Saturday, November 12, 2016

That's not how this works....

That's not how any of this works.

No, I'm not going to talk about the electoral college.  If you can't look at a map of the by county results of the 2016 election and figure out why the electoral college matters, I really can't help you. 

I didn't vote for Hillary Clinton.  I also didn't vote for Donald Trump.  So, as the person with absolutely no horse in this race, I think it's time to tell you what I see. It won't do any good, because you are either too busy contemplating suicide while listening to Radiohead, or too busy dancing on the graves of your enemies, to actually listen.  But I'm going to say it anyway.

To begin with, if you supported and voted for Donald Trump, enjoy your win.  That's your right.  You can even be excited, because the other side was more than excited four years ago, and eight years ago.  However, now that the campaign is over, try to be a little better than the other side.  As much as you want to say "He won, get over it", remember how you felt when they said that to you.  Yes, I know they said it, but again, try to be a little better.  I know you aren't all racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, backwoods, redneck idiots.  The vast majority of you aren't those things.  Don't act like it.  It's not helping.  Take a minute to look at your conservative brothers and sisters who did not feel comfortable voting for Trump and understand them.  They had valid reasons.  You will need them in two years, so if you trash them now, it's not going to work out.  Have a tiny bit of sympathy for the left.  The puppy rooms and play doh factories and coloring books are silly, yeah, but remember, we felt like it was the end of the world once too.  We are all still here.  Remind them of that, give the a little bit of hope that it's really not all over.  You can do all this and still be really excited that your guy won.

Moving on to all the offended, triggered, unhappy people in need of the puppy rooms, play doh and coloring books, take a deep breath.  The world is not ending, this is not the end of America, and I promise you, your gay, black, latino and muslim friends are NOT going to get put in jail, beat up, or have their rights taken from them.  I'm not trying to be condescending, but you seem to have very little idea how our government works, and even more so, that the President has limited power.  I know President Obama was fond of his phone and his pen, but as your are about to see, things done that way, don't stay that way.  Constitutionally, the President doesn't get to make new laws or alter old ones, without the input of Congress.  And, while the House and the Senate are both Republican, that can change in a very short period of time.   You need to stop saying that hate won.  Most of the people who cast a vote for Donald Trump don't hate.  That's not what this was about.  As a matter of fact, the ideas and opinions on the right are far more nuanced than you give anyone credit for.  I realize that you've spent a lot of time listening to people tell you that the right is evil and racist, but the truth is, they aren't.  They want good jobs, because they understand that so many of the jobs created in the last 8 years were part-time, low paying, low skill jobs.  They understand that an influx of illegal immigrants (as opposed to the legal kind) drain our economy of jobs and money for benefits to those people.  All of whom, no matter how you parse words, broke the law by coming here.  They realize that taxing corporations at the highest rate in the developed world doesn't encourage businesses to keep their businesses ...well, here.  They realize that the vast majority of Washington, both right and left, is beholden to lobbyists and corporations, and isn't looking out for the little guy.  Donald Trump said some really awful things (and as such, never earned my vote), but they overlooked that, the same way you overlooked Hillary calling them a basket of deplorables and irredeemable.  But, it wasn't just Hillary.  So many of you called them the same names.  The news media called them the same names.  I hate to tell you this, but if you poke a bear, sometimes they do things you don't really like.  After eight years of being told any disagreement with President Obama was shrouded in racist hate, a lot of people got tired of their opinions being dismissed with so little thought. 

Dissent IS the highest form of Patriotism.  It was when Bush was President, and it is while Obama is President, and it will still be when Trump is President.  Dissent, differing opinions and viewpoints, and the ability to express them and debate them are fundamental to the continuing prosperity of our country.  Calling people racists, sexists, xenophobes, is NOT dissent.  It's mean, and petty, and isn't going to convince people to even look at your side of things.  Nor do any of those words appropriately describe what people really think.  They are buzz words.  They may make you feel better, but as you are now seeing, eventually they come back to bite you in the butt.

One more tiny thing.  When President Obama was elected eight years ago, and again four years ago, a lot of people were scared.  They were scared that we would see more terrorism.  They were scared that our influence in the world would diminish, and that it would leave ourselves and our allies more vulnerable.  They were scared it would damage our economy.  They were scared it would screw up their healthcare.  Yes, they were scared it would affect their ability to purchase a gun with which to defend themselves and their families.   They were scared that they might be forced to do things that violated their deeply held beliefs, and because of that they may lose their life savings, their businesses and their freedom.  They were scared the IRS would target them because they weren't expressing the right ideas.  They were scared, and you laughed at them, and told them to get over it.  I am trying my best to convince them, that whether or not they believe your fears are unfounded, they are real.  And we all have a duty to assuage those fears the best we can.  When people say "it's going to be okay", that's what they are doing.  Don't poo poo it. They are trying, in some way, to say "hey, I was scared too, and guess what, I'm still here.  You will be too."

I didn't vote for Donald or Hillary.  I understand both sides of this.  And my best advice is to take a deep breath, and go on with the business of living your life. Oh, and give the guy a chance.  If he screws up, scream and yell and make your voice heard.  But at least give the guy a chance.  You never know what might happen.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sad Little King of a Sad Little Hill

   Sometimes a good thing can come out of that box we call a TV.  There is a Grey's Anatomy quote for every situation.  And every political season the wisdom of Firefly appears to become more appropriate.

  I have ceased commenting on any story that has anything to do with Donald Trump.  His supporters are rabid.  Seriously.  If you mention any of the many things that speak to his character, his lack of actual policy plans, or his repeated claims to "Make American Great Again", well, stand back and watch them twist themselves into pretzels.  They either attempt to explain it away (this is amusing), or they simply call you a Hillary Clinton supporter.  Mostly it's just the second one, because it's really hard to explain away the multiple affairs he bragged about, or his insane ramblings about conspiracy theories, or well, pretty much anything Donald says.

  Remember back in 1992 and 1996 when the moral character of our President counted and conservatives let you know it every chance they got?  Well, like most of Barack Obama's promises, it appears  for some conservatives that moral character has an expiration date.  Moral character now means absolutely nothing, because well...Donald Trump.

  There is a crazy crowd on the right, and it's just as crazy as the one on the left, who kept swearing to us that President Obama never said we could keep our plan if we liked it.  (He did, over 30 times.)  This crazy crowd on the right will say or do anything to defend their guy, even if he is a serial philanderer with little regard for women, or people with disabilities or Mexicans.  It's funny watching them try to convince themselves and others that he never said what he said, or that he said what he never said. 

  Since he became the presumptive nominee he has waffled on pretty much every one of his major promises, you know, the ones that convinced the utterly gullible that a man who was a Democrat 3 seconds ago was actually a Conservative Republican.  The Trump supporters swear that he was saying that all along, and they are fine with it.  If I didn't have a busy life, I'd love to go back and pull their comments from six months ago.  However, I have a busy life, and really what good would it do anyway?  Donald was right.  He could mow down people in the middle of Times Square and these people would still support him.  To admit that they got hoodwinked would damage their calm.

  Some of them are still swearing they can win without the 30% of us who refuse to vote for a Democrat in Republican clothes, but mostly they just tell us they will hold us personally responsible if their man doesn't win.  Feel free, I will be happy to say that I kept a megalomaniac fascist blowhard with illusions of grandeur out of the Oval Office.  I will sleep soundly knowing that I didn't vote for either Democrat.  I will be holding them personally responsible for electing Hillary Clinton.  After all, they were the ones who got caught up his rhetoric, you know that absolute nastiness that he paraded as "non-pc".  They were the ones who voted for him, even though there was a large group of people telling them "um, no, we won't vote for this guy." 

  We are not the establishment. (Hint:  your guy got rich off the establishment.  He's a beneficiary of the establishment.  Um, he IS the establishment.)  We are simply people who refuse to cross a line in the name of "party unity" or "stopping the Hillary Express", or "But...he's gonna build a yuuuuggggeeee wall!".

  For years we've voted for the lesser of two evils, but there is no lesser version this time.  Both of the presumptive candidates are awful choices who are entirely unfit and unqualified to be the leader of the free world.  Or the leader of the formerly free world.  We lead from behind now, or something.

  Donald Trump is a sad little king of a sad little hill, with a bunch of sad little followers who have sold out all the things they swear they believe in because they are angry, and they followed the cult of celebrity.  And now they are spewing venom because we refuse to play along. 

Tough Crap.  You wanted this, now live with the consequences.