Archive for the ‘election, Trump, humor, language, Party, convention’ Category

Standing with….

The flow of history is strange, with the eddies and currents that form, disperse, and come back to form again.  I’m mindful a commitment that I made, and now need to fulfill.

I just finished an abridged biography of the amazing Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which reminded me of another  great German name, Martin Niemoller.  He is most famously known for the poem “First They Came”

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I made a post on a smaller social media site there I quoted this, and made a commitment to remember this and to support it. And so to fulfill my commitment, I need to speak out and state that….
I stand with the LGBT community, for civil liberties, for civil ceremonies of loving relationships, and against discrimination and hatred.
I stand with Muslims seeking the peaceful practice of their faith and their lives, the way I am able to practice mine in this country.
I stand with the immigrants, who seek the type of life that I have and are willing to risk everything in the journey to here to have it.
I stand with the refugees who flee all they have ever known, all that they have, in order to simply live.
And, I stand with America in continuing to be the land of Liberty, the land of welcome, the land of waves of immigrants assimilating into society, strengthening us, and helping us to be the beacon of light we have been for so many years.

 

 

Civics

I wonder if perhaps we all need a serious civics lesson.

Not a lesson in civility (although God knows we desperately need that!) but in civics, the study of American government. I don’t know when they stopped teaching it, but it seems they must have abandoned its teaching sometime after I took it.  Watching the news and the protests, it appears that many have forgotten all about what the system is about, how it operates, what checks and balances are and why they are important.

I first became aware of this with some of the extreme right, and their fears.  The fears expressed were that the power of the President was sufficient to allow him to ban all guns, and to outlaw Christianity.  Of course, if the President had that power, I suspect some (several?) would have used it.   These, interestingly, are the same people who think the President can unilaterally build a wall and deport aliens.  Uh, no.  On all of those topics.  But I see a thread, that the fear of the power on one hand gives rise to its being used on the other.

On the other side, there seems to be some belief that the outcome of the election can be changed because it isn’t what some wanted, it isn’t what some desire.  Again…uh,no.  We have elections, and we have outcomes.  The outcome remains regardless of whether you agree with it or not.  The outcome was (in this case) arrived out without election fraud, bribery, hanging chads, or any illegal means.  Not liking the outcome and having it overturned for that reason….that just leads to anarchy, because once you do it to the candidate you don’t like the opposition will do to the candidate you do like that they don’t.  Total anarchy.

I suspect that it’s too much to expect an understanding of civics in a country where the most divisive and contentious election in memory fails to move 50% of the population to bother to even cast a vote (including a knee-taking quarterback and several quoted demonstrators on the west coast). Maybe that explains why half of those that did apparently think the President can do all manner of actions without regard to the law, courts, or Congress.

Maybe we need to bring Schoolhouse Rock back :/

 

#notmypresident is wrong

One of the forms of protest that I’ve seen has been #notmypresident.
That is totally and completely wrong.

I was not a fan of either candidates during the election, and was shocked and dismayed at the outcome.  I dislike practically every aspect of him — his attitude, his policies, his campaign, his political knowledge, his crassness.  But despite this, there is no way I can tolerate a protest like #notmypresident. I may not like it, but he IS our president (or will be in January).

Our democracy is built on the election of our representatives, including the President, by the people. I may disagree with the direction of the people, I may think they have made a terrible mistake, but I have to live the decision.  Those who would scream that he is not their president, especially since there was no hanging-chad basis for claiming somehow that the results were wrong, are no better than he who would claim a rigged and stolen election before it even started.

When we fail to follow the legitimate outcome, we destroy the democracy we profess to want.  We end up in unstructured governmental anarchy, or as we have recently seen, gridlock.  That has been the result during the last 8 years, a self-serving gridlock generated by those who raised every conceivable contrivance and slanderous falsehood to deny the legitimacy of the President.  The end result has been a total loss of civility in the political arena, and inability to cooperate to the point that just before the election the Republican party was not even able to govern itself (a condition I suspect will continue going forward).  We cannot afford to continue this trend, to sow such seeds of discourse and destruction into the country.

If you want a rallying cry, find another one.  They should be easy to create and popularize.

#notmypolicies

#notmyvalues

#nomoreracism

I do not agree with Trump’s platform.  I did not vote for him.  However, he was legitimately elected; he IS our president. The “rules”of America are that the outcome of fair elections are observed and respected.  If you can’t live with that until the next election, go to another country.

Or stay and engage in legitimate, loyal opposition, and use the role of loyal opposition to ensure that all perspectives are heard, all rights observed, all people valued.  But don’t make the matter worse by saying he isn’t our President.

Not Ready

The day here is cold, wet, and gray.  It matches my mood after the shock of waking up this morning to the posts on Facebook, and the news on the radio (pretty old-fashioned, aren’t I, to still be listening to radio 🙂 )

We weren’t ready.  I’ve thought that for a while, but this proves it.  We weren’t ready.

No, it had nothing to do with HRC.  We really weren’t ready to elect an African-American with a name that sounded like it came from the homeland of foreign religious extremists.

I think this election is the backlash (or the whitelash, as someone referred to it) to the racism that has been festering for eight years. From the very beginning of President Obama’s term in office, there were so very many people and politicians who were unable or unwilling to accept the election of a black man to president.  The efforts lasted all 8 years. The long discredited birther theory.  The long discredited rumors that he was Muslim.  The inability to work with him on any level (ironically, coming from those who now say we should unite and support the new president-elect). The subtle, unintentional (snort) efforts to portray him as simian, as stupid, as communist, as socialist.  The same opposition and hatred would not have been displayed to a Senator Kennedy for the same policies.

I remember when I was in 4th grade, at school in the deep South, participating in a Thanksgiving play.  The sole black boy in my grade (not just class, grade) was given the role of janitor in the play.  I was an adult before when recalling that event, it occurred to me what had happened, and I realized the racism which existed that was invisible to me as a child.

The pendulum swung very far with the election of President Obama.  I certainly didn’t expect to see it in my life; I still remember the times of institutional discrimination, overt racism, and the discrimination that existed growing up.  It hasn’t gone away just because of time.  It hasn’t gone away at all.  It has now expanded to include Hispanics, Africans, Muslims, alternative sexuality….almost anyone who isn’t like the old order in this country.

We weren’t ready to elect a woman president, because we hadn’t recovered from the pendulum swing of electing a black president.  Or because we didn’t realize that we needed to recover from it.  Maybe this will be the pendulum swinging the other way, and we can hang on until we reach a more moderate middle ground.

God help us until then.

Lose-Lose :(

Well, I voted.

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I hope this is the most objectionable election I ever have to go through, because I doubt I can take it getting worse. A pox on both their houses (little me bring a little Shakespearian civility into this at least).

And to make matters worse, I know this is a lose-lose proposition.

One candidate has no governmental experience, or working in collaborative environments.  Worse, there is frequently a thinly disguised vein of woeful contempt for the government, along with a lack of understanding of how it works. Practically unforgivable is the calling of the election process rigged, poisoning the well of the American process as well as public opinion before any voting begins. Combined with a tendency for impolite, impolitic, downright rude verbal proclamations, and the dysfunctional mess that is our current Congress will only get worse.

The other candidate has a stellar resume, yet has made some jarringly poor decisions. On top of that, the candidate bears the stigma of gender, of following the first African-American president, and her own spouses baggage. We’ve had eight years of showing we weren’t ready for a racial minority as president; I can only imagine how a gender trend setter will be viewed.  The opposition is already talking about impeachment hearings and trials, before the election even begins — the same opposition that has spent the past 8 years raising issues of birth, religion, and anything else to inhibit the process of government.

It’s lose-lose.  No matter who wins, there will be little in the way of civility or effective progress in the next four years.

Disingenous Donald

It was an unexpected (?!!) turnabout, a course reversal the Millennium Falcon couldn’t have made.
“President Obama was born in the United States. Period.”

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And with that exclamation there was a shift in the political axis of surprising proportions.  For over 5 years The Donald had directly and indirectly supported the slur that the President was not born in the United States.  For many years it had been a staple question raised to throw shade on Obama’s qualifications, his election and his time in office.  It was likely also a not-very-subtle racist attack.  It was raised overtly in The Donald’s interviews, in announcements, and in offers of reward money. The issue was also raised in an underhanded, sneaky way, through the rouse of “many people say…” or “some say that..” or the “I don’t know but…”, a disingenuous way of raising the topic while trying to avoid taking responsibility for the questioning.

And now, with no new data, no new facts, no new discoveries….it’s over, by Imperial fiat.

How manipulative and disingenuous — and disturbing. Politicians changing opinions on topics and issues are hardly uncommon.  But it is almost never done so dramatically with so little explanation…or with such hubris in declaring that this was the definitive answer and everyone should be happy that he ended the debate, without even acknowledging that he had perpetrated it for years.  It no longer served his need, so it was discarded.  Well, it did serve his needs; he got media attention and coverage for his new hotel, which he touted for considerably longer than the announcement itself.  If there was doubt that this was just a massive PR effort for his hotel, consider that he was asked several times in the days leading up to this about disavowing the position.  And he consistently declined.

Interestingly, both the right and the left of the spectrum are left with questions about what he stands for.  Does he really disavow this, or will he change his mind in front of another crowd, or to gain another position?  Is this just another one of his games, showman ideas, smoke and mirrors positions, or did he use the attacks in the past to get attention and, now that it is less advantageous, he wants to bail on it?

Too many questions, too many problems.  Too bad we can never know.

 

 

 

Convention humor

It struck me today that regardless of politics we all need to appreciate humor.

So I want to see the bumper sticker or button that says “I don’t giveTrump-Pence for the Republicans”.

Just because I love word play 😀