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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Articles

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The Gloves Are Off

If you had any doubt that the Democratic race for the Presidential nomination was a serious race, you had but to turn on a television set over the last week to confirm it. It seems that each day another salvo of rhetoric flies from the Clinton and Obama camps about the opposing candidate’s record or qualifications to be President. This week there have been fliers from Obama in Ohio questioning Clinton’s stance on NAFTA and health care while the Clinton camp reportedly sent a picture of Obama in traditional African Muslim garb to a website for publication. In one press conference we had Hillary Clinton waving her arms and saying “Shame on you Barack Obama!” and in a speech Obama defending the fliers noting that Hillary could not dispute the actual facts behind them.

Most political observers place the momentum and likely the Democratic nomination in the Obama camp and chalk up the increasingly harsh tone of the Clinton camp as being evidence of her campaign faltering. Some pundits have even gone so far as to suggest that Clinton should step aside now to preserve any chance at a future Presidential bid. There is no sign that Clinton has any intention of stepping aside “gracefully” or conceding defeat. With only about sixty delegates separating the two candidates by most estimates it is mathematically speaking anyone’s race to win or lose. Analysts on the news networks have suggested that Clinton is holding out for the Democratic convention in the hopes that it will be close enough that she can lobby for the inclusion of the Michigan and Florida delegates that had been disallowed for holding their primaries early and persuade the “super-delegates” to throw their support behind her to give her the nomination.

Many see March 4th as the make or break date for the Clinton campaign. With delegate rich Texas and Ohio on the line it will be a day that could virtually seal the deal for Obama or put Clinton right back in the thick of the race. Even former President Bill Clinton has said publicly that Senator Clinton must win Texas and Ohio for there to be a realistic chance of her winning the Democratic nomination. After 11 straight losses to Obama Ohio and Texas going to Obama would in all likelihood make fundraising for the Clinton campaign next to impossible. Campaign backers don’t often like to back a candidate that they think will lose the race for obvious reasons.

The final debate between Obama and Clinton in Ohio may have swayed some votes but with many people seeing the most recent Clinton speeches attacking Obama as signs of desperation many see the race looking increasingly like Barack Obama will be the people’s choice for the Democratic nomination in the November election. One thing that most political watchers do agree on is that a brokered convention would not be good for the Democratic Party in the general election and most party insiders have said that they hope that it does not come to that as it might cause a fracturing of the party that Republicans could exploit in November.

Whatever the outcome on March 4th it is certain that this race will make history in American presidential politics. The question for Democrats is whether or not the race for the nomination will leave a nominee that is undamaged enough to win the White House against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article.

How Does Gay Marriage Impact the Institution of Marriage?

Article originally posted 2/18/07

There is a debate going today that has been going now for some time regarding the impact of gay marriage on the institution of marriage itself. I have to say that the concept of one weakening the other baffles me. With the divorce rate among heterosexuals near 50%, does the addition of committed gay partners who have had to fight for the right to marry to the pool of married couples in America weaken or strengthen the institution? If gay couples stay together as well or better than heterosexual couples as some espouse, wouldn't the addition of them to the marriage pool lower the divorce rate? If anything, it would seem to me that the inclusion of heterosexuals in the tallying of marriage with gays would hurt the success rate of marriages for gays.

I'm bracing myself now for the hate mail but to me the whole argument seems ludicrous and the rantings of the insecure on the part of the fundamentalists who are spending literally millions of dollars to keep gays and lesbians from having the right to lose half their stuff if their mate gets pissed off and leaves them. It is clear from the recent rantings of Tim Hardaway about gays that homphobia is alive and kicking in America. The real question we should be asking is how much of a threat can any group be to an institution that already fails in about half of the cases it is entered into? The institution of marriage has some serious problems all on its own without any help from gays or lesbians.

Beyond the issue of the actual damages done to any institution by the inclusion of people who live a different lifestyle there lies the hypocracy of the fundamentalists who have deemed themselves to be God's mouthpiece in America and who only selectively choose to read the scriptures to their own end. Jesus taught tolerance and to be non-judgmental of others. To quote the scriptures in the words of Jesus from the gospel of Matthew 7:1 "Don't judge, so that you won't be judged. 7:2 For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you. 7:3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but don't consider the beam that is in your own eye? 7:4 Or how will you tell your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye;' and behold, the beam is in your own eye? 7:5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye."

Seems like sound advice to me. If you don't have any flaws in your institution, you have some moral high ground to criticize others' ideas of how the instution should be applied to them. If you want to speak for all married heterosexuals by saying you define what the institution is, you need to fix the problems of heterosexual marriage before attacking gay marriage. Let me know when you've solved the divorce and adultery issues for straight folks.

Aside from the contentious religious issues are the more practical legal issues of marriage. There are some legal upsides to marriage including shared benefits from jobs but there are some serious downsides too. If you get divorced in California, you can expect to come out of it with about half of what you had in it unless you had a good prenuptial agreement. California is not alone in this either. Many states have community property laws that leave divorcees with less than they came into the marriage with in many cases. I say spread the love. Let the sorry saps feel the pinch of divorce like the rest of us. Why should straight people be the only ones stuck with alimony payments? Be careful what you ask for though, you just might get it.

As for the threat posed by gay marriage to traditional marriage, the money being spent to try to stop gays from marrying, might be better spent on prenuptial counseling for people thinking about getting married to help them decide if they are ready to enter into a lifelong commitment and for marriage counseling for those thinking about getting divorced to see if that lifelong commitment really was a mistake or if they just need a little help figuring things out right now. As long as heterosexual marriages have a failure rate of nearly 50%, there is no moral high ground for them to talk about threats to the institution.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article.

Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to:

Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to


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