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.

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…

The Innocent Have Nothing to Hide

I live on the basic principle of “The innocent have nothing to hide”. Sure, it makes me a bit paranoid but this believe has served me very well in all my years. It helped me pick out the cheaters or weed out the friends that shouldn’t be trusted. This is probably what would make me a terrible juror as I would just assume that anyone lying or refusing to answer questions would be guilty. Though, we’re all guilty of something.

When the Clinton Email scandal happened, I said “The innocent have nothing to hide”. I didn’t trust her. I thought she was guilty of something. That’s why I didn’t vote for her. When Trump refused to release his tax returns as is customary, though not required, I thought this again. That’s one of many reasons why I didn’t vote for him. (#3rdPartyLife?)

Even today with subpoenas being ignored and other things that may be viewed as obstruction, all I can think is that innocent people have nothing to hide. It reminds me of something that I always say to the kids when they lie to cover up a misdeed: “The coverup is always worse than the crime”. I don’t care if you broke a plate but if you lie about it to my face after I stepped on the leftover glass shard that was missed during the cleanup, I’ll probably be really pissed and in pain.

While this is a much more important situation, the standard still applies. The coverup will always be worse than the crime. It wasn’t the fact that Clinton had the affair; it’s the cover up and blatant disregard of how betrayed others felt. He wasn’t impeached because he had relations with his intern; he was impeached because he lied about it and tried to cover it up.

Why would Trump hide his tax returns? Does he not want people to see what loopholes he used that all of the other businessmen use to keep more money in their pocket? Did he not make as much money as he bragged about and doesn’t want his poor ego shattered? Or did he do something shady? I think people would be less angry about using loopholes or that he isn’t a billionaire like he claims than if he committed fraud.

That’s really what this is about. Own up or stop complaining when people lose their trust in you. If you didn’t do anything wrong, then there’s nothing that needs to be hidden from the public. I don’t believe in blindly following anyone. I don’t believe in just trusting someone. Just because the Democrats say he’s guilty, doesn’t mean he is. Just because the Republicans call this a witch hunt, doesn’t mean it is. It just means politicians are more concerned about protecting their party than protecting the American people.

Eventually, the truth always comes out. That’s why it’s easier not to lie about it. Eventually someone will slip up or someone will blurt something out. But lies rarely stay hidden forever.

Lessons Learned from the First Debate

I’m not going to lie. I tried really hard to watch the debate. At some point after making a crack about how Corey Booker looked confused on stage and Beto reminded me of an old Napoleon Dynamite, I realized that suddenly Rachel Maddow was on stage. Apparently memes on Reddit were far more interesting than what was going on stage. Why? First of all, I didn’t know half of the people up there anyways and honestly even after the debate I couldn’t tell you who they were. And that is the biggest problem the Democrats are going to have right now. I’m a prime target for both of these parties: An independent. If I have no clue who you are putting in front of me, I’m not going to see why I should vote for them. Then, you are going to lose because most true independents are going to have that same struggle.

Problem #2 that the Democrats are going to have? They are going to end up forcing Elizabeth Warren on us as the candidate, because they learned absolutely nothing from the Clinton/Trump election. I don’t care how progressive you want to look, she is going to be one of the worst people to put up there. She tries too hard to be “average” while also showboating. She’s not likeable. The whole “Native American” thing will be the only thing people talk about. Trump will win against Warren, I have no doubt in my mind about that. And part of that may be because she’s a woman, but it’s mostly because she’s not a very likeable one.

I do hope that tonight’s debate ends up less like a battle to talk over each other and avoid questions and more about learning who these candidates are. Yes, I’m particularly interested because from what I’ve seen there are 2 potential candidates up to debate tonight that I would actually consider voting for. Which is big news because I’ve never voted for a Democrat in a presidential election. Though, to be honest I’ve never voted for a Republican either. (I told you, true independent.) I hope that the candidates I’m rooting for tonight show me something good, something that will make me look closer at them. If not, I’ll have a hard decision to make next year. Because I can tell you right now that I still refuse to vote for Trump. In fact, everything that I’ve seen during his presidency makes me even more unlikely to vote for him. But I struggle with the idea of voting for someone because of their party. I’m an idealist; I want to vote for someone I can believe in, someone that doesn’t make me regret that decision.

Why not Trump? My thoughts on him don’t come from the news or are based in the Russian investigation. Just reading his Twitter account makes me want to have nothing to do with him. Then the fact that everyone kept talking about how “Obama was an embarrassment to the country and no one respects us because of him”, but yet (unless someone has evidence otherwise) no foreign leader publicly said that Obama was suffering from “mental retardation” either. Does the foreign leader actually think that? Maybe, but he most likely did it to get a rise out of Trump… which shouldn’t have worked but it did. That’s not a president; that’s a celebrity running their mouth on social media. Something that apparently the far right hate unless it’s one of them. Then it’s “He’s not afraid to say what he’s thinking”.

In an ideal world, a (good) Republican would stand up and run against Trump. We’d see the debate. I’d vote in the Republican primary if that happened. I want to see someone run that has experience, who doesn’t tweet out his every (and often infantile) thought. I don’t normally buy into expressions like “we’re one tweet away from war”, but I think that’s an irrational fear that’s growing more realistic every day. I want to have a candidate that actually makes me excited to go out and vote, not just go through the motions because of “civic duty, blah blah blah”. Especially as a woman, when people guilt you into it by saying “they fought so hard for your right to vote…” I want someone that I can believe in, that will make a positive difference in the world. Someone who’s a good role model for my kids, because the president is someone who represents us as a country. And we want that to be a positive, strong representation.

If You Don’t Like It, It Doesn’t Exist

If that really worked, I could pinpoint things on my body that I don’t like and it will magically fix itself. Oh, the power of ignorance.

It’s something we tend to do though, isn’t it? We don’t agree with it or don’t like it, so we shut our minds unable to accept the actual reality of the situation. It’s a truly amazing thing, right? Except, it’s not. That’s not called “wishful thinking” or “ignorance”; it’s called “delusion”. And there seems to be an abundance of delusion going around.

This isn’t just about our President, who seems to ooze delusion. Maybe that’s the trickle down effect I keep hearing so much about these days. I know, I tend to never so crudely say things like this about politicians. But delusion is a lot more dangerous than hypocrisy. When you spout hypocrisy, people can see it easier. I don’t think people buy into their own hypocrisy quite as much as they swear by their delusions. That’s what’s so scary about it.

When any politician dismisses any negative news about themselves, it’s delusion that drives them. When they bash polls as rigged or fake news, they are being delusional. For instance, when Trump bashes the primary network that backs him for the polls numbers they show as “Fake News”, it’s pure delusion. What news isn’t fake to him? Alex Jones’ InfoWars? Breitbart? IE: actual fake news? You know who else gets that delusional over their existence? Tyrants do.

I’ve never used this harsh of a language when talking about the president. Mostly because as criminal as I found him to be (and I thought Hilary was suspect as well, so don’t give me that “you’re just a lemming, dumb liberal” crap), I just thought he was too… “not there” to really be an issue. He wasn’t an actual racist; he just was dumb enough to allow himself to be surrounded by them. He doesn’t want to be president, he just wants the title. He sold himself to the American people and people buy into it. Fortunately for me, I’ve never been one to like salespeople or trust them any more than those “Windows is closing and wants to give you a refund” phone call.

But when delusion gets tossed in the mix. When there is a real fear to those who write their opinions, or even worse write the truth, that they will get shut down or blacklisted. Or even jailed for whatever reason they can. I feel like I’m no longer watching those insane television shows where there is a massive government conspiracy; I actually wonder if I’m living it.

The problem with delusion is that people firmly believe it. When people believe that strongly in something, you can’t convince them otherwise. They think that if they don’t like something, it ceases to exist. It doesn’t. It still exists for everyone around the delusional person. Bashing polls as fake because you don’t like what you see means nothing. It just means the people that follow you buy into it without question and those who don’t, think you’re insane.

The Fear of Facts

I think that we are born with a fear of facts, especially facts that we don’t want to see or don’t agree with. For instance, you don’t want to check your grade on a paper for school because you’re afraid of what you will see. There’s a good chance that you’ll see exactly what you want, but what if you don’t? Ignorance is bliss and that seems to be a motto that we were born into. But why do we have such a fear of facts?

For instance, the president described late term abortions as “putting babies into blankets to await their execution”. That’s not an abortion; that’s infanticide. I’m not debating the morality of abortion or whether or not it should be legal; I’m debating that this is a blatant lie for the sole purpose of fear mongering. I’m saying that there is an alarming amount of people that have now taken this blatant, exaggeration to turn it into a cause without questioning how logical that statement even is. That argument is just as ridiculous as the idea that a cop is just waiting to shoot someone without an excuse. Does it happen? Maybe, but that would be a very rare exception to the general population.

Elizabeth Warren is no more Native American than most of the Caucasian population. That’s a fact. Did she contort this fact? Evidence seems to say that she did, so that she could get some benefits from it. I’m an equal opportunity fact-police. Her group of followers is okay with that lie; refusing to acknowledge it. This further proves the point that a politician’s base doesn’t care about facts. They just hop on a bandwagon and follow blindly. I don’t follow blindly, unless it’s the smell of a Moe’s Wrong Doug stack with extra cheese. I will follow that blindly anywhere. Why is their queso so good?

Facts are different from opinion. Facts are different from exaggerations that only serve a purpose to further an agenda. I like facts. Facts make me feel nice and cozy inside. When my now husband convinced me that we should actually get married and not stay engaged forever, he gave me facts. Having 1 health insurance would be cheaper, plus he had great dental insurance. He didn’t pull at my heart strings to tell me about everlasting love. He gave me evidence of factual reasons why being married was more beneficial to us. Facts. They matter people.

Today, let’s do an exercise of not just believing everything someone tells us. Maybe today, instead of just trusting your favorite politician or pundit, you take the time to take in some actual facts about a topic. Educate yourself. They want you to just follow blindly because that’s how they get control of the masses in every dystopian novel out there. Let’s not make the real world the next “Farenheit 451”. Let’s have a revolution; a rebellion against misinformation from both parties.