Friday, December 24, 2004

A progressive position on Choice

The Conservative Movement started out by believing in specific things, like ending Communism, shrinking the size of government, etc. They gained strength by standing up for those positions. In the 70's and 80's, that changed to being against whatever the Liberals were for. They have been able to maintain their strength, but they're not making any more gains.

The Progressive Movement can't start out by simply being for whatever the Conservatives are against. We need to find a way to connect with the people who are anti-abortion, and get them to agree to help us move forward beyond the illusion that this issue is black and white. The Democratic Party has room for people on both sides of the argument, we just need to frame our position to get their support instead of their ire. Like Howard Dean says below, while we should not change our principles, we can change our vocabulary.

I don't like abortion. I wish it didn't have to happen. But that's not the same as outlawing it altogether. I see the position of Choice as the middle ground between two extremes, not an extreme by itself. The extremes I see are 1) no one may and 2) everyone must. The Christian right wing wants to create a world where no one may have an abortion and end a life before it has a chance to begin. China has created a world where abortions are mandated after the first child. I don't want to live in either one of these worlds, and I don't want to legislate it either way. I want us to create a environment where abortions are unnecessary, rather than illegal or mandated. So if the Christian right wing wants to reduce the number of abortions by promoting abstience as well as contraception, I can support and help with that. But if they want to push the abortions that do occur out of a sanitized medical facility and into the street, I will fight against it. That is what occured before Roe v. Wade, and I'm not interested in going backward.

I believe that this position is shared by Planned Parenthood, although we should contact their Public Relations office for the language that they use if we want to continue talking about them. I have heard that 2004 was one of the best years that Planned Parenthood Western Washington has had, both financially and by a few other measures. One of those measures was the number of abortion procedures performed. In 2004, that number went down for the first time in several years. Let's keep the number going down, safely.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

DFA Veterans Phone Card Speech

This is a statement I prepared for the DFA Phone Card presentation on December 29th, 2004.

My name is Chad Lupkes, and I was born here in Seattle. I was in the US Navy from 1988 to 1994. I would like to speak about what being an American means to me. To do that, I want to review the colors on our flag. Those colors are red, white and blue.

Blue represents opportunity. The blue sky on the horizon, a horizon that we constantly strive to reach. We may be distracted by the treasures and comfort that we find, but we must continue to strive to achieve, to learn new things, and find new paths.

White represents fairness. The white paper that we use to vote, the paper that we use to write our laws. With the rainbow of ideas, ideology, race and culture, the law must be written to be fair to everyone. This helps to ensure that we leave nobody behind as we strive toward that horizon.

Red represents sacrifice. The red blood that is spilled on the battlefield, the tears that we shed in memory of those who have sacrificed everything. The sweat that comes from our efforts to regain what was lost. We must never forget those that we have lost, and we must be there to help the ones who have sacrificed for us.

This is why we are here today, to acknowledge and honor our veterans and active military. To provide them with the opportunity to reach out and reconnect to family and friends, and rejoin our community as we continue to strive toward that blue horizon, writing our laws to leave no one behind.