“The source of every crime, is some defect of the understanding; or some error in reasoning; or some sudden force of the passions.” ― Thomas Hobbes
I’m going to ask my readers to bear with me on this one, because this post will feel as though I’m traveling down various rabbit holes and dragging you along with me. It’s going to be longer than normal – even my normal – but I hope you understand where I’m coming from in the end. You’ll get a glimpse of the mess that is my brain, but I’m doing so to provide a broad picture of how our tribe mentality has evolved. The good, the bad, and the ugly, all wrapped up in one post.
My post about why I’m supporting Evan McMullin (read here) made mention of the term “Tribalism,” and I received a good deal of feedback in regards to that particular label. I found myself explaining – repetitively – why I blame tribalism for the vast majority of our issues today, and why it’s at the core of my refusal to support either leading candidate. After having the conversations, I’m more convinced now than ever that it’s an important topic we need to discuss more often. Why?
Some may be surprised to find that if given the choice, writing fiction is far and away my first love – as opposed to giving my puddle deep personal reactions to current political issues. If I’m ever less of a coward, I might actually act on those ambitions, but until that day comes, here I am, offering up my opinions on the world around me. That said, my admiration for the world of fiction has so often molded my perspective on the world, and I believe that the most penetrating ideas, theories, and useful metaphors are born in the musings of make believe. As Albert Camus once said, “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”
This week I was engaging in a countless number of political debates on social media – it was just one fight after the other. I eventually deleted a few points that I had made, because – while I had not crossed the Rubicon – I had gone up to the political discourse etiquette line and began flirting with the other side. My post (read here) was mild in nature, yet set off a vast row of tumbling dominoes, and in the end I was given the labels of “purist” and “cannibal” by those who once appreciated my unabashed honest take on politics.
In this situation, standing by my principles required that I go against my personal desires, which also meant going against the desires of many who follow me.
Rubio has said multiple times that he tried to defeat Trump, that he did his best in the primaries to stop him from blanketing the conservative movement with the nationalist, racist, and sexist ideals of an egomaniac who has the power to utterly destroy. I agree, Marco tried. But Marco’s 2016 election legacy won’t be that he tried, it will be that when his own agenda failed he waved the white flag. While many refuse to fault him for this, and even I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be in his shoes, I will not apologize for expecting more.
Today is November 9th, 2016. Here I sit with my cup of coffee, scrolling through photos of Hillary celebrating her win. I shouldn’t torture myself in such a way, but I want to feel this loss. After such a long and difficult year in politics -after losing friends, gaining friends, and embracing the inevitable – I want to feel the sting of fruition and closure. On January 20th, a woman who escaped federal charges by the skin on her teeth will be sworn in as President of The United States, forever changing and belittling such a position of authority… and it’s our fault. This should have been the easiest election yet, but we failed.
Ted Cruz gave a touching concession speech, and it was early enough for me to attempt to get sleep I knew wouldn’t be coming. The election results were not a landslide, per se, but no one would be second guessing the conclusion. Cruz graciously thanked the voters who backed him, and the people who worked tirelessly for his campaign. Tears fell, hopes were dashed, but he moved the crowd by saying that he would continue to fight for liberty, the Constitution, and for the people of this country. However, his words served as only a balm, and the wound he wished to heal with said words instead requires surgery, staples, countless sutures, and intubation; truth be told, it’s apparent to everyone that we’re on life support.
So… That happened.
Yesterday was Super Tuesday and, oh boy, did it not live up to its name. I think the words “should drop out” saw more action in one 24 hour span than Jack Bauer saw in 8.5 seasons. Everyone stood around poking what they assumed was the dead carcass of The Republic proclaiming, “What did you do?!”
Fingers were pointed, accusations made, and every candidate left has absolutely no viable path to the White House, or so I’ve heard. Some are right, some are really, really, really wrong, and others are over in the corner with a yo-yo trying to figure what makes it go up and down; we’ll call them “Ben Carson’s remaining supporters.”
I’m going to agree with some of you, chastise others, and give my own analysis of the situation.
Here’s the deal, guys, Marco Rubio repeated a sentence during the New Hampshire debate, but his despicable behavior didn’t start there. In 2013 – while giving a State of The Union response – the parched politician awkwardly grabbed a bottle of water. Rubio is also known to suffer from bouts of nervous sweating while engaging in public speaking where millions of viewers are watching, leading us to believe the devastating truth: he might be human.
We have to face these issues, and while I once supported the Florida Senator, I no longer can. Awkwardly reaching for H2o is simply not a forgivable act, and repeating a sentence simply drove the last nail into that Dasani flogged coffin. We should expect more from our politicians, it’s that simple. Our commander-in-chief needs to have the wherewithal to face the nation without needing to quench his thirst for life-sustaining liquid.
As an example of what we should look for in a presidential candidate, let’s look at the actions of Ted Cruz thus far on the campaign trail, compared to those of Marco Rubio.
First up, let’s talk about his campaign phone app. I mean sure, the Cruz Crew app might be antithetical to his supposed support of protecting the privacy rights of law-abiding citizens…
His “Cruz Crew” mobile app is designed to gather detailed information from its users’ phones — tracking their physical movements and mining the names and contact information for friends who might want nothing to do with his campaign.
But let me ask you a question: Has Ted Cruz ever entered into a situation under-hydrated? No. I didn’t think so.
First off, not everyone that reads my stuff is going to like this post. However, I’ve recently been negative towards Ted Cruz, and many people have questioned why I feel the way I do towards him, or have accused me of demonizing the opposition to boost my own candidate. A lot of people won’t agree with this post, and that’s alright. I write to put my opinions out there, and if people don’t agree I encourage dialogue. I love that we all have differing opinions, and while I may harshly criticize some of those differing opinions, I still encourage discussion.
First, here’s a sample of the replies I’ve received:
“I don’t get why you’re so negative about Ted Cruz?!?”
“What’s your deal? Ted Cruz is a fighter, and we need a fighter!”
“I don’t mind if you’re negative about Trump, but being negative about Cruz is just ridiculous.”
I tried to address the Trump/Cruz connection in this post, but apparently I didn’t do a great job of explaining my previous political leanings and why I’m so irritated. Hopefully this post sheds some light, whether you agree or disagree in the end.
First, a bit of history. Here are a few tweets of mine from back in 2013:
*Updated with information on Rubio and Cruz immigration beliefs*
I had a conversation on politics and religion with my Mom during a shopping trip on Sunday, which gave me the idea for this post. We don’t always agree on every issue, and while Ben Carson is not my choice, she finds him “refreshingly genuine.” We talked, we disagreed, and then we moved on and had an unhealthy amount of carbohydrates at Olive Garden.
See, I don’t even pretend to agree with my own mother.
She’s a fan of sarcasm with a purpose, but not snark, per se. I try to mold my posts around those ideals since I know she’s not alone. I once watched my mother’s eye twitch when Michelle Malkin said, “He’s just a lying liar who lies” while bobbing her head back and forth in teenage girl fashion – it physically caused my mother pain. So, alas, I try to infuse my posts with calmly delivered sarcasm, but try to stay far away from snot-nosed attitudinal snark.