Yesterday I spent the majority of my day outside the polls giving out sample ballots in Tito Munoz’s state senate race. It was an interesting day, and not just because of the earthquake (that I didn’t even feel). I was alone for a good part of day, but not all of it.
Shortly after arriving I met a young man who was trying to get signatures to get President Obama on the ballot next year. By law in Virginia you must have 10,000 signatures to appear on a presidential ballot. He wasn’t having much luck. He only got one request for paperwork to become a registered voter. Everyone else refused to sign. He and I got into a discussion about politics. He told me that he was a Cuomo style democrat. I don’t know a great deal about the governor of New York except that he was formerly married to a Kennedy, and the marriage didn’t seem to end well. He then explained that he was an ACLU type of democrat. Well, that of course got my cockles up. He also told me that he was raised a Catholic but is no longer. He considers himself a Christian and he believes that Jesus was a liberal. After all Jesus wanted us to help the least among us. On that we agree. We should be helping the least among us. But what I said to him is that Jesus was not a politician, he very clearly stated that we render onto Ceaser what is Ceaser’s. Jesus was talking about personal responsibility, not government. During his three-year ministry, Jesus never entered the political fray. If you want to help people, then help them. I try to do as much community outreach as I can. I firmly believe that we should help people. I picked the church that I did based largely on this issue. My church community is very involved in getting out into the community and helping people in need. We also got to talking about how Catholic charities almost pulled out of DC. He was throughly disgusted by it. He helped to find a way to keep the Catholic charities actively involved in the DC community. A law was being passed that would have forced the charity to help gay couples adopt. I said to him that the money and the resources belonged to them and they have the right to stand by their principles. The DC government had no right to force a set of beliefs onto them that their church doctrine teaches them is wrong and is sinful. You don’t have to agree with the Church doctrine, but under our constitution they have the right to it, and the government cannot interfere with it. We also got talking about Christmas displays. He seems to be under the belief that other religions don’t get to have their symbols shown. A complete and utter fantasy. The exact opposite is what happens. The Star of David will be allowed to be shown, but the manger scene must be hidden from view. That is a traditional symbol of Christmas and what the holiday is really about; the birth of Jesus. Simply showing it is not forcing anyone to convert. It is only acknowledging a holiday that many in this country feel is sacred. I never did get to ask him about abortion. I will never understand how someone can say that they are Christian in one breath and then say that they feel abortion is ok in the next. Jesus would never approve of abortion on demand. Life is sacred.
Shortly before I was leaving the state delegate for that polling location came out and was handing out literature for the democratic primary that was also being held. This particular polling place had two districts voting at it. He and I got to talking as well. I asked him about school choice. He said it is a bad idea. We are all in this together and we need to improve the public schools. On that we agree. They suck in many areas of the country. Fairfax County is far from great, but they are pretty decent schools. But I did ask him what is a family who is in a district where the school is utterly failing their children to do? He repeated we had to fix them. Ok, but how long does the family in the sucky school have to wait? One year? Two years? Five years? Do they just graduate and hope that the schools improve by the time they have children? I didn’t get an answer.
I also did get someone on his staff to admit that the government wastes a great deal of money. So I asked why should I send more tax dollars to a government that is going to waste them? I didn’t get an answer on that. But he did say that the republicans started negotiations with no additional taxes. I asked him if he were to negotiate something with someone wouldn’t you start at a position further away from where you willing to go? I also mentioned that history shows that the compromise always ends up being we raise taxes today and cut spending in the future, then that future never quite seems to happen. Why can’t we try for once, just for kicks, not raising the taxes and cutting the stupid spending? Because really, does the federal government really need to spend money on Cowboy Poetry? He must have missed that remark from Harry Reid, he didn’t seem to know what I was talking about. He also didn’t seem to be aware that you could send a check to the treasury if you want to. I told him that I believe that they even take debit card payments. Hmm, I wonder if he went home and made a payment? I am thinking not likely.
I also witnessed a horrible inicedent with that state delegate. But, I must leave that for later, as I have other pressing matters to attend to since I was gone all day yesterday.