A recent CBSNews.com article claims that the late Tip O’Neill’s profound and succinct observation that ‘All Politics is Local’ is a thing of the past. Citing the upcoming Congressional elections, specifically the soon to be trampled, Rep. Todd Akin, his offensive comments about rape and abortion, Rep. Joe Walsh declared that ‘everything’s national’. This stands out as, the last thing, after the unanimous decree that Todd Akin is… (nope can’t say that…) …misguided and dangerous… about which both representatives and both parties are correct. Today, every national issue and every major election has the potential to directly impact how we work and live. National politics affect our schools, how we work, when we work, whether there is work, whether our marriages are recognized, what we can do with our bodies. Local elections are where it all starts. City and county governments influence state senate, congressional, judicial and gubernatorial elections. It’s all local; and it is a mistake to say that the narrow-minded views, bad medicine and scary theology of a hood-wearing, shot-gun toting, Rebel flag flying, Southern Baptist Fundamentalist preacher in Georgia can’t touch you in Detroit, Providence or Honolulu. It’s all national; and it is a mistake, Massachusetts, to say about marriage equality, ‘we’ve got ours – now, let them get theirs’, because the Governor who campaigned for and presided over your liberation wants to become the President who takes away your reproductive freedom!
And he’s bringing along the kind of creepy backup that, unlike him, doesn’t feel the need to lie and flip-flop about how dangerously conservative his politics are. Paul Ryan thinks his views are right, as does everyone with a strong opinion about anything. Fortunately, we have in this country a thing called Freedom of Speech, for which I’m thankful, because it means that I am also free to say that my opinions are valid, whether anyone else agrees with them or not. My religious views are between me and my God, but I will not inflict them on others. My marriage is between me and my wife, and we will call it whatever we want to and hold hands wherever we darn well please. My right to reproduce or not is my choice, to decide with help from my God, my doctor, and my family. See, there… strong opinions rooted in what I believe. I also believe that all handguns should be banned, rapists should be castrated, perpetrators of incest should be executed, that public universities should be vastly less expensive, if not free – for everyone who is willing and able to do the work – not just scholar-athletes, and that the vetting of anyone running for any political office, local or national, should include extensive, periodic and multiple psychological evaluations… because all politics is local and everything is national.