The Elephant in the "D" Column

    I am stepping into turbulent water to talk about the elephant in the ?D?
    section of the ballot, that is Chet Culver. ?Many of us will vote for Culver
    despite the fact that he is not a progressive candidate because Nussle is a
    far more extreme bigot.

    I am asking that when we do this that we are very clear about the impact of
    this decision.

    A vote for Culver is a vote that gives efficacy to homophobia in Iowa. ?The
    issue of same sex marriage is the most fundamental barrier between
    lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans and equality under the
    law. ?LGBT citizens are not condemned for how they perform in a job, live in
    housing, or use their credit. ?They are condemned because they seek to
    have domestic relationships with another adult of the same sex. ?Equality will
    only be achieved under the law when those relationships are given the
    same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples. ?Non-
    discrimination in other areas does not and cannot accomplish equality. ?
    There is no reason to object to legal same sex marriage that is not driven by
    an intent to legally maintain these citizens as inferior. ?

    A vote for Chet supports that evil and ignorant intent.

    A vote for Culver cracks open a wider space in the door for reinstituting the
    death penalty in Iowa. ?The obvious racist bigotry inherent in any death
    penalty for any crime should not need to be illuminated for any self-
    identified progressive. ?A vote for Culver entrenches the racism that frames,
    pervades, and is the very icon of every death row in this nation.

    I realize and acknowledge that Culver?s position on reproductive rights is
    excellent. ?The right of every human being to be the sole sovereign of her or
    his own body should bea given. ?I shudder at the possibility that a Governor
    Nussle could diminish that right even slightly.

    I also, however, find cold comfort in preserving this right by sacrificing the
    others. ?I feel real resentment that the prioritization of these ?Sophie?s
    choices? has been made for me.

    If I had been asked to pick one, I might have chosen the death penalty. ?
    While, it?s horrifically true, that women don?t always survive lack of access to
    an abortion, and LGBT people don?t always survive homophobia, no one
    survives execution.

    But the choice was made for us. ?And it was served by a national, state, and
    county party that didn?t have to go there. ?Gubernatorial elections have not
    been won or lost on any of these issues. ?Bonnie Campbell?s loss after
    selling out the LGBT community and Vilsack?s win and re-election without
    doing this should be sufficient evidence of this truth. ?This is the first time
    since the 1950s that a Democratic gubernatorial candidate has even
    entertained any kind of death penalty; so we clearly didn?t need to go
    there?even if winning is all we care about.

    The most insidious aspect of a vote for Culver is that we concede we cannot
    rid the electoral process of nefariousness and patent dishonesty. ?We
    accept that electoral politics cannot be a thorough and dedicated
    commitment to social justice but a charter of immoral trade-offs to win the
    pennant. ?There appears to be no line we will not cross, no official
    malfeasance we will not cover-up, no wrong-doing we will not deny in order
    to win. ?Within our party leadership, there appears to be no value that we will
    not compromise to protect our favored standing in the party ranks or our
    aspirations for our own hopes to run for office within that party.

    I am not judging anyone who votes for Culver. ?I understand the agony of
    the choice, and I may choose this myself. ?I?m still struggling with it. ?I may
    also vote for Wendy Barth. ?But anyone who believes that a vote for Culver
    is progress (let alone progressive) is believing a big, fat lie. ?The vote is a
    retreat, a backward move from where we already are.

    We should at the very least object to a party that has allowed this and risk
    the discomfort of being labeled a ?troublemaker? and demand a real
    change. ?That is, we should if social justice is our goal.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Mona Shaw
?Why hasn?t there been
more progress toward
realizing social justice and
peace in our world??