Lately US politics is dominating the airwaves. This isn’t exactly a surprise, but it’s only going to get worse, especially as the election campaign over there gets into full swing and becomes the sole focus of even British media.
Quite why we’ll ignore our own problems to focus on what’s happening thousands of miles away is beyond me, but it’s the main talking point of the web at the moment, so I might as well weigh in.
(I have no idea why Democrats choose a donkey to represent themselves, nor why the Republicans are represented by an elephant)
It will hardly come as a surprise to anyone who knows me (or who follows this blog) to learn that if I were American, I’d probably vote Democrat, and especially right now. The Republican party appear more interested in ensuring their Presidential candidate appeals only to Republican party members, rather than the American people as a whole. Allow me to explain:
Republican candidate Ben Carson is very much anti-abortion, as is Donald Trump. Now, I can respect that position, but I cannot agree with imposing that position upon everyone. They are in effect, seeking to use government authority to impose their personal will upon women across America (the irony being that the Republican party likes to be regarded as the party of small government and greater freedoms).
This is even more of a strange approach for the candidates of a party supposedly valuing freedom when you consider Carson and Trump would be bucking the will of the American people on this one.
This is also the case on the gay marriage issue. Carson has made it clear what he thinks of same-sex marriage, though Trump has actually broken with the party line by saying it’s now the law of the land. Perhaps more importantly, the American people once again favour same-sex marriage. Once again, there are Republican candidates who oppose it, on religious grounds, and would use their religious values to make policy.
Surely this flies on the face of the First Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I would interpret free exercise of religion as also being free to not exercise religion. It should certainly prevent would-be presidents from imposing their beliefs on the rest of the country!