It’s Like Watching Something on Television

Who doesn’t enjoy watching shows that discuss political intrigue and unbelievable circumstances? We binge-watch television shows and movies all about these topics, discussing what would happen if this were the real world. We’d laugh; that would never happen.

…Except, isn’t it? What if we watched a television show where the president of a country that brags about freedoms, ends up deciding that they are going to be the president forever because they want to even if they are voted out? Because it isn’t possible that there are people who legitimately don’t want him as president anymore. Because people are tired of reading Onion article headlines and wondering if it’s actually real because the “reality” we live in just doesn’t seem quite real anymore.

I’ve been avoiding writing lately. I haven’t “felt” it. My heart isn’t in it because honestly my heart isn’t in much right now. The world around me hurts my brain and whatever soul I have left and I’m left here jaded because everything just feels so insane to me right now. My only thought is “Would everyone be so cavalier about what’s going on right now if the other party was doing it?” Because, I’m pissed at both sides of the arguments and I know for a fact that I would be pissed in either situation. If Schumer had said “Trump shouldn’t get his pick because we have 6 months left in the election” and then said “Early voting already started and Biden gets his pick”, I would be outraged. And I’m honestly enraged that people don’t seem to care about it except the Democrats, who are the party of righteous indignation. But are they outraged because they are right? Or are they outraged because everything outrages them right now?

Do I agree in the choice to let President Trump select a Supreme Court Justice when an election has already started despite not letting President Obama do the same several months out of the election? No. If you can’t do it in one situation, you shouldn’t do it in the other. When you are on camera and you reiterate this point, then back it up because it benefits you, it’s wrong. It isn’t about benefiting you politically; it should be about what’s right. If they had let President Obama get his pick out and then did it now, I wouldn’t necessarily like it but it wouldn’t be wrong. What’s wrong is potentially putting someone up who wants to make laws based on their religion, not the constitution. A Supreme Court Justice should uphold the constitution, not push a religious agenda.

I don’t want to talk about any of that. I don’t want to keep talking about how insane the world we live in right now is. I don’t want to remind people of how divisive the country is and how people either don’t realize or don’t care that they aren’t helping matters. I hate how in the past I could point out logical flaws in people’s posts without any problems or even with comments of “I never thought of it like that”, but now I refrain because people don’t care about what’s logical or reasonable. They don’t like the effort of free-thought. Everyone has to have an agenda. You are either with them or against them. It couldn’t be possible that I don’t like President Trump and not be a Democrat. It can’t be possible that I’m not that keen on Biden but am not a Republican. People seem to think that independent thinkers actually exist. We do and we’re pissed.

We live in a television show now. We live in a television show that has ruined actually watching these types of shows. Why should I finish watching “House of Cards” if I’m essentially living it? What happens if I wished “Designated Survivor” actually happened, but maybe without Ben Carson taking over as president? It doesn’t matter anyways. I’m getting close to just thinking that it just doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what party is in office if you can’t fix the underlying problem: the States of America are not United. They are divided by race and religion and political ideals. They are divided by the principle of “whoever doesn’t agree with me is the enemy”. It doesn’t matter if they back up their opinion with rational thought; it’s not about facts or logic. It’s about right and wrong, even if the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Misinformation and You: How You’re Helping the Problem Get Worse

I browse my social media feeds, and it’s shocking how many people take memes seriously. As if memes are a way to get valid information. I hate to be that guy, but they’re not. Memes are funny and catchy. Generally, if you read information on a meme, it’s probably not true. The way people stand up for Dr. Stella Emmanuel for her brave stance on the “COVID-19” hoax is what is wrong with America today. This is why we have anti-vaxxers and a resurgence of diseases that really should be a non-issue anymore. Why are the same people against anti-vaxxers now supporting the claim of someone who talks about demon sperm? Because they see that their political party supports her, so she must be reliable.

If Dr. Fauci had said anything about conditions being caused by demon sperm, as someone who suffers from gynecological disorders, I’d say dude is crazy and maybe we shouldn’t follow what he says. I don’t care about political parties; I care about science. The problem is that science can be skewed and people eat that stuff up and believe it. Why? Because their political party fan pages tell them so.

So what’s the common denominator here? People who blindly follow and don’t really care about facts. They just eat up whatever people want them to think and just trust it or don’t really care to do their own research. And the people in charge are okay with that because if you can think for yourself, you’d call them out on their crap. Me? My allegiance will always follow the facts. I do my own research because, we have the internet and you can always do all the research you want on your own. However, the minute that you just follow a specific biased site or non-reputable biased sites that flat out lie, then you aren’t really doing your own research. You need to read around different sites and determine what’s real and what isn’t. It takes time and patience, but damned if you come out more logical on the side.

Maybe I’m just unique in the fact that I don’t side with any political party because I mistrust them. I can maybe think of 1 or 2 or maybe even 3 politicians that I would really stand up for, and that’s a very small number. And spoiler: they aren’t from the same party. I respect politicians who state facts, not skewed opinions offered as facts. I respect politicians who stand by their principles, even if it makes people hate them. That’s what I respect. That’s why I don’t trust Pelosi or Schumer or Trump or McConnell. They want us to be divided because it gives them more power over us. It pits us against each other so they can retain the power that none of them really deserve.

I feel like I keep reiterating the point here, but people need to start waking up. People are dying from a virus because it was made into an “Us. vs. Them” political statement. It isn’t. It’s a “the damn virus is going to kill us all if we don’t stop being jackasses who only care about what political party someone is” problem. I saw a Facebook thing, and it said “How many of your friends are Biden followers and how many are Trump followers?” My answer: who cares? I don’t determine someone’s worth by their political beliefs and if you do, that’s your problem. Strike that, that means you are the problem. You are why America is going downhill. We’re Americans, dammit. We are built on the principle of free speech and following our own beliefs. We didn’t become free because people sat around and listened to what people in charge told us to believe; we became free because we fought against that.

That New Teen Drama “SOTU” Was Really Great!

Oh.. that wasn’t a teen drama. Those were grown ass adults acting like children in the roles people elected them in: our government. It played out like an episode of (insert teen drama here). One person did something wrong. Another person did something wrong. Weird things happened that you didn’t get. You get that one heartwarming moment that makes you go “awww”. Then everything goes to hell. That’s how those teen dramas go and that’s apparently how the State of the Union went as well.

It started off as normal with all of the insane pomp and circumstance that we have grown accustomed to. One that is very… regal in nature. Yes. Regal. As in “royal”. As in they are treating every one of our presidents as if they were monarchs, deserving of celebrity status just because they are presidents. How dare you criticize the president! They are presidents because God declared it so. Just like the kings and queens who just happen to have the right bloodline.

Then it was the “non-handshake” heard around the world. Sure, was it awful of the president not to reciprocate the gesture? Absolutely. He should be held to the highest standard of civility and morality and everything else. Did she put out her hand knowing that the president was a petty child who doesn’t know how to behave when mommy and daddy tell him to dress up and be nice? Absolutely. This was a smart move that gave her some moral high ground.

A high ground that she managed to keep as she seemed to scold her party for acting up, like the grumpy grandmother who knew her kids were going to be stubborn brats but brought them along anyways. A high ground that she kept when she stood up and applauded at various parts during the SOTU. A high ground that she lost when she tore up her copy of the speech right behind the president for the cameras to see. To do it again, just to make sure people got the hint. It was spiteful, maybe deserving, but spiteful. She’s the distinguished speaker; she also should be held to a higher standard.

Sure there were some amazing moments there, albeit selfish strategies that were solely there for his campaign and not the morale of the country. The best of those moments is when the soldier came home from his deployment and surprised his family. That was the best moment of the night. It wasn’t the student he gave a scholarship to and discussed how he was going to orchestrate the downfall of public schools by giving money to for-profit schools that just want to make money and don’t care about their students. It wasn’t the moment he gave Rush Limbaugh a Presidential Medal of Freedom in the middle of the SOTU, when he could have done it before or the next day. Glorifying a man who spends most of his time spewing hateful untruths. It was this moment where a family were so happily reunited that will be the best moment of the night.

Did I believe anything he said? Of course not. Some things seemed factually impossible or half truths. Yes, the rich are doing much better since they are getting money back from taxes instead of having to actually pay them. I’m not doing any better since his election. His tax cuts give us a whole $10 extra a paycheck, which means we lose $2400 in refunds at the end of the year. I’d rather the extra money at the end of the year than have that extra $10 that means I can splurge on the fancy toilet paper. Nothing is better unless you’re rich enough to line the coffers of the party in charge.

Pelosi’s rationale was that she ripped up the speech because it was a “Manifest of lies”. It was. She’s not wrong. But the problem is that most people either don’t care because they so blindly follow this man without a care of facts or because they so blindly hate this man without a care of facts. He’s done nothing to make the country more united; but he has done an amazing job of making sure that we stay as divided as possible. People follow his lead, whether they support him or not, lacking any sort of civility or free thought. I was never really good at blindly following anyone. What I am good at is being rightfully cynical of everyone who represents our country right now, except Romney apparently.

It’s a high school drama that we have watched unfold for nearly a decade and it’s only getting more dramatic twists and turns every year. The problem is that we seem to be okay with that because we’re the ones casting this drama, not some overpaid casting director. We’re the ones that are okay with settling with the way things are when we should be rebelling and fighting to make things right.

Was it Really about a Boo?

Criticizing presidents and politicians is the American way. It is our right as the people who these people are supposed to be working for. It’s our right as Americans to be able to express ourselves in a peaceful manner. We were given those rights in the constitution and we should be very thankful to have those rights, especially when you take a look at how people are being silenced across the globe. We shouldn’t take this for granted because I fear we may not have these freedoms for long.

When President Trump got booed at the Nationals game, it became a topic of discussion about how people should respect the office. I respect the office even if I may not respect the man holding it. But I don’t think that people should mistake blind loyalty as respect. There’s nothing respectful about blind loyalty. This is usually based on fear or ignorance, not respect. I get how an audience booing at a sitting president can be seen as disrespectful. I can see how chants of “Lock Him Up” can be disrespectful. But it’s not really about respect, is it?

When Obama got booed in public, conservative sites praised this. These were the American people using their God-given right to express themselves. These were true patriots. Now that Trump gets booed, these same people rant about the disrespect this president has received. The other side is just as guilty here because they have also flipped the script from taking one incident as disrespectful and the other as a proud moment for Americans. Make up your mind: is it disrespectful to boo a president or not?

It isn’t the act that is appalling; it’s the fact that these groups can’t get their story straight and the majority of people don’t seem to care. Would I boo a sitting president to their face? Probably not. But does that mean I don’t think other people should? I’m not entirely sure I like the idea of toeing that line of freedom of speech and disrespect. If it went to a side of violence or downright bullying, then I think there’s an argument for disrespect. Booing is something entirely different. You boo when you’re at a performance if you don’t like what you see; isn’t that all this president is? He performs on a daily basis, giving fodder to everyone around him through his unleashed Twitter account.

Now, what about the “Lock him up” chant? Was that disrespectful? I would argue “no”. I would argue that this is a precedent that he created himself when he did the same to Clinton as his political rival. This encouraged his followers to do the same. I’m all for the “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” approach. If it wasn’t disrespectful that way, then it isn’t disrespectful when it comes back to you. If it was good enough to say to another person, it’s good enough to be said to you. The point is, when you open that floodgate, you should accept it. Just like people who “applauded” Clinton’s deplorable statement about Trump supporters should accept the “scumbag” label from Trump. I think both people should be ashamed of themselves for this insulting approach because I think these terms help to further divide the country. We need to start working together, not growing further apart.

The problem is as long as people rationalize and blindly follow, things won’t change. The world doesn’t need followers right now; they need leaders. They need to know that disrespect doesn’t change because of what party someone follows. They need to know that if they say something awful that they should suck it up when it’s used back in their face. The people should stop rationalizing those grown-ass adults who are supposed to be running our country when they sling insults at each other. They should stop applauding something as “so powerful” on one side, but slamming it when it happens to “your side”. There shouldn’t be “sides”. There should only be “Americans”. United we stand… divided we fall…

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.

When the Government Shuts Down

If we are going to be completely honest here, we can all agree that arguing about a government shut down every few weeks accomplishes nothing. How about we try a few things to help avoid this situation in the future, such as:

A Budget. Back when President Obama was in office, the talking points were “every household in America needs a budget, so should our government”. They were right back then and they would be right today if they would care enough to argue that point. We get ourselves into this fight every single year because we do not have a sustainable budget. We may have a budget in place, but it obviously isn’t sustainable if we are worried about going into so much debt every 3 months that our government “can’t run”. We manage to pay Congress and Senate an obscene amount of money to do nothing every day, why not start there when we make budget cuts? You don’t want to do a budget, how about you don’t get paid like everyone else when they decide not to do their job.

Less Blamey, More Workey. In the time that both sides spent having their pissing contest about who’s fault it is, a resolution could have happened sooner. They need to realize the reason people do not trust politicians is because moments like this make us realize that they don’t care about us. Did they take a pay cut so the military could get paid during the shut down? Nope. They care about their money and the power of being a politician and nothing else but keeping both. Instead of making the focus how one side is holding American hostage, how about we keep the focus on our lazy politicians that just want to win?

About that Budget? Did I miss the part about the budget? No, I just felt like this is an important enough issue to be mentioned twice because apparently the politicians don’t get it. And when I say a “budget”, I mean an actual budget. I don’t mean a budget, with whatever special interests that they got paid for to put in a bill so that no one wants a budget and it never gets passed. I mean a line by line budget. “We get in _____ a year, here is how this will get spent.” There will need to be hard cuts that need to be made, such as food stamps and assistance going to hard working people that are struggling to make ends meet or those who are struggling with a disability that makes them unable to get work. I’m also for reducing the amount politicians get paid. For instance, Nancy Pelosi makes around $200k a year. That is insane. Politicians should make as much teachers or police officers. In fact, I would argue that police officers should make more than politicians. Maybe if we reduced their salary, we would get more people that actually care about us. Put more money into the schools, the firemen and law enforcement that protects us, pay our soldiers a livable wage, and funding to help cure cancer/Alzheimer’s/AIDS, etc.

Working Together. Party politics are ruining our country. I have made this opinion very clear. Think about your life at work or in school. When you are working on a group project, you are expected to work as a group towards a common goal. If you don’t, you lose your job or fail the project. “Our” politicians should be working together towards a common goal: improving the lives of Americans. Anytime they fail this goal to play games with people’s lives, they should be held accountable instead of saying it is someone else’s fault.

Those are just some of the ideas that I have to make things better in the coming months. Who’s with me? Who has other suggestions to share?

The Results are In

I’m mostly happy with the way the election went yesterday. My new voting spot, which was much farther than I think a voting spot should be from their people, was much nicer than I anticipated considering the awful neighborhood it was in. They had free coffee and soup. Because of our impish little love, voting was quite difficult and needed a tag team process. And my husband forgot to take advantage of the free coffee he was so excited about.

It was a good sign that the people seemed to rise against the same old, and voted a different way. I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that the Republicans have taken control of the house, but I knew it was coming if people were smart enough. That sent a sign of “do your damn job or get voted out”, and it was a sting that our politicians need to feel. I called it previously in another post about how the Republicans would gain control of both houses, and it was no one’s fault but the Democrats for sitting around with their thumbs up there butts. It’s a chance that will influence the next election in epic fashion, I predict that. If the Republicans do something good, balance the budget and make true reforms into how things are done, than the presidency will go to a Republican because they had fixed everything that was broken. They have a chance to remedy the past here.

However, I’m not hopeful for that. All over the news they decided this was a sign to repeal Obamacare. Really? That ship is floating just fine, and the world has not collapsed as a result of it existing. That is the least of the problems that needs to be fixed. The absolute least of our problems. Plus unless my math and understanding of the whole process is incorrect, even if they vote to repeal it, the president can still veto it and they don’t have a 2/3rd’s majority to overrule the president. So if I am correct, they will still be doing a whole lot of nothing by making their first priority as repealing Obamacare. Excellent message guys. You were voted in to start getting stuff done and your first order of business is to get absolutely nothing done. This is why people hate politicians.

Go forth, newly Republican Washington and make an actual difference. Prove us wrong that all politicians are crooks that waver to the highest bidder and do nothing but collect our tax payer money and lobbyist hand outs to line their pockets. Reduce wasteful government spending on useless things, stop focusing on social issues that are settling themselves by people’s choice and balance a budget. Fix the broken welfare and other entitlements systems. Focus on that, not impossible tasks that aren’t actually that bad to begin with. Massachusetts complained about Romneycare and adjusted and things are going pretty well for us, and I don’t here too many complaints about Obamacare anymore. Deal with it, and fix Washington.