Fan Friday—OMG


OMG.

I had an entire, lengthy post for today, reasoned, balanced, and yes, a little anger and annoyance thrown in, but I’ve decided to do this instead:

Grow up, special snowflakes!

The world did not end because Trump was elected. Are you not all carrying on today as usual? Did you get up, eat breakfast, go to work? Has a SWAT team broken down your door and dragged you off to a FEMA camp? Yes, I’m aware that I’m mixing up your government buzzwords.

If you are gay, black, Hispanic, do you really think that something horrible is going to happen overnight, now, today, in the next couple months, or even the next four years? Really? Shut down your emotions for a minute and think about this.

How long do the Feds take to pass laws?

How often are those laws actually enforced and to what degree?

How often do adults sit on the floor and cry and carry on like children?

Okay, I did this once when my daughter was four and had a tantrum. I threw myself down on the floor and next to her and kicked and screamed for a few minutes right along with her. She stopped, I stopped, we both felt better.

But this isn’t about your feelings. Special snowflakes are all about feelings. Instead of saying “I feel,” try it out with “I believe.” Do you really BELIEVE that the Feds are coming for you?

If so, do you think sitting on your butt and crying about it is going to make a difference?

Stand up, speak up. Make plans to protect yourself. Then you can sit back and focus on grown-up things, like working for change. Same thing I said during all the Ferguson protests, except I used “violence” instead of “feelings.”

Forget the “safe space” myth. Your safe space is your home, it’s yours, and the rest of world isn’t obligated to make you “feel” anything. That is on you, within you.

Protests will get you nowhere—take action. Protests are like wearing pink to “raise awareness.” Who the hell needs to be made aware??

Whew, now that that’s over, let’s talk about why Trump was elected. Why did people vote for him? Living where I do, I’ve conducted my own “exit poll.” And, as a full disclaimer, I have more friends on social media who are liberal than I do who are conservative.

So again, why did people choose Trump over Clinton?

Some did because, to them, Clinton was no choice at all, for different reasons. And some simply didn’t choose at all.

All of them, yes, DO want to “make America great” again—but it’s probably not what you think. No one wants to roll back to the 1950s in the area of social construct, but they DO want to be Americans and have pride of country; they want to have jobs they can count on with a decent paycheck and access to the boss instead of answering to corporate bullshit; they’re tired of being regulated and taxed to death, and they’re tired of paying for everyone else. They want to feel safe, just like everyone else, but they don’t need a safe space or an offense-free society.

In a nutshell, they feel they can take care of themselves if given the chance to do so without government interference.

Around here, people take care of people. If someone has a disagreement, they move past it, either by discussion or maybe even an all-out fistfight. Feelings are fine, but they aren’t definitive of the person or the situation. If someone is in need, the neighbors pitch in with assistance or food or whatever is needed.

SO MUCH of America now consists of government jobs or the service industry. We don’t create, we don’t make things, and so pride of accomplishment is gone by the wayside. This is what they want to bring back. All of this.

And I’ll say this again: I don’t know a single person who is racist, misogynistic, or xenophobic. Not one. No one voted for Trump because of the negative things he said or did or allegedly did. Maybe elsewhere, but not here, and I’m quite certain there are many, many other places about which you could say the same thing. Are there bad things happening? Yes. And those are the ones that make the headlines.

But mostly, those who voted for Trump are tired of being told what’s “right,” particularly when they disagree with the definition.

They’re tired of being called names, see above, when they haven’t done or said anything to warrant that.

They’re tired of being told they’re wrong all the time, simply because they disagree.

They’re tired of hearing “love and tolerance” preached at them.

They’re tired of being talked down to and told they’re “unevolved” or “archaic” or “less than.”

They’re tired of having their asses jumped because they inadvertently used the wrong word to describe a group a people—not an offensive word, just a word that is no longer in style as per the group being described. As an example, in my lifetime, black people have been referred to as “Negro,” “African-American,” “black,” and now “people of color (POC).”

They’re tired of being told that “cultural appropriation” is wrong, even in the cases of kids’ Halloween costumes.

They’re tired of 18-year-olds needing a “safe space” and emotional support animals, when many 18-year-olds are overseas, in uniform.

They’re tired of protests and riots and they see this as whining and complaining and laziness. And they’re particularly tired of the violence involved in many of these. They believe you should work for change, they know it’s not happening overnight, and they know that yes, sometimes it costs money to implement that change. They see these protests as a way for people to participate—in nothing but a large crowd and perhaps a few moments in the spotlight.

And yes, they’re tired of giving people free rides—this is how they see it: they work 12-14 hours a day, so can others. And this may well circle us right back to the economy, those government jobs that give so many perks and the service jobs that have little pride of work well done.

Think about that: someone is job-hunting and what do they find? They can work in a cubicle, pushing paper, they can ring up folks at a cash register, they can answer incoming calls or make collection calls. Who could get excited about that? Where’s the actual work? And no, I’m not saying these people don’t work, but there’s no end result, no complete product, just endless repetition and more of the same, each day.

Religion plays a part too. These voters are tired of hearing that Christianity doesn’t matter, that those who claim to be Christian continue to pick and choose, switch right to wrong and vice versa. They’re tired of hearing they believe a “myth” and having to kowtow to those of other religions. They’re tired of hearing all religions are the same.

Many of these things have little to do with Trump himself, but have everything to do with change from the last eight years of a Democrat as president.

Remember when Obama was elected? Those who opposed him were called a lot of names then too. Those who were fearful of their lives being turned upside down were mocked and ridiculed.

What I’m seeing is the anger and lack of tolerance being shown, in both situations, by the left. And yes, again, there are factions—the so-called alt-right—that are promoting and promulgating violence and hate. These people likely aren’t fed up, they’re just assholes. We’ve always had them, we always will.

 So let’s flip it: why did people NOT vote for Clinton?

Because that promised more of the same as the current administration. All the things people are tired of.

Not because she’s a woman—hell, most of the people I know think a woman could run circles around a man in the White House. Seriously. I

And, you’re going to laugh at this part, but folks around here believe in integrity and the whole FBI investigation mess and the lying—actual or implied—was a big negative. Big enough to outweigh other issues.

Bigly, if you will . . .

I’m going to wrap this up now, but just know that your day-to-day life is not really going to change. Not for a long time, if ever. But you do need to toughen up and cut your fellow Americans some slack.

 

 

 

 

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Fan Friday—How to Vote in the Presidential Election


I’m certainly not going to tell you for whom to cast your vote, and I’m not going into the logistics of how to actually go and vote. What I’m trying to do here is narrow down the reasons to vote for a candidate. Or not.

In order to serve in the position of President of the United States, a person must meet certain constitutional requirements. Let’s assume that both qualify here, since they do.

*Note: third-party or fourth-party candidates will not be included here, only because we all know that any will be unlikely to win. It’s not impossible, just unlikely.

Here are the qualities that I think are necessary:

Leadership ability

Good character

Sound morals

Hmmm. Maybe I SHOULD consider third- and fourth-party candidates . . .

These are my top three. Should I have a dilemma in choosing, I would consider other issues as well. Please read on. It certainly looks as though it’s coming to that.

A good leader oversees the big picture, the whole enchilada; a good leader doesn’t need to know how to do every job, but does need to know how those jobs work in order to ensure that everything is achieved. A good leader must know when to ask questions and be willing to learn; a good leader must be able to delegate to competent people, but be willing to step in when things go south. A good leader must be of good character, or all his or her good intentions will fall by the wayside and nothing will ever be accomplished.

Qualities that show good character are honesty, integrity, humility, and respect. Many others could be added to this list, others that I’d consider secondary because, if one has these, one would exhibit those. Things like kindness and tolerance go hand in hand with respect.

Sound morals are often laughed at these days, but are still important, even if one doesn’t quite realize what morals are. I wouldn’t vote for a candidate simply because of his or her professed religion or piety, but morals are, after all, based on religion—yes, whether or not you believe this. Read the Ten Commandments. Pretend it’s merely literature, if that makes you feel better, and spend some time thinking about them.

Pay particular attention to these:

Do not murder

Do not commit adultery

Do not steal

Do not lie

Most people believe these, yes? These are morals; these are part of one’s character. These are things to which a good leader ascribes.

[insert brief lesson on Christianity] A Christian is forgiven. Most candidates claim Christianity at one time or another. However, being a Christian means asking God for forgiveness and repenting. Repenting means you will try your best not to do [insert sin] ever again.

And sin itself means this is impossible—you might well commit this sin again. But because you are a Christian, you will try as hard as you can NOT to do it again.

Think of it like this: you are on a diet, which makes you a dieter. As a dieter, you are not allowed to eat a dozen cookies, but you do it anyway. Does this mean the diet failed? No. You failed, but you vow to avoid eating a dozen cookies the next day. Some days you succeed, on others you fail, but it doesn’t mean you’ve stopped dieting.

So when a candidate claims Christianity yet shows no or loose or questionable morals, you wonder about his or her morals and, by extension, his or her character. And this is where it gets tricky, because a Christian will strive to be, well, perfect, even though it’s impossible because of sin.

This is where you must examine your candidate of choice and determine his or her motivation and contrition. No one is going to have perfect morals (or character, or leadership). This doesn’t mean you would choose the least objectionable candidate, but it might mean exactly that if you’re unable to determine if your choice possesses these three traits: leadership, character, morals.

Now that we know what we’re looking for, how do you decide if the candidates possess these three basic qualities?

You look at their leadership records—no, it doesn’t have to be in politics, but there should be some leadership experience. Scroll back up and look at the definition of a good leader.

You look at their character. Read that again too.

You look at their morals. Ditto.

Where do you find the information? You read between the lines that the media feeds us. All the media, not only the major networks. And not only the rabble-rousing sites. You have to look at both, and you have to think. You can’t just have a knee-jerk reaction to whatever sensational story of the day is trending.

Has Clinton or Trump been in a good leader in their chosen field?

Has Clinton or Trump shown good character?

Do Clinton or Trump possess morals?

These may or may not be yes or no questions—you have to research, and you have to think.

Look at their platforms. Don’t worry about the details—what the candidate has actually done, to the minute detail; exactly what he has promised during a campaign? Look at the top three, leadership, character, and morals, in respect to this.

For instance, Clinton’s top three issues on the list are fair tax, addiction and substance abuse, and a workable economy. Has she shown leadership, character, and morals as they relate to these?

Trump’s top three positions on the list are cybersecurity, veterans’ affairs, and trade. Has he shown leadership, character, and morals as they relate to these?

Let’s go a bit further down the lists:

Clinton—

Alzheimer’s

Autism

Campaign finance reform

Campus sexual assault

Climate change

Terrorism

Trump—

Tax plan

Regulations

National defense

Immigration

Healthcare

Foreign policy/ISIS

Do you see a recurring theme? Aside from the fact that Clinton’s list is in alphabetical order, her issues are more personal; Trump’s seem to have a national, or big picture, theme.

That, it seems to me, is one of the key differences between parties. Democrats want to fix people on the micro level, Republicans want to fix the country and the people will sort out the rest.

On that basis, and those who know me won’t be surprised, I’d go with the Republican candidate.

And then we’re back to those top three qualities . . .

I did go to the candidates’ websites and found some interesting things.

Both seem to want many of the same things and actually hold the same opinions on the issues, but differ in how to achieve these things.

The websites themselves are arranged similarly, but here’s a big difference I found:

While Trump’s page on his tax plan give a list of changes, Clinton’s tax plan reads more like a blog post/media announcement with links to interviews or speeches she’s given. I’m not sure if it’s the male/female dynamic or party differences. I just found it interesting, either way.

So I’m not going to tell you how to vote, or which way to lean, but I do think it all comes back to those three qualities: leadership, character, morals. And of course, either candidate may possess or have done or be pushing for something that is a deal-breaker either way, regardless of anything else.

This election is so tense, so acrimonious, so _____ [pick any negative word], that nearly everyone has severed some kind of relationship over it. But in just a few days, it’ll all be over but the shouting. And shouting there will be, on one side or another. Maybe both. Is it really worse than any other election since the advent of social media? Hard to tell. And I’m not willing to do the research on that!