October 24, 2014

Scandal's Gun Control vs. LGBT Rights


Yesterday was a very exciting day for me. Not only was I slayed once again by Olivia Pope and Associates, but I executed one of my duties as an American by (early) voting for the senators and representatives who I believe have my best interest in mind, as well as weighing in on a couple state amendments. It seems that everyone goes out to the polls when it’s time for us to choose a president, but these not-so-big elections can actually mean a lot, and that idea has really resonated with me for the past few weeks, thanks to Ms. Shonda Rhimes.
          The “yasss” factor of Scandal is at an all time high, but there are issues that mimic real life that are easy to overlook if you’re too focused on Kerry Washington’s sport coats. Since the beginning of the season, there has been a story arch that centers around the passing of stricter gun legislature, which would be uncharacteristic of President Grant’s Republican White House. It’s probably safe to say that the life (or death) of this fictional bill is still up in the air, but it’s very interesting to see how different lies, secrets, and ultimatums guide how something as simple as gun regulation can turn into a real scandal. It also must be mentioned that the passing of this left-leaning legislation would surely affect how Fitz’s supporters might vote in the future. So what does this have to do with anything? In my opinion, this story line couldn’t have better timing, considering some members of the GOP’s latest stretch to support gay rights.
          It goes without saying
that historically, the real life Republican Party hasn't been the most welcoming toward the LGBT community, but winds of change are tossing voters and civil servants in a more pro-gay direction across the country day by day. Just recently, the Supreme Court decided not to hear 5 gay marriage cases, which effectively increased the number of states supporting marriage equality to 30. To keep up with these changing tides, GOP candidates like Monica Wehby of Oregon have come out in support of gay marriage, creating an interesting shift in the traditionally conservative party. There are even current House and Senate Republicans who now openly support gay marriage, most likely to maintain some sort of support from centric voters. At the end of the day, it’s obvious that these are political moves, but what is going on behind the scenes? What sacrifices are being made by these rogue Republicans to stick their necks out for us? Is it all a game, strategically planned and operated by the GOP, to steal some of our votes? How can we ever know the difference between Congressional blackmail and a legitimate change of heart?   

          The more GOP members we see abandon their traditional family values (on paper, anyway), the more we’ll see votes split in elections, so we, as voters, must be sure to elect the candidates that actually have our ideals in mind. The key is to do research, and not to vote with a singular agenda in mind, like support for LGBT Rights. Nothing on the ballot I saw yesterday directly involved the cause we’re steadily pushing for, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t important. Before we know it, gay marriage will be legal nation-wide, so we have to decide and be prepared for what our next battle will be, and it starts now. How do you feel about gun control, women’s rights, education, the expansion of the military, healthcare, and the plethora of other non-LGBT centric issues sprinkled across ballots every November? Before you decide which button to press in the booth, form an opinion, and figure out which candidates share those opinions with you. Understand the true agendas behind the commercials you see on TV, and articles you read online. It will be very interesting to see how gun laws play out in Fitzgerald Grant’s White House, but in the meantime, make sure you’re going to the polls. Wouldn’t it be a true scandal if all the progress we’ve made was erased because we let political hopscotch fool us?
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