The two parties, Schwazzeneggar and gay marriage

The essential difference between the Republican and Democratic Parties may be summed up in the view that each Party holds on the power of the Federal Government. The Republican Party favors a decentralized form of Government, favoring free trade and enterprise and the economic rights of the individual. The major focus of the Republican Party policy has been defense and external affairs, strengthening America’s role as leader of the free world. The Democratic Party however is in favor of a more active role for the Federal Government in the States and in domestic policies, thereby supporting a centralized form of Government. Its major focus has been on improving the economic conditions of the weaker elements of society through the provision of increased Federal Government funds and the implementation of nation wide policies on issues such as health and education. The outlook of the Republican Party is conservative, tending to uphold traditional Christian beliefs on issues such as homosexuality, while the Democratic Party is more liberal in its outlook and tolerant of individual differences.

Federalism is the system whereby certain portfolios are designated under State authority while others such as defense are under the Federal Government’s control. The FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has been subject to sharp criticism  on account of its bungling and mismanagement of the Katrina disaster which struck on August 29th, highlighted especially in the incident at the Convention Center in New Orleans where 25,000 people remained stranded for four days before they were rescued.(www.abc.go.com).  The State of Louisiana has an exhaustive Hurricane Disaster Plan. [Tapscott, 2005] which called for citizens to be evacuated early, however, none of the guidelines were followed, neither did the FEMA respond quickly and effectively to the disaster [Editorial, 2005]. Losses of life and property have been reported on an unprecedented scale. Although Federal response to disasters had already been initiated in past years for flood and earthquake control, the efforts were still largely decentralized until 1979 when the FEMA came into being. However, the Katrina problems arose because of mismanagement and the lack of coordination between the state agency and the Federal FEMA, lumped under the Homeland Security division, where most of the funds, talent and skills were diverted towards the terrorism prevention effort. There were allegations of fraud using FEMA funds and the Sun Sentinel investigation revealed mismanagement of FEMA operations on a broad scale. FEMA inspectors were inadequately trained, in some instances criminals were hired to inspect damage and submit reports and the agency paid out monies for events unrelated to actual disasters (www.sun-sentinel.com)

The State of California was the first to propose legalizing gay marriage.  People were up in arms immediately, with church leaders and fundamentalist Christians opposing the move as being unnatural and demonic, etc. [Merin, 2002] But this act is only the natural extension of the right to freedom which is granted to all America’s citizens under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The right of the individual is being reinforced through the issue of gay marriage, wherein an individual may choose to love whom he wants and marry whomsoever he pleases. The bottom line is the individual freedom of choice. One of the first arguments we hear from those oppose gay marriage is that it is unnatural. To that, we might retort, unnatural from whose point of view? Marriage essentially involves the two people concerned, are they not the best persons to judge whom they want to live with, even if it happens to be a person of the same sex? A person who is opposed to gay marriage can choose not to indulge in it in his or her own life. But do these opponents have the right to decide how others must live out their lives and whom they may or may not marry?    It is up to the couples to decide if and when they want to raise children and how they want to go about doing it.  Judgmental society cannot decide for the individual and to declare that gay marriages cannot exist because they do not fulfill the function of procreation by involving the two main partners of the marriage. The perception that a child necessarily needs a male and a female parent is also one that has been conditioned by the norms of society. It is only the fear of society’s non-acceptance that makes gay marriages seem unnatural. In a same sex female marriage, the absence of a genetic male father figure does not preclude the discovery of such male role models amongst the parents’ close friends for a male child to identify with. Moreover such strictly circumscribed gender roles are not mandatory for a child’s development – what the child needs most is a loving atmosphere.  Forcing a person to go against his or her natural inclinations to mandatorily marry a person of the opposite sex would be an anathema to the principles of our constitution, which tries to promote the pursuit and achievement of happiness by promising the people certain rights and privileges. [Strasser, 1999].

Governor Schwarzeneggar has been fairly successful in his first term of office. One of his first achievement  was to reverse the proposed tripling of the  “car tax”.  The Governor implemented Proposition 57 authorizing sale of bonds and proposition 58 authorizing a worker’s compensation reform bill. He himself took oath into office foregoing his pay which resulted in a savings of $175,000 to the exchequer. Both these propositions passed successfully with good majority so  that rather than raising taxes, the Governor has saved funds by program cuts and sliding fees for people accessing public health services, selling $15 million bonds to refinance the State’s deficit and outsourcing of some of the State’s services.(Liebau 2004). He has also supported the rights of gay couples, while declining  amnesty to a convicted murderer. Yet in spite of this, his general policy towards criminals has been less tough than his democratic predecessor. Governor Schwarzeneggar was successful in establishing popularity among both Democrats and Republicans. He has been successful in putting the State of California back on a responsible fiscal track, which is his greatest achievement, followed by the assertion and support of individual rights. However, of late, the Governor’s policies have been opposed by the people of the State and his popularity is declining. He has vetoes the gay marriage bill after it passed both house of Parliament. Moreover there have been allegations of sexual misconduct and pressure from special interest groups, which has seriously undermined the Governor’s position as an impartial administrator. He has proposed reforms to the pension plan and a delay in the implementation of a nurse to staff ratio plan, which has rendered him unpopular.  Therefore, on an overall basis I would give him a B, mainly for his fiscal management of the State budget.

                                                           References cited:

  • Arnold Schwarzeneggar. [Online] available at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schwarzenegger; accessed

10/28/2005.

  • Editorial Opinion, 2005. “Exposed by Katrina, FEMA’s flaws were years in

making”. USA  Today. [Online] Available at:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2005-09-07-our-view_x.htm

  • Liebau, Carol Platt. (2004). “Conservative Principles help restore the Golden State:

Arnold Schwarzenneggar, California Alchemist” The National Conservative

Weekly. [Online] Available at:

http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=4022

  • Strasser, Mark. “The Challenge of Same-Sex Marriage: Federalist Principles and

Constitutional Protections.” – Praeger Publishers, 1999.

  • Merin, Yuval. “Equality for Same-Sex Couples: The Legal Recognition of Gay

Partnerships in Europe and the United States.” – University of Chicago Press,

2002.

  • Sources Say Michael Brown Also Expected to Be Out as Head of Agency” ABC

News. [Online] Available at: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=1111074

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