Monthly Archives: July 2016

Promises, Promises

Oh my goodness it is getting thick out there. Of course it always does in Arizona this close to a primary. And then of course it will get even worse the closer we get to November. It just is what it is. Nevertheless, the things people will say to get elected and the promises they will make…it’s just perverse, and frankly borders on the bizarre.

Take for instance one of the guys seeking the Republican nomination for Congress from my district. I got a mailer from him yesterday claiming that his big selling point is that he has never held elected office (a popular thing to say if you are wanting to join the ranks of Republican politicians.) Yet today, I got another mailer from the same candidate that stated right on the front that he is leading the charge to protect my 2nd Amendment rights.

WHAT??? How is that possible???

How can he be leading the charge on anything with regards to my rights if he is not currently, nor ever has held elected office? Has he quite literally formed up a mounted posse and galloped headlong into his local NRA office?

No wait, I suppose that would be leading the charge against my 2nd Amendment rights.

So whose office would he ride into? The Oval Office? I’m pretty sure we would have heard about that on the news. But so far? Bupkiss! So my guess is that he actually hasn’t led the charge on anything except filling my mailbox with trash.

But he’s not alone. My sons have recently rediscovered their fascination with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and we have watched both shows religiously over the last couple of weeks. During that hour long process we are subjected twice a night to a political commercial for another GOP candidate for running for Congress. In this ad she states that, “Politicians talk, I do.” (As an aside, say that out loud several times and see how you feel afterword. My guess is that you will either feel a little bewildered or feel like snickering for reasons that you can’t quite put your finger on, but are pretty certain it must be tied in some way to bathroom humor.) Anyway, as she finishes her commercial, she says that we can’t wait any longer to do certain things which include…defeat ISIS. This is a common promise from many on the right. And while it sounds good, my first question to this lady would be…HOW? How in the (frickin’ frackin stupid long-eared galoot) heck are you going to work to defeat ISIS? It’s a great slogan, but really? I would like some specifics. Because if it’s really as easy as she seems to suggest that it is, wouldn’t someone have done it by now? Anyone?

This goes right along with the promise of the soon to be built Great Wall of Donald that is to be constructed fairly near to my home-of course, all at the expense of the Mexican government. After almost a year, I’m still waiting to hear how that’s gonna work, but…discussing that would just make me depressed all over again so…

…Let’s suffice it to say that all of these promises have got me thinking. What promises could candidates make that would benefit me, individually, regardless of how far-fetched they might be? Ahhh…now we’re talking. So without further ado, here are the three promises any politician could make that would secure my vote.

1.  Eradicate False Customer Service

Okay, I know this is coming out of left field, but hear me out. If I am in the mood for a good ham and cheese sub sandwich, my best bet for sandwich closure is to run down to my local Subway. Which I do on occasion.

Now, let me be clear. I really like Subway. My kids like Subway. and my wife likes Subway. We are definitely NOT anti-Subway.

However, nothing annoys me more than when I walk through the door and one or more of the workers behind the counter barks out in a bored, I-couldn’t-possibly-care-less-that-you’re-here-but-I-am-forced-to-do-this salutation, “Wehcum to Subway.” This oh-so-warm expression of goodwill is not provided by a worker who actually acknowledges me. It’s more of a Pavlovian response to the ringer that goes off when the door opens. No one behind the counter looks in my direction, adds any inflection to the monotone tenor of their voice, or in any other possible way makes me “feel” welcome.

In fact, it has kinda the opposite effect. This “greeting” is barked out and I immediately wonder who in the heck they’re talking to. I glance around and see that no one is trying to get my attention and so I immediately begin scanning the restaurant to see if I can determine who is addressing whom.

Of course, I eventually arrive at the conclusion that I must have been the person to whom they were directing their verbal shotgun blast, which leads to the second most agonizing part of this encounter. What am I supposed to do in return? To ignore an offered greeting seems rude. Yet, saying “Thank you” or nodding in acknowledgement to thin air just feels so…bat-crap crazy. Especially when everyone already in line who has experienced this same firing squad approach to customer service is staring at you to see what you’ll do. Generally, I mutter “thanks” so softly that even my own ear drums have problems picking up the vibration and shuffle to my place at the back of the line. I feel stupid. In fact, I would probably up and leave right then except…there’s just something weird about leaving an establishment over bad service when that “bad service” was to welcome you to their establishment. The whole thing iss just wrong.

So that is what I want my local politician to do. I want them to promise to introduce a federal law outlawing the practice of hand grenade greetings at fast food restaurants. And throw in convenience stores as well because my local Giant does the same thing when I stop in for 44-ouncer. And frankly the last thing I want is to have attention drawn to me and have someone recognize that I am there for the fourth time that day.

2. Border Wall…For My Yard

There is a neighborhood dog out there that enjoys coming into my front yard in the dead of night and bestowing upon my family a gift that only canine royalty can provide. Of course it’s always done in the dead of night because why would he want to give the sun a chance to dry it out, making it less painful to dispose of.

Nooooo! Let’s place that thing dead center about 2:00 in the morning and let the sprinklers that go off at 5:00 provide a nice marinade.

So if Mexico gets a wall, I want a wall too. But not a wall that anyone can see. I want my wall to be a highly pitched sound that surrounds my yard and that only a dog can hear. And that sound needs to be specifically engineered to drive ANY dog crazy and make them want to run in front of the first moving vehicle it sees.

And by the way, I want the dog to pay for it.

3. Free Secondary Education For All

With my daughter getting ready to start her senior year, I am becoming increasingly aware of the cost of a college education. It is ridiculously out of control. When I attended ASU a mere twenty years ago, tuition was $1,000 a semester. That number has increased by 500%. If you do the math, that’s a 25% increase each year. I’m sorry, but that’s absurd.

And it’s not like they are putting all that extra money to good use. I mean, really. ASU’s basketball program is just as big of a joke today as it was 20 years ago. So really, where is all that money going?

Nope, it is time to find a way to provide a free college education to every person who wants one. Furthermore, I…

What? No way! And they didn’t nominate him? Scandalous!!!

I apologize, I’ve just been informed that Mr. Bernie Sanders actually made this promise during the Democratic primary process. And still the Democrats didn’t nominate him. I’ll admit, I’m totally flummoxed. How could they have made such a drastic mistake?

Because c’mon. If he could’ve somehow pulled off that promise, that “poop wall” thing I want wouldn’t have seemed so ridiculous after all.

 

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Email

A Tip of the Hat To My New Favorite Hero

I’m SICK of politics! So…

Several years ago, I wrote a short essay on the feelings I had as my eldest daughter entered that phase in life where she began to outgrow me. Now, here we are at the beginning of her Senior year and to be quite frank, she has completely outgrown me and has moved on to building the foundation for her own life-the one in which I will be merely a curio on the corner of her desk instead of the actual desk itself. It’s hard, but I’m adjusting. She’s going to have struggles, we all do, but she is at her core – good. And if that description is good enough for God, it’s good enough for me. She will be all right, and I look forward to seeing what she makes of herself.

But today, I want to spend some time talking about my newest hero.

Sitting in church on Sunday, we were surrounded by the family members of a young man who was preparing to leave on his mission. (He left Tuesday.) The anticipation in the air was palpable. And why shouldn’t it be? There is no other way to describe this young man other than as a powerhouse. He’s a fantastic athlete. He’s good looking and physically well-built. He has a strong testimony and…well, in short, he’s what you might describe as the All-American LDS boy who is turning into a man in front of our very eyes.

As we sat there, I looked down the row at another young man. One who is not a fantastic athlete. One who as a young boy was always solid without being fat, but in recent years has stretched out into a lanky teenager who only needs four more inches to catch me in the height department. He wears glasses. (We’ve given him the option of contacts, but he prefers his thicker framed black glasses.) In his spare time he can often be found doing math for entertainment or checking on his grades for the 15th time that day. He’s not popular. But that’s okay. I don’t think it matters that much anymore to him.

Anyway, in that moment, I could tell he was nervous – although it’s likely he would have only grudgingly admitted it if asked. He was not the man of the hour, but he still had a supportive part to play. And sometimes, the pressure of that role can be the most daunting of all.

As the meeting progressed, I could sense his nervous energy increasing. I prayed silently on his behalf because I knew how much success meant to him. In that moment, it meant everything. Finally, after the first speaker finished, my son – my oldest son who is turning into his own man in front of my eyes – stood and walked to the piano at the front of the chapel and sat down to play.

And for the next three minutes he filled that room with some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard.

I guess I should back up. When it comes to my son Braden, I have not always been the best father. It’s not that I have gone out of my way to be a bad father to him. It’s more an issue of him being someone who, despite my love and admiration, I will probably never fully understand. And it has always been so.

With my oldest, Abby, there was an immediate connection. That’s not to say we are bosom buddies who share everything with each other. It’s more that I get her. I understand her. She drives me bat-crap crazy, but I understand why she’s doing it. With Braden, that is rarely the case.

On a surface level, I hate math. He loves it. I was forced to endure piano lessons. He will sit down and play for nothing more than the pure enjoyment of playing. I love my music loud and driving. He is the old soul constantly telling ME to turn it down. For me, computers are a necessity that I must force myself to have a basic understanding of in order to exist in this world. To him, anything technological is a tantalizing world of mysteries just waiting for him to come solve. I love sports. Him? Not so much. He’s much more obsessed with time. I recognize these two things are not opposites, but I mention them together because the only way I could get him to watch basketball with me when he was younger was to point out the clock visible in the corner of the screen. It was counting down to zero. Over time, he became more interested in the game, but at first, his entire attention was focused on that clock.

On a deeper level, I tend to automatically see the grey in every issue. He is the epitome of the black and white thinker.

In short, we are not the same. Which is fine because he is going to be far greater than me.

Early on, I allowed our differences to lead to frustration. Now, I sit back in wonder at the amazing individual whose life God has granted me the blessing of being a part of.

Life has not been easy for my son. I mean, it has certainly been easy when compared with 99.5% of the people who have ever lived on the earth, but for an American teen in 2016, not so much. But then has it been easy for any of them? Braden had lots of friends when he was younger. But as he neared the end of fifth grade, the great sifting began. Sports and acceptance become so important to kids that age and often many have the mistaken idea that lessening others is the quickest and easiest way to increasing your own value. Unfortunately, in many ways, my son was an easy target. Sixth grade was awful for him. This was especially hard for me as a parent to watch because sixth grade was awful for me as well. I felt his pain more acutely than he could ever imagine. But to his credit, he handled it far better than I did.

Before the beginning of his seventh grade year, I sat him down and told him, “Son, it’s not fair, but the next few years have the potential to be very difficult for you socially. I can’t make it easier for you, but I can promise you that if you can survive junior high and high school, college will be an amazing experience for you. It will be worth every moment that you will have to endure for the next six years. But endure is what you are going to have to do.” He nodded gravely and then we changed the subject.

I wondered then how much he would understand what I had been trying to tell him. Apparently, he understood all of it right away. Seventh grade was an incredibly different experience for him. Not because he had a lot more friends, but just because he seemed to accept and embrace his solo status. What was even more interesting to me was that as he accepted that status, the acceptance by his peers seemed to increase. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can only comment on how it appeared to me. Anyway, he took pride in what he was good at and offered no apology for his strengths. To my knowledge, he still has no close friends outside of our family. This makes me sad for him. I hope that changes for him in high school. But right now, he has enough casual friendships that get him through.

He starts high school next month. I have no idea what this means for him. I don’t know at all what’s in store. But here’s what I do know.

He’s amazing. He’s a brilliant young man with a mind capable of things I could never imagine. He surpassed my ability to help him with his math homework two years ago. Now, when he talks about the equations or whatever it is he is working on, he might as well me speaking a different language.

He loves music and has abilities in that arena that continue to astound me. I struggled during my short piano career to play the music in front of me. He has gone way beyond that and moved on to arranging the music he’s playing into something greater.

He knows what is good and he’s willing to fight for it. He is unequivocal in his support for what he believes is right. It can be annoying when that sense of right tells him that game show contestants shouldn’t have to pay taxes on their winnings and he becomes quite boisterous in his defense of the downtrodden game show winner. But it is a quality that will take him far.

But most important to me, our relationship is stronger than it ever has been. I’ve quit trying to understand everything about him. And more importantly, I have quit trying to have him see the world through my lenses. Instead, when I try and get a glimpse of what he sees, I am blessed with visions of greatness.

So as I watched him stand up from behind the piano and make his way back to our bench this past Sunday morning, there was no way to convey my pride, my love and my adoration. I tried, but I know my efforts fell way short. He has become my hero and I could not have been more in awe. And in that moment, I knew I was getting a taste of the many similar experiences yet to come.

*As an aside. This post has not been written for anyone else but me. Obviously I am fine with people seeing it or else I would not have put it on my blog, but please know I am not seeking a lot of comments telling me how great my son is or assuring me that I am a great father. I know what I am and I know what he is. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate every compliment I receive on his behalf, but please know that this post was not an effort to solicit more.

There is a good chance Braden won’t see this, and that is probably how I want it. At least for now. It was the same when I wrote my thoughts on Abby. Maybe someday, but for now, if he doesn’t know about this post, it’s okay. 

If you are still reading, thanks for indulging me, because that is what this is…pure indulgence of a father bragging on his child. But it’s my blog, so I guess I will do what I want. 🙂

 

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Email

The Smartest Guy Not In The Room

Okay, I have made it abundantly clear that I believe 2016 is a lost cause. I don’t want to belabor that point any further today. Instead, since it is GOP Convention Week, I would like to take a moment and think about what future, if any, the Republican Party has.

What is the future if Trump wins? I can’t even imagine. But I do believe it would hasten the end of the party as we know it. I believe he would be one of two things and both would be disastrous. One, he would be exactly what he is selling himself to be. A hero to the angry white uneducated males of this country and a president who would alienate us from the rest of the world while destroying our economy. The second would be more complex. He could be exactly the opposite of what he portrays himself to be (which ironically might make him a decent president) which would only further infuriate the very people who got him to where he is. Either way, the division in the party does not get healed by an actual Trump presidency.

But, I personally don’t believe we will have to deal with that because I still believe he doesn’t win.

Not so fast, moron. Haven’t you seen the polls? He’s practically tied with Hillary and nobody likes her. Don’t be a sore loser, Rapier. Trump’s gonna win and you’re gonna have to eat every last one of your bleeding heart moderate words.

Look, if he wins, I will be the first to admit I was wrong. But I really doubt I’m gonna have to do that. And here’s why.

The Electoral College!

See, the dirty little secret is, even if I don’t vote for President, it isn’t like it is really gonna make that much of difference. Trump is going to win Arizona regardless of whether I vote or not. Presidential elections have basically boiled down to two states and there is nothing any of us can do about it. Those states? Ohio and Florida. They used to include Pennsylvania and say that whoever was going to win had to win two of the three, but the reality is Pennsylvania hasn’t voted Republican in decades and it isn’t likely to start anytime soon. Which basically means that any Republican running has to win Florida and Ohio. There is no way around it. It  just is.

So, how are things looking there? Well, Florida has a very large Hispanic population and the GOP nominee has taken every opportunity to alienate Latinos and Hispanics. So…I’m guessing the horizon could look a little brighter there. To make matters worse, if Hillary chooses Julian Castro, former mayor of San Antonio as her running mate, you might be able to tie a blue ribbon around Florida and deliver it to Hillary by September.

And if Republicans don’t get Florida, they don’t get the White House. Even with Florida, things could get difficult when you factor in the new murky reality of former GOP strongholds Nevada and Colorado. Republicans lost both states last election-which again can be somewhat attributed to Hispanic population increases. And again, the GOP has not addressed their Hispanic voter disconnect.

So if, as I suggest it will, Hillary wins pretty handily, what does that mean for the Republican party going forward? Well, I believe the sixty-five percent of the party that wasn’t THAT angry at the beginning of 2016 is going to be EXTREMELY angry with the Angry wing of the party.

“You made us vote for that?” I can almost hear them say.

Meanwhile, the Angry wing of the party will be even angrier. They won’t know what exactly they are angry at, but they will be MAD. You can bet on it. But the one thing they likely won’t get is another chance to shoehorn in some blowhard with a bad comb-over. The other sixty-five percent is not going to let that happen. Even if another 16 people run (which I don’t believe they will) the GOP voters are going to coalesce around somebody else quickly to avoid a repeat of the oil spill that has been 2016.

So who could that person possibly be?

The smart choice would probably be someone from a swing state that has a good amount of experience. Also, after four more years of Democratic rule, there is a good chance that even some of the more conservative folks in the party might be open to someone a little more moderate if it means having a better chance of capturing the White House.

Furthermore, I think when Trump gets beaten so badly he starts to get mentioned in the same breath as Mondale, everyone who got on the Trump train is going to have a hard time recanting their conversion to Trumpism AND being taken seriously. Thus, we can wish a fond farewell to Mr. Cruz, Mr. Christie, Mr. Rubio, Dr. Carson, et. al.

So who’s left? Well, the answer to me explains a lot with regards to what is happening this week in Cleveland. In case you’ve missed it, many of the Never Trump folks have basically been begging either Mitt Romney or John Kasich to signal that they are willing to serve as nominee if they convention delegates just ask them to so that they might be able to throw the convention into disarray and head off Trump. Neither has been willing to do that. I wonder why?

Well, for one, I don’t think Romney really wants to go through all this again.

But furthermore, trying to stop Trump from getting the nomination at this stage of the game is pointless. He’s got it. To take it away would be to deny the voters their choice and that would not go over well at all.

That only leaves running as a third party candidate. Or in other words, suicide. A third party candidate will never win. It would just be Perot all over again.

So in short, the GOP is stuck with Trump now whether it likes it or not.

But four years can go by quickly. And that is what I believe one man is counting on. I believe the main reason Kasich has decided not to try and get the nomination now, but at the same time maintain his fierce opposition to Trump, is a very calculated move. When the great Trump experiment blows up in our faces, he stands a very good chance of looking like the adult in the room who is perfectly within his rights to say, “I told you so.”

But instead, like a good and understanding parent (which whether we want to admit it or not is really what we want our president to be,) I believe Mr. Kasich will choose to open his arms and accept us all back after our ill-advised weekend bender and will agree to represent a chastened and more responsible GOP as their nominee for President.

So mark my words and get me a yard sign because I can’t imagine any sweeter political words than the following.

Elect Kasich 2020!!!

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Email

The Ultimate Party App

Let me just say this up front. By what I’m about to say, I don’t under any circumstances mean to offend anyone who has used on-line dating services to meet people. That is certainly not my intent and if I do inadvertently offend someone, please forgive.

Having said that, I’m wondering if my current political life experience is mirroring that of those who have used on-line dating services in their personal lives. I know that’s a bizarre thing to say, but hear me out.

I accept that I could be wrong, but it is my belief that most people who ultimately look for love on the internet did not do so as their first choice. If given the opportunity, they probably would have preferred the age old method of meeting someone in an everyday situation and then having that chance meeting blossom into attraction that leads to romance. Again, maybe I’m wrong, but that was my preference during my dating years and if I were to suddenly find myself single, I believe that is what I would prefer again.

But unfortunately, life doesn’t always cooperate in the way we would like. So, when the “traditional” option isn’t available to someone (and I recognize that “traditional” doesn’t work for a lot of people) they begin to look for other alternatives. For many, this leads to signing up on a website or app that promises to pair them with someone who shares everything from their interests to their general belief system. This plan is often not an individual’s first, second or even third preference, but when first, second and third strike out…well, what’s a person gonna do.

Which leads me to my point. (I can hear several of you saying aloud, “Thank heavens. Those previous four paragraphs made me extremely uncomfortable. Trust me, I feel your pain. Maybe I shouldn’t have even drawn this metaphor, but we’re already 300 words in so we might as well keep going, right?) I wish there was a dating app for my political party affiliation. (Good Gosh, man! Couldn’t he have just said that as the first sentence?) I suppose so, but why say in 12 words what you can say in 321. Anyway…

See, here’s the thing. As it stands, we all pretty much only get two options these days. (Before I get lynched by members of the Green Party and the Libertarians, I know you exist, but come on, stick with me here and maybe you can someday too have relevance) Now those two options seem to have worked for the most part over the last 200+ plus years (except when they didn’t, see also: Whig Party, Federalist Party, Democrat-Republican Party) but they are currently leaving me wanting.

So what I want to do is get on-line, fill out a questionnaire, and then have that website pair me with like-minded people who might want to start a political party with me.  Now the beauty of this app is that we could end up with twenty parties or maybe even more, but is that so bad? Baskin-Robbins has done pretty well with the 31 flavor thing instead of offering just two. I’m just sayin’. Anyway, since I haven’t been able to find this app or website, and since I have no computer engineering skills whatsoever with which I could create my own, I will instead now list the questions I think should be on the application. I will then answer them myself on the off chance someone might read this who agrees with my responses within an acceptable 80% compatibility rating. Then…who knows? Every ocean starts with a single drop, right? (Stop rolling your eyes and just play along.)

For starters so that we might get a general idea of your political leanings, give us an example or two of current political leaders that you generally respect and admire.

For me, this would be Mitt Romney and John Kasich. Now, let me be very clear. I am not talking about the Mitt Romney who somehow survived the primary season four years ago. That process is one of my main reasons for being disenchanted with the current GOP. I’m talking about the man who ran Bain Capital and who served as governor of the state of Massachusetts. Yeah, I know during that election he said he was pro-choice and for gay marriage. And yes, I am aware that he flipped on those issues when it came time to run for president. But hidden in that flip-flop debate is the whole point. In both instances, I believe Mitt Romney was relatively unconcerned about those issues. He’s a businessman who wanted to bring his experience and leadership working within the economy to, first Massachusetts and then Washington, in order to bring some sense of financial restraint to an out-of-control government process. I just really believe social issues weren’t that important to him. But that’s what I want in my new party; people who are concerned first and foremost about the financial disaster that is our federal budget. To me, that is the primary responsibility of government in the first place. It is most certainly not to legislate religion or religious beliefs.

Don’t get me wrong, I am staunchly pro-life. But if I can’t work with someone who is pro-choice simply because they are pro-choice, I have a problem. I think the time has come in our country to accept that beating each other up over social issues we will never agree upon is becoming counter productive when we: 1. We have no money to fund education. 2. Have no money to fund healthcare. 3. Have a program in Social Security that is being asked to do what it was never designed for. 4. Have a hopelessly out-of-date national infrastructure. And 5. Have an economic system that is increasingly being built on debt from the national level all the way down to the kitchen table. It is my opinion that if we don’t address these five basic issues pretty darn fast we’re not going to have a country left to argue about abortion or gay marriage or anything else in.

Which brings me back to Romney and Kasich. In both of their cases, this is how they approached governing in their respective states. Say what you will about Kasich, but Ohio seems to be doing pretty well and he has been highly successful in working with people from all parts of the political spectrum. Romney did the same in Massachusetts. Yes, he started Romneycare. Was it hugely successful? Not particularly. But he tried. He took on one of those five major problems and he tried. Given the chance, I believe he would try again.

So, short answer long? Romney and Kasich.

What type of programming would make up your political party’s 24 hour news network?

To be blunt, I would prefer that we not have one. I believe the number one factor contributing to the crippling polarization of America in 2016 is the proliferation of conservative and liberal media. They create echo chambers which give people the idea that more people agree with them than actually do. They also allow people to believe themselves informed when in fact they are nothing of the kind.

But if I were forced to create the RNN (Ryan News Network), it’s format would based on the following:

  1. With rare exceptions, we would not allow the leading story on every other network to be the lead story on ours. If Donald Trump gets up and makes a speech claiming that the number one issue facing America is illegal immigration, we would have the intellect and courage to say, “That’s absurd” and we would ignore it in favor of covering a story that actually affects the daily lives of average Americans. If Bernie Sanders claims he is for free college education for everyone, we would again say, “That’s absurd” and ignore it in favor of covering a story where someone presents an idea that is within the realm of possibility.
  2. We would have at least two hours a day dedicated to telling stories of how communities are successfully dealing with local issues.
  3. On our talking head shows, we would require that every individual on the panel have such murky political leanings that it would be impossible to tell who our “conservatives” and our “liberals” are. Also, each issue discussed would not be given five minutes of argumentative air time before moving on to something else. We would require that our hosts arrive at a resolution for each issue through that long forgotten process known as compromise before they would be allowed to address a new topic.
  4. Finally, I would cherry pick people who despite what others might think, have been very good at keeping their biases at bay, like Chris Wallace, Wolf Blitzer and Megyn Kelly. And I would try to entice Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to reunite for their nightly two hour block. Yes, they tend liberal, but their comedic insight is often exactly on point and neither is afraid to lash out at idiocy regardless of which side of the aisle it’s coming from.

Do you believe race relations are a problem in today’s America? If yes, explain. If no, explain.

Wow, this is toughy because the answer is…of course. But the problem is, no one, and I mean no one on the national stage, seems remotely interested in dealing with the actual problems. We are all much more interested in being offended. I know that statement will offend some, but that doesn’t change its truthfulness.

To illustrate, let’s talk about the major race issue currently dominating our headlines: the back and forth between the beliefs encapsulated under the headings Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter. Both are extremely offensive to me because they are so blatantly obvious and because they allow people to ignore the real issues here, which are:

  1. Does every cop deserve our undying allegiance? No. In South Carolina, Officer Michael T. Slager murdered Walter Scott in cold blood. There is no doubt. If you have never heard of these individuals, you might want to Google them and watch another channel other than Fox. They don’t tend wanna talk about this one. Now, are there more Michael T. Slagers out there? I’m positive there are. Do they even come remotely close to representing the majority of police officers in this country? Of course not. But they exist. And we as white citizens should recognize this and stop jumping to the defense of every police officer every time one of these shootings occurs. We don’t know what happened and this is not a good guy vs. bad guy issue. Let’s wait for the facts.
  2. Is there systemic racism in our police forces whether recognized or not? Probably, but that does not justify acting like an idiot and inciting police to violence. Only bad things happen when you do that. And that goes both ways. Remember the ranchers who decided to take over a federal building on federal lands up in Oregon? Then remember when one of those ranchers jumped from his truck and started to run before being gunned down by police? What is interesting to me about that whole situation is the number of people on Facebook who posted that they were outraged by the “assassination” of a “patriot”. Many of those people are the same folks who love to post nasty things about Black Lives Matter. Anyway, on the video, you can clearly see Lavoy Finicum acting like he is reaching into his jacket for something. So let’s think through this in real time. A bunch of armed ranchers have been holding up in a federal building threatening violence. A carload tries to leave despite being told they would be pulled over if they did so and then one of these individuals leaps from said car and while running away, acts like he might be going “something” in his jacket. Bottom line, that is going to get you shot by police. The same holds true in black neighborhoods. I’m not suggesting every shooting of an unarmed black man is akin to this situation, but I’d be willing to bet more than one is. Expecting police not to react in situations where they truly fear for their lives is insane. And when they do react, it does not make them racist.
  3. But then that brings us to the real problem. Do we really believe that all Black Lives Matter? Because the one thing that no one wants to talk about unless their purpose is to discredit the other side is that Black on Black violence is an epidemic in this nation. And what is frustrating is that not only are we white folks allowed not to say anything, we are most definitely not allowed to offer solutions. Which is by definition, nuts! Furthermore, it is not just Black lives that we are losing to this epidemic. I live just a few miles from the San Carlos Indian Reservation in Arizona. A hashtag that ought to be out there is #NativeAmericanLivesMatter, but instead the only Native American issue we seem to be interested in talking about is whether or not the Washington Redskins need to change their name.

Bottom line, racism is real. White Americans who don’t believe this need to get over themselves and get with the program. But let’s face facts. Police shootings of unarmed black men is the symptom not the problem. And if we are going to fix this problem as a nation, we need to stop the current practice of shaming every White person over something very few, if any, had a hand in creating and allow everyone to be a part of the solution. My party’s platform would be about finding resolutions to the problems of race we face in this country, not placing blame on anyone, Black or White or otherwise. That only perpetuates the problem. Are we automatically going to be able to trust each other right off the bat? No. But let’s leave the chips on our shoulder at the door and get down to fixing the problems with each and every tool we have at our disposal. Naive thinking? Maybe, but it also happens to be the only solution that is ever going to have a chance at success

Would that be the end of the survey?

No, but I’ve gone on for way too long and if you are still reading, you undoubtedly have better things to do. Bottom line, if anyone out there knows where I might find this app that I’m looking for, feel free to pass along my info: Married White Male seeking political party that’s more interested in solutions and compromise than bickering and vitriol. And if that party happens to like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain? I’m open to that too.

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Email

My Response To A Popular Trump E-mail

Recently, I received for about the fourth or fifth time, an e-mail extolling the virtues of why I should vote for Donald Trump. The latest individual to send this to me is someone I respect a great deal, so in this instance, I chose not to ignore the e-mail, but instead responded. Since my response took so much of my time, I have decided to post the original e-mail here and my response.

Mainly, I know that on some level I have led others to believe that I will not be voting in the upcoming election. I want to dispel that idea and express unequivocally that I will be voting. I just don’t know for whom. My reasons for this lack of clarity are listed in the slightly revised e-mail response below.

I apologize that I have given the impression that I will not vote. I will be voting in both the upcoming primary and general elections. I intend to cast a vote for President, although I will admit that I still do not know who that will be for. To maybe help make my position a little clearer I’ve decided to stop, as this e-mail states, speaking out against Trump and have instead just answered the questions myself. When I do, I realize…yep, still not ready to commit. We’ll see. But maybe my answers below will make my reservations understandable. I do understand where those who support the party’s candidate are coming from, but hopefully this will make my views clearer as well. All of my changes to the original e-mail are italicized.

ORIGINAL E-MAIL:

The folks speaking out against Trump are helping me make up my mind a
little more every day!
Is he the Perfect Candidate whose thoughts mirrors mine on all fronts?  NOPE
Does he say everything the way I wish he would say it?  NOPE
Am I absolutely sure that his motives are absolutely Pure?  NOPE
Can I point to any other Dem Politician that I like better?  NOPE
Is there any of the other RINO Politicians I like better?  NOPE
Am I going to sit home, refuse to Vote, and let Hillary win; because he is
NOT Perfect?  NOPE
Do I like what I have seen for the last 7-1/2 years with the Jerk that
sleeps in my White House?  NOPE
Do I like the “fundamental changes” that same Jerk has brought about in MY
America?  NOPE

OK, your turn to decide what you are going to do in about 4 months!
Trump’s presidential qualifications…

Obama is against Trump… Check
The Media are against Trump… Check
The establishment Democrats are against Trump… Check
The establishment Republicans are against Trump… Check
The Pope is against Trump… Check
The UN is against Trump… Check
The EU is against Trump… Check
China is against Trump… Check
Mexico is against Trump… Check
Soros is against Trump… Check
Black Lives Matter is against Trump… Check
Move On is against Trump… Check
Koch Brothers are against Trump… Check
Bushes are against Trump … Check
Planned Parenthood is against Trump….Check
Hillary & Bernie are both against Trump … Check
Illegal aliens are against Trump … Check
Islam is against Trump … Check
Kasich is against Trump … Check
Hateful, racist, violent Liberals are against Trump.. Check

NOW THAT BEING SAID…

It seems to me, Trump MUST BE the Best Qualified Candidate we could ever
have.

If you have so many political insiders and left wing NUT CASES— all
SCARED TO DEATH, that they all speak out against him at the same time!

Most of all, it will be the People’s Choice…

PLUS

He’s not a Lifetime Politician…Check
He’s not a Lawyer…..Check
He’s not doing it for the money…Check
He’s a Natural Born American Citizen born in the USA from American parents.
. .

Bonus points !

Whoopi says she will leave the country…
Rosie says she will leave the country…
Sharpton says he will leave the country…
Cher says she will leave the country…
Cyrus says she will leave the country…
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights will prevail….
Hillary will go to jail…..
The budget will be balanced in 8 years….
Americans will have first choice at jobs…..
You will not be able to marry your pet….
You will be able to keep your gun(s) if you qualify…
(Not a criminal or crazy, etc.)
Only living, registered U.S. citizens can vote….
MUST SHOW ID TO VOTE…
You can have and keep your own doctor…..
You can say whatever you want without being called a racist, Islamophobic,
xenophobic, etc….

He will make AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

Come to think of it, we have no place to go, but UP!

MY RESPONSE E-MAIL: (Again My Responses Are The Italicized Portion)

The folks speaking out against Trump are helping me make up my mind a
little more every day!

Is he the Perfect Candidate whose thoughts mirrors mine on ANY front?  I DON’T KNOW! HE HAS TAKEN JUST ABOUT EVERY POSITION ON EVERY ISSUE OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS TO THE POINT THAT I TRULY DON’T KNOW WHAT HIS ACTUAL VIEWS ARE.

Does he say ANYTHING the way I wish he would say it?  NOPE

Am I absolutely sure that his motives are absolutely Pure?  NOPE, AND BECAUSE OF HIS STATEMENTS AND BELIEFS PRIOR TO HIS “CONVERSION” TWO YEARS AGO, I’M VERY CONCERNED!

Can I point to any other Dem Politician that I like better?  NOPE

Is there any of the other RINO Politicians I like better?  FIRST, I HATE THE PHRASE “RINO”, IT IMPLIES THAT THERE IS ONE AND ONLY ONE WAY TO THINK AS A REPUBLICAN AND THAT IS REPUGNANT TO ME. AND YES, THERE ARE MANY OTHER GOP POLITICIANS I LIKE BETTER!

Am I going to sit home, refuse to Vote, and let Hillary win; because he is
NOT Perfect?  IT IS FAIRLY CLEAR FROM 2012 THAT THE GOP NEEDED TO MAKE INROADS WITH HISPANIC VOTERS IN 2016 IF THEY WANTED TO HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN. TRUMP HAS DONE THE OPPOSITE SO, NO, I WILL NOT SIT HOME, BUT IT IS CLEAR TO ME THAT TRUMP IS DOING MORE TO “LET” HILLARY WIN THAN ANYONE ELSE INCLUDING ME WITH MY VOTE!

Do I like what I have seen for the last 7-1/2 years with the Jerk that
sleeps in my White House?  NOT EXACTLY, BUT PEOPLE WHO WERE DEMANDING THAT DEMOCRATS RESPECT THE OFFICE WHEN GEORGE W. BUSH WAS IN POWER BUT NOW HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH NAME-CALLING AND INSULTS MAKE ME PAUSE WHEN I CONSIDER THEIR MOTIVES.

Do I like the “fundamental changes” that same Jerk has brought about in MY
America?  SEE ANSWER ABOVE AND DEFINE “FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES”. GAY MARRIAGE? YES, A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE, BUT ENACTED BY THE SUPREME COURT WHICH HAD A GOP NOMINATED MAJORITY OF JUSTICES WHEN IT DID SO. OBAMACARE? HEALTHCARE WAS BROKEN BEFORE OBAMACARE AND REMAINS BROKEN. WHAT IS TRUMP’S FIX OTHER THAN REPEAL WHICH TAKES US BACK TO THE BROKEN SYSTEM THAT ALLOWED OBAMACARE TO BE PASSED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

OK, your turn to decide what you are going to do in about 4 months!
Trump’s presidential qualifications…

Obama is against Trump… Check

The Media are against Trump… Some people in the media I respect a great deal are against TRUMP including George Will and Karl Rove. NO CHECK

The establishment Democrats are against Trump… Check

The establishment Republicans are against Trump… If by Establishment Republicans we mean Mitt Romney, Jeff Flake and Paul Ryan, then I like establishment Republicans and value their opinions. NO CHECK

The Pope is against Trump… LDS Apostle Deiter F. Uchtdorf has sounded remarkably like the Pope on certain issues. Furthermore, I have heard nothing that suggests the Pope is concerned about anything other than the spiritual well-being of his flock. So, NO CHECK

The UN is against Trump… Check

The EU is against Trump… Last I checked the EU is made up of our allies (we do have more than just Israel). I have a lot of respect for Angela Merkel. I also respect many of the politicians who were against Britain leaving the EU. Finally, I have a lot of trepidation as I watch the floundering mess that is the Brexit camp following their win. They have walked back almost every promise they made and are in full spin mode on lowering expectations. Since these are the geniuses the conservative media is touting as the precursor to the Trump revoltion, I am more than a little concerned. NO CHECK

China is against Trump… Trump’s economic policies with regard to China would likely trigger a trade war that would be devastating to our economy and my ability to provide for my family, let alone what it will do to a future economy that my children would have to face when they come of age. I’m no fan of China, but I can find agreement with them on why they are against Trump. NO CHECK

Mexico is against Trump… This whole issue is stupid and will likely set the Republican party back twenty years because of his nasty tirades against Mexico and Mexicans. NO CHECK

Soros is against Trump… Check

Black Lives Matter is against Trump… Check

Move On is against Trump… Check

Koch Brothers are against Trump… Koch Brothers are a large reason Republicans have control of the Senate currently and have held onto the House. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. NO CHECK

Bushes are against Trump … I happen to like the Bushes and feel like they were both good presidents. So did most Republicans until Trump and Fox News suddenly said we shouldn’t. NO CHECK

Planned Parenthood is against Trump….Check

Hillary & Bernie are both against Trump … Check

Illegal aliens are against Trump … Check

Islam is against Trump … Dangerous when you start lumping all factions of a vast world religion into one. For instance, I would prefer not to be lumped in with Warren Jeffs. NO CHECK

Kasich is against Trump … I happen to like Kasich and believe he has done a fantastic job in Ohio. All things considered, I would love to have seen him as our nominee. NO CHECK

Hateful, racist, violent Liberals are against Trump. Hateful, racist, violent Conservatives are FOR Trump. I consider this a wash.

NOW THAT BEING SAID…

It seems to me, Trump MUST BE the Best Qualified Candidate we could ever
have.

If you have so many political insiders and left wing NUT CASES— all
SCARED TO DEATH, that they all speak out against him at the same time!

Most of all, it will be the People’s Choice…

PLUS

He’s not a Lifetime Politician… (SEE: Unqualified and inexperienced) We wouldn’t hire anyone else with those kind of qualifications for a job let alone the most important job in America. NO CHECK

He’s not a Lawyer…..Yes, he makes it quite clear that he cares little for the law every opportunity he gets. NO CHECK

He’s not doing it for the money…How do you, I, or anyone else know that? He won’t release his taxes…Interesting…NO CHECK

He’s a Natural Born American Citizen born in the USA from American parents. This is an asinine thing to say. The reason Republicans get beat is because they get caught up in the stupidest little petty things. Obama was born in Hawaii. And regardless, Republicans lost because they didn’t convince enough Americans to vote for the agenda, not because people were hornswaggled into voting for a Kenyan. We need to deal with it and move on.
. .

Bonus points !

Whoopi says she will leave the country…

Rosie says she will leave the country…

Sharpton says he will leave the country…

Cher says she will leave the country…

Cyrus says she will leave the country… (For the previous five answers) So we, the people who claim to be inclusive Christians, are celebrating other Americans leaving. Seems juvenile.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights will prevail…. Because they haven’t up to this point? Just because the Constitution and Bill of Rights protects everyone and not just one particular political party’s viewpoints doesn’t mean it isn’t prevailing.

Hillary will go to jail… HUH? People who believe this are delusional

The budget will be balanced in 8 years…. As long as we will not even consider cutting one cent of defense spending you may reference the answer immediately above.

Americans will have first choice at jobs….. Which will create products we can no longer afford because having enough is no longer good enough for 95% of Americans. You can’t have Americans producing goods at current labor costs AND pay Wal-Mart prices.

You will not be able to marry your pet…. Open dialogue begins with inclusive statements just like this one. (Sarcasm intended)

You will be able to keep your gun(s) if you qualify…
(Not a criminal or crazy, etc.) The ones keeping guns in the hands of criminals and crazies are the NRA, which typically supports GOP candidates. Again, can’t have it both ways.

Only living, registered U.S. citizens can vote…. So Trump has figured out how to change century old practices in Chicago and Louisiana politics. Let’s just grant him Sainthood right now.

MUST SHOW ID TO VOTE…

You can have and keep your own doctor….. Unless you can’t afford it which was the problem that led us to Obamacare in the first place.

You can say whatever you want without being called a racist, Islamophobic,
xenophobic, etc…. Unless of course the things you are saying are racist, Islamophobic or xenophobic, etc. Then you will still be called those things.

He will make AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! He can’t even make his own TV show great, but he’ll manage greatness for an entire country? Okay…

Come to think of it, we have no place to go, but UP! Last I checked, I’m still pretty free. I can drive across the state lines of this country freely without being stopped. I have the ability to purchase anything I want that is legal. And I can still attend the church of my choice. And it just so happens that the religion I choose to be a part of only needs to look back within the last 150 years to find it can get a lot worse than we have it right now. So, pardon if I don’t jump on board with this line of thinking.

Final analysis? That’s a lot of italicized typing, so no, I’m not ready to commit to Mr. Trump as of yet. I was raised to believe a politician should have to earn my vote, and currently, Mr. Trump has done nothing remotely close to that. Because in my view, he’s got to do more than just not be Hillary Clinton. Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe my vote is at least worth more than that.

Share this:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Email