Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ya Big Baby

As I watch the news these days there are times I feel like a parent waiting for their child to finish a tantrum so we can get on with things. There’s no easy way to say this ….

We have become a nation of whining stubborn children.

Somewhere along the way we have lost our ability to accept what is. There were times our society was much more adult like. When things didn’t go well we were disappointed, but as most adults do, we moved on; accepting the reality of the situation and worked with what we had.

Not anymore. Now when things don’t go someone's way; it is filmed, posted on Facebook; and then wait for the result you want. Society takes care of the rest.

When I say society, I’m referring to the millions of people that say “OMG give that person what they want” from their Smartphone, Tablet or computer because it makes them feel relevant. In many cases these people are mindless. It's a pack mentality. One dog starts barking, the rest join in and they don't even know why they are barking, but they do it anyway.

The most recent episode being a guy that was dragged off a plane in Chicago. The plane was bound for Louisville and they oversold it. Airlines do this all the time, they have to. Because people don’t show up, they cancel. If they didn’t oversell they would be flying with planes that were emptier than they needed to be. They would lose money and they would have to pass that cost along to future ticket purchasers. So the choice is a simple one. Fly the planes with whomever shows up, and charge more for a ticket or overbook and keep the price down. It’s easier to sell a cheaper ticket, so we have the system we do.

It’s been done forever and it's no big secret; everyone knows it. No one should be surprised, it’s even printed on your ticket.  All you have to do is take the time to read the conditions. But why bother with the terms, right?

Then when **gasp**, the inevitable happens, the airlines are pretty fair about it. They offer you money and lodging if necessary if you are willing to take the next flight out. I know a family that actually made enough to pay for the plane fare for their next vacation by skipping a flight that was overbooked on their way home from their vacation. Two adults, three children; it was a windfall.

United asked twice for people to give up their seats. The first time they offered $400 and an overnight stay; no one accepted. The 2nd time $800 and an overnight stay; same result. So they had to go the computer and let it make the choice of who was going to give up their seat; it chose 4 people. Three of them were disappointed but they ended up collected their things, got up and deplaned. Make no mistake, they all got the $800 and the overnight stay.

Then there was one … he refused. He didn’t care what the ticket said, he didn’t care what was being offered and he didn’t care that he wasn’t in the right. He made up his mind just as any 5 year old would and said he wouldn’t leave.

So start the camera phone and wait for the police, because he was told he was going to be forcibly removed from the plane. He knew it was coming, (I believe) he knew someone would be filming, and he readied himself for what was coming.

So instead of acting like an adult; they had to literally drag him off the plane. He was screaming like a baby for all the world to see. I’d be willing to bet the video was posted before they got him to the end of the jetway.

It was shameful behavior, but as we all know; he will be richly rewarded for it. There were attorneys waiting/hoping for his call. While everyone else got $800 and an overnight stay he’s going to be rewarded with a big pile of money television appearances.

There was a day this wouldn’t have happened. It would have been considered rude and inconsiderate to refuse to get off that plane. He would have been looked down upon for that behavior. That would have been enough to cause him to behave like an adult. But now he can wear it as a badge of honor.

I actually hate to bring politics into it, but it’s no wonder with this type of societal culture that the Democratic Party has become the party of NO. It’s working for everyone else, why not them. Why not just plant your feet and resist instead of doing what the people who elected you expect them to do. What legislators have always done; debate, speak your mind, and try to find compromise.

The reason I bring up the political angle is not to slam the Democrats, the Republicans will practice it also. My simple point is that when this kind of behavior becomes the standard for the people that are supposed to be making the most important decisions in our government, we are truly on the road to ruin. Stay tuned, this is only the beginning. It’s going to get much worse. Eventually it WILL affect you. It’s only a matter of time …

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 Amazon.com. 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 Amazon.com 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 …

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The Art of Hyperbole

“A hyperbole is an extreme exaggeration used to make a point.”

For those of you who are screaming at the top of your lungs about (now) President Donald J. Trump, I doubt that you will believe any of what I’m about to write. You’ll write me off as a Trump apologist. That is not true, I am Anti-Hyperbole; I don’t care who the person is or what the subject is. I hate to see people whipped up into a fervor based on half truths.

I say half truths because great hyperbole (like a great joke) is based on a truth. So hear my words because I know what I am writing about. I do so not to change your mind, I do so to encourage you to think for yourself for your own well-being. People use these half-truths to inflame you; don’t fall for it. It’s OK to be against someone or something, but do so based on the TRUTH.

Here comes the disclaimer …

I'm not saying Trump was the right or wrong choice; that's up to you to decide. What I am writing about is a great example of blatant hyperbole and it shouldn't be a part of the argument. Yet people use this like an ABSOLUTE fact to bolster their argument. It makes them look like mindless followers. The following serves as a great example of how people are being hoodwinked.

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, so she should have won the election.

The truth - Neither candidate was campaigning for the “popular” vote. They were campaigning for the “Electoral College” vote.

For those that may not know, here is the description of the Electoral College.

“The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators.”

With two exceptions (Maine and Nebraska) it’s “winner take all”, win the state and you win the votes for that state.  The bigger the population, the more votes. California earns you 55 votes; Wyoming, 3. So the strategy of winning a Presidential election is based on that model.

In 2008 Barrack Obama annihilated  John McCain by winning 365 (68%) votes to McCain’s 173 (32%). Based on that you would assume Obama won a clear majority of the states. In fact, he won 28 (56%)  of the states. The popular vote (for the two candidates) that year was 129,391,711. Obama received 69,498,516 (53%) and McCain 59,948,323 (46%). A difference of 36 points in the Electoral College vote vs 8 points for the popular vote.

in 2016 Donald Trump had a significant Electoral College victory over Hillary Clinton. Trump won 306 (56%) votes to Clinton's 232 (43%). Trump won 33 (66%) states. As we all know the popular vote of 132,824,833 went 65,844,954 (48.2%) for Clinton and 62,979,879 (46.1%) for Trump. A difference of 2 points of the popular vote in favor of Clinton compared to 32 points in favor of Trump in the Electoral College vote.

My point (and why I forced you through the mind numbing numbers) is that the difference in the gaps of the results (Electoral College vs Popular) show there is an obvious focus towards the Electoral College. If this was not true, the gaps between them would be similar.

Saying because a candidate won the popular vote means they should be President it like saying that a losing football team should have actually won because they gained more yards. In a football game the only thing that is counted are the points scored. In a Presidential Election, the only thing that is counted is who won the state.

Before you say that it’s just these elections, I went back and compared elections back to 1960 (current history) and the results are similar. Wide margins for Electoral College vs small margins for the popular vote.

My only point here is not to allow some partial truth to be a part of your decision making process. Don’t let someone else tell you what to think. Do your own research, base your opinion on truth …

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Putting the Extreme in Vetting

I’m the son of an immigrant and I know very little about immigration. My father came here from Hungary at the end of World War II. He came in on a ship through New Orleans (not everyone saw the Statue of Liberty) with a suitcase and a wooden crate that was 18” wide by 24” tall and 36” long.

He never talked much about what it was like to come here or what meant to become a US Citizen. I didn’t even know about the crate until after he passed  away. He never spoke Hungarian in the house (unless he hit his thumb with a hammer) and didn’t teach me Hungarian either. I never asked him why, but have always assumed he believed in assimilation, because he just wanted to be an American, not a Hungarian-American.

So I don’t know what he would have thought about “Extreme Vetting”. But it seems to me, that when it comes to who we allow to come into this country there are some pretty extreme positions coming from both sides.

If you were to ask those that are against whatever it is President Trump’s idea of vetting is what they believe will be on his “vetting questions” I believe they think it will be something like this:

Trump Extreme Vetting Questionnaire

Note: As you ask these questions stare menacingly at the “immigrant”. Make sure they know you mean business and if they hesitate in any way they must have something to hide; reject them immediately. They must answer no to every question but even if they do, go with your gut.

  1. Are you or do you know anyone that is a Muslim?
  2. Do you own a prayer mat?
  3. Do you know which way Mecca is?
  4. Do you like bacon?

If you were to ask the folks that support the Trump immigration policies what they people who oppose them would like their vetting questionnaire to look like they would tell you this.

People That Oppose Extreme Vetting Questionnaire

Note: Hold the hand of the person you are interviewing. Make sure you empathize with them and validate them as a human being. Your chance of approving someone that would actually do anything is virtually nonexistent. Remember, there are no right answers.

  1. What is your favorite color?
  2. Do you like kittens?
  3. How do you feel right now?
  4. Do you want to enter the United States?

As with everything political, the answer probably is somewhere in the middle ….

Friday, January 27, 2017

From the Peanut Gallery

I have to admit opposition to Trump has become quite entertaining. It really boils down to this … the louder they yell, the less they’re being listened to. The humorous part is that they can’t seem to understand why.

I’ll even identify who I’m speaking of. If you have ever done the following on social media:
  • “Not my president”
  • “Trump is a misogynist, racist, homophobe”
  • “If you voted for Trump you are a misogynist, racist, homophobe”
  • “He didn’t win the popular vote, he shouldn’t be President”
  • “The Electoral College should not exist”
  • Used the term “pussy grabber”
  • Posted the image of the Obama/Trump Inauguration crowds side by side
  • Posted an image of Trump tinted orange
  • Can’t engage in a civil exchange with someone who voted for Trump
You are wasting your energy and time. For the next 4 years you should take up a hobby, like Doomsday Prepping. After all, aren’t you sure that's what’s going to happen?

I can’t blame you; your feelings are being echoed by the media, which seems to be fueling your anger. With the exception of Fox News and some conservative web sites, the media seems obsessed with showing Trump in a bad light.
As evidenced by what happened on day 5 of Trump’s Presidency:
  • By Executive Order he reactivated the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines. An extremely controversial project that had been halted by President Obama.
  • A report surfaced that many governmental agencies may be subject to a “gag order”
  • He removed the US from TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership), also a very controversial action
  • He had instituted a federal hiring freeze
Yet at that day's Press conference what topic seemed to get focus? Questioning if Trump really believes that there is voter fraud and if so, will he call for an investigation. Clearly, just wanting to make it look like he’s obsessed with insignificant issues, while he should be focused on the business of running the country.

Did they not notice what he had done that day?

It’s like the press is saying “AHA! See, we TOLD you he wasn’t going to be a good President. All he cares about is his image. He’s not politician, he’s just a Reality TV star”

Exactly … that’s why he doesn’t care. He’s not a politician. I’ve come to the belief that he could care less if he’s re-elected. I believe he sees his Presidency as his service to the country. If it lasts 4 years, so be it. Make no mistake, during the time he has he will do what he feels he been tasked to do.

Scream all you want, the only people listening are those who agree with you. Your attempts to get your point across by demeaning and name-calling his supporters has gotten you tuned out. Your actions have made you look like a bully to these people and they are treating you as such.

Very few will stand up to a bully, most will choose avoidance. That’s what’s happening to you now. They’re going about their business. They’re not discussing politics at work and they’re watching Fox News at home.

So good luck with your strategy; you’re getting what you have earned. Try the Xanax, I heard its amazing …

Saturday, January 21, 2017

If You Want To Be Heard

I don’t know if this is a saying or not, but it makes so much sense to me I have to believe someone before me has said it.

“If you want to be heard, you need to have a seat at the table”

That seems simple enough to me. I don’t know a thing about politics. I suppose that’s why I am so perplexed at the reaction coming from the legion of “I Hate Trump” Democrats. At the time I type this there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 Democrats in the House of Representatives that have refused to come to the Inauguration of the President-Elect Donald J. Trump. Citing reasons anywhere from “He has said inappropriate things” to “ Her is Illegitimate”.

All of these politicians must have a clear understanding of how things work in Washington. They are completely outnumbered. The breakdown in the House of Representatives of the 115th Congress will be

- Democrats -  194
- Republicans - 241

They are clearly outnumbered. Yet the have decided to display a big middle finger to Donald Trump. Doing so they are doing the same to the Republican party. This on a day that is supposed to be a day of unity.

My thoughts on this particular situation come from my years of dealing with people in a non-political environment. Specifically, the many years I spent in lending. As distasteful as it was, a good amount of my time was spent working with people who we’re paying on time.

It was my job to make sure these people made their payments and honored the commitment they made when they signed their loan papers. I’d like to think I was pretty good at it. I believe that it was mostly due to my approach.

I learned early on that you cannot force anyone to do anything by using insults, threats, or intimidation. It is also impossible to convince someone to do anything if there is no conversation or you make yourself unavailable to them. The only way to get your message to someone is to develop a dialog with them.

The only way you have a chance to convince someone of anything is through respectful dialog. You have to acknowledge that they have an opinion. You have to speak with them in a non-aggressive way.  You have to win them over.

These Democrats aren’t doing that. What they are doing is an aggressive act that I believe will be taken into consideration when it comes to future votes in the House. If they thought they had a difficult fight before, they have really made things much worse. It’s my belief that they are creating a wall that will block any real communication they could have had with those that they so vehemently oppose.

The only end result I can see for them is that they will be completely ignored by the Republicans in the House. They will become unnecessary and their ideas, even if they are good, will be ignored. It’s my belief that they have only made things worse.

But I’m not a politician, so what do I know …

Sunday, January 15, 2017

And the Substandard Performance Goes To ...

I owned a video store for 20 years. So I used to watch awards shows, even though I’ve never enjoyed them much. From an industry perspective, I understand the importance of the show. They are there to promote their industry by showcasing the best of the best and to occasionally give an “atta-boy” to the most respected in their industry. No one watches an awards show hoping to hear a narrative on politics.

Unfortunately, they are becoming exactly that; a platform for people who have no political relevance. I don’t say that to minimize their opinion. My issue is when and where they choose to give it. If you’re receiving an award for your abilities in music or acting, stick to that. I’m not interested in your opinion on global warming, the seals or politics.

The latest example comes from the Golden Globes, specifically Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech when receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievements. This is a BIG deal and has been given to the who’s who of Hollywood. Recent recipients include Denzel Washington, George Clooney, Woody Allen, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese.

Instead of discussing her art, she felt it was a better use of the time to enrich us all by expressing her disappointment in president-elect Donald Trump. Even my 82 year old mother, a life long Democrat who has never voted for a Republican and HATES Trump grunted while she changed the channel.

I have no issue with her opinion; she’s certainly entitled to it. My issue is with the disrespect she shows to the Golden Globes and the audience watching by hijacking the time given to her. The choice for who receives an award like this are taken seriously and not just given out to anybody. I’m sure the committee awarding this had the expectation that her acceptance speech would be about her experiences as an actor. Instead she choose to discuss how she felt about the President Elect.

What people like Streep don’t seem to understand is that we (the public) don’t care and have no need to know what they think about political issues. I’m also willing to bet that you’d have a difficult time finding anyone who has been moved to change their opinion on any political issue based on what a “celebrity” thought.

If they really wanted to get their opinion out there they should call a press conference. Why don’t they do that? It’s because no one would show up, that’s why.

These celebrities also run the risk that when someone sees their performance they may have a difficult time enjoying it, (or possibly even skipping it) because they hate their opinion on a particular subject or issue. There is no real upside for them, but they don’t seem to realize that or care.

But I suppose when you are in a profession that requires you to “play pretend” the majority of the time you must lose your ability to function in a “real world” …

Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Effect of Social Media #hate

Let me start off by saying … I don’t care who you voted for. Trump, Clinton, Stein or Snoopy; it really doesn’t matter to me. Before you ask … yes I voted. Am I going to tell you who it was? Absolutely not.

Why? Because it doesn’t matter and it’s not relevant to what I have to say.

Today it was all over the news that four young black adults tortured a mentally challenged white 18 year old and actually streamed it live on Facebook hoping it would go “viral”. I'm sure they believed they believed that there were many people that would cheer for them. In the footage, one of the four suspects screamed, “F--k white people!” and “F--k Donald Trump!” A second video, released Thursday, showed the attackers forcing the teen’s head down inside a toilet bowl, making him drink the water inside.

Like it or not, you can blame this one on all the hateful rhetoric going on in social media. Yes, there are other issues at play here; bad environment, bad parenting and a bad family unit. You can even say I’m stretching. But even if I am, it’s not by much.

I say social media is putting it over the edge. It’s a constant chatter of negative rhetoric and name calling. It’s coming from people they know, people they don’t know, people they respect and famous people.

Here is what people of color, women and the LGBT community are hearing:
  • “If you voted for Trump you are a misogynist, racist, homophobe”
  • “The reason Trump won the election is that white people voted for him”
In the beginning Trump’s candidacy was discounted as a “publicity stunt”. Then once he received the Republican party’s nomination he was dismissed as being “unqualified for the job”. Finally about a month out when it appeared that even though Clinton was ahead and it could be close, the name calling started. What made this name calling different from the name calling in the past was not only was Trump a “misogynist, racist, homophobe”; the narrative became that if a person voted for Trump, they were too.

It drove Trump voters underground where they patiently waited for election day. I would submit to you that driving them underground actually strengthened their resolve to vote for Trump.

Trump’s win only made the situation worse. Instead of the negative rhetoric dying down, it’s now been amplified … against those who voted for Trump. It solidly takes blame off of the Clinton campaign, because someone had to be held responsible. It’s also an accusation that covers EVERYTHING.
  • If you’re a white male, you could be all three
  • If you are a white female you could be a racist and homophobe
  • If you are a male person of color, you could be a misogynist homophobe
  • If you are a female person of color, you could be a homophobe
The beauty of this accusation is you can’t prove you’re not what you’re being called. Deny it and you have just verified it in their minds. Because even if you’ve never done anything misogynistic, racist, or homophobic there is no way you can prove you don’t secretly AGREE or SUPPORT these ideals. After all how can you prove to anyone what is inside your head. You are automatically guilty based on your gender or race.

The phrase “misogynist, racist, homophobe” has been used to describe Trump voters so often that it is now almost accepted as fact. In addition to that, after the election another reason for Clinton's lost was added. It was because Trump received the majority of the “white vote”. Which is true, but not in numbers much different than any Republican candidate before him. I think it’s common knowledge that the ambivalence of the Democratic base was the reason Trump won.

I believe that for people that are not Caucasian the statements “If you voted for Trump you are a misogynist, racist, homophobe” and “The reason Trump won the election is that white people voted for him” have been combined. What is not being heard is “if you’re white, you probably voted for Trump which means you are probably a misogynist, racist, homophobe”. If you think this is not possible all I have to do it point out that most people of color believe that if you're white, you're probably a racist. The same goes for many women. Many do not believe that men really believe that woman are equals.

So all of you that are blowing up your and your friends social networks with these accusations, you’re just making things worse. You need to stop. Eventually this is going to turn into real violence. And like or not, that violence is going to be against white people. There is a segment of our society that already feels depressed and all they need is a target. These accusations are developing that target for them.

Mark my words … the day IS coming. Soon there will be news about some white person that is beaten to a pulp by a group that “assumed” that person voted for Trump. You will have no one to blame but yourselves and there won’t be any turning back …