First off, physician-assisted suicide passed in Massachusetts. Back in my day, and on more than one episode of “Law & Order,” that seemed to be frowned upon. I think we can all agree that death is one of the hardest things to deal with, whether it be the loss of a loved one, dealing with a terminal diagnoses for oneself or just the thought of dealing with one’s own mortality.
My problems stem from issues of consistency. From the party OK with terminating the life of a fetus and ending one’s own life, why is the death penalty so insidious? I am much closer to saying no to legalized death than having so many varying degrees of which type of death is allowed.
Next up is gay marriage. I have a gay brother and a gay uncle. Needless to say, this has been a difficult topic to discuss at Thanksgiving dinner. I feel that the government should stay out of it altogether and let us live our lives. That being said, I don’t think the government should be allowed to force religions to perform those ceremonies if the religions feel it goes against their beliefs.
While legalizing gay marriage is not necessarily forcing religions to participate, it’s not far off to say that could happen, especially if it’s not done right the first time. Maine, Maryland and Washington state legalized it outright while Minnesota voted down a ban on same sex marriage, but it is still illegal.
My amazing opinions editor Cameron likes to stop me dead in my tracks and throw the slippery slope argument at me when I say things like this. But sometimes the slope isn’t slippery — it’s just one small step at a time.
Now for the college kid’s dream: legalized pot. Colorado and Washington legalized recreational use of wacky weed while four other states legalized it for medicinal use. I’m really torn on this one. I have never smoked pot and I don’t plan to at any point, but I don’t see it being any worse than alcohol.
I’ve never drank, either, but I don’t pretend that I know what’s best for everyone else and I don’t believe you are going to hell if you have a glass of wine at dinner. Prohibition didn’t seem to go all that well, and the war on drugs is killing more people than the drugs themselves, so I’m having a hard time saying that abstinence is the only policy.
Not to mention the tax revenue that could be used to help provide a bigger shovel for states to dig themselves out of the financial hole we all find ourselves in. I’ve always been more a states’ rights guy and a freedom lover, so I may not grow pot myself, but the idea of pot is growing on me.
Everything I thought would never happen seems to be happening whether I’m on board or not. All of a sudden, I know what it’s like to be my grandpa talking about railroads and television. Believe it or not, there were some that said this whole Internet thing was a fad and there was no way to make money using it.
I have been totally immersed in politics and have been convinced that Americans were a conservative people at heart. Now it appears we want to abort life before it begins, get stoned while we are alive and then pull the plug when we can’t take it anymore.
As long as Uncle Sam puts a little something in your outstretched hand, I guess having just enough to exist seems to be enough for most people. I think our country has reached a tipping point. There are now more people who would rather take what’s given to them than to go out and make a name of their own.
I may be old fashioned, but I still feel that hard work will pay off in the end, and effort — not attendance — should be rewarded. But when you really break it down, old people and pot-heads aren’t that different. One smells like Icy Hot, sucks on hard candies and watches a lot of daytime TV, while the other smells like Doritos, sucks on a joint and watches a lot of daytime TV.
Maybe it’s just time for this old fuddy-duddy to get with the times. I hear there is this new fangled thing called … hang on one second, it’ll come to me. Twit or tweet something-or-other.
Jonathan Boldt is the Editor-in-Chief of the UVU Review at Utah Valley University, and can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @jboldt24. www.uvureview.com