I want to tell you to not vote for Romney for a lot of reasons.
I want to remind you how devastatingly dishonest he’s been regarding his own finances. How he basically committed a felony in 2009 which is why he won’t release his tax returns for that year.
How he lied blatantly about the auto industry to Ohio voters in an effort to scare them while hoping they would not uncover the facts.
How his foreign policy would have elongated both the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. How I’ve met soldiers from both wars who have been forever injured and impacted by these unnecessary and costly wars.
I could literally go on for pages and pages listing dishonest accounts of his actions, accounts from experts who dissect and dismantle his math, and list link after link to articles of people, newspapers, and corporations that endorse Obama, and their very detailed and lengthy reasons why.
But I’m asking you not to vote for Romney, because you are a mother. You are my mother.
I do not want you to feel like I am attacking you for beliefs you feel strongly about. What I want to do is reveal to you why I am voting for Obama. And that reason is you.
You are a great mother. You are a great woman. You have overcome so much adversity, and you are strong, educated and enlightened. You have given the greatest gift that a mother can give to her child, because you have passed all of that on to me. I learned from you to accept everyone. That everyone has a story. Everyone matters.
I know you feel frustrated by entitlement programs. I understand that. You work at an incredible high school. How many kids at your school have been fed by federal programs because their parents couldn’t or wouldn’t take care of them? I’m not happy about the parents either, but you taught me it’s so much more important than that. Those kids didn’t choose to be put into that situation. Those kids deserve a chance. I know you believe that, because you yourself have spent countless dollars on school supplies on kids that needed them. No one demanded you do that. You just knew it was the right thing to do. Not everything is fair. And you never asked for acknowledgement, because the kids going on to higher grades, having a sense of self worth, that was the acknowledgement.
To say that the lesbian and gay community are in my heart is a dramatic understatement. I understand that in Arkansas they are not prevalent, because I grew up there and I remember how every one of my gay friends could not come out for fear of physical and emotional trauma. You’ve said to me that you support my gay friends. When you vote for Romney, though, you take all of that support away. In fact you don’t just take it away, what you do is make a very, very loud statement: my money is more important than many human beings being acknowledged as rightful citizens. Do you remember Geoff? One of my best friends from college? My roommate after college? He lives with his husband in Chicago. I attended their wedding. They adopted a beautiful girl named Harper from the south side of Chicago, from a mother who could not take care of her. Do you know what benefits they receive from the government? Zilch. Geoff has no rights if Dan is on life support in the hospital. The government tells them right now that they are less than, as citizens, as humans. You know Geoff. He is not less than: he is more than. He is the best father, the best husband, and when you vote for Romney, you are telling my friend Geoff - your friend Geoff - I’m sorry Geoff, you’re nice, but my taxes are more important than your entire personhood. I know you. You can not be okay with living with that. You taught me to be so much better than that,. You have always been so open, so loving, and so nonjudgmental. So for you to suddenly decide that my friends don’t count as people, I find that hard to believe. The fact is, they do matter. I love you, and you are so intelligent. I do not want you to be on the wrong side of history on this, because if you are, I believe it will bring great shame. You have always taught me that equality is of the upmost importance, and I have benefited in my life from this in moments untold. I do not want you to encourage others to miss out on the gift that you have so graciously given me.
If you’re saying to yourself, right now, it’s not a single issue election, I want to tell you that you’re right. There are a lot more issues at stake. Let’s talk about the one that is most important to me.
Here is my big question for the GOP: if your position is that you want to keep the government out of peoples lives, why do you believe it’s okay to keep the government involved in my vagina? This is my body. Every woman has her own body. It is hers. It is mine. I will not let you touch it. As a mother, I feel like that is your job, to help protect others from violating my body. You made this. Literally. You cooked me in your baby oven, and I have grown up, proud and strong, and I am my own woman now, but I am still from you. You have an obligation to protect that, not let others dictate what happens to it. You are not a slave. I am not a slave. You did not reproduce me to have the men of the world dictate what I am worth. This is real. If I was raped, would you have me carry that baby? I know you wouldn’t want that. You have to understand though, that by supporting Romney, you are choosing someone that would fill the Supreme Court with judges that would choose to overturn Roe v Wade if they could. That is how much they value your daughter. That is how much they value the life that you made with your body. They would have me raped again, stricken of yet another choice, and forced to carry out a pregnancy, or forced to seek an abortion that wasn’t legal and therefore possibly not safe.
Let’s make it personal. Do you remember when I was beaten? When I was kicked and spit upon? When a particular terrible human being hacked in to all of my accounts and posted vile misinformation? When he stalked me and gave me PTSD? There was a time, after the assault, when I thought I was pregnant. My body reacts to stress with extreme sensitivity, so after the assault I missed my period for over two months. I thought with fear that I was carrying the child of my attacker. Under Romney, that wouldn’t count as rape, or endangering the life of the mother. I would have been forced to have carried his child, and forever been entwined in my abusive boyfriends life. This is not a situation that falls neatly into the GOP’s “middle of the road” views – when a woman is raped or its incest or the mothers life is at stake. That’s about - at best – as far as they’re willing to go. Imagine me – your daughter -in a court, having to explain to the government, that the mothers life in this case was indeed at stake. To have me carry this baby, and mandate contact with my attacker, does that not put my life at stake? It does. It did. In many ways. But not in the eyes of the government.
You are my mother. I want you to stand up to men who think they have a right to my body. They do not. You gave this to me. We are stronger than that.
If you think Obama hasn’t done enough in his first 4 years, remember that Republican Congressmen have been quoted as saying their only goal during his term is not getting anything passed in bi-partisan quality, because they want him to be a 1 term president. Those aren’t politicians that have Americans best interests at heart. They have an agenda which is corporate, financial, and without feeling.
That is not you. You are heart. You are fiercely intelligent, and you believe your daughter is not a reproductive robot. She is a person. I am a person. I love you, and I would not have the heart that I have, the intelligence, and the drive, without everything that you taught me. I just wanted to remind you that every single reason I am voting for Obama, I learned from you. I love you for all of them.
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