Then I started talking with people about how I'm worried about Santorum getting elected, and I was consistently told "not to worry about it." because "there's no way he can actually win."
Well, apparently lots of people haven't seen this poll, which shows Obama losing to Romney nationally 46%-48% and Obama losing to Santorum 46%-49%. I know, there are other polls that show either candidate losing to Obama...but the point is that it isn't out of the realm of possibility for either GOP candidate to win. This is literally terrifying to me.
I also find it noteworthy that everyone who has told me "not to worry" does not have a uterus and therefore cannot be invaded by Republican policies. Not that I'm saying I think these men are not concerned about women's healthcare, but that it is not a real and present danger to them to be unable to get birth control or an abortion. If it weren't for Planned Parenthood, I wouldn't have been able to afford birth control all throughout college. A Republican president would not help that. In fact, they'd make it illegal.
From Mitt Romney's own campaign website..."Mitt believes that life begins at conception and wishes that the laws of our nation reflected that view."
Ron Paul would "Defin[e] life as beginning at conception by passing a 'Sanctity of Life Act'."
Santorum's campaign website is actually hideous and difficult to find anything on, and I don't think it says anything on contraception or abortion. However, we all know he's super anti-choice, and he recently said this about birth control: "It's not OK, because it's a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They're supposed to be within marriage, for purposes that are, yes, conjugal... but also procreative."
I'm not even going to post Gingrich's thoughts, because I see him less as a candidate and more as jowls with a person behind them.
I know none of them are medical doctors (OH WAIT), but do they really not understand the reproductive process? If you've taken a high school biology course, you can skip this, but in case you'd like a refresher, here we go. Fertilization is when the sperm meets the egg and they say, "Let's do this." The pregnancy is not really established until the egg implants in the uterine wall (more info on it can be found here). Between 50-70% of first trimester pregnancies end in miscarriage (otherwise known as spontaneous abortion), many of them happening because of improper implantation. So under one of these candidates, would that make them murderers? Accomplices to manslaughter?
That's just on the birth control and abortion issues though. We're not even touching on healthcare reform (which they're all against, despite some of them having previously been for it), gay rights, invading other countries (yeah, yeah, okay, Ron Paul doesn't want to immediately bomb Iran, but the others do), etc. None of these guys are moderates. We need to stop pretending they are.
In any case, if you think so strongly that Obama will win, I want you to think back on why he won in 2008. Was it because Bush sucked and people thought McCain was too close to him? No, because America didn't suddenly get less stupid. It's because people got excited about him. Especially younger people (it was my first election, I was definitely excited. So excited I ran into a door and broke my toe. I am not kidding.)
Remember back in 2004, when everyone said Bush was too dumb to win? Care to tell me what happened after that? I can't quite remember, I have those years blacked out. (Although if I'm being honest, I was a Republican until Bush's second term. I grew up in a really conservative area, took until college to get me to break free from my childhood indoctrination-- you know, Rick Santorum's biggest fear.)
What I'm trying to say is that if you are as scared of Santorum and Romney as I am (and I hope you are) that you need to get out and do something. Donate to Obama's campaign. Buy some swag with his name or face on it (I bought a shirt and a collar for my cat today). Become a volunteer for his campaign (I also signed up for that today. Plus if you do that, you get a coupon code for his store.). Don't just sit at home and rely on other reasonable people to get the job done.
And please don't do the false equivalence thing and say that Obama isn't perfect, so he lost your vote, or that all parties are the same. That is stupid. I know Obama's not perfect, and I'm not thrilled with every single thing he has (or hasn't) done, but that does not mean we should hand the presidency to a guy whose name means frothy mixture. And if you need a reminder, find out What the fuck Obama has done so far.
I feel the same way about atheism. If you want atheists to have equal rights and keep the separation of church and state strong, become a supporter of any number of great secular organizations (my personal favorites are the Secular Student Alliance and Freedom from Religion Foundation). Go to the Reason Rally. Go to the Lobby Day for Reason. Contact your Congresspeople and let them know that you're an atheist and you vote. Come out to your family.
Whatever you do, make sure it's more than nothing.
(Also, did you know, for a donation of $100 or more, you get a sweater vest from Rick Santorum's campaign? This is really upsetting, because I LIKE SWEATER VESTS.)