Mitch McConnell, ol’ wax turtle lookin’ ass himself, is one of the major supporters of the Special Diabetes Program, a critical program that provides $150 million annually for type 1 diabetes research at the National Institutes of Health. One great action. Check.
He also just struck down the call to get a special prosecutor or independent commission to essentially investigate whether or not our country’s government has been infiltrated by Russia. An interesting action, to say the least. Check.
He also became a new level of infamous a few months ago by uttering the words, “nevertheless, she persisted” while trying to shut down the voice of Senator Elizabeth Warren on the senate floor as she was attempting to speak out against the Attorney General nomination of Jeff Sessions, the Scar of the Keebler Elves (not my quote but I don’t remember where I saw this – let me know who to credit if you know), on the grounds that he is racist as fuck (you can quote me on that, though). Additionally, he has consistently rejected any call to actually include WOMEN when making healthcare decisions for women. To McConnell, it’s absolutely fine to not have women included in decisions about women’s bodies. Mountain of fucked up actions. Check.
I work for JDRF (but am writing this as a completely independent citizen – obviously my opinions aren’t those of my employers’ – and if you thought they were, read more), the leading global organization for type 1 diabetes research, and an interesting discussion popped up at work in the days after his statement on Senator Warren. Sure, McConnell was an ass for what he said, but he’s not an all around bad guy, right? He helps make sure we get funding for research, so that’s a plus.
Fuck that. Here’s why:
When we give a pass to someone for a shitty thing they do because they also happened to do a good thing, we are condoning their behavior.
But shouldn’t we keep him in office because we can rely on him to do this great thing for us?
Nope. If justice isn’t inclusive, it’s not my justice. Accepting subpar is not in the cards for me. Do your fucking job well – for all citizens – or get the fuck out.
I don’t want justice for myself if it means marginalizing justice for others. Saying that a person is tolerable because they serve my needs, even if they don’t serve the needs of others or worse – work to keep others down – is cowardly and shortsighted.
Take Susan B. Anthony, best known as the head of the women’s suffrage movement in the late 1800s, oft cited as the reason women got the right to vote in 1920. But let’s not forget, black women, particularly in the South, weren’t allowed to regularly vote until the 1960s, and laws designed to suppress votes keep people of color from voting to this day. Anthony fought for herself. “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman,” she once said.
And let’s also not forget that 53% of white women voted for bad fake tan overlord, who regularly and actively works to disenfranchise people of color, the chronically ill, immigrants, women, children, and more. But he might, maybe, could have been good for the economy. Okay.
When we condone and even reward the “good” action, we are saying that the deplorable actions are okay as long as they’re counteracted. We are becoming accomplices in keeping others down in the name of holding ourselves up. We’re Rose in Titanic. You know there was room on that damn door.
I feel similarly about my district representative Dan Donovan. He keeps striking down the healthcare bills proposed by this administration. He’s one of 20 republicans who voted no on the early-May AHCA bill that passed through the House of Representatives. One great action. Check.
But he’s also the former defense attorney who made sure the police officers who killed Eric Garner weren’t prosecuted. Ethically deplorable action in the name of “winning.” Check.
I won’t forget that. I will do anything to make sure he’s not reelected in 2018, despite him being a strong voice for healthcare, because our healthcare means nothing at the hands of someone who is willing to defend murderers, particularly in a racially charged situation that deserves our attention.
Eric Garner’s life wasn’t more valuable than my own. The lives of people with diabetes aren’t more valuable than the lives of women who aren’t chronically ill. White women’s lives aren’t more valuable than black women’s lives. Christians lives aren’t more valuable than Muslim lives. Citizens lives aren’t more valuable than immigrants’ lives.
And until we have politicians in place who see this, know this, understand this, and fight for this, I want none of them.