It’s a Super Tuesday… or So They Say

Last week, I spoke about Super Tuesday. Well, here we are. The Democrats are down 3 people, two of which actually had some sort of momentum while there are still people in the race that probably have no business being there. That means the two realistic options are Biden or Sanders, neither of which bring any sort of excitement for me. Neither of which I can stand behind. And likely neither of which will win in the election against Trump, which is even less exciting for me than anything else.

With many candidates who have dropped out of the race backing Biden, I wonder why. I really wonder why. Half the time the man stumbles over his words and I’m convinced he doesn’t even know where he is for the most part. His ideas were that he’s done everything that has made America great and fought against everything that wasn’t. At least that’s what he says. I’m fairly certain that facts disprove this. He’s meme-worthy for sure, but we already have a president that goes viral for all the wrong reasons; we don’t need another bumbling idiot in the White House. Yes. I hate saying that about them because it disrespects the office and as much as I dislike the president, I don’t believe in disrespecting the office. Even if he doesn’t believe in that.

Then there’s Bernie. I didn’t feel the Bern last election cycle with him and I certainly don’t feel it now. Don’t get me wrong, I get the appeal. He has his convictions that he believes in and doesn’t care about the establishment. He is the anti-establishment candidate in many regards as Trump was. The establishment doesn’t want him to win and will try to stop it, but they may not be successful. He promises a better future in such an idealistic way, again like Trump, that it can blind his more fervent followers. Sure, I love the idea that I can send my kids to college without worrying about the costs or that I can worry less about medical bills. But what does all of that cost? Much like Trump his concern seems much less about the middle class, a group that seems to suffer no matter who’s in office. Whether they want to just give free stuff to the lower or upper class, the middle class still has to carry most of the tax burden.

It’s not that, generally speaking, the rich aren’t getting taxed a massive amount. That’s a half truth that we’re told. They get taxed a higher percentage and may pay more when they have to. But they have rich accountants that minimize what they owe as much as possible. The middle class are hit the hardest with tax bills, primarily because they may struggle to pay what they owe. Most middle class people live paycheck to paycheck. A massive $2000 tax bill at the end of the year isn’t really that feasible. And now we have to pay more for programs? Why not make budget cuts to programs and fire unnecessary personnel or reduce their paycheck? American’s have to make cuts to balance their budget, even the difficult ones. Why can’t the government do that?

That’s the problem today. You are really choosing between an old, out of touch man that wants to keep things the way they are or an old, out of touch man that wants to make radical changes that our country probably isn’t ready for. Or you could vote for any of the other candidates in hopes that one of them picks up traction over these two. Except Bloomberg. Please don’t do that.

Be Warned: Primaries are Coming

Super Tuesday is coming soon. Very soon in fact. This is where the people get the choice to vote for their ideal candidate, someone that they really support in hopes that they get the nomination. Then, they decide not to vote in the general election if their candidate doesn’t make it. It’s always an interesting treat to see, especially with so many states up for grab on this one day. Maybe the election will be rigged again. Maybe it won’t. But Super Tuesday may be filled with plenty of surprises. I hope one of them is that a better candidate surfaces.

As an independent, I have the additional problem of not only choosing which candidate but also which ballot to pick up. Do I vote in the Democratic Primary? Do I vote in the Republican? Do I go with one of the other options? Decisions decisions. I have narrowed down to the 2 main parties when I go into the election.

Why am I considering voting in the Republican primary even though Trump will easily win it? Because maybe deep down, I hope that if another candidate starts making waves people will realize how awful the current president is. I would vote for Weld on this ticket, because he’s a far better option than Trump. In fact, I wish more people saw it instead of just blindly voting for him because then maybe we can get a reasonable Republican on the ballot. Or any Republican that isn’t Trump. Because I don’t care about whether or not someone is a Republican; I care about what they stand for, who they are, and what they want to achieve. You know, the seemingly silly and unimportant things.

The problem is going with the Democratic ballot. I’m really not sure which way to go here. Originally I was for a more moderate choice like Buttigieg. I like the idea of someone who’s actually served in the military in some capacity to be the Commander in Chief rather than someone who isn’t. In fact, I’ve even argued the point that military service should be a requirement for the president for that reason. They’ve been in war. They know it. They won’t be as willing to throw our military around if they have a better appreciation for the fact that these are real people with real families, not people on a Risk board. But what does he really stand for? I don’t like the idea of voting for someone when I can’t really answer that question.

Warren and Klobuchar are a definite “no” from me. I feel like they are just being pushed down our throats on the basis of the Democratic party is so determined to show that they are the party of diversity. That they are going to be the party of the first woman president. So much so that they don’t care that these two candidates aren’t what we need. Klobuchar lacks any personality to the point that she uses one-liners as if she’s a comic. And what are her beliefs? She spends so much time focused on talking points I’m not even sure she knows what she believes in. And Warren has always been more about grandstanding and talking about whatever she thinks people want to hear. I just can’t in good conscience go this route in the primary.

The last candidate to consider is Bernie. Because I refuse to even consider Biden or Bloomberg or whoever is still left in the race. I like the idea of affordable college. I like the idea of affordable healthcare. I don’t like the idea of giving more handouts to people who just want handouts. (And I’m not saying this to mean that all people on food stamps and welfare only want handouts. This is for the specific rare instances of people who abuse the system.) I don’t like the idea that as usual, these are things that the middle class will be paying for. Not the rich. Not the corporations. The middle class. The ones who carry most of this burden already but don’t get the ability to benefit from the programs that they pay into. I think Bernie is way too far left. There’s always going to be loopholes that the rich are going to find to not pay their fair share, and they don’t care. They’re not the ones who are going to suffer for that. We are. And honestly, I don’t think that he’ll beat Trump. Which is a major factor to consider.

That’s the problem with politics though, isn’t it? You’re never going to get the perfect candidate. You just have to choose the least vile choice. Will this be the first election that I vote Democrat? Probably, unless for some reason the current president is removed from the ballot with a better option. But which one will I vote for? Fortunately, I still have a few days to decide. Since my state is a Super Tuesday state.

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?”

It’s All About Freedom of Religion

In the State of the Union address (yes, I know that was so long ago), President Trump declared that he would fight for religious freedom and allow prayer in school. This goes right along with the Republican talking points of everything is wrong with the world because they took away prayer in school. God is the answer to all of the problems these days, at least that’s what they tell us.

But, which religion is he fighting to protect? Which God will be prayed to at school? Because Freedom of Religion doesn’t just mean “Freedom of Christianity”. In the speech, he distinctly said protections for “pastors and reverends”. What about rabbis? What about imams? What about agnostics or satanists, or those who pray to the Flying Spaghetti monster? Because right now, it only sounds like “Freedom of Christianity” that he’s going to fight for.

I remember, and this was so long ago so I could be wrong, that people came over to America for religious freedom. They didn’t want to practice the same religion that they were forced to where they were, so they came here. The founding fathers made it a point to protect religious freedoms, the freedom to practice religion as you want to. It didn’t say that you had to practice a form of Christianity to have a right to this freedom. It didn’t say that someone else’s religious beliefs can dictate how another lives their life. It said that people had the freedom to celebrate God as they choose to.

Forcing prayer in school is a slippery slope. There are so many different religions or non-religions that it seems impractical to make any laws about prayer in school. I’m of the belief that if you want your child to pray in school, send them to a religious school. Heck, since you want to push for-profit schools then this can be more reasonable. But to force it in public schools? I would tell my child to do what he felt was right for him and if he decided not to pray and got in trouble for it, they can come to me about it. Because he has the right to practice religion as he so chooses, even if he chooses not to.

I’d make some grand statement about how I don’t need God to be a good person because I’m not all that great. I’m morally questionable, at best. But that isn’t because I wasn’t raised in a religion; because I was raised Catholic. I’m just human, who has some great days and some not. But the idea of forcing religion on people will only make them run further away from it. Forcing prayer in school, especially on those who aren’t even Christian or religious, won’t help people find God. People need to find that on their own, on their own terms and in their own time. If they don’t, then they don’t need to. That doesn’t make them bad people. People should be more focused on one’s actions and less on judging them because they “believe in the wrong God”.

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.

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.”

Our New Adventures in Impeachment

I’m not sure what I expected when I turned on the impeachment hearings to watch them. Maybe I wanted to watch because I was old enough to watch the Clinton hearings. It was an interesting thing to watch, the constitution in action. I was never someone who was particularly interested in political science, but I thought it was interesting because it was something I’d never seen before. Looking back, I still recall how the president went from ridiculously asking “what do you mean by _____ ?” to “I apologize for my actions and lying to the American people.” But I was told this was history. That when a president lies, they need to be held accountable for that lie.

When the new impeachments finally started going forward, I struggled to watch it. I still had that desire to watch the constitution work on screen, but it was different. Maybe it’s because now I understand the ridiculous political circus it all is. Back then, Clinton was guilty of having an affair with an intern and lying about it. Something that as an adult now seems irrelevant to me. Silly, even. Politicians cheat on their wives. Especially with interns that they have power over. Hell, the current president has cheated on his wife. “Well,” they say, “it isn’t about the affair; it’s about the lie.” But, couldn’t the same apply here?

At the minimum, there was a ton of lies coming from President Trump. A summary of a transcript is different from an actual transcript. I could write a summary of something; doesn’t mean it covers what it’s supposed to. When I talk to someone on the phone and my husband asks, “what was that?”, I don’t give him an exact statement of what I said. I don’t say “Was just talking about the kids with my mom and how the nursing home search was going for Gramma. Oh, I was complaining about how I never get to sleep in but you always get to and it’s annoying AF.” I say “Oh, I was talking to my mom about the kids and asking about the nursing home search for Gramma.” The summary is very different than the actual conversation. The only difference is my husband isn’t questioning me about potential treason; he’s concerned if there is something wrong with my our family.

Watching this is insane. It’s grandstanding, unless of course it’s your guy you are asking the questions to. It’s asking a question but then not liking the answer, so you scream about how they aren’t answering the question the right way. It’s a little crazy. You can’t accuse one side of being biased when you are clearly also being equally biased. You can’t complain about the Democratic lawyer being a witness on the stand when you say Schiff should be there, but not complain about the Republican lawyer being there despite that Nunes/Trump/White House Counsel should be there. You can’t have it both ways. Except you apparently can. Because everyone up there is crazy.

If you don’t have anything to hide, just show the people what they need to say “You know what, we were wrong. You didn’t do what we thought you did.” But why not just do it? Why not just come to the hearings and clear your name? I don’t understand. Innocent people have nothing to hide. Is the issue that you did the thing? Or that you did another thing that was worse and/or equally bad and it will come out? What is it? Or are you completely innocent? I’m a skeptic. I don’t think anyone is innocent here. It’s just a matter of which scapegoat goes down instead of the president.

Should the impeachment be going on? If you can impeach a president for having an affair and lying about it, you can impeach a president for potential treason. When your defense comes down to “He’s too inept to be guilty”, there’s a problem. If he’s too inept to be guilty, maybe he shouldn’t have access to the military or nuclear codes or I don’t know, be the president. If he is guilty, I think he should be punished for his crimes. I’m a big believer in justice. But this is a circus orchestrated by both sides for political gain. I think he’s absolutely guilty, but no one cares about that. They just care about the politics. Who cares about what’s right or wrong when #amgreelection”?

It doesn’t matter. Even if he is guilty and gets impeached, Senate won’t do anything about it. They don’t care. The Democrats don’t care if he’s actually guilty, they just want to take him down. I don’t care about whether or not he goes down; I’m just a big fan of the truth. I have this silly belief that if people are guilty, then they should get an appropriate punishment for their crimes. I know, I’m old-fashioned. I just wish we didn’t have this clown circus of both Democrats and Republicans running the show because this seems like I’m watching something that is made up for the Onion. I feel like they can’t stay with an intelligent thought or properly articulate themselves for longer than a few seconds before they devolve into toddler tantrums that rival any I had ever seen. America deserves so much better than this.