It’s All Fun and Games Until They Come Home Republican

The point of the title is shock factor. That offensive commentary that people will either dismiss without reading, hate read assuming I mean it, or love read because they assume I mean it. The other day, a good friend of mine posted a meme on social media, which said something along the lines of “I don’t care if my kid is gay or trans or whatever. But let them come home Republican…” I laughed. I laughed because I would have laughed even if the other part of the meme replaced “Republican” with “Democrat”. The joys of being a lowly independent in the middle of the bickering.

But at the core of the meme, I don’t agree with the message. Now if my kid came home an alt-righter conspiracy nut that follows Q, I’d have some issues with that. I’d still love the kid, but holy Jesus, would I not be happy about it. But coming home Republican? Just do you, bruh. At the core of my principles is to just let people be. If they aren’t hurting anyone else and following the law, I honestly don’t care. I don’t care who you love and want to marry. I don’t care if you think getting an abortion is the right choice for you. I’m not gay nor would I have an abortion. Just because I don’t feel morally right about having an abortion, that doesn’t mean my beliefs should be pushed onto others. I’m pro others to have that choice. I’m straight, that doesn’t mean everyone else should be. People just gotta live their lives. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their home is their business, not mine.

I don’t care if someone is a Republican as long as they don’t push that belief system on me. I don’t care if someone is a Democrat, as long as they don’t push that belief system on me. I don’t care what religion you are, you can see the pattern here, as long as they don’t push that belief system on me. There’s enough crap going on in the world than worrying about which side of the aisle the other person is on. Though, I would argue that the fact that people take sides of the aisle is at the very core of the problems today. Why does it always have to be an “Us vs. Them” argument?

I remember one time, someone asked me if I was a Democrat or a Republican. I replied, “Neither. I like to think I’m somewhere in the middle.” The person laughed at me, saying it was because I couldn’t make a decision and wanted to stay neutral, as if because I was a woman that I didn’t have my own opinion. I responded back, “No, it’s because I realize that both sides have great points. When you can see things from another perspective, you’ll see the solutions are always somewhere in the middle.” He laughed at me again, completely dismissing my statement. He said that I had to choose a side.

Why do I have to choose a side? Why are there even sides to choose? Why can’t we just be what we are without having to put labels on it, so that people can organize us into pretty little boxes together? I’ve been very vocal about my opinions about abolishing a two-party system. I think that there should be more candidates debating than just the Republican or Democrats. Up until this last election, I’ve never even voted for a major party candidate. (I still don’t regret my choice, yet.) I’ve also consistently pointed out that they like us better divided because without us coming together, the extremes on both sides are better able to control us and how we think.

We could let this stay the way it is. We could continue bickering for no reason because we are the only ones who lose by doing this. America is the only thing that loses.

United States of AMErica: One Nation, Under Oneself

Browsing through social media, a place that has caused me more anger than “real life”, I saw someone say that people don’t wear masks because we live in “AMErica”. I chuckled. It was a bit clever. I enjoyed it. But this idea stuck in my head, for all the wrong reasons. It made sense. It was witty because it was beyond true. We have become a country that is more concerned with our own self-serving purposes than helping our neighbors. It’s about selfies to show off “looked cute, might delete later” for the sole purpose of likes and compliments. It’s about taking a photo of you helping someone, when it was just a photo op without any real kindness or intention to help. Once the camera is off, they go back into their luxury cars proud of their “good deed” plastered all over social media.

Think about this for a minute: What issues have been caused by this “Me First” approach? I’ll go with the obvious one first: the pandemic. “But I don’t want to wear a mask. I’ll get asthma if I do and I searched around 20 different websites before I found the one unscrupulous medical ‘professional’ to prove I’m right! You’re all sheeple that are being controlled by the fear-mongering liberals. Don’t wear masks! Don’t follow guidelines!” Spoiler: I’m no medical expert, but they said the longer that people had this mindset and did whatever they wanted because it’s “Me, me, me”, the longer we stayed in this mess. This “Me First” policy has kept us in this situation where over a half a million people in America died and still following these same guidelines a year later. It just involved people doing something for the greater good to get over this quicker, but freedoms and liberties or something. Whatever. Me First.

In a lesser, but equally important context, the concept of offensiveness. When Dr. Seuss’ estate stopped publishing books that even the author himself said was racist (also key point here: the estate stopped publishing the books not the government), it suddenly became this “I don’t see how this can be offensive.” “I don’t find it offensive at all.” First of all, I didn’t even know those books existed until this happened and I’m willing to bet most of the outraged people didn’t either. Secondly, if an Asian person (like I don’t know, my husband) points out why it’s offensive, I believe him. When your kid is called “chinky” or won’t get played with because he’s “Chinese looking”, I understand why that imagery of Asian people is offensive. When I pointed this out on Facebook to someone who says “I’m not sure why an Asian guy wearing an Asian hat eating with chopsticks” is offensive and people still don’t get it, it’s because they don’t care to get it. Because the fact that it’s offensive to someone else is irrelevant to them. Because it’s “Me First”. They were told to be offended by people being offended and by golly, they are going to be loud and ignorant about it!

I don’t remember it being like this growing up. But now I realize why my heart gets happy when I see something on social media about how someone bought their coffee order for them or paid for their breakfast tab at a restaurant. It’s because at some point, we have become so numb and oblivious of this descent into selfishness and self-serving ideals that these stories of people just being decent-freaking-human beings is hero-worthy these days. These people are being kind, and are rightfully complimented for their anonymous good acts. Hilariously, the biggest people applauding these special moments are the people who seem to be mostly about “Me First”. Do as you say?

The point is, we can be better than this by listening. Maybe instead of just letting someone tell you “cancel culture” (hilarious note: think of all the banned books in predominately Republican states before ranting about cancel culture), maybe take some time to see maybe why someone finds it offensive. Because it matters to them. Even if it seems ridiculous to you, maybe there’s a valid reason that you didn’t consider. Maybe if medical professionals say “wearing a mask would end this thing”, you should just suck it up and wear a mask. Because freedom doesn’t mean that you get to tell everyone else to eff off because you don’t want to be told what to do. Imagine the crappy world we’d live in if that were the… oh.. wait.

The Real Problem is That You’re Shocked

All last week, all we kept hearing about is Ted Cruz went on vacation. Honestly, I was more offended at the amount of people who harped on this for so long. Not because what he did was acceptable for a person on the (partially) tax payer dime, who should be working for the people. But because they were seemingly shocked that he doesn’t care about the people he’s supposed to work for. In fact, I think any time that people are shocked that _____ (insert politician here) didn’t do something with the best interests of the people in mind, I’m shocked that people don’t pay enough attention. Or, they are just complaining for the sake of complaining. I take my normal stance on things like this: I would respect him more for standing his ground and just staying on vacation rather than feigning a sense of duty because people were mean on social media.

This isn’t a point about arguing whether or not Ted Cruz did the right thing or anything about a specific politician. (Though, I mean, fine for your family to go but as a politician, you have a duty to your constituents to at least pretend to care.) The point is that people are somehow shocked that politicians don’t care about them. They care about the people who pay them the most; the corporations and lobby groups. We are nothing to them, unless we are rich donors that have some significant problem that money can easily buy away. That makes me wonder then: are we the problem or are they? I would argue that we are the problem.

Politicians shouldn’t be politicians because they want riches and power; they should have a sense of duty and commitment to their constituents. You know, the people who have voted for them because they believed that they were going to do the right thing. Because they believed that this person was going to help make a positive impact on not just their family, but their community or even society as a whole. Or, they just voted for that letter next to their name, because they are ride or die with whatever group they are associated with regardless of their actual beliefs.

I would argue that we are the problem because as a collective society, we are the ones who keep voting these people into power. We are the ones who care more about political affiliations than principles. We are the ones saying that this behavior is acceptable every time that we ignore things like, I don’t know so I’m pulling this out of nowhere, inciting an insurrection and allowing people to continue to believe a lie just to get votes. We are the ones who ignore their misdeeds because “blue no matter who” or “red or we dead” (I don’t know, there’s got to be some saying for them but I just don’t know it.) We are the ones who do not expect more from our elected officials, at any level really.

I would also argue that at this point, we are too far gone. People have drawn their lines in the sand and don’t care about anything else. As long as those people dig in, certain that there are only 2 belief systems and that it’s us vs. them, we’re screwed. Our only hope is that the future generations learn the lessons from us, that most of the time the answer is somewhere right in the middle. That political extremism and making enemies with people just because their ideals are a little different are the real problems. We need to be more accepting. We need to listen, even when we think we are right. Because, the other person also thinks that they are right. And most of the time the answer is somewhere in the middle.

To Impeach or Not to Impeach: Part 2?

I will admit, I wasn’t entirely a fan of the first impeachment proceedings. Did he do what they said? I argued this point way back when I wrote about the first impeachment. I argued that it didn’t matter if he did; he wouldn’t be convicted because it was a relatively minor offense and the Republicans would never actually convict. I argued that it was a waste of time and tax payer money. No one would take it seriously, especially since up to that point people were calling for his impeachment before he even took his oath. Did I like him and think he should have been elected? No, I thought he was a criminal and at least as questionable as Hilary was, so I believed neither had any business being in office. But, to root for his failure was to root for America to fail and I just couldn’t get behind that idea.

Now, we are coming upon a second impeachment trial. Do I still think it’s a waste of time? In a way, yes. Unless people grow a spine, he’s not going to be convicted. Party before country is the new belief that these politicians have, where they worship their leader and never question anything. I wasn’t raised that way. And I absolutely think he should be convicted this time, whereas last time I wasn’t really sure what to think. Whether or not I believe that he incited the capital riots during that rally, his behaviors leading up to that point were enough to have me sold. Instead of peddling lies, he could have took the loss like a man. Not like my kid who doesn’t want to admit that he ate the last of my Flamin’ Hot Doritos, going with the “deny, deny, deny” approach. I get it; no one wants to admit failure. But at what cost?

In this case, the cost was our potential freedom.

We have an election process in place, one that even his own judges said was valid and not illegitimate. There was no fix or fraud. The only difference is that more people had the ability to vote due to the ability to mail in their ballots. I have skipped “minor” elections as my polling place is 2 miles away from my home because it was too much of a hassle to get there and park where there’s hardly any parking. It just isn’t worth it. I didn’t vote in our mayoral race for that reason. I’m not here to argue about whether or not they should continue allowing it to be easier for people like me to vote. (Spoiler: every legal American has the right to legally vote.)

Had he admitted that he lost and that the election was fair, this entire situation could have been avoided. We wouldn’t have our nation’s capital barricaded like a war zone as the National Guard, FBI, capital police, and local police walking around as if everyone is the enemy looking to take down the core of our democracy. They wouldn’t want to see everything burn. They would just sulk away as those who claimed Hilary was robbed did when Trump was sworn in. Did they complain afterwards? Yes, but I didn’t think they were going to ever try to kill political rivals. They were just whiny people that spent their energy complaining.

But he didn’t. Then, you could potentially argue that his tweets and his rallies after this point only dumped gasoline on this fire. Did his rally prior to the vote certification inspire an insurrection or was it a combination of everything prior to that and then the rally was the final straw? Was this all planned out? I think so. I honestly think so.

But it doesn’t matter. Because facts don’t matter to his dedicated believers, those who look at President Trump as a messiah. It doesn’t matter that the election wasn’t actually fraudulent; they were told it was therefore it was. The Republican senators have a choice to follow suit, keeping their votes safe and secure by staying in line with their messiah whether they are actually believers or not. Or, they could stand up for what’s right. To put the country ahead of the party. And until politicians start putting America first rather than their party, this country will never get better. They are governing for all of us and it’s about time that both parties start remembering that.

When You’re Walking Around a Fantasy World

My plan Tuesday was not to sit around watching the television glued to the senate race in Georgia. Honestly, I figured the Democrats would get one seat and the Republicans would keep the other. Whatever happened, happened. I had no control over the outcome and I learned long ago to not stress too much about the things that I couldn’t control. I have enough to stress about as is. It was what it was.

Tuesday, we decided to try Beyond Beef tacos. Spoiler: not only was I repulsed by it, I ended up covered in hives. It wasn’t fun. I couldn’t sleep, so I stayed up probably until 3 or 4 watching CNN’s election coverage because maybe it’d help me sleep. It didn’t. I was miserable and itchy and the hives burned and I wanted to scratch the hell out of them. I was shocked by what was going on in the election, which was actually helping to distract me. Would they actually win both seats? To me, it wasn’t so much that the Democrats won those races; it was the Republicans who are turning their own base away from them.

As an independent, who probably aligns more with a weird mesh of libertarian/democratic belief system, I get it from both sides. I get people mad at me, screaming about how I’m some socialist liberal when I point out the flawed belief system around Trumpism. When I agree with Republican politicians, I’m called a snowflake sheep Trumper. I’m neither. I seem to be unique in my belief of you can exist somewhere in the middle. At least if you’re a Republican or Democrat, you only really have to deal with the other side ganging up on you.

Back to my story.

Wednesday, exhausted and dealing with continuing sinus issues. I had planned on spending the day watching coverage of the counting of the elector votes. I knew it would be a historic moment and I wanted to be able to talk about it in the future with my youngest or my future grandchildren, mocking the insanity. History was going to unfold right in front of my eyes. They were going to fight about this all day, wasting everyone’s time in futile attempts that were ultimately going to fail. There was no fraud; these objections were purely motivational of people trying to get their last minute brownie points from the Trumpist base for their own future ambitions. When in reality, they should just let the hardcore ideals of Trumpism die with the ending of his presidency. Then what’s left of the shambles of the Grand Ol’ Party could recover their reputation, try to overcome this past, and become better people in the future.

I was right in all the wrong ways. I watched in horror as the events unfolded on my screen. It didn’t seem real. After living through the unreal experience of the pandemic, this still seemed like I was living in a fantasy world. There’s no way, not in America, that this would happen. We grew up being told that America was better than this. We grew up being told that this was a land where we were safe and free. These events make me question these apparent lies we were told. I didn’t feel like it was me sitting on the couch watching reality. It felt like me indulging in my sweet pleasures of trash “unscripted” television, watching an episode of “90 Day Fiancé” where some things are just too ridiculous to be real life. This wasn’t the America I grew up in. This would never have happened in that America. The America that stood together on 9/11. That America that came together during the Boston Marathon bombing. This is an America were there are people refusing to call these people for what they were: terrorists literally attacking our democracy.

This is almost like when you are watching the news when another country has their election and you know they are corrupt. The ones where America goes in with their shiny knight armor to save the day. The heroes of democracy, a role America tries to play every chance they get because they feel their approach to government is the ideal and superior to other countries. We are acting like that country today that needs America to come save. Only it’s us… and apparently we can’t save ourselves.

I kept saying that the division would ruin our country. My blogs reiterated the danger of this division. To watch something unfold that I only thought was possible in my imagination, doesn’t seem real. It’s not right and this is not the America I want my kids to grow up in. It seemed like something even too ridiculous for fiction. But here it was, our current reality.

I was reminded by a dear friend about how I would always right in my early days of my blog about how I taught my oldest to be the change he wanted to see in the world. That the future was his and he can help make it better. These are lessons I’m trying to teach my youngest. They are the future. It’s too late for us now, but it’s not too late for them. We can teach them to be better than we are. Because dammit, our country… our world… deserves better than this.

It’s Like Beating a Dead Horse

Last week, I wrote about a city councilman who… well… you can catch up here. There are some interesting things that have come up, which I’ll detail with both disgust and sarcasm later on. As well as a further explanation of, not that most level-headed people need it, why what he said was so awful.

The first point is this: there’s nothing the city can do about it. There is no way to remove him from office, or any other corrupt politician in office. This might have been mere oversight, but in 2005 our mayor was in legal trouble for taking bribes and was later convicted. Spoiler: there was nothing that they could do with him except let him finish his term.

You would think, and I could be absolutely wrong and even viewed as unintelligent for thinking this, that they would have said “Well, that was quite the predicament. Maybe we should fix that so we don’t have to deal with it again.” Apparently not. It’s been 15 years and apparently asking for critical thinking skills for local politicians is a big ask here.

But Brianne, why is what he said so bad? Apologists for this city councilman said that he was just saying that women need to be more accountable for their actions that may be contributory to their harassment or assault. Maybe women shouldn’t put themselves in a risky situation.

Where is there a safe spot? Where can I expect not to get raped or harassed? Let me know what this rape-free zone is and what the dress code is, because the other women of the city/country/world and myself would love to know.

Here’s what I do know, as a female. I know that I was told to walk around with keys in my hand, so if I were attacked I could fight back. I know my brother taught me self-defense when I was a teenager, just in case. I know I was given the speeches of going out in groups and never going out by myself. I grew up being told how unsafe the world was for me. I was lectured about my clothing, and how I was showing too much cleavage or my jeans were too tight/too low.

The implications of these lessons were clear: I needed to be careful, be suspicious, and dress like a nun to not get assaulted, while I don’t know any guy that was given any lecture about consent. Why? Maybe it’s because good people just know how not to assault people. The idea that women have some contributory negligence when they get assaulted is disgusting. And if you defend that notion, you are disgusting.

Why is it always on women? Why do we have to think about whether we are going to put on the outfit we will be assaulted in? Why do we have to stay home because we can’t find anyone to grab a drink with? I don’t get it. Maybe I’m just dumb. Maybe I’m naive to think that women just have as much right as men to live our lives how we want to and grab a drink by themselves at the bar because no one else wanted to. I’ve always wanted a daughter, but there’s a part of me that’s relieved that I don’t have to bring her up in a world where if she were assaulted, the first question would be some version of “What did you do to cause this?”

That is why what he said was wrong. Do I think he should apologize? No. Because that would be disingenuous. I have more respect for someone sticking to their guns, as despicable as those guns are, than someone who feigned regret. But I don’t think we should forget about this. I don’t think his constituents should forget about this. And I think this is something that they should be reminded of throughout the year until the November elections, with the hope that they do the right thing of voting him out. The rest of the city should be appalled that someone like this is representing our city. That someone with these outdated and misogynistic ideals not only exists in 2020, but that he’s sitting in a position of power in the city. Someone who blames ignorance of being the only damn person who didn’t know rape and harassment was an issue. Someone who is glad he said what he said because now he is educated that sexual assault is a big deal and thanks to him, everyone now knows what a big deal it is. This great man, who now thanks to him the citizens of our city know that there is a problem and his big idea to solve it is to educate people on how not to harass or assault women. Or to educate women on what to wear or where to go to not get assaulted. Something like that.

It’s almost as if organizations like RAINN exist for a reason. So here’s a brief overview of how serious of a problem this is. All statistics are from RAINN.

  • In America, 1 out 6 women were the victims of completed rape or attempted rape.
  • By 1998, about 17.7 million American women were the victims of attempted or completed rape.
  • 1 out of 10 American men were also victims.

There are a few things that are important to know about these numbers. First of all, there are a lot of situations where these assaults go unreported so these statistics are a lot higher than they are. Why? Because of people like this councilman who want to put some of the blame on women, because they should’ve known better. Because people still view this as something that the victim should be ashamed of. It’s also important to know that not only women are victims, so it isn’t just a bunch of hysterical women trying to take down a guy who is “misunderstood”.

He wanted an education? I just gave him a great resource and important statistics. I don’t expect to change his mind, because people don’t often like to admit their errors or even care about silly things like facts. This isn’t for him. This is for the people of the city who deserve better than what he’s given them.

Sometimes No Context is Needed

There are often times when you read comments made by people and without context they may look bad, but they seem less terrible when “in context”. That’s the famous argument celebrities and politicians use, right? “That comment was out of context.” “You didn’t read the comment in its entirety.” Whether that’s a legitimate excuse or not, that’s the one we get. Then, we get to debate about whether or not the context was worthy of the comment. It’s a crazy cycle; one that does its job of division.

In my city, comments from a councilman went viral. Comments like “…if you go to a sketchy nightclub known for these types of attacks with inadequate security, you bring unreliable friends with you and something happens, don’t be surprised.” And that seemed to be his defense for his other comments like “…use common sense and avoid the best you can if you want to avoid sexual assault. I assume that you wouldn’t go hiking in an area littered with grizzly bears, would you be surprised if you were attacked?” On social media after this story made it to our local forums, he defended himself by saying “…someone asked my opinion about something so I answered it truthfully. I could have lied just to make everyone happy but I’m not that type of person. I’ll be honest even if it hurts me.”

So was this commentary out of context or an honest statement about what he truly believes? Is he just ignorant of what those type of statements could mean for people who have experienced their own assaults, some who still suffer in silence because “it was their fault”? Or does he mean it and truly believe victims should be the ones to not put themselves in public, rather than maybe saying “okay, no matter where you are and what you are wearing, it’s never the rapists fault. Unless you happen to be in your own home and they break in. Or you’re at someplace where rape doesn’t happen. Because, there are ‘rape-free zones’ that are always obeyed.” But, if they broke in and someone was wearing just a t-shirt and that’s provocative, maybe that was their fault too? It’s obviously not the rapists fault. If it were, then maybe there would be harsher penalties for those who commit these devastating crimes.

So, was it out of context? I mean, potentially. I don’t know the guy. I don’t follow him on Facebook to know. But, I mean, is there ever a good context for saying things like that? I’ve been pretty pissed about something when talking to someone and I don’t recall ever comparing their victimhood about something to the plight of a rape victim. But I mean, I suppose you could claim ignorance about the implications with those statements. Again, who knows. Maybe they never had to watch someone suffer through the aftermath of an assault to take it as seriously as they should. Was he baited into the comments by someone else who just got under his skin? I’ve seen people annoy my husband, never heard him ever say something like that to prove a point.

Was it ignorance? He kept repeating the emphasis of how people should be taught in schools about sexual harassment and the like. Then, people can learn. I remember being in high school, where I graduated 18 years ago. I definitely remember learning about what sexual harassment was and what my rights were. I don’t really remember there being a section about how not to rape, but I sort of assume a decent human being would already know that lesson… though arguably any decent human being would just know sexual harassment is bad.

Or, was it just that this was how he personally believes? Again, I don’t know this person. But based on his interactions on this topic, it seems that he does believe this and stands by his opinions. I honestly admire people who stand by their convictions. Even if I find their convictions to be disgusting and disturbing and not one that I would want representing our city. If he truly believes this misguided notion that there are just some cases where women had it coming, then that’s his belief and who are we to tell him what to believe?

He’s not my city councilman. I’ve only engaged minimally with my city councilman and I found him to be a decent man that cares about his constituents. He fixed the problem I had as soon as he could and I couldn’t be happier. This councilor in question insists he will be re-elected anyways despite this, defiant to anyone who tries to help educate him on the errors of this thinking. How this type of thinking resonates with women, which is why many assaults even decades later go unreported. Because after something like this happens, they blame themselves when they shouldn’t. But now, they have an elected official that believes it. Whether out of context or not, whether out of belief or not, this belief system is why we are still behind on the times. Why rape is still something that people sweep under the rugs, as a shame that a woman brought upon herself and her family. Why rapists can walk free because “why should this few minutes of his life destroy his future”, disregarding the fact that those few minutes already destroyed another life. Any notion of assault being the fault of the victim isn’t one that I would ever support, no matter the context.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This

Today is Election Day. A day that was once pretty uneventful, considering that the president we choose and the other people we put in office have such a massive impact on our lives. This presidential election is different. This election we are led to believe that this is a battle for the soul of the nation. In a way, that campaign slogan is 100% correct. But I don’t necessarily buy into the fact that a single party cares enough about the people to care about the soul of the nation. I’m convinced they’d rather the soul of the nation be squashed because they like the anarchy. They like us divided because they can better control us.

My great state of Massachusetts announced that they have called up the National Guard for Election Day. How absurd? Not that the governor made this call, but rather that this was the right call. No matter which side wins tonight or whenever the election is officially called by election officials, there’s going to be trouble. Either side will argue that this was an illegitimate election. Not all the votes were counted. There was armed people at the polling stations intimidating voters. There’s going to be some reason for trouble, and the sad fact is that people are okay with that. They welcome the chaos, including our own elected officials.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. It really doesn’t. I’m sad for today. I do view today as a doomsday. Not because of the outcome of who gets elected into office. Because of the aftermath. Our country will burn and I’m so sad thinking that nobody cares about that fact.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope people can learn to be adults about this. I hope that people can say “Well, you voted for that person because you have your reasons and that’s okay.” I admit that I struggled voting. I have never voted for a major party candidate for president. The closest I came, admittedly, was considering a vote for Romney. I ended up deciding against it because I didn’t feel right about it. This year, I did vote a major party candidate. Not because I felt strongly about them. Not because of any other reason than I just didn’t want the other guy. Because I feel like one person wants to bring people together and the other loves the division. That was the deciding factor.

We need someone who brings everyone together. I hope that whoever wins decides to put their party aside and works to heal the divide in the country. It’s optimism that our elected officials don’t deserve. But we need it or, and I’m not a particularly religious person at all, God help us all. It will be a doomsday if we don’t get our (pardon my language) collective shit together.

It doesn’t have to be like this. It doesn’t have to be a Democrat vs. Republican thing. We don’t have to let a political decision divide us so much. It doesn’t matter who you voted for, as long as you truly believe in your vote for whatever reason you have. I hope that tomorrow, our country isn’t on fire and we can come out of our hangover feeling less terrible about how the world is going. Because we can change it, not in who we vote for, but in how we act and behave towards each other.

Tomorrow, if there are definitive results I will post a follow-up blog. But today, let’s try kindness and remember to vote.

Stand Or Not: It’s America

I’m a hardcore Patriots fan. New England for life. Football really is one of the few traditional sports that I can sit through and love every second of it. I don’t care about the things off the field, mostly. I mean, if I heard that a player I liked sexually assaulted women and beat their kids, I would stop being a fan of them and root for their demise in the league and legally. But aside from being creepy, douche-y, or otherwise a harm to society, I don’t care. You want to play football with a Trump sticker on your Patriots helmet? Fine, I don’t care just do your job and score touchdowns. You want to kneel during the National Anthem? Cool, make those blocks. I honestly don’t care what your political ideals are any more than I care about what an actor thinks.

I pointed this out on a friend’s Facebook, specifically stating that one’s political beliefs don’t impact me like that. A person’s response? “I’m not watching that crap.” I didn’t respond back. I don’t care if they’re not going to watch it. Them not watching the game has 0 impact on my life and how I feel about watching the game. Your beliefs have 0 impact on me as long as you aren’t trying to force me into believing in the same things. Then, I have a problem. Otherwise, I’m not going to argue with you about why you should watch. I honestly don’t care. It’s your right not to and it’s my right to watch. One should not have an impact on the other.

Another person pointed out how disrespectful it is that they are kneeling. I countered the point: “Jehovah’s Witnesses typically don’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or National Anthem, but no one seems to care. What’s the difference?” They didn’t think about it that way. So what is the difference? One difference is that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe their allegiance is to God’s Kingdom and not the country. The other difference is that the football players actually kneel or stand in solidarity rather than ignoring the anthem. So, I would argue isn’t it worse that Jehovah’s Witness don’t even acknowledge the importance of these symbolic words than kneeling in respect of them? The only reason it’s a problem is because politicians made it a problem. Also, religious freedom so I don’t care as long as they stop ringing my doorbell at 9 am on a Sunday morning.

That’s really the problem with everything. Everything needs to be politicized and you need to fall on one end of the spectrum or the other. They don’t believe in a gray area. They just follow whatever they are supposed to follow rather than just thinking about things rationally for a second. It took me 2 seconds when politicians started complaining to remember a friend of mine growing up who wouldn’t stand for the flag during the morning announcements because of their religion. I didn’t think anything of it because I grew up with this silly notion that, and I know it’s crazy, that their beliefs didn’t affect me. What’s the difference if it’s religious beliefs or a moral belief? Isn’t religion just a moral belief system? I don’t necessarily believe in religion or believe that you need religion to have morals, but aren’t morals just morals no matter the origin?

So stand or don’t stand. I don’t care. It’s your right as an American to follow your beliefs and as long as you’re not forcing others to have those same beliefs, then it doesn’t matter.

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.