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Warren Is No Cruz; Equally Human; MLK and Animal Rights

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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Warren Is No Cruz

I must disagree with the comparisons between Elizabeth Warren and Ted Cruz (“Check This Reality,” Aug. 8). Let me start by saying I am a supporter of Sen. Warren and allergic to Ted Cruz. However, I think the “conflict with the establishment” meme is too simplistic to say the two are the same.

Read any news report about Cruz—a non-slobbering one that is—and you’ll find lots of people think he is either sour or arrogant. More to the point, he feeds the outrageousness by putting on shows that seem designed as much to inflame as raise money. While it is true that videos like “too big for trial” are also fundraising vehicles for Warren, her conflicts have always been substantive and do not come with long-lasting damage. She disagrees with her colleagues, airs her complaints, and if on the losing side, she accepts the result. That is how a legislative body works. She is not lecturing her colleagues about how they do not know anything about the Bill of Rights or guns or anything. She is pointing out, for example on student loans, the real (and rational) consequences of their actions.

Also, while there is a lot of chatter about both senators, if you read both mainstream and alternative press on the two, you will find Warren is not alienating her own party (or even the opposing party) as much as Cruz does for his own party and of course the Democrats. The short version: not everybody agrees with Warren, but they generally like her. Not everyone agrees with Cruz, but the only people that like him are the people that share his strident beliefs.

 

Equally Human

I applaud Cathy Young’s formulation of what constitutes a movement in the best interest of us all as human beings (“What About Men’s Rights?” Aug. 15). Oppression has harmful consequences on both parties. Encouraging both sexes to be equally responsible in all areas—equally creative, equally ambitious, equally forgiving, equally tolerant, equally human—will provide for the greatest amount of satisfaction for all. It is the actual meaning of our Declaration of Independence, despite the lack of recognition on the part of our Founding Fathers (and Mothers). Strict identification and delineation of gender-specific roles hurt everyone. As a feminist for more than 50 years, I always believed that feminism was about choice for both women and men. This is what I have taught my son about being a feminist. Whoever is oppressed, treated unfairly, denied their humanity, belittled or acted upon violently, I am on their side, man or woman.

 

MLK and Animal Rights

This week’s 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington is being observed with marches, speeches, and speculation on what causes Dr. King would embrace today. He would certainly continue to work for racial equality. But he would also likely advocate for a rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan, workers’ rights, gay rights, and animal rights.

Yes, animal rights. Although he is best known for advocacy of racial equality, Dr. King opposed all violence, like the Vietnam War. And there is no greater violence than that perpetrated each day against billions of cows, pigs, and other sentient animals in America’s factory farms and slaughterhouses.

Although Dr. King never lived long enough to extend his circle of compassion, justice, and nonviolence to non-human animals, his wife Coretta Scott King, and his son Dexter Scott King did, by embracing the vegan lifestyle. A great way for us to honor the King legacy is to follow their lead.

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