Feeling Like I Voted For Those Who Will Contribute To My Peers & My Oppression

Posted on 03 Nov 2010 at 12:44pm

The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.

~Karl Marx

This election more than ever, I felt as if I were voting for those who would repress my peers and me. It’s not that I didn’t vote for a few local candidates I was pleased to vote for, but I also felt there were Democratic candidates I voted for that I didn’t get my vote because I was happy to vote for them, but instead because I felt they would repress me less than the Republican candidate running against them.

Examples of candidates I was pleased to vote for were Toni Atkins for my State Assemblywoman, and Steven Whitburn as my local County Supervisor. Back in 2003, when Atkins was a City Councilwoman, she introduced the proposed ordinance that actually did change San Diego’s Human Dignity Ordinance to provide citywide employment protections based on gender identity. Whitburn was active in San Diego’s Democratic Club, working to see that ordinance passed into law.

I was less thrilled to vote for my Congresswoman, Susan A. Davis. It’s not that she isn’t strongly for civil rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community — she gave a speech on the House for in support of transgender civil rights:

But that said, she belongs to the political party for the past two years — the 111th Congress — that had control of the House, but couldn’t seem to get a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) out of House committee.

The same with my Senator, Barbara Boxer. Her prior statements on marriage equality leave me believing LGBT civil rights aren’t something she embraces as a value, but embraces the freedom, equality, and justice for LGBT people to the extent she perceives donors and voters embrace these. And probably more importantly, Boxer belongs to the political party for the past two years had control of the Senate, but couldn’t seem to get a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) out of Senate committee.

Nationally, San Diego’s Democratic candidates for federal seats are good on the rhetoric on LGBT issues, but functionally, the Democratic Party they belong to has been ineffectual in turning rhetoric into law.

Of course, in the House, we’ll no longer have the problem of a Democratic majority that failed to live up to their 2008 campaign promises to the LGBT community made in their national platform. Thumbnail Link: 2008 Democratic Party PlatformAnd, we’ll have a Senate that still has a Democratic majority, but a much smaller majority — and with the current filibuster rules in place, we should have the continuation of total gridlock.

Oh. Back to local elections for the moment, when I voted for a candidate for San Diego’s County Recorder, either candidate I voted for is going to carry out the current court stay that still limits marriage in California to be “between one man and one woman.” I’m not planning to get married, but others in my LGBT community would like to get married and can’t, due to the Proposition 8, and stays of enforcing the ruling that said the law is unconstitutional. So whoever I voted for in that election, the candidate is going to be required by law and court ruling to be a representative of an oppressing class — an oppressing class member who’s going to both represent and repress my LGBT community peers.

Democracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor.”

~James Russell Lowell

Yesterday, I voted — I voted as I feel an active and concerned American citizen should vote, but I’m feeling a bit melancholy about some of my votes. I feel that I had the opportunity to vote for some members of the oppressing class that are going to represent and repress my LGBT peers and me; I feel I was given the opportunity to be my own oppressor. Hoo-rah.

How about you?
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