Dear Everyone “With Her”, move on

Dear Everyone With Her,

I said yesterday that I Felt the Bern, and it’s true, I did. I love progressive ideals and I think we need them to move this country forward. However, I’m also pragmatic. Since Bill Clinton was POTUS, I’ve recognized how brilliant Hillary is, and what she could do for us as POTUS herself.

So when the election rolled around, I was out canvassing.

The thing about Hillary though is that she’s a terrible candidate. People can’t help but make comparison to Bill, and he’s practically the definition of charisma. Voters like charismatic people. In one-on-one settings Hillary is reportedly fantastic, but that doesn’t get you to the presidency. It gets you elected president of the PTA. Hillary did look great compared to Bill when it came to morality though, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, Russian bots ruined that for her and voters disinclined to do any homework ate it up. That was truly a travesty.

I think Hillary was a better candidate than Bernie because what she was pushing for seemed achievable. We weren’t going to get to Medicare for all anytime soon. People aren’t ready for that kind of change, especially since they never fully seemed to understand the Affordable Care Act. It was too much, too fast.

Also, not everyone is as progressive. Running Bernie would have pushed people into voting for Trump or a third-party just to feel safer about the possible changes. Government has gone so far over most people’s heads it’s frightening. Politicians aren’t taking time to explain what’s happening in layman’s terms. Not only that, bills are stuff with so much pork, it’s hard to know exactly what someone is really voting for. That’s something we need to change for sure.

Obviously something weird happened this past election or the person who won the popular vote would have won the presidency. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, and given our system, it may not be the last. However, we can’t let that control how we do things going forward. We can’t sit back and be pissed at everyone we thought was stupid because they voted for Trump. They did and it’s done. We can’t sit back be pissed about everyone who voted third-party. They did and it’s done.

Now we have to find a way to work with the rest of the Left to come up with something that is progressive, but also achievable. Not working with progressives is not an option unless we want Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and others of their ilk to continue to win elections. Their party has gone straight off the rails. Reasonable conservatives (yes, they exist) are at a loss now. They’re working to understand what happened and looking for where they belong in this new political landscape. Now may be a chance to grab them.

I hope going forward that Everyone With Her and the Bernie Bros can find a way forward, together. It’s going to take everyone to stop the evil that’s infected our democracy.

What happened to critical thinking?

I haven’t posted much about the 2016 presidential election. In part because I had to recover from it. It ended up being a really traumatic experience. The US has come a long way since the days where they enslaved other people just because they could, but there’s still a lot of room for growth. Too much, really. The fact that people still get excited about the Confederate Flag is a pretty big indicator.

The election really showed us something important though – critical thinking has left the US. Sure, more people voted against Donald Trump than voted for him. That really didn’t matter though, now did it? He ended up becoming the 45th POTUS.

While I can’t really understand it, I sort of get why someone may have voted for Trump. He pretended like he was an outsider to the scene. (Even though there are millions of pictures of him hobnobbing with politicians.) He SAID he wanted to #draintheswamp. (Though he only knows other people just like him who are familiar with Washington.) He said that they could keep their healthcare and that people with preexisting conditions would be protected. (Though he has no experience with trying to sort out healthcare for himself on any kind of budget.) He made people feel like he understood what it was like to be the little man and that he came from the same place they didn’t. (Obviously not true since he had millions from his father to build his own businesses.)

Alright, I guess I can’t really understand how someone voted for him. But, that’s because I, like many others, engaged in critical thinking when he made his claims. I researched the claims to check their veracity. Of course, some will claim they did as well. There’s a whole world of alt-right media available to prove them right. But, a critical thinker would see that there were MANY (and more) pieces of evidence which suggested that the only thing spewing from Trump’s mouth was bullshit.

Why are we so divorced from critical thinking? There have been a few articles floating around since the election about how people are almost… proud… of their ignorance. While I don’t believe a formal education past high school is necessary, I do think we should all strive to be informed. Being informed is part of being a responsible citizen. Sure, back when the country was founded we elected representatives and let them do some of the researching for us. Now, though, we have all the information we could possibly want at our fingertips. Yes, we have to sort through things to determine for ourselves what may be accurate. It’s a little more work, but the fate of the country is in our hands.

The proliferation of partisan websites has pushed us to this point. I don’t read anything from the Right, but I can see it in the Leftist sites I see popping up on Facebook all the time. They’re articles with clickbait titles, while all the content has been taken in pieces from other, researched articles. OccupyDemocrats is the one I see most often and it occasionally makes my head spin. But, they get floated more often than the original sources. I invested in subscriptions to the New York Times and Vanity Fair because I wanted original journalism getting my attention.

In the past I haven’t cared too much who people voted for, as long as they engaged in critical analysis before casting a ballot. At the time though, it was policy differences that were at stake. I think it’s reasonable for us to discuss things like taxes, educational standards, and economics. It’s easy to disagree about the best path for American. That’s just not where we are now.

The Conservatives of old have been replaced by people who can only think to oppose Liberals. They don’t have a plan, as we saw with the ridiculous healthcare bill. Conservatives complained for years about Obamacare, but hadn’t bothered to research and draft their own plan? Nope! It was just “Down with Obamacare!” In any company they’d be fired for their incompetence. Instead they get reelected because they’ve managed to become experts at telling certain populations exactly what they want to hear. Selling the package of crap in such a way that discourages people from forcing themselves to think about what they’re voting for. Keep America uninformed and win! It’s gross. Disturbing. And I’m worried it’s going to end this grand experiment with democracy.

If the Marmalade Mussolini has his way, we’ll be a dictatorship before too long.

Stay vigilant, friends. Stay vigilant.


How we know rape culture exists

There’s been some debate about whether rape culture exists in the United States. The 2016 election should remove all doubt.

Nate Silver showed maps of the electoral college if only men voted (Trump victory) and if only women voted (Hillary victory). There are probably a variety of reasons for this. Afterwards the hashtag #repealthe19th  started trending.

Confusingly, WOMEN were using it.

Yes, you read that correctly – women stated that they would give up their right to vote if it meant Trump would win the election.

Obviously I’m confused about why ANYONE would vote for Trump at this point, let alone women. He’s on the record that he sexually assaults women and can do it because he’s famous. Gross.

This is troubling on a deep level. Women in the United States think they have so little value that they would give up their right to vote. The right that blacks and women fought so hard to get. They would vote for a man who has expressly indicated that he can take sexual advantage of any woman he wants because he’s famous. They think so little of themselves that they’re okay with someone sexually assaulting them.

That’s not okay. We are worth so much more than that. We are not just our bodies. We are not just sexual playthings for men.

We are smart. We are worthy. We are game changers. We deserve love. We deserve respect.

When next you run into a woman who is voting or Trump or says she’s okay with repealing the 19th Amendment, remind her of everything she is. Remind her that she’s important. Remind her that we are not second to men. That we are equals.

If all that fails, remind her to vote on November 28.


The end of party politics as we know it?

This 2016 election cycle has been interesting, confusing, and a little scary. What’s been most interesting to me is how the behemoths that are the Republican and Democratic parties are coming under fire.

The GOP is imploding. I have had more than a few friends tell me that if Trump is the nominee, that’s the end of their party. That’s just it. It seems that the GOP leadership has recognized that as well. For a while the focus was on Mitch McConnell’s obstructionist views regarding Justice Scalia’s Supreme Court replacement. Now the GOP is trotting out Mitt Romney (seriously?) to try to talk some sense into people. Newt Gingrich has weighed in. Discussions are being had by Republicans everywhere to find ways to ensure Trump is NOT the nominee, including rules that would enable them to take the nomination from Trump at the convention even if he’s won the required delegates.

Despite all this chatter by the party leadership, Republicans across the country are still voting for Trump in primaries and caucuses. The GOP should have known this was coming. They prepped their constituents for this with years of campaigning on fear and hatred. The real problem is that they ignored the majority of their base. People get pissed off after years of swallowing promises and ending up in no better a position than they were four or eight years ago. The results just never materialized. It says something that a xenophobic, racist, misogynistic megalomaniac has been able to capture the vote and race to the nomination.

Not surprisingly, this is also where the Democratic leadership is failing so miserably. The fact that Bernie Sanders is still in this race (regardless of what the media is claiming) demonstrates just how out of touch they are with the majority of the voters. People are desperate for change. They want to see the progress that’s been promised for years. They’re tired of losing out to corporations. They want someone who understands and represents them.

The Democratic Party isn’t imploding in the spectacular fashion that the GOP is. It’s more like the Titanic. Sanders’ popularity is them seeing the iceberg. The crash is inevitable, but they’re still pretending like something can be done, that they won’t go down. They can’t avoid that at this point, but if they act intelligently, they may be able to avoid catastrophic loss of life.

It says something that the vice-chairwoman of the DNC resigned her post to endorse Sanders. It’s been talked about for a while now how the party has been trying to derail Sanders’ campaign. It seems to me that they’re doing this out of fear. From their perspective Sanders is a wildcard. As an independent senator for the majority of his career, they don’t have an extensive amount of control over him. He’s not beholden to the same people the party is. This puts the party at risk. They’re doing what they can to save their own assess. They’ve forgotten what their jobs really are, who they’re supposed to represent. This failure will be what brings them down.

So what will happen next for the parties? Even if Trump somehow isn’t the nominee, how does the GOP recover? If Hillary Clinton is the nominee, how does she make sure that she brings in Sanders’ flock? How do the Dems move forward with candidate selection to make sure that they’re not in position of feeling like they’ve got to protect themselves from the people they’ve been elected to represent?

People are pissed off. We clearly want change. We want people who represent US, not congresspeople or presidents who have their own best interests at heart. If that’s what they’re about, they can find a company to run. We want results. We want sensible policies on healthcare, immigration, education, infrastructure. We want them to do their fucking jobs, even if it means compromising on things. We are rarely so far apart that some middle ground cannot be found.

Regardless of the outcome of the general election, it’s clear that changes need to be made by both parties. If not, the consequences will be dire for the people who have made careers out of ignoring the very people who elected them.