Monthly Archives: November 2016

I Think I’m Having A Red Stroke

Today might be described as a bloglet post.

I don’t intend for it to be very long, but my gripe will require a little more space than a typical Facebook post would allow for. With that said, here we go:

Is there a bigger ego out there than Garth Brooks? I realize the irony of this question in light of the recent Presidential election. But seriously, if you boil it down, I think ego-wise Mr. Trump and Mr. Brooks are fairly competitive. The major difference would be…at least Donald Trump acknowledges his ego. Mr. Brooks would rather try to hide his in this treacly sweet faux-humility that makes me want to vomit.

So where is this coming from you might ask? Well, it’s Christmas time again AND it has been a few years so it must be time for another box set of Garth Brooks music. You know the ones I’m talking about. The collections that contain multiple disks, can only be purchased at one store, contain hits from days gone by as well as other music he’s already released before, sprinkled with the occasional new song you can’t get anywhere else, and all slickly packaged with Mr. Brooks on the front in some newly designed pose that always manages to require him to not smile and look like he’s constipated.

Don’t get me wrong. Back in the day I was a huge Garth Brooks fan. To this day I can still rattle off a number of songs that I truly enjoy: Wolves, In Lonesome Dove, What She’s Doing Now, The River, American Honky Tonk Bar Association, etc., etc., etc. The dude can sing. I am not debating that in the least.

But seriously, is there an artist alive and still producing music today who has bilked, swindled and taken advantage of their fan base more than Garth Brooks?

He won’t release his music on iTunes because he claims he feels so strongly about the importance of the album experience versus individual songs taken out of context. Hmmm…well that’s handy. I mean, heaven forbid you allow people to purchase just the two songs that will be available only on Target’s Ultimate Collection this year because they won’t be able to enjoy them in the context of their album. Except…THERE IS NO ALBUM THEY BELONG ON!!! They are two songs thrown into this collection just so Target can force you to purchase it from them, right now, if you want to have them. So, if you do the math, instead of allowing his fans to download those two songs for $1.29 each, he is going to force everyone to pay $15 each so that they can own these two priceless tunes…along with 77 other songs they don’t necessarily want, or that they already own. Now there’s a guy who loves his fan base, let me tell you.

And furthermore, if “the album experience” is so sacrosanct, how come Mr. Brooks released a different boxed set (he has released five, along with four compilation albums since the mid ’90s) called The Limited Series back in 1998 which basically was just a box set of each of his previously released albums with a single new song wedged onto to each disc for a total of six new songs not available for purchase any other way?

I personally bought my last Garth Brooks album back in college. It was called In Pieces. I still think it’s his strongest stand alone album bar none. Unfortunately, I lost it many years ago, long before I owned an iPod. Every once in a while, I’ll hear one of his tunes on the radio and think, “Man, I would love to download some of those old Garth Brooks songs.” Except, I can’t. And I absolutely refuse to pay upwards of fifty bucks just so I can get five or six songs that I’ll probably remember with fondness for about two weeks and then delete them from my iPod because I’m on to something new.

So here’s to you, Mr. Garth Brooks. While others are actively claiming that they hope the other ego maniac fails, I’m gonna forego that and instead make my declaration that I hope you fail. I hope your new album fails and I hope your new boxed set fails. You have more money than God (To be clear, I personally don’t believe God has a need for money so this statement is obviously for shock value and sarcastic imagery only) so it’s not like you’ll be hurting. And the sooner you go away, the sooner I don’t have to see fifteen hundred Facebook posts of you crying about your Mom on Good Morning America. That raw emotion shtick of yours stopped working for me decades ago.

Instead, if I want a good stroll down memory lane with a classic country tune, I’ll go with The Man. Because every single one of George Strait’s classic hits is available on iTunes…and there’s not a big ol’ box with his gastrically backed-up mug on it anywhere in sight.

Disclaimer: To those who might be offended by my aggressive language, I apologize for the ferocity of this post. But to be honest, my animosity towards Mr. Brooks on this subject has been building for decades. Nevertheless, if I have truly caused offense with my tone, I apologize.

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Thank God I’m A Country Boy

On election night earlier this month, a lot of people were shocked and stunned at the outcome playing out before their eyes. And as a very outspoken critic of Mr. Trump, no one could have been more surprised than I. However, I was deeply saddened to see the way certain individual’s frustrations began to manifest themselves. For instance, I was most disappointed to read about a tweet from former Saturday Night Live cast member, Taran Killam, which read:

“Rural = So Stupid”

Of course, as is the way of our world today, (unless of course you actually ARE Mr. Trump) Mr. Killam recognized that some damage control was in order and tried to non-apologize his way out of the mess he’d created. That didn’t work either and the next morning he offered an actual apology that allowed the vast majority of Americans who had never heard of Mr. Killam before to quickly forget him and move on.

But his statement is one that has been echoed repeatedly in the days since. Now don’t get me wrong, it isn’t stated with quite so heavy a hand, but it’s there. It’s there in every argument against the electoral college. It’s there in every reference to the uneducated whites who voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump. In the minds of many who live in our largest cities, the rural white American voter is stupid and therefore untrustworthy of having the vote.

Well, as a white American who lives in rural Arizona, I take exception to this way of thinking. Because first, as has been pointed out many times, we live in a representative republic, not a democracy, and therefore the electoral college makes perfect sense. And second, there is much about who I am that I owe to being raised in rural America. Things I like. Things I hold dear. And so, in honor of Thanksgiving this week, I am going to share a list of things I am thankful for that I owe to my rural upbringing and my current rural existence.

I am thankful I know how to work – My grandfather was a rancher and my father was a copper miner and a mechanic before his retirement. By the time I was 12 years old, my summer vacations consisted of getting up early and working eight hours a day on the four acres my father owned, at the rental properties my parents purchased for the express purpose of having something for their sons to work on, or on the farm surrounding our property that was owned for a short time by my mother’s father. When I turned 16, I went to work for a local farmer chopping the weeds out of his cotton fields from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. everyday, only to come home and then get to work on the chores my father had for me. At 14, my brother started running his own Sno-Cone business on the small main street of the town where we lived. That may not sound too bad except that he was required to get himself to and from work on his bike, sometimes carrying jugs of flavored syrup on the handlebars. By the way, we lived seven miles from town. I don’t share this to impress anyone, because the truth is, most kids who grew up where I did in the 1980s had similar experiences. It was called life. But oh, how thankful I am for those experiences. Today, I know the value of work. I know how to accomplish things. And I owe that to my parents and the opportunities afforded me by living in a rural area.

I am thankful for the power of community – While attending Arizona State University and for several years after, my wife and I lived in the east valley of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. I enjoyed my time there. I enjoyed the varied entertainment, culinary and cultural opportunities available to us. I enjoyed some very close relationships with good neighbors. But at the end of the day, I never experienced anything living in the city like I did this past Labor Day. On that magical Monday morning, over 50 individuals gathered to help an older couple in need of a new roof. No one was paid, no reward was offered and no press coverage was provided. I recognize what happened was partly due to the religious culture of which I’m a part, but during my time in the city, I never saw anything like this. It felt like a barn raising from days gone by. And I felt privileged to have been a part of it and more importantly, to have my son be a part of it. I know this is a generalized statement that could easily be argued, but I believe people care about their neighbors more in rural communities. Not just the neighbors next door, but ALL of their neighbors in town. Yes, that sometimes means that people are way too involved in each other’s business and yes, reputations are hard to change when everyone remembers what you were like as a teenager. But the support and love that manifests itself on a regular basis in the small town where I live is something you can’t understand until you’ve been a part of it.

I am thankful for religion – According to Gallup, rural America is simply more religious than urban America. By a significant amount. Reasons for this definitely include the lack of other cultural focal points for communities to rally around, thus making “the church” more influential. But whatever the reasons, I don’t care. I am aware of the failings of organized Christianity in America today. I know that religious dogma changes more slowly and allows for ideas that have lost their validity to hold on longer than they should. But here is what I also know. The positives religion provides to children, specifically my children, is immeasurable. I attended a meeting several weeks ago with my wife and my daughter that was specifically for girls aged 12-18 and their parents. The messages weren’t focused on women being subservient to men, or that girls should forego their dreams in order to take their rightful place in the home. Maybe those ideas are still being preached somewhere, but they weren’t being preached there. Instead, we were taught the importance of doing Simple Acts Of Kindness everyday. Now think about that for a minute. What if every teenager in America was having that kind of idea reinforced constantly, not just by their parents, but by a variety of adults who serve as role models. Wouldn’t our country be a better place? I suppose some might argue that such a notion is debatable. I, however, humbly but fervently disagree.

I am thankful for country – Regardless of how bad I might feel my life is at any given moment, I must recognize one thing; I am an American in 2016. The reality of that statement means that I am truly one of the 1%. If you take every human being that has lived since the dawn of time, I have it better than >99% of them ever had it or currently have it. I know that might not necessarily be true for every person living in America today, but it is for a vast majority. Unfortunately, in our zeal as a nation to address the inadequacies of our communities and culture, we sometimes forget how good America truly is. Patriotism on college campuses is often ridiculed. City celebrations, other than firework displays that are beautiful but don’t mention anything of our nation’s heritage, are almost forgotten…except in rural America. Here, we gather to remember just how blessed we are to live under a document like the constitution. Yes, some might take that constitution talk to extremes, but because of the constitution, they have the right. Now don’t get me wrong. I know full well that our nation’s history is pockmarked with a glaring number of slights, grievances and downright atrocities towards minorities and women. But so is every institution, culture, religion and society. That doesn’t mean we have to overlook all of the good. And in rural America, we are much less inclined to do so.

I am grateful for manners – This is something that probably doesn’t have so much to do with today’s rural America as it does with my own personal upbringing, but it happened in rural Arizona, so I’m gonna include it. My parents taught me to be politically active. They taught me to get involved and be a problem solver, not a complainer. They also taught me to respect everyone regardless of our differences and that there is a time and a place for disagreement and a time and a place to let disagreements lay dormant. This past weekend, our new vice-president attended a production of the new critically acclaimed Broadway musical, Hamilton. Following the performance, cast member Brandon Victor Dixon took it upon himself to address the vice-president directly and state that he, and many on the stage with him, were part of the community who now feared that the new administration would not protect and uphold their inalienable rights. Mr. Dixon’s statement on its own was not inflammatory. It was a reasoned statement. However, it was horribly mistimed and incredibly ill-mannered. Mr. Dixon’s statement would have been perfectly appropriate if tweeted, Facebooked, recorded as a public service announcement and played on national television or radio. It even would have been appropriate had Mr. Dixon made this statement from the stage at any other performance other than the one in which Mr. Pence attended. I mean, imagine if Mr. Obama had attended a performance at the Grand Ol’ Opry and been subjected to a statement from an artist stating that he or she was part of the community that lives in fear of losing their guns or religious freedoms. There would have been supreme outrage from all across the left leaning spectrum of political thought. Including, in part, from the very people who felt it appropriate to boo Mr. Pence this past weekend.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that Mr. Trump has brought much of this on himself and his administration. During the campaign, he was the epitome of bad manners. But another thing I learned at an early age that I am grateful for is that two wrongs don’t make a right. Now is the time when we need to start listening to each other instead of further degrading the rules of acceptable dialogue. Many on the left want to dismiss rural white America as being racist, misogynist, stupid…the list goes on and on. But they’re missing something. They are missing what rural white America was trying to say.

Now to be fair, not every liberal is missing it. Jon Stewart articulated it very well when he addressed hypocrisy on the left in a recent interview. Paraphrasing, he said that a majority of rural white Americans don’t fear Mexicans or Muslims. What they fear is the insane increases to their health insurance premiums, especially under Obamacare. And that’s true. But it is only one truth. The real issue here is that a lot of people voted for Donald Trump. And the reasons for doing so are as plentiful as the number of individuals who cast their ballot for him.

So, yeah, if you want to get right down to it, white rural Americans had a message for Washington. For each individual person, it wasn’t necessarily the same exact message as the person standing next to them, but at the end of the day, they could all be boiled down to a similar theme.

Don’t forget me. I matter.

It’s the same message every person tried to send on election day. So my suggestion would be; let’s not dismiss and ridicule those who voted differently than we did. Let’s stop calling names and degrading our opponents. And that goes for the winning side as well as the losing side. We should be better than that. Let’s start listening to each other. If enough Americans voted for Trump to elect him president, there must be a reason, and it likely isn’t because they are stupid. If that were the case then you would have to argue that many of those individuals were just as stupid when they voted for Mr. Obama four and eight years ago.

And that last bit of opinion on my part comes from one last thing I am thankful for when it comes to my upbringing in a rural town in Southern Arizona. Good ol’ fashioned logical thinking, otherwise known as common sense. May we take this Thanksgiving weekend and apply some in our own lives and then allow it to permeate our relationships with everyone else we come in contact with. And as a final prayer: please, God, let it happen especially on Facebook.

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The Legend of Stars Hollow

Well, if you got the reference in the title then you are probably well aware of what today is. If you didn’t get the reference, then one; you are not a true Gilmore Girls fan, and two; you probably didn’t know nor possibly care that the long awaited reunion…season?…mini-series?…whatever, of Gilmore Girls is now available on Netflix today. It’s a big deal. And if you don’t understand why, then you should make yourself sit down, get a big ol’ bowl of popcorn and start watching this show from episode one, season one, so that you can get to know the fabulous folks from Stars Hollow.

Now I know what you’re thinking. This writer’s a guy, right? Yes, I’m a guy. And probably like most other guys who have watched this show, I was drug into the experience somewhat grudgingly. But boy, was I surprised how much I enjoyed it and how much of a fan I would become. So thanks, Amy Rapier. I only hope you enjoyed keeping up your end of our bargain by watching Lost as much as I enjoyed keeping up mine.

Anyway, in honor of the four new episodes now available for streaming (which I have not yet seen) I wanted to provide my Top 5 List of Best Things About Gilmore Girls and my Top 5 List of Worst Things About Gilmore Girls. And since it is amazing how much the two lists intersect, I will present them simultaneously starting with number 5 from each list and proceeding upwards in the same manner. So, without further ado…

Best Thing About Gilmore Girls #5: The Eccentric Secondary Characters

mrs-kim

Whether it was the insanely devout Korean Christian, Mrs. Kim, who ran an antique store and was mother to Rory’s best friend, Lane; or the control freak Mayor, Taylor Doose, Stars Hollow had simply the best rogue’s gallery of kooky, off-the-wall townspeople that made this show special. And while I loved Sally Struthers channeling her former television mother, Edith Bunker, and I adored the nymphomaniac dance instructor, Miss Patty, I have to admit that my favorite side story involved the town troubadour who felt threatened when a second troubadour showed up and tried to claim his territory. The fact that this issue had to be resolved at a town meeting is quintessential Stars Hollow and a big reason why I loved this show. In fact, I can only think of one misfire during the show’s entire run and it was…

Worst Thing About Gilmore Girls #5: Kirk

kirk

Maybe I’m alone on this, but I DESPISE Kirk. And the longer the show went and the more they tried to create storylines for him, the more I hated him. I never found him funny in the way I did Taylor, or Michelle, or…anyone else on the show. He was basically Mater in Cars 2. Way too much and excessively unfunny.

Best Thing About Gilmore Girls #4: Luke and Lorelai

luke-and-lorelai

The WILL THEY OR WON’T THEY device has been used in hundreds of shows to a varying degree of success. But when a show gets it right, they can drag it out for several seasons without having the audience either lose interest altogether or show up on the studio lot with pitchforks and torches. Gilmore Girls got it right…for the most part. Let’s just say they got the Luke and Lorelai part right, but in the process they did get one thing incredibly wrong…

Worst Thing About Gilmore Girls #4: The Emasculation of Max Medina

max

If you are going to have a show centered on the WILL THEY OR WON’T THEY device, you can’t have one of the foils be as likable, if not more likable, than the dude he’s supposed to be foiling. Max Medina was absolutely one of the best guys. And in a lot of ways probably would have been better for Lorelai than Luke. I watched this show for the first time like three years ago and I’m STILL mad about what they did to Max. The show’s creators figured it out after Max when it came to any other romantic interest for Lorelai, but still…what you did to Max was NOT COOL!!!

Best Thing About Gilmore Girls #3: The Villain

paris

Seriously, how many villains have there been over the history of television who have been as effective as Paris Geller at making you utterly hate them while also eliciting true pity? Liza Weil played her perfectly, but the character was written about as well as any villain I can remember save…ben-linus

Worst Thing About Gilmore Girls #3: The Fate of Lane Kim

lane

Lane deserved Dave! And no one deserves Zack! Saying anything further on this matter will only serve to infuriate me to the point of madness.

Best Thing About Gilmore Girls #2: Friday Night Dinners

friday-night-dinner

The great thing about Gilmore Girls was that it was not just a show about one central theme. You had the Luke and Lorelai thing, you had the fish out of water thing with Rory at her new school, but the best was the often hilarious/often heartbreaking dramedy of an estranged family coming back together after years of separation. And the show’s construct of having a majority of that relationship rebuilding play out during a required weekly dinner was brilliant. And without fail, the best lines of the show always came over appetizers as mother, daughter and granddaughter put on an amazingly truthful display of what is meant by the generational divide. In truth, if I had any issue with this family it would be…

Worst Thing About Gilmore Girls #2: Christopher

christopher

Okay, I’m not a great judge of looks when it comes to men, but I guess I can see the physical allure of Christopher…I guess. But seriously. This guy is such a weenie. How on earth are we supposed to believe that this is the guy Lorelai seriously has trouble moving past. There is almost nothing redeeming about him. And if there is, it is totally wiped out due to the role he played in the whole ending the engagement to Max fiasco. Boo, Christopher!!! You don’t deserve Stars Hollow and frankly, even your motorcycle is wimpy. Please don’t darken our door again.

Best Thing About Gilmore Girls #1: The Writing

gilmore-girls

I can think of only one other show that had dialogue as effective as Gilmore Girls, and Frasier won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series five times. The genius way in which the Palladinos (the wife and husband duo who created and oversaw the show for six seasons) intermixed pop-culture references, coffee addiction diatribes, sheer goofiness and soul-melting emotion into each rapid-fire interaction between characters was incredible. I didn’t always enjoy the twists and turns the show took, but I always enjoyed the poetic journey along the way. That is up until…

Worst Thing About Gilmore Girls #1: Season 7

season-7

Due to a bizarre contract dispute between the network and show creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband, something or other Palladino, the Palladinos were unceremoniously removed from their own show for the last season.

And BOY was it noticeable!

The new writers tried to recreate the rapid-fire dialogue and quirkiness that defined the show, but they failed miserably. It was so bad, that I will admit I never finished watching the last season. Nor do I care to. I read on-line how it ends, and that’s good enough for me. Watching the episodes of season 7 that I did was akin to watching a beloved pet be euthanized right before my eyes…or watching Indiana Jones 4. Basically to me, one and the same!

Which brings me to my final thoughts on this blessed day. The new four episode…whatever, that became available on Netflix today is once again in the hands of Amy Sherman-Palladino. Which is great, because she had always stated that she knew exactly how her show was supposed to end. Unfortunately, for many years it appeared we the audience would never get to see that ending. Now, based on some interviews I’ve read, those fears can be laid to rest. The show will end the way it should have and we can all pretend that season 7 was a bad dream. Now if we could just do the same with Kirk.

Anyway, fans of Gilmore Girls rejoice. Your prodigal show has come home. Very few fan bases get this opportunity, so get your blankets, get your odd mixture of Chinese food and bizarre pizza and settle in this weekend for what promises to be one of the best binge watching sessions of your adult life.

If you aren’t a fan? Well, all I can say is suck it up and watch the show from the beginning. It’s worth it. I mean, if nothing else, you’ll be lucky enough to have one of television’s best theme songs ever stuck in your head for weeks. And for that you can thank me later.

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I Prefer My Crow Sauteed

As a teenager growing up in Duncan, Arizona, I hated the Thatcher Eagles. I hated the town they came from, I hated the school they went to, and I hated the condescending way they would roll into our house, beat the living crap out of us at almost every sport and then walk out with an attitude akin to legionnaires of the Roman empire who had just pillaged and burned a peasant village. It was tough to take.

Then, when I moved on to college, I discovered that those people from Thatcher weren’t so bad. But still, that simmering resentment lingered. It lingered so much that when the Duncan/Thatcher football game came around, I let myself get deluded into thinking Duncan had a chance to win. I took it even further and made a bet with one of my new Thatcher friends that whichever of our teams lost, the supporter of that team would have to get up in front of the entire Eastern Arizona College choir and sing the opposing school’s fight song as a solo.

Well…Duncan lost 42-0 and the game was called about three minutes into the third quarter.

I can still remember vividly that feeling of standing up in front of about 120 people and singing that song as about 25 Thatcher alumni stood and clapped along. IT SUCKED! Yes, I deserved what I got and yes, it was all done in fun, but it still sucked. Admitting you’re wrong sucks.

Nevertheless, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong and if you want to be a person of character, you have to sometimes take your medicine. So…

I was wrong.

In fact, I wasn’t just wrong, I was really, really, really wrong. And you know what? Saying that is not cathartic. Nope, it stings just as much if not more than having to endure that song some 25 years ago.

Now for those who are expecting me to launch into a diatribe trying to justify my views and about how this is the worst thing ever…it ain’t gonna happen. Dude won! No way around it. Dude won and both parties had better figure out a way to listen to that segment of society who is feeling left behind who elected him. Both parties also better figure out that the era of putting up the tried and true names is over, at least for the time being. No more Bushes, no more Clintons.

And with regard to Mr. Trump, I’m willing to give him a chance. When he spoke last night, I will admit that his speech was what I had been waiting to hear from a candidate for over a year. ANY candidate! Infrastructure? I’ll take it. I don’t know why we had to wait until election night to mention it. But I’ll take it.

However, I would hope that those who are celebrating a win today will think back to how they felt four years ago. There are people seriously hurting this morning. There are people seriously afraid. And anyone who has the nerve to say things like, “Well screw them, they should just leave if they don’t like it.” should be ashamed of themselves. Spiking the football in the face of those who disagree with you should be beneath us. Again, I have to give it up to Mr. Trump for not doing that. He had every right to hold up the copy of the New Yorker magazine labeling him a Loser on the cover and have his Harry Truman moment. He could have declared war on Hillary Clinton, but didn’t. He could have declared war on Paul Ryan and every other Republican that opposed him, but didn’t. His speech was classy. No qualifiers, it was just classy. I hope his presidency mirrors that speech.

Speaking of Mrs. Clinton, can we please just let her go. Demanding investigations and jail time and all that other stuff will just waste time and tax payer money. I mean, c’mon, is there really a worse punishment you could inflict on the woman than the defeat she suffered at the hands of Mr. Trump last night? She’s suddenly and completely irrelevant. Let’s leave her that way and not make her a martyr.

Next, can we take at least one moment to mourn what we lost to make Mr. Trump’s victory possible? The GOP no longer has the moral high ground from which to run. Maybe they never did, but now we can’t even pretend anymore. We basically told all of our kids that the anti-bullying messages we’ve been preaching to them are bogus. Whether we like it or not, we’ve sent very mixed messages at best to our wives, sisters and daughters. We have some very serious outreach to our Muslim brothers and sisters to do. And in my opinion, worst of all, we have to come to grips with the fact that one party was willing to overlook the direct and illegal interfering of an outside nation into our political process. Russia hacked one campaign’s private e-mails and then crucified a candidate with them. And the other side wallowed in it while blatantly ignoring the illegality and horrific precedent it set. I believe it was Juan Williams on Fox News last night that asked a really good question. What if it is the Chinese doing it to a Republican in four years? We’ve basically just said it’s okay. We’re all good with that. If that doesn’t frighten everyone, or at least cause them a moment of sober reflection, then maybe I’ve misunderstood what this country was supposed to be about all along.

To my Democrat friends, I would ask that you give Mr. Trump a chance on those things that might actually help fix the country. You have no reason to. Republicans didn’t do it for your guy. But at some point, one group has to be the bigger man, so to speak. Obamacare premiums are going to triple at the beginning of the year. Infrastructure is a MAJOR problem in this country that is only getting worse by the minute. We have multiple problems that need immediate attention and mafia-style turf wars will solve none of them. I know it isn’t fair to ask, but let’s see what we can get done, can we? Fight what you can’t accept, but come to the table on those areas where you can.

And finally to wrap up, let me reiterate. I have spent an entire year proving I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. I was wrong. I am leaving up each and every post I’ve ever written about Donald Trump as a testament to my ineptitude and naivety. I want to feel elated today. I don’t. But then I knew going into last night that I wouldn’t regardless of the outcome. I feel like religious ideals and common decency have been told they have no place in politics and so I feel like an outcast. I don’t feel like I’m represented. I’ve never felt this way before and so I don’t know how to wrap my head around that.

So I’ll leave it at this. Congratulations to those who are celebrating today. My condolences to those who are not. For the first time ever last night, I got down on my knees and prayed for President Trump. Not America, President Trump. I thought I could see on his face last night that the reality of the moment was hitting him and he was truly feeling the burden. I hope he is up to the task of accomplishing exactly what he said in his speech last night. And I hope he forgets completely about most of what he’d been saying before that.

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Some Equal Credit Where Credit Is Due

(Disclaimer: The following post contains trace elements of sarcasm. For those who are concerned about my level of seriousness, this entire article was written with a smile on my face.)

Oh My Lanta!!!

We’re six days from Election Day and Nate Silver is now saying that Trump has a pathway to victory. It’s not an easy path and it is still in the unlikely zone, but it’s a path where one didn’t appear to exist before.

And so now we have to prepare for at least the possibility of a Trump presidency.

So, let’s take a moment and think that through. Over the last few months many on the left have stood by and watched the ugly back and forth on the right about moral conscience vs. the cost of losing. Accusations have been hurled back and forth about who would “own” a Hillary Clinton Presidency if Republicans refused to back Trump on moral grounds. Those discussions have happened here on this blog. And all the while, all over the media, Democrats have sat back and smiled at the inevitability of their candidate getting into office; while occasionally chiming in self-righteously about the moral pitfalls of voting Trump while never once acknowledging any of their own candidate’s character issues. In fact, they could often be found defending their candidate as a fine upstanding woman who has been maliciously maligned and castigated over the years by a…for lack of a better encompassing term, Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

Then a few weeks ago from stage right entered Julian Assange and his treasure trove of hacked and stolen e-mails. (Leaked words that were never meant for a wide audience, like comments about the 47% let’s say, aren’t so palatable now, are they?)

Now, before we go any further, let me acknowledge yet another disgusting turn in this campaign. The fact that the right is celebrating and dancing in the streets because a foreign entity hacked into an American citizen’s e-mail account and then broadcast those personal e-mails to the world is just another example of how far we have depart from any standards of civility and decency this election cycle. Marco Rubio is right in calling this out because today it’s a Democrat. Tomorrow it could easily be a Republican. And either way, it IS illegal. Just as illegal as anything Mrs. Clinton might have done with her private e-mail server.

Having said that, anyone on the left who is still reading this might want to stop because that is the last defense of anything leftward leaning you’re going to get. You see, for months I have been castigating an electorate on the right that I believe wasted the perfect opportunity. Hillary Clinton is the most beatable Democratic candidate we’ve ever seen and yet I believed, and publicly stated many times, that the only person who could lose to her was Donald Trump. It is still likely that he will. But regardless, she is doing or has done everything in her power to make a liar out of me and others who have claimed that Donald Trump is unelectable.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to aim a little of my moral high ground finger pointing at Democrats.

If Donald Trump gets elected, it is totally on you.

Yeah, Republicans may have nominated him, but you’ve proven in the past that regardless of who Republicans nominate you can beat them with a smooth talking candidate, a willing media (thanks for all your help in the second debate of 2012, Candy Crowley), and a get out the vote machine that is truly impressive. Many on my side of the aisle have suggested it might be TOO impressive, but I won’t go there. With a half-decent candidate, you enter a presidential election with a sizable advantage. In fact, I will point out again that Republicans have only won the popular vote for president ONCE since 1992.

If that weren’t enough, you have a sitting president with approval ratings that are as high as Ronald Reagan’s were when he left office. Those who think he’s the devil probably won’t understand how that’s possible, but it’s true. He’s sitting on 54% or higher. Mr. Obama has turned his legacy around, and in doing so, provided a sweet setup for whomever would be following him on the Democratic ticket.

And what did you do with all political capital? You nominated Selina Meyer.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I understand there were many of you, like those of us on the right, who didn’t want to give your nomination to such a lousy candidate. Heck, you tried eight years ago to let the Democratic machine know that Hillary was not someone you were comfortable with. But alas, this time around, your party machinery guaranteed there would be no charismatic savior named Obama to save you. Instead your only option was a caricature of the Walter Matthau character in Grumpy Old Men. And even he got further than should have been humanly possibly. Especially when you consider that the Hillary campaign was cheating the whole time. I mean, if we’ve been able to discover through a few e-mails that Donna Brazile was feeding the Hillary Campaign debate questions in advance, imagine what we don’t know. Sounds like Republicans shouldn’t be the only ones screaming for their establishment to be blown up.

Nevertheless, over and over again I have heard those who defend Hillary Clinton describe her as a strong, confident woman. That may be. But you have lots of those in Democratic party. I detest her politics, but Elizabeth Warren is the first one who comes to mind. And to my knowledge, not one of those other women are nearly as cavalier as Mrs. Clinton when it comes to disregarding the law.

Seriously, c’mon. If you plan on running for president, you have to be either be supremely stupid or hold the rest of the American population in such disdain to believe that using your own personal e-mail server for e-mails that contained classified information isn’t a bad idea. It’s not rocket science OR brain surgery. And when it was just Republicans making a big deal about those e-mails, yeah, it might have been easy to sluff off. Oh, but then the Wikileaks e-mails came out showing that her own staff was horrified at what she was doing. Acknowledging, as I believe they did, that “HC” has issues with that kind of stuff. What kind of stuff? DOING WHAT THE LAW REQUIRES HER TO DO!!!

And so what does all this boil down to? Simply this; you knew who she was from her time as First Lady. There is no mystery nor has there ever been when it comes to the Clintons. And yet you nominated her anyway. Now, because she is exactly what we all knew her to be, she is opening the door for the most detestable major party presidential candidate in our history to win.

May God Help Us All!

So next week if the final verdict rendered is that The Donald gets to take up residence in the White House, I’m gonna blame you Democrats. I mean, yes, I’ll silently rejoice for the Supreme Court implications, but on the flip side I’ll be sorrowing greatly on just about every other policy he’s advocated. You know to which policies I’m referring…the ones that will ruin us for decades.

And it will all be your fault.

Well, not just yours. It’ll be yours and the batcrap crazy 35% of the Republican party who think Mexicans are the new Jews and that comments on your genitalia are perfectly acceptable on a national debate stage who started this mess. Which is actually kind of funny if you think about it. You’ll be grouped with the very people you detest more than any other on earth. Ironic, isn’t it? Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to the bathroom because just thinking about all of this has made me nauseous.

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