Despite our small-l libertarian leanings, we won’t touch the Republican or the Tea Party with a ten foot pole. Why? Our friends from Sunday’s wedding offer the perfect example.
We’re intensely proud of what they’re choosing to do with their lives. They’re building a new farm from scratch, turning an empty Missouri valley into a growing business that turns sun and hard work into fresh food, tax dollars, and employment for Missourians. One of them also works off-farm with children who greatly benefit from her services. They are a shining example of what Americans should and could be; hard-working, independent, entreprenurial, deeply respectful of friends, family, community, and the natural world. As every day goes by, they leave our state and our lives better than they found it.
Yet they’re both women. And because they don’t have the Biblically approved balance of chromosomes, they don’t (or shouldn’t) exist in the eyes of the American Right. Despite the hard and dangerous business of farming, they cannot share health insurance or possibly even afford it as individual coverage. Despite a deeper personal commitment than our Vegas-wedding culture can appreciate, they will share no legal or tax benefits to ease the burden of self-employment. If one is injured, the other will be a legal non-entity. If they choose to raise children in the immensely healthy setting of a working farm with stay-at-home parents, they will face immeasurable hurdles and harrassments thrown up before them. All because the American Right, so enamoured with freedom for themselves, has no concept of extending it to others. If our friends were Christian and heterosexual, they could probably run for governor someday. But they’re not, and thus are better swept into the shadows in this worldview.
Will the Right apply family values to all, or just their subculture? Will they remove agricultural subsidies for large farms and government interference for small farms in service of their pseudo-libertarian rhetoric, or simply cut government only where it’s convenient and doesn’t hurt their household budget?
When the Tea Party will accept a doubling in food prices so we can have a free-market food system, then I’ll start listening. When the Right accepts and embraces people on their merits rather than their genetics, I’ll start listening. Until then, however disgusted I am with the actions of Democrats, the freedom-for-us-alone hypocrisy of the American Right will get nothing but disdain from me.
Even if you hold your nose doing it, remember to vote today.