexual or heterosexual couple. Churches will continue to be able to do whatever they want regarding who they choose to marry, but all the legal and civil protections afforded spouses must apply nationally to both gay and straight couples. It will not lead to the legalization of plural marriage or bestiality. It will not hurt our children. It will not cause hurricanes. If you believe any of those things you’re just lying to yourself and trying to justify the fact that you think homosexuality is “icky.” Sorry. You’re wrong.
3. Firearms and ammunition need to be more heavily regulated and restricted. I like guns. I enjoy shooting. I’m not a hunter and don’t intend to become one but I appreciate those who want to enjoy the outdoors and legally hunt game for food and sport. I appreciate that there is a legitimate need for handguns for self-defense in the home and even, in very rare occasions, for individuals on the street. But there is no reason that military assault weapons and high capacity magazines should be available to the general public with little oversight. If you can’t take down an intruder in 10 shots from a pistol or a couple blasts from a shotgun, then that intruder is going to get the best of you. I know that regulating and restricting firearms will not prevent mass murder tragedies but they will make them less lethal. It will also serve to temper this Wild West attitude we have toward firearms. It’s not going to be easy and it’s going to take time, but we have to change the cavalier attitude that it’s somehow okay to bring a gun to a fistfight and that it’s justifiable and even acceptable to shoot an unarmed teenager simply for looking suspicious or for playing music that’s too loud.
So if you’re a progressive in America, stand up to the bullshit equivocating of the American institutional “left.” We’re on the right side of history. Believe in that fact and demand change. If we do, these next four years could be very interesting.
For another political discussion, check out Erik’s post-election meditations.