So a lot has happened in the weeks between my last post and today, and now that the busy summer schedule is finally winding down I’ll be back to writing more frequently – and I’m pumped about it.
So, what all happened during this eventful break? Well, the conventions for both parties took place, and the narratives were surprising; the Left embracing a progressive quasi-patriotism it has been lacking, and the Right a stench of authoritarianism like we’ve never witnessed from a candidate – with any chance of ever winning – in American politics. The former lacking a candidate of character and as misguided in policy as they’ve been for many years, the latter utterly devoid of any principled foundation befitting a party prepared to lead the free world. Yet the people – adorned in their red, white, and blue apparel, some bathed in the artificial patriotism sold to them by an angry snake oil salesman – celebrate.
“The war for our soul has just begun,” we preach. A sobering set of words repeated ad nauseam from those – like myself – in the political trenches, found somewhere between the radical camps of big government, messianic certainty, socialism, nationalism, tyranny, and bitter ignorance. Many repeat the wishes of a redo as we as a country tear through the warning tape, and speed past the vast number of cautionary tales being replayed in our minds while a small portion of the nation celebrates in their reckless abandon, shaking the severed brake lines in their children’s faces. Continue reading
It’s political theater time again!
By now you’ve heard about the marketing ploy, dressed up as La résistance, that took place on the House floor – literally – by Democrats. Maybe you’re one of the few wondering why this all went down, and what the Democrats wanted as a result. Now that the sit-in is over, I decided to write a condensed post that touches on as much of the debacle as possible. I highly encourage reading and watching the links I attach, as well.
Here goes! The week that nobody made you any safer: A recap.
What was clearly meant to conjure up emotions, and surely inflame cultural animosity, simply resulted in the crash and burn for any hope of meaningful dialogue.
Do you remember that scene in Jurassic Park when they lowered the cow into the Raptor cage? It was just full on disorder, animal moans, and inaudible screeches? This was not unlike that.
The House session officially ended in the wee morning hours on Thursday, but not before passing the Zika Bill.
When I was little I was a rather delicate child, the type of kid who rarely found myself in trouble. Honestly, you could look at me sideways and I’d repent of any wrong doing. I’d lose sleep if I knew I had misbehaved, and I’d run to my Mom and admit my minor wrongs with the enthusiasm of a murderer receiving their last confession. My Mom, knowing how little was required to bring about better behavior in me, would often keep it simple; “Admit you were wrong,” she’d say. “Give your apologies, learn from your mistakes, and do better.”
It’s a simple concept really, yet many find it to be increasingly difficult in the world of politics. Unless, of course, you’re Leslie Knope.
It’s a rare gem – worthy of news – to hear the words “I was wrong, please forgive me” from a politician. However, I believe it is exactly what we need. While this post will garner very little attention compared to most, and it’s doubtful that anyone who needs to heed its advice will actually read it, here goes.
It’s another week, and we have – once again – been presented with another pile of corrosive nonsense from the presumed Republican nominee. In addition to the increased ammunition against what must be the most bulletproof campaign in United States History, we’ve been presented with more politicians who are actually attempting to chastise Trump for his depraved ideals and tactics, while also continuing to pledge their support to him.
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.
Until today I’ve been quiet on the internet lately, and I suppose it’s due to the “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” rule. If I said exactly what I’ve thought over the last few weeks, my list of allies would dwindle down at an unprecedented speed. Now, I’ve followed the rule fairly well, but yesterday I said I disagreed with Rubio and suddenly had the fiery depths of hell thrust upon my Twitter mentions and DMs. So, I’ve just decided to rip the proverbial band-aid off and pour alcohol on the wound.
How did we get here?
It’s a question we’ve all frequently asked ourselves throughout the last year, but very few have come close to giving an accurate answer. Most want to blame some mythical GOP establishment, others want to pretend like our politicians have been sitting dormant throughout Obama’s presidency – both are about as far from the truth as Twilight is from reality. I think the first step is realizing that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are not the disease, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are merely a symptom of the disease.
I’ve been keeping track of actual statements that have been said to me, or in a general discussion, over the last two weeks (including some from today’s bloodbath on my social media accounts), and today I’m going to address them. I’m also going to tell you how such statements have paved the way for men like Trump. It’s not just about the state of our political party, it’s about the state of both political parties, and the country as a whole.
First let me start this out with a heart to heart: I love all of my friends and followers, and those friends I’ve made through this election cycle are amazing. I hope that we all understand that sometimes we’re not going to agree, and that’s okay. I’m not going to change my opinion to make you happy, and I don’t expect the same in return. That said, what I have to say today might not sit well with everyone, but it’s my opinion, so I’m writing it up and throwing it out there for you guys to read.
Last week I wrote a post (read here) addressing Republicans who agree to support Trump, and I noted – multiple times – that such behavior is unacceptable. I addressed the following to those who agree to support the presumptive nominee:
Every word we said about you as we knocked on doors, spoke with our family, and campaigned for you at the fairs, rallies, and workplaces – heck, for many our own family Christmas – has become nothing but a joke. Not only is it a slap in the face, it’s revolting to know that those you abandoned us for – the angry ilks of the Trump brigades – were probably too busy sewing their white hoods and robes to even care that you existed when you were still running under the conservative principles we have been left to defend in your stead.
He is everything we promised others you weren’t. He embodies every stereotype we’ve fought to prove wrong. If you align with him, you not only pimp yourself out as just another politician, but you weaken the credibility of those like myself who vouched for you.
We voted for you because we thought you were strong enough to stand for our principles even if it meant you’d be standing alone. You’ve let us down….
You have a choice: You can stand with the (R) in your title, emptying it of all meaning, or you can stand with the convictions that once made that (R) a source of pride. You can form an alliance with a party label, or with those of us who embody and practice the principles you espouse. This is not your average election, and this is not your average below par candidate, this is a man who stands in opposition to everything you – and your constituents – should stand against.
Welcome to Election Hell. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Keep your hands and feet in the vehicle at all times. If you fail to do so, the rabid animals surrounding the minibus will gnaw on your limbs. Don’t try to feed them, and don’t play apologist for the zombie-like Trump supporters hunched over the carcass of the GOP with dead eyes, nibbling on its liver.
“They just got caught up in the movement.”
Jonestown got caught up in the movement, too.
While people like myself are watching our former knights kneel before the throne of an ego driven self-promoted demigod, we’ve found a few glimpses of hope in the words of individuals like Ben Sasse:
I’ve ignored my phone most of today, but the voicemail is overflowing with party bosses and politicos telling me that “although Trump is terrible,” we “have to” support him, “because the only choice is Trump or Hillary.”
This open letter aims simply to ask “WHY is that the only choice?”
Or Jeb Bush: