Monday, November 10, 2008
Whom do we blame for Proposition 8?
First off, Not African-Americans.
I know, I saw the CNN numbers, too. And they look pretty scary. 70 percent of African-American voters voted for proposition 8. But at the link above, a writer named shanikka at DailyKos breaks the numbers down, and the assumption that the African-American vote made enough difference to swing that election just falls apart.
It's been 5+ years since I had statistics, but her numbers look good to me.
The lack of support among African-Americans didn't help, I'll grant you, but it wasn't a deciding factor. All other things being equal, I'd rather think low things about people of my own color, so I'm regarding this as good news.
Besides, the "I voted for your civil rights so you should vote for mine" is about a two on Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development and I prefer to make my voting decisions at roughly a five.
The other favorite bad guy is the Mormon Church**, and I'm having a lot more trouble letting them off the hook, at least partially because I don't even like MY church meddling in politics even when I agree.
I really, really, think the Mormon Church, and indeed any church that takes a stand on a specific candidate or bill, should be taxed as a political organization.
Katy-the-Wise and I had an argument about this a few days ago, and I don't even feel like I lost*. She argued that taxation gave the government a level of control over the church that they shouldn't have. IMHO, lobbying just isn't a spiritual or charitable practice and non-spiritual and charitable practices of churches need to be taxed.
Also, I don't want to hear any more about politics in church than I have to. I don't want the candidates to have to pander to religion any more than they have to. I don't want candidates feeling that they need to suck up to ministers and I don't want ministers tempted with the sort of earthly power that asskissing politicians would be offering.
*If you don't know her, trust me on this, to argue with Katy-the-Wise is pretty much always to lose.
**FWIW, there are approximately 750,000 members of the Church in California (including those members who are not old enough to vote). The population of California is approximately 36,553,200, making Mormons about 2% of the population. That said, even if every Mormon of voting age voted yes on Prop. 8, they would only have been responsible for about 4% of the total number of voters who voted yes.