One of my friends posted a comment on my page with a link to a YouTube video that suggests Democrats founded the KKK, blocked civil rights, created Jim Crow laws, and in doing so are not to be trusted. He states (which I believe) that you will always get the truth from him and some Republicans. I will qualify that this is a "former" marine, (once a marine always a marine) and someone I respect.
At the end of watching the video I went and fact checked. At the surface the allegations are true; Democrats did in fact found the KKK. The twist is that they were Southern Democrats, which split from Northern Democrats in their basic principals during the civil war, and that division has maintained largely even today. The major difference between the two arms of the same body is in the recognition of equality for black Americans and this rejection of minority rights visits us today in the same sex marriage debate.
However, the Republican Party has taken on some of the characteristics my friend accuses the Democratic Party of having. My point is summed up in actions; if the GOP, who has been in charge for so long in New Hampshire is so racially conscientious, why were we the last state in the union to adopt Martin Luther King Day?
"History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is." ~Thomas Jefferson
It seems that times change and so do the politics in our country. When I vote I look for the best ideas and abandon the notion that I need to be loyal to my party. The Republican Party in New Hampshire has written the discrimination of GLBT citizens into its platform, calling for an end to same sex marriages. There is no explanation why they think this will make a better society, it simply calls for an end to our liberty in this matter.
When laws are made they should be addressing a need, and in the instance of same sex marriage there seems no compelling interest served in their denial, hence the recognition in the first place. My marriage to Raymond neither picks my neighbors pocket nor breaks his leg, paraphrasing a quote of Thomas Jefferson on the principles of liberty. Why then would a political party assign the GLBT community as a public enemy? The truth has yet to surface, but perhaps my friend can shed some light on the matter by offering some inside understandings as to how the Republican Party has arrived here. There are allegations that the NH GOP is simply using this issue as a tool, much the way Governor Wallace in Alabama once did. If you read his memoirs you'll not he recanted his racial division ideals prior to his death.
Some New Hampshire representatives openly admit they are acting on their own moral beliefs in the matter of same sex marriage. While standing up for your beliefs works as a private citizen I wonder aloud how a representative can take this point of view when they represent a diverse society under the motto "Live Free or Die!" Is it appropriate to simply shrug your shoulders at a constituent who asks why their lives and their rights should be up for popular vote, saying to them, "Sorry, I don't have to justify the denial of your rights because it fits in line with my religious beliefs"? I think not, but I wouldn't know since my Representative, David Bates, will not respond to my contact requests.
The freedom to live our lives by our own beliefs and to answer to our creator for our actions should be unilateral and not just for the majority. It is enough in my eyes that we do not impede our neighbor's rights, we do not need to intrude upon our neighbors and demand they comply with what we believe. It does not matter what your skin color is, what you believe, or your station in life. What matters most is that you commit yourself to be law abiding and defend this great nation with your life if you are called to.
I believe Voltaire said it best:
"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!"
A New Hampshirite paraphrased this in saying:
"Good Walls make good neighbors." ~Robert Frost
To each his own. Let people be as they will and let those who would take a path least taken do so. America is great because of its ability to embrace differences as its own and learn, it is not great in spite of these differences. Anyone who questions this should remember the "Wind Talkers" whose native language of Navajo could not be broken during WWII. Incidentally, it is well known that Native Americans were subject to widespread discrimination that resulted in their being pushed to the brink of extinction.
Our great nation has been plagued by division and fear mongering for too long. It has cost us greatly and has nearly been proven to be orchestrated by the rich for their gain at the expense of the majority. United we Stand is not just a motto, it is America's way of life; we need to get back to seeing our neighbors as part of our extended family and treat each other with respect instead of suspicion.
We can all benefit by checking facts for ourselves and making sure we do so before we disseminate propaganda that damages our unity and our country. There are real enemies in our midst, and they are using our fear against us to ensure we stay divided and weak enough to take advantage of. My hope is that we inform ourselves against these tactics and end discrimination of all kinds once and for all, for the benefit of ourselves today, and for the children of tomorrow.
"We will either rise up together as brothers or perish together as fools." ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.