Thursday, March 16, 2017

Forgiveness and Fear

Recently as I was minding my own business on Facebook, I saw this posting:

“I don’t know how I am going to have the energy to forgive all my friends that voted for Trump”

Now his guy isn’t a member of a special group. He is your garden variety, white heterosexual male that was born and raised in the Midwest. He is married and has a full-time job. If there is anyone that is NOT on the radar of the “so called” tyrant known as President Donald J. Trump; it is this guy. For the record, I will also lump myself in this group.

Us average Midwestern white guys have nothing (beyond taxes) scheduled to be taken away from us. We can’t be deported and we already have our own bathrooms. Last time I checked, I think Larry the Cable Guy was our designated spokesman.

So I don’t understand why this guy is so upset over some of his friends exercising their constitutional right to vote for a person that legally got his named placed on the official ballot to become President of the United States. As far as I can tell; not one journalist has been shot, there are no concentration camps, and people are not being rounded up and sent to ovens.

I also have not noticed any change in the amount of morning and evening rush hour traffic; which means everyone that had a job before the election, still has a job after the inauguration. I also will note that I am still having exactly the same amount of taxes taken out of my check every pay period and when I filed my income taxes; I not only received the amount I expected; I received it in the shortest time ever.

In short … I haven’t seen any difference since President Trump took office, with the exception of the crazy behavior of people that are unhappy he won.

There was story floating around about how Ashley Judd felt when she happened to run into a Trump supporter. She was at a Kentucky basketball game and was approached by a fan that asked to take a picture of her. Here is her account from her Facebook post:

“An older man with white hair came up to me at my seat today at a basketball game. He said "May I take your picture? I said "Yes." And before I could offer for him to be in the picture with me, 6 inches from my face, he took my picture with his phone. He said "I'm from Big Stone gap." I said, "I love Big Stone Gap! What a beautiful town, I loved making the movie there." I went on to say how good the cooking is, mentioning, of course, the pineapple upside down cake and pumpkin pie!

In my mind I was getting ready to ask him about the national parks and if he ever spends time in especially the Thomas Jefferson National Park – but something inside of me was already clenching and I concluded by simply saying "I like Big Stone Gap. "

He said to me with open hostility as he was backing away, "We like Trump."

Of course, it's very clear now that as I was being friendly and talking, his affect was angry, and he certainly didn't respond in anyway to my general enthusing about his little Appalachian town. And it's also clear that his entire approach to me and aggressive sticking his phone 6 inches in front of my face to take my picture was a part of his plan to treat me with rudeness, aggression, and disrespect. Who knows, maybe he's already done something undignified with the picture or maybe it was just a pretense so he could say something menacing to me.”

So as near as I can tell, his act of menacing was to tell her “We like Trump”. Apparently, that “triggered” her and later in her story she relates how it made her scared.

To put this in perspective, she went to school in Kentucky and Tennessee. To think that she would go to a  Kentucky basketball game (which she normally does) and not expect to run into someone who voted for Trump is ridiculous. In addition to going to school, regularly going to basketball games as she said in her story she has filmed in the state. It can’t be secret to her that the good people of Kentucky are inclined to be politically conservative. I’m sure she saw the election results and knew that the state of Kentucky went for Trump.

Yet this is how she reacts. It seems like a little much to me and it doesn’t seem reasonable. Unless she left it out the man didn’t raise his voice; he didn’t call her names; he didn’t insult her and no one had to drag him away.

Later in the post she also stated that the incident caused her so much sadness she had to get a hug from her uncle who was sitting next to her. She also said basketball games should be “politics-free” zones.

For her to think she would be able to go out in public in Kentucky without running into a person that voted for Trump is not only ridiculous; it is unreasonable. Her reaction makes no sense.

If the encounter at the basketball game truly made her feel this way she should barricade herself in her mansion, wherever it is. Then she can have her personal chef, personal trainer and therapist come in daily to keep her healthy while she watches Kentucky basketball games on her 70” flat screen TV.

Or maybe she could move in with Madonna.

This just goes to show how unrealistic people have become when it comes to politics. People with these feelings need to get over themselves and live with the rest of us …

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much

It must be exhausting to hate someone. I’m just basing this on what I have observed over the years because I don’t believe I have ever really hated anyone. While there are a few people on this planet I probably have legitimate reasons to hate, I’ll leave that up to karma to take care of things.  I don’t have the energy.

It seems to me that hating Donald Trump must take even more effort. Not only do you have to fuel your actually hate; you have to alienate some of your friends, call people you don’t know racists, misogynists, and homophobes. Add to that now you have to properly boycott any business that has ever done anything related to Donald Trump or his family.

If you want to know how you too can properly distribute your hate...don’t worry, there’s an app for that. It’s called Boycott Trump and here’s the description:

“Created by the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, Boycott Trump is the first app of its kind, allowing users to hit Trump where it hurts most - his wallet. Search through over 250 companies and people to see they're directly connected to Trump. Make Trump and his allies pay, literally, for their hateful rhetoric and regressive policies. Use consumer action to take a stand for what's right! “

There’s also the hashtag #GrabYourWallet which has it’s own website. They only have about 60 companies on their list. At the bottom of this list is a section called “Entities not being boycotted at this time”. I take it that these companies “better watch themselves”. One of the businesses on that list is Facebook. Basically they say that Facebook should be boycotted:

“Given its massive international user base and high levels of daily engagement, the ways in which Facebook contributed to the distribution of propaganda / fake news during the election is of serious concern in our democracy and in the world.”

Yet they are not, because in part:

“it's a vital tool for self-organizing, particularly Pantsuit Nation & its local chapters”

I see, you should boycott unless it’s inconvenient for a cause you believe in.

The business on the “not right now” boycott list I find the most humorous is The Washington Post; a news organization that misses no opportunity to say something negative about the President.  Even though they say to boycott For those of you that may not know, they are both owned by Jeff Bezos who has been in a long running feud with Trump. Their reasoning:

“Amazon is on the #GrabYourWallet boycott list and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post, however the Post is an institution and David Fahrenthold did some of the most important investigative reporting of the election. When polled 58% of #GrabYourWallet participants said WaPo should not be added to the list. We do encourage people to subscribe directly versus via the Amazon site."

So boycott but not The Washington Post even though they are both owned by the same person. Yet boycott LL Bean because someone on the board supported Trump … huh?

They have also decided (for now) not to boycott any of “Companies reflected by Donald's cabinet picks” which was a wise decision on their part. After all, aren’t all those people billionaires? Between them wouldn’t they have investments in just about every major company and industry on the planet?

In order to boycott all those companies you’d have to be living like a militia survivalist in Idaho.

I don’t have time to live my life by rules based on hate. I prefer to use my time for more important things, like writing about how silly boycotting a company just because they sell a product from the daughter of a President that doesn’t even have an interest in the company anymore is.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Look Both Ways

I recently saw a video that’s circulating social media showing numerous instances of protesters being hit by cars.

If it wasn’t so tragic it would be like watching an episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos. After all, who in their right mind would go out in the middle of a street and assume that someone is going to stop their car or even attempt to avoid hitting you.

I wouldn’t do it … not now and not 30 years ago. When it comes right down to it, people in our society have become so self absorbed that they live in a bubble. There is only room in that bubble for one person, themselves.

The indicators of selfishness have been there for years. Divorce rates are up and marriage rates are down, with more people than ever deciding to live together. Commitment doesn’t mean much these days; taking care of yourself is the most important thing.

So when the Black Lives Matter, Trump Is Not My President or “insert your cause here” protesters decide to stop traffic on a busy street (or Interstate) by standing in it; they have made a terrible choice. These days people are just not going to stop. Not only are they not looking for something like that, they are very busy talking on the phone, texting or updating their Facebook status. I’m not saying they shouldn’t stop, but I’m going to be the devil’s advocate here and say in the abstract, I don’t blame them.

Over the past several years this growing narcissism in our society has generated a surprising number of people who are convinced that they are the center of the universe. They have been told that no matter what they think or how stupid it is that their opinion is valid. The violent protests we are seeing is a manifestation of their anger. People are not listening and acquiescing to their view of the world, they are not being heard. They must up their game, they MUST be heard. After all, they are right and what they believe is righteous. If you don’t agree with them you must not be listening or you’re just too stupid to understand.

So when all these mini universes get together in a group it’s creating a super-nova of anger, because these people are further validated by being a group of the like minded. Then add to that the the recent images of rioting, cars being burned and people being dragged out of their cars and beaten, you have a toxic atmosphere.

So when people driving their car approach a crowd of people blocking the street, yelling and screaming - their reaction is a simple one, self preservation. They do what you expect someone to do, keep their foot on the gas. I can’t blame them; they’re afraid. I’m sure those images they’ve seen are flashing through their head at the time and it creates a fear. A fear that they could become the next “victim”. Their reaction is completely understandable, as misguided as it may be.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it’s going to get worse. Yelling, breaking other people's stuff, and insulting people is not going to work. Most certainly, inconveniencing people by holding up traffic is not a good way to convince someone you are right. You could line up a group of pregnant women across the road and I don’t believe people would stop. It would just end up looking like automobile bowling …