Archive for the 'Politics' Category
So, as many of you can probably imagine, especially if you’ve been “here” for a while, I consider myself a pretty-far-to-the-left liberal. Certainly not a communist, and definitely a proponent of working really hard to do as much as you can for your self, your income, your family, and your society. I feel a great deal of responsibility given that I have, by comparison to the rest of the world, been given an awful lot of advantages. Never rich by the 1% standards, or even the 10% standards, but always with a roof over my head and three meals a day and sufficient clothing and access to doctors and dentists and access to a decent education–an education that extended to a doctorate degree, and which I worked very hard to pay for, and to benefit from.
I also realize that we aren’t all born on third base; some of us not even on first. That the land of every ‘man’ being created equal refers to opportunity (or at least it should) and not to advantage or privilege; and that “equal opportunity” is still just a pipe dream. And that society does better when we all do well.
As a teacher, I have witnessed some disturbing trends. Most notable is one that cropped up actually several years ago: the idea that everybody has to respect everybody else’s opinion. It doesn’t even have to be based in fact, and we’re all supposed to respect it.
I’m not even sure I agree with the right of everyone to have an opinion. If I know nothing about something, I’m doing myself and the rest of the world a favor by keeping my mouth shut about it.
If only this standard could be applied to voting. You have to pass a series of tests to get a driver’s license; why not to vote? Maybe we should have to pass a basic civics test and demonstrate our ability to recognize fact from opinion, and truth from fantasy. I recently saw a post on facebook where someone was expressing gratitude that the Republicans were on the verge of repealing Obamacare, which was, according to this person, an “absolute disaster,” and boy was he relieved that he had his insurance through the Affordable Care Act instead!!!
And while we’re at it, how about we remove the gratuitous blessing of America, and the platitudes that don’t mean anything.
Make America Great Again
Was there something wrong with 20 million people having health care, 4.+ a little unemployment, and the fact that people could commit legally to each other no matter what their gender? Or maybe it’s the debacle of having women in control of their own bodies and reproductive choices.
Let’s all go back to the 50s? The Dark Ages? When men were men and women were women and racial minorities knew their place.
So here’s the thing. I’m actually curious if someone who voted for Trump could explain, in a rational and objective way, why. If you comment and say something like “He’ll make America great again.” Or “Cuz Hillary’s a liar” I’m just going to delete it. I need to understand IF there is anyone out there who thought about this rationally WHY they would choose to vote for this person.
Many of us are horrified by the news of the racist attacks and brutality being visited now on people of color, gays, immigrants. What has the election of this man unleashed? We saw the videos of his rallies, and were appalled and frightened by the no-longer-latent racism, cruelty, hatred, that we heard coming out of the mouths of our fellow Americans. Donald Trump’s petulance, xenophobia, misogyny, racism, has given people permission to say things we have spent the last 50? 100? Years telling them they can’t say. And people who haven’t learned the lessons of civility, history — that there are, in fact, things that should never be said in civilized society, that there is no actual difference between you and any other person based on the color of their skin, that the world is actually safer when we work together (Alliances, people! Every good board game knows this, why don’t we?) — want to drag us back to some good old day where men were strong and women were good looking (and if not were dismissed as being unworthy of sexual harassment, #nowthereisagift #IhopeIama7) and knew their place and kept their mouths shut, and everybody they knew looked like everybody else.
Hatreds and bigotries and horrible acts are being perpetrated, now, many like we haven’t seen in a long time. It is my hope that these are the death throes of a dying culture. We’ve spent the last eight years building — gay rights, protesting brutality against unarmed blacks, providing insurance for people who need it — and we can still fight against tearing it down. We must. People may feel they have permission to behave like animals, but they don’t. We can’t allow it. We must stand together, make sure our fellow Americans and the people in the world who are watching very closely right now, many with great fear and trepidation, that this does not represent all of us. We’re better than this. We must show it. And if we do, maybe we can actually make something good, and lasting, out of this debacle.
1. The results of this election do not reflect the feelings and opinions of everyone in this country. The majority of the people who voted, voted not for Trump. Many of those would have voted for Bernie, and I believe some who voted for Trump would have voted for Bernie given the chance. The fact remains that the majority of eligible voters in this country did not vote, and for that they should be deeply ashamed. The government can only speak for you if you speak first.
2. Hillary let us down. She failed to tap into the anger, worry, and frustration of many, and she failed to counter adequately Donald’s messages of fear, hate, and prejudice. We can blame some of that on an unwillingness or inability of some to listen, discern, parse an argument, or investigate the basis for the things they were being told or for what they believe to be true. But the fact remains that there were things she could have, should have, said, and she didn’t. I imagine Bill, Huma, might be contemplating with great regret how their own personal circumstances and mistakes might have contributed to this. I feel great sadness for them, too.
3. Both parties let us down. Everybody underestimated Trump, and none of the people who could have done more to listen and react did enough of either; or if they tried, they tried too late. People say we get the government we deserve. While I might feel this is a government I personally don’t deserve, nor anyone who voted otherwise, the fact remains that not enough people voted, too many people voted against their own interests, and the DNC made a call that we will all live to regret. Hopefully everyone learns from their mistakes and we do better next time. If only millennials had voted, we would be facing a different result today. Let’s support them in their belief in unity, fairness, decency, human rights, and religious and gender equality.
4. It’s not over until it’s over. And by this I don’t hold to some delusion that they will finally finish counting Michigan and she will win. But that Roe v. Wade is law, gay marriage is law, millions of people have had health insurance who didn’t have it before and will hopefully demand that they don’t lose it now, and there are still things that can be done to help preserve the important steps this country has taken over the past few years. Many claim that it was time for a “change” vote, even people who are interviewed and claim that things are actually going fine for them, but they think it’s time to shake things up. While this might not make a lot of sense, the tendency for “change” votes is well documented, and again, she could have made an argument about what she WOULD change — truly addressing people’s fear of economic or political disenfranchisement, for example. People want passion, conviction, something to believe in; she relied on rational arguments, and some people just don’t work that way. We might not like it, but it’s true. But we can do community service, donate to Planned Parenthood and climate science, strive for clean energy and efficient use of our own resources, and become voices for the voiceless. Of course, all of this assumes that Trump doesn’t abandon NATO and Europe to the Russians or launch us into WW3.
5. Finally, we are still, always, stronger together. Let’s find ways to embrace those who feel left out, or afraid. Let’s make sure everyone knows that this does not necessarily represent us. And let’s find ways to make it better.
Yes, I’m still here.
Waiting till I have something to say I guess.
And now just these:
This world is not a meritocracy. It sucks, but it’s true. Discuss.
There might be something to be said about an unforeseen problem brought on by showing your children unconditional love, as in no one feels compelled to clean the house before your return after a long absence. Creating the psychological need to “earn” love might be underrated after all.
One can definitely gauge one’s fed-up-ness with the world, that is, the state of politics and the American citizenry’s unwillingnessifnotinability to actually Face the Truth, by one’s propensity to take “Cook’s Illustrated” to bed rather than the New Yorker.
These things are happening:
First, we preach the moral high ground, but only apply our civil rights to ourselves. Isn’t part of the argument that civil rights are human rights, and should be applied to everyone?
And then we have a lot of people making a lot of money running our military “business” — and actually contributing to the people who are trying (and often succeeding) to kill our members of the military.
politicians candidates the children representing the Republican party debate the relative sizes of their peni (?) while the world melts.
I could go on, but it’s too depressing.
Will this help?