I’ve witnessed quite a few political arguments over the past few months, although these days I’m trying to stay out of them. (My workload is ample reason to avoid getting worked up every time someone is wrong on the internet.) Going to college was a relief in many ways because I no longer have a television. The hated campaign ads can’t find me.
One argument I’ve seen a lot is “You shouldn’t vote for a candidate just because of social issues like abortion/gay rights. Other things are so much more important.”
This argument is almost always made by middle to upper class white straight individuals, typically male. From their viewpoint, such matters are fairly insignificant. But for people living lives affected or shaped by civil rights constraints, they are vital. An abortion might be the only thing protecting a poor woman from complete financial ruin and life on the streets. Legal protection might keep an outed employee his job.
Yes, the economy is important. So is foreign policy and environmental programs and a thousand other things. (Luckily, I agree with my candidate of choice in most of these areas as well.) However, these ‘insignificant’ civil issues are anything but. They are, in essence, treating our fellow humans as equals. Giving them the same rights and opportunities as the straight white men drafting our laws. If a politician doesn’t support treating everyone as his/her equal, then I don’t think they ought to be in a place of power over his/her fellows. So yes – if a politician is holding on to conservative, suffocating ideas of civil rights, I won’t be voting for them. They are not qualified to be a leader.