Politics... Again (1 of 2)

You know, I did a little arguing about Prop 8 in the past few days. One of the points that came up was that these decisions should be on the state level, not the national level. I don't want to talk about Gay Marriage anymore, but I do want to talk about this distinction ("it should be at the state level").  This is an argument that comes up often.

I'm not sure how I feel about this.

I mean, I used to be pretty clear about it: state-level decision making is a great idea.  ...Now I'm not so sure. I mean, it strikes me as just as arbitrary a decision as national.  Local decisions totally make sense, since there can be very local changes in ideology.  I know that the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts felt very differently than, say, the Worcester area. But, even though MA is a small state, there was still quite a difference between what people believed.  Heck, even Boston could be divided into a few distinct ideological zones.

So what extra benefit does the state have that the nation doesn't?  There seems to be as much diversity (roughly) within that one, small state as there is in the country as a whole.

So, when dealing with diversity, shouldn't the answer be "you decide?"

I mean, this is my liberal side showing through, but I feel it pretty strongly: unless your actions are clearly affecting others, you should have the right to choose how to act. ...And that should absolutely be the national stance. Leaving a decision to a state is reducing a problem somewhat, but not enough to warrant special treatment. Ideally, let local ordinances cover it.

But then comes the matter of discrimination.  Is that something we should ban on a national level?  If a community wants to say that only red-heads are allowed to drink from public fountains, is that okay?

Personally, I don't think that's okay. For my money, there should never be any legislation, anywhere, at any level, that gives special rights to some people and restricts it to others.

I'm open to heard counter-arguments.

1 comment:

r_b_bergstrom said...

I had the same argument with friends Monday night.

In public, I proclaimed loudly:

"Dude, 'separate but equal' is just plain wrong! History has proven that again and again. I'll go so far as to say 'separate but equal' is stupid, bigoted, and evil! That same flawed logic is what had black people on the back of the bus and not eating at nice restaurants like this! The people leading the movement to ban gay marriage are hate-mongers, and they are trying to trick you into thinking their motivation is tied to benign cultural or religious reasons. They're bigots, they know it, and they're trying to fool you so you'll support their insulting, discriminatory law!"

Or something to that effect. I was pretty fired up. Mad, even.

I was surprised how well they took it.