I Thought I'd be Dead Before I Saw the End of Civilization; Then I Watched the Debate

Last night was another brutally embarrassing debate. There was no control. There was nothing but screaming and madness and something about communism. It’s hard to watch because I want to have an open mind about voting for one of these candidates. I really do. But all I could walk away with was “We’re screwed.”

See, I’m this apparently rare breed of person right now who is actually an independent. I don’t care what political party you are; if I think you’re the right choice then you’re the choice I make. Voting is something I take very seriously. I appreciate the struggles women went through before me so that I have this right today. I feel as though by just voting for someone because they belong to (insert party here), then I am doing a disservice to this right.

It seems silly to think like that, but I have integrity that makes me do what I think is right. Your vote can determine the future of this country, depending on where you live. This isn’t the time for divisiveness like “That’s my candidate because go (insert party here).” This is the time for taking a serious look at what’s going on now and thinking “Is this the future I want for my kids?” My answer is absolutely not.

I want the tax law reversed. Why? Because it didn’t benefit anyone I know. You know, the hardworking middle-class that is constantly called “the backbone of America”, but never treated as such. Actually, it is. Because our backs break from carrying the country. That law was meant for people who profit off of the middle class. I’d rather that $2,000 extra that I used to see in my refund, what I use to pay back bills or save to pay for a vacation or new appliances or for when life explodes in my face. But no, I lost that because the president wanted to make his rich friends richer. But hey, $10 extra every paycheck makes my life better right? Now I get the fancy toilet paper with that extra money. But mama wants a new washer.

The idea of keeping an at this point obviously corrupt, inept president in office that wants to just profit from his position and not actually help anyone disturbs me. But people will vote for him because he’s the republican and they don’t need to support him, just the party. However, as of that debate last night, the idea of practically any of those people in office also disturbs me. I would’ve been more behind a Yang ticket than half of that debate stage.

We don’t need anymore divisive presidents. We don’t need anyone too far in either direction. We need a moderate, someone who’s not so extreme that they turn off people from voting but someone who can inspire independents like myself to vote for them. As of right now, I just have to hope that the republican primary takes off and I can get a real decision instead of one that’s worse than what South Park could have ever imagined. At this point, what’s worse than a Turd Sandwich?

I hope the debates get better, because I want my kids to learn about the process. I want them to learn, especially the one who’s about to turn 18, the importance of the process and making an informed decision. Yes, informed. As is not just voting for a party, but voting for a person. You want a dignified leader that’s a role model; that’s strong and decisive. But right now it’s a “which one acted less like a child on the debate stage?”

When Watching History Unfold

No matter what side you’re on (and I don’t really mean political parties), watching the impeachment is actually important for history. I like watching history unfold, telling my children stories about it. Both of my boys, my oldest who is in AP history and my youngest who just wants to know everything about everything, have watched along with me. Why? Because one loves history and the other loves knowledge. However, the problem comes in when I’m trying to teach my children about this moment.

Remember how I just said it doesn’t matter what side you’re on? That’s the first part of the problem. There shouldn’t be a “side”. It should be what’s right; what’s just; not: “they’re lying no you’re lying no there’s nothing there but there’s something there that may not be moral but it’s not illegal okay maybe it’s not illegal but it may be illegal but not really but kinda”.

My youngest asked me what should be a seemingly simple answer: “Did he do it?” No parent really wants to say “I don’t know” to their child when trying to teach them something. But that’s the truth. We don’t know because no one cares to tell us the truth. The American people deserve to know the truth. To see the truth. All we get to see is grandstanding and mudslinging and half truths. We don’t know the answer. The people who want to know don’t participate in “sides”. I want to know the truth. But all I see is a partisan event unfolding in front of me where it doesn’t matter if he actually did it.

You may be thinking “Of course it matters”, but you’re wrong. It doesn’t matter. The Democrats just want him to be guilty because they don’t like him and that can set a very dangerous precedent for the future. The Republicans want him to be innocent because they don’t want to be wrong in backing that horse. Neither side cares about the truth or integrity. They care about being right and getting their way. That’s unfortunate because in the end, the Americans are the ones getting screwed. They are the ones that are left in the dark arguing talking points that they heard from “their side” rather than caring to take the time to see whether or not he’s guilty. And if he is guilty, that just shows he can get away with more because, why not?

Not that it matters. Even if they had him dead to rights doing something illegal, the Republican lemmings wouldn’t care. I actually am starting to believe that he could kill someone on stage, right on camera, and they’d just say “Well, he’s our guy so he can really do whatever he want. That dead guy probably did something 20 years ago that was super illegal anyways.” Even if he was completely innocent, the Democrat lemmings would say “well, he did something wrong and we’re going to find it” and waste more of our time. It doesn’t matter if he did it or not: he’s going to get away with it.

It’s not the politician’s fault; it’s ours. We’re the ones that keep electing people that only care about their own interests. Who care only about party first and everyone else later. That’s our fault. We’re the ones who don’t look at stances or records, but at that tiny letter next to those people’s names. The minute we start saying “I’m voting for _____ because he’s ____” is the minute we are complicit. It’s that “Us vs. Them” mentality that’s ruining America and we’re just sitting back going “But Fox News/MSNBC/CNN said this and that means it’s absolutely true because journalistic integrity. They wouldn’t lie to us.” Oh yea they would, and you’re eating it up.

So how did I answer my son’s question? I told him the truth: It doesn’t matter. He looked confused. My oldest understood. “But you break the law, the police come.” That concept seemed so simple. “You are innocent until proven guilty in America”, I said. My oldest son snickered. He wasn’t wrong. “So he didn’t do it?” I sighed. “No one knows and no one really cares.”

When a Bad Man Dies

When I saw the news about Epstein dying, I honestly cannot say my first thought was anything other then “oh well, a sleazy perv died and will get away with his horrific stuff. But at least he’s dead.” I didn’t immediately go tin foil hat. I didn’t care. Honestly, a bad guy dying is insignificant to me. He was either going to go free or not. If he went free like he did last time, the victims wouldn’t get justice. If he didn’t, he’d probably die in jail because pedos aren’t looked upon too highly in prison.

But then the crazies came out of the woodwork. If you were an irrational Republican, the memes and theories were all about the Clinton’s. If you were an irrational Democrat, it was all about Trump. Then there are the crazies who are convinced the royal family killed Princess Diana, who think the royal family did it. The memes are funny enough, but the unfortunate reality is that people believe them.

If you want to go the route of “It wasn’t suicide”, then there are a mass amount of rich, famous, and powerful men he could take down. There could be any number of them that would have the means to get this done. Last I checked, he was friends with both the Trump’s and Clinton’s and likely had dirt on both of them. These families were friends once, maybe it was a joint effort. Both have a lot to lose if those secrets came out, especially the family that is clinging so desperately to the presidency right now.

Or… alternatively, it was just a suicide. He was a cowardly man who preyed upon children. He was spineless. He thought because he was rich and influential that he would just get away with it like he did last time. Only, that wasn’t likely going to happen this time. He didn’t want to face that, so he did the Aaron Hernandez thing and just killed himself to get a loophole acquittal. I promise, sometimes things are just really that simple.

Instead of assuming he got away with something or that the secrets died with him, remember the victims. Listen to what they have to say because you would’ve learned more from them than him anyways. But you won’t listen to him. Because the minute one of them says the words “Clinton” or “Trump”, you won’t believe them. You will say they were paid off. They are making it up for political reasons, just as you have always said when these victims came forward. Kavanaugh didn’t do it, it was obviously a ploy to take away his entitled seat on the Supreme Court. But… what if he did? You assume Monica Lewinsky was a willing participant, but… what if she really wasn’t? Don’t lie and pretend that you care about the facts. You don’t. You care about what facts you can twist to fit whatever theory you have in your mind.

Me? I’m sad his victims won’t get the exact justice that they deserve, but I am glad that there is one less pedo in the world praying on children. I can go to sleep just fine at night knowing that.

No, Racism Isn’t Dead

Do you know who thinks racism is dead? People who have never experienced racism. Sure, I’m a white Irish girl from a middle class family so of course I haven’t experienced racism towards me. I wasn’t raised to be a racist. I had friends across the spectrum because I didn’t care what you were. I just made friends with people. I may have thought that racism was dead back then because I never saw it. My parents welcomed all of my friends because they trusted my judgement. I couldn’t even fathom that there were racist people out there.

Until I saw it. My first experiences with it happened when I started dating my now husband ages ago. People stared a little as we held hands walking around. I heard him get called some pretty awful names for both Asian people and Hispanic people. Which was hilarious, because he’s not Hispanic at all. But it wasn’t hilarious, because WTF people. He was annoyed, but brushed it off. You could tell this was something he’s definitely dealt with before.

After some time that faded away and I forgot about those incidences. Until this one time when we went voting together after we got married. I was looking around a the line and people walked up, got their ballots, and went on their way. Then my husband walked up and I heard something that I had never heard before. “Can I see your ID please?” I looked around him at the person, trying to figure out if I needed to run back to the car to get my ID because I didn’t have it on me. He was stunned, but pulled out his card and showed them his ID. He got his ballot and walked towards the booth area. I walked up, hesitantly. I gave my address and something strange happened: I didn’t need to show my ID. I didn’t see anyone else pull out their ID in a sea of other people that “looked like me”. I don’t believe in coincidences.

Then, the incident that really shook me. The one where some little girl refused to play with my son because he was a little Chinese boy. That wasn’t the last time that he was referred to as a Chinese boy in a negative way. It probably won’t be the last time he experiences racism because he happens to be part Korean. When I married my husband, I didn’t care about that. I cared that this was someone who treated me well and loved me and my son. I cared that he was my better half. I didn’t think “oh maybe I shouldn’t marry him because he’s different from me and I’m going to birth children who were different”.

So no, racism isn’t dead. Just because you’ve never dealt with it or witnessed it for yourself, doesn’t mean that it isn’t real. Just because you’ve never met a white supremacist, doesn’t mean that there aren’t white supremacists out there. The idea of that is insane to me. Just because they aren’t walking around in white sheets, doesn’t mean that it’s some tin foil conspiracy. It’s dangerous to say things like that, especially when you have such a massive following of people that mistake you for news instead of an opinion guy speaking out of his butt.

In short, racism exists and it’s dangerous to ignore that. As parents, it’s our job to raise our kids not to hate by showing them not to hate. That little girl that was ignoring my boy because he was “Chinese” was too young to become a racist on her own. At that age, she learned that behavior. We can easily stop this problem by teaching our children to be better.

You Guys Had it All Wrong… It Was the Video Games!

It was only a matter of time before the conversation came back to the favorite scapegoat: video games. Of course it isn’t the fact that these psychotic people shouldn’t have been able to legally purchase those guns to begin with. That isn’t the problem. The problem isn’t the fact that society has become more emboldened again to show off their racist and hatred-filled rhetoric to those youth that are vulnerable to those things. No, it’s the fact that a kid likes to play Fortnite or Overwatch that’s the problem.

For the people who are all about “guns don’t cause violence, people do” to turn around to go “guns don’t cause violence, but people do because they play video games” is a ridiculous argument. Look at the eSports community across the globe. Last I checked, Korea and Japan don’t have a mass shooting problem in their countries and those are probably the biggest countries for gaming. But please, tell me how I’m a terrible person because I enjoy games that may or may not be considered “violent” and allow my kids to play video games. Spoiler: I allow them to play video games because video games don’t cause violence. People cause violence, if you want to use that same line to protect your precious guns. I will fight for my right to play harmless video games more than I will fight for yours to have a gun that can shoot off 100 rounds too many per minute.

There have been the same amount of legit studies that show that vaccines are harmful as there are legit studies to show that video games cause violence. Spoiler #2: There are none. But science doesn’t matter when you want a scapegoat that doesn’t make you lose millions in lobbying money from the NRA. If video games had lobbyists that spent as much as the NRA does, this wouldn’t even be a conversation right now. But politicians don’t care about people; they care about money.

I’m not sure if they don’t care to find a solution, because as long as they are making millions it doesn’t matter if people they don’t know are getting shot and killed at these mass shootings. There has to be a solution, but politicians are too dumb, lazy, and greedy to figure it out. Maybe if there was more God in the culture they say. What they mean to say “If there was more Christian God in the culture”. Sure, you can vote new people in, but people can be easily bought to trade in their morals and integrity. They can make big promises but they won’t deliver. Our kids will continue dying. One day it will be someone in our family, maybe yours. Maybe even some day a politician’s family will be affected by these tragedies. Will it matter then?

The fact is that there is a solution, somewhere, that’s a compromise. Asking for stricter background checks before you let people buy guns that shoot multiple rounds at once is reasonable. Making laws that have people convicted of violent crimes or have proven to be a danger to others have their legal guns taking away is a reasonable answer. There are reasonable solutions that don’t interfere with your right to have guns and for other people to have the right to live. But it won’t happen, because no one wants to come to the middle since this whole damn country is a divided place where people hate just because. Where they won’t open their minds to hear another side. Where if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, you’re automatically enemies. I used to think we were better than this. I try to teach my kids that we are better than this. I’m really starting to doubt if we are as we slide further down this path of disregard for other people. And that isn’t the fault of guns or video games or a lack of God. It’s our fault.

It’s All So Sad

By now, the outrage seems to disappear anytime there is major gun violence. It’s just a thing that happens now, not some rare tragedy. Some thing that we are seemingly helpless to stop. Thoughts and prayers mean nothing to those who are dead, who are mourning. It’s just all so sad. This time it was another “mentally ill, lone wolf”. Code words for “an insane white guy with a gun, who may or may not actually be an alt-right or white supremacist or something but we really don’t want to talk about it”. If it were a Muslim or an illegal immigrant, we’d hear outrage of how liberal policies caused this to happen. But it wasn’t. So you just hear all about how it was some crazy guy, who doesn’t reflect the majority of legal gun owners.

The problem is that there are no real solutions. You can ban guns, but bad guys tend to not listen to silly things like laws. You could make stronger laws and spend more time enforcing those than arresting people who have a dime bag of pot on them. But ultimately, bad guys are going to find ways to do bad things. That’s kinda what they do. That doesn’t mean we can’t cut out a lot of it by making rules like stricter wait periods or allowing laws that take guns away from people who could potentially do harm to others. As they tried to do with the Parkland Shooter, a person who should never have been able to legally obtain the gun with his long list of issues. However, infringement of rights or whatever people are going to argue. The point is, these are things that will never, ever change.

Then you can focus on better mental health care. Look at ways to make mental illness less of a “taboo” and more of a “normal” illness. Maybe even make mental health care more accessible to everyone, and not just the rich people. State funding is always short for everything and private hospitals are just businesses. Again, this is a great idea but no one wants to actually put in the time to make these changes. Insurance companies and hospitals get to rake in the cash, and the people who need help can just suck it up and deal with it. It’s all so sad.

The problem comes down to money. Gun laws won’t change because of the substantial amount of money gun lobbyists toss towards politicians to ensure these laws don’t change. The health industry won’t change because of all of the money that insurance companies throw at politicians. (Notice a pattern here?) Money talks and the rest of the American people can just follow blindly because they don’t know any better. Not that what’s best for the American people has ever been a concern for politicians aside from talking points that end up being bought off anyways.

Actually, the problem comes down to the politicians that take the money. The ones who understand that American’s have a short attention span. By the time they forget about the outrage of tragic events like the one at the Garlic Festival, they are already posting selfies and live video of themselves as they do the most mundane thing while the masses are more concerned about that than what is going on around them. Politicians know that they can ride the wave while it’s there, but they don’t have to do anything about it. Because unfortunately, no one cares until it happens again. It’s all so sad.

There are no great solutions. That doesn’t mean that people don’t have to try.

It’s Different… Except It’s the Same

I remember when Tim Thomas stood up for his beliefs, taking a stand that he could not meet President Obama because they simply didn’t share the same beliefs. He felt that he would be betraying his belief system. The right, lauded him as a hero. Standing up for his beliefs. The left, they denounced this. He should stick to hockey, not politics. That’s a slap to the face to his country. Was he a hero to stand up for what he believed in? Sure, I think so. I won’t fault the guy for not compromising his morals. I refuse to do so in my art; why would I admonish a person for doing the same.

Fast forward to now, with President Trump. When an athlete says “I just don’t share the same moral ideals as the president, so I won’t meet him.” The left laud them as a hero. Good for them, standing up for what they believe in. The right? Stick to kicking soccer balls, you are disrespecting your country. I stand by the same position here: you cannot go against your morals, and you need to do what you need to do to go to sleep fine at night. What makes one person a snowflake for this and what makes them a hero for morals? You can’t have it both ways.

For a society that moans and complains about the lack of morality, they seem to only talk about people who share the same morals and belief systems as they do. That’s the difference. The difference in both cases is that they are doing the same thing, but when one person does it they agree with the morals and not in the other case. Does that make the act different? No. It’s just people blindly following like good little supporters. People need to follow their beliefs and have the freedom to do so. As long as they aren’t being hateful and violent to another human being, that’s their right. That’s what it is to be American: Acceptance. You don’t have to agree with them; you just have to accept them.

The same applies to actors and comedians. Why do people like James Woods, Tim Allen, and Jon Voight get to say their opinions to be applauded by the right, but other celebrities are ridiculed by the right for talking about their political ideas? It’s the same thing. You can’t applaud one person while telling the other to “stay in their lane and pretend to act”. It doesn’t work that way. It really doesn’t, I promise. Do I think celebrities have the right to discuss their political beliefs? Sure. I also have the right to not care what they say and just enjoy watching entertainment, as long as it isn’t completely propagandized in any direction. I can handle a little doctrine, but please don’t force feed it. I can’t be bothered if you’re just going to force your beliefs on me.

I have this crazy little philosophy on life of: “If it doesn’t affect me, I don’t care.” When I say this, I don’t mean this from a charity standpoint. I don’t mean that I don’t care about the plight of homelessness because it doesn’t affect me. I’m referring to the choices people make. If someone else wants to have an abortion, that doesn’t affect my life. If two men are in love and want to get married, that doesn’t affect me. That’s their business, not mine. I just have this crazy notion that if people aren’t harming other people or animals in any way, then let them be. Let them think that Fox News is the second coming of Jesus. Let them think that Rachel Maddow is a real journalist. Let a man (or woman) have a sister wives/brother husband situation if they are truly consenting this lifestyle choice. It doesn’t affect your life.

I don’t care that Megan Rapinoe or Tim Thomas doesn’t want to visit a sitting president because they don’t share the same beliefs and morals. I don’t care that Taylor Swift encouraged people to go to the polls and support gay rights. These are small moments in the grand scheme of life. You do you and they will do them. The sooner we get over ourselves, thinking that our way of thinking is the only way to be, the sooner this world can be a little less craptastic.