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.

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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.

Some Miscellaneous Ranting

Every now and again I have some random thoughts, that separately won’t make enough of a blog post. Today is one of those days. From politics to my own writing life, here are today’s random rantings.

Politics

Alright, so I can’t be the only one tired of all of this right? I keep seeing memes about how people need to be held to the same standard, but at the same time keep talking about things like “witch hunts” and “snowflakes”. Let’s talk about fair for a moment. Think about this: What if President Obama didn’t release his tax returns? Wouldn’t the right think that was suspicious? What if a terrorist-linked company pulled the same thing Russia did to get Obama elected? Wouldn’t the right want to investigate that? Because I would be really concerned in both of those situations. I thought that Hilary should have been investigated more closely to see if she compromised security or sold favors to foreign governments/organizations. Maybe I’m just crazy. Or, maybe I’m one of the few that actually thinks that everyone should be held accountable for the same things.

If you sexually harass or assault another person, you should be held to the fullest extend of the law no matter your race, economic status, or political affiliation. The same applies if you commit any crime. There are some shady areas where I would make exceptions. Like if you walk into a room to see someone assaulting your child and you beat the crap out of that person, I would find that very reasonable. But please, don’t start talking about double standards if you also accept double standards. I think that only guilty people hide things and when you are at the level of being a president, you allow the door to be opened to this extra level of scrutiny.

What’s Next for My Goals

After gaining acceptance to a short story anthology, I’ve been working hard towards other goals. I have started to figure out a setup for a podcast, but I’m still undecided on the details, such as what to talk about or how often I should do it. I’m thinking once a month, but the topic is still uncertain to me. I have some ideas for new books, including a new children’s book, which I have started to write up. Also, that comic is coming along slowly as I’m trying to get my bearings on doing this. It’s a bit of a struggle shaking out my artist rust, but I have faith in myself. Until then, freelancing and streaming to get myself out there is on the table. I have also come up with the concept for my next NaNoWriMo attempt, also a horror novel. This one I feel more comfortable with, so I’m very much looking forward to it.

That is it. Those are my short rants for today. I’m very much open to suggestions for podcasts if there is something that you would find interesting to hear about.

Standing Up for Journalistic Integrity: Even You Can Do It

Over the weekend on my social media, I did something that was questionable in nature. As a ghostwriter, you’re not supposed to really talk about your projects. In this case, the work around to this in my head was that since I refused to do the project, I wasn’t necessarily locked into the secrecy of it. The important part is.. that I refused to do this article. Was that money that I wasn’t going to be getting? Sure, but as I mentioned here, it was probably only about $4 that I was saying “No” to. Would that have mattered? I’d like to think that I would have said “No” even if it were more than that.

I wrote a small little 35 page book called “How Not to be a Bully“. I didn’t write this to make a fortune off of it. In fact, I’m fairly certain that I mostly wrote it to get those thoughts off of my chest about how awful things had gotten in America at that point. I wrote it around when the Trump election happened, not because I was so emphatically against him that I needed to insult everyone associated with him. It was because I was so disgusted how people were treating each other on both sides of the party lines. People were downright hateful to one another. It was appalling to me. Did I agree with his politics or think that he should be president? Absolutely not. (It’s a shame that I have to point this out, but I also felt the same way about Hilary Clinton. I didn’t think either were a good choice for America.) But, I respect the office. I respect that this is America, and everyone has their right to their own opinion.

Since then, I’d like to think that I have made my blog a statement on anti-bullying. That I was clear that people need to stop being toxic to each other. That we as a country need to do better. To do anything other than this would be hypocritical of me. It would ruin my journalistic integrity to do so. My platform is one of acceptance across the board, from political parties to whatever consenting adults do with their lives. If it doesn’t effect my life, I don’t care. You do you.

So when I was asked to write an article that was supposed to be for the sole purpose of insulting another human being, I refused. Did I agree with this Democrats thoughts and ideas? While there are some that I think are articulate and make sense, on a whole absolutely not. She goes too far. Does this mean that I’m going to write an article about her being an idiot for the sole purpose of belittling her for entertainment? Again, absolutely not. I will not bully a person of any political party… or any person in general, just to entertain people. I won’t. I would never. That goes against who I was raised to be. I’d like to think that my parents raised me with a little bit more respect for others than that.

I didn’t write the article. The mainstream media may be all for tearing people down who they don’t agree with, but I don’t. I have the one thing that these so-called journalists lack: integrity. Had the article been about disproving her political stances, or nabbing her on policies, I would have written the hell out of it whether I agreed with that or not. But the minute that you ask me to publicly insult someone for sport, I won’t do it. Maybe this can start a small trend of other people standing up for what’s right.

A Much Needed April Fool’s Day

The day of pranks. The day where your favorite companies put out the most ridiculous ideas for the amusement of their fans. Sometimes their ideas are so ridiculous but so good that you can’t help but to want these plans to come to fruition. It was refreshing to see something so ridiculous that it couldn’t possibly be true and realizing that you weren’t actually reading the news. It was a great change for me.

But the day has ended. Now we are stuck reading news that is too ridiculous to be true but actually is. When your instinct after reading a headline is to check if it’s from The Onion or some other similarly hilarious news site. Where there is a Reddit dedicated to “NotTheOnion” news stories. There isn’t going to be a giant meteor coming down to destroy us; we’re doing an awesome enough job doing it ourselves. I don’t mean this as a compliment.

We are being pandered to and lied to and told that anyone who is against us are the enemy. The Russian investigation? A ploy by the sore loser democrats who are the enemy of the people. The bad media coverage? A ploy by our enemy, the media. Does AOC and Donald Trump get unfair coverage from the “other side”? Absolutely. But if you ask me, there shouldn’t be an “other side” when it comes to reporting. It should be facts, not opinion wrapped up in a box titled “facts”. The enemy isn’t the one correcting the facts; it’s the one that’s spreading misinformation and enjoying the ignorance in those who blindly follow.

Are there media outlets and pundits willingly misleading us? You’d be silly to think that they aren’t. These people aren’t in it for their journalistic integrity; that’s a thing of the past. They are a business. And the best business model right now is feeding into the misinformation and half-truths by offering more, not correcting the news.

It’s more important than ever to look at things from someone else’s point of view. To listen to each other. To be kind to each other. These people are only profiting off of us fighting about what’s fact and what’s fiction. We can change it.

The True State of the Union

The State of the Union address is finally upon us. This is the day that happens every year, where we listen to our president give his propaganda lines and let us know what agenda he thinks is the best approach to running our country. We give them extra air time to lie to us, while some will follow every word blinding or dismiss it without listening depending on your political affiliation. Then a select member of the other party tells us why the first party is wrong. Both are vague with no definitive fact checks. No one cares. I’ve even considered playing a drinking game where I took a sip every time the entire party stands up to clap, making the thing a lot longer than it needs to be. I like my liver too much for that game. It does remind me of those handful of times where I attended mass though.

That isn’t the actual state of the union. This is a perceived state of the union based on a specific agenda that they want to push. Fortunately, I’m here to tell you all about the real state of our union. How both parties are failing our country and we’re complacent to this. This is my perceived state of the union.

Democratic politicians are boycotting the state of the union. What ever happened to the “When they go low, we go high” approach that Michelle Obama so passionately spoke to us? Don’t boycott the State of the Union address. You can disagree with him without being blatantly disrespectful. Respect the office, even if the President doesn’t seem to. If you want to seem better than the President’s childish antics, fight on another day in a respectful manner. Don’t also be childish. Do not make the divide even more fractured.

And then some Democrats are discussing that Howard Schultz shouldn’t run for president because he will take votes away from the Democrats in the election. First of all, this is a democracy and anyone who wants to run for president should be allowed to. On the same token, the rumors of the President trying to work magic to deter other Republicans from running for president is also something that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I will again point out: This is a democracy and anyone who wants to run for president should be allowed to. If the Democrats are that afraid of losing, maybe they should put up a viable candidate that people will actually want to vote for. If you’re that afraid that another Republican will run against you, maybe do a better job so that people won’t want to replace you.

That is the state of the union. It’s a sad state. There is something that we can do about it. We can change it. We can stop blindly following career politicians that feign concern, passion, and ideals for votes. Then they forget everything that they stand for afterwards when lobbyists are tossing money at them. Educating ourselves is the best defense. That is the best way to make a change.