Archive for November, 2016

Just trying to understand

November 15, 2016

The Atlantic has a wonderful letter sent in by a long time Republican from Wisconsin. Honestly, it sums up a number of my disappointment with this election. The one it didn’t touch on was our soul.

When I was young there was a time when I considered being a priest. My family had never been church going, but for whatever reason I had a fairly favorably view of the clergy and saw it as a possible opportunity to do good and to work with people in a way that was meaningful. Also in a way that was deeply involved with a book, which probably dovetails nicely with my eventual English degrees.

For whatever reasons I moved away from that idea. I thin most of it was around my own temperament and knowing it just wouldn’t be a long term option. Now, as I approach middle age, I find myself returning to religion in a way. I am fairly comfortable with moral choices at this point. I’m probably a secular humanist, if I’m anything, but I still have a strong moral streak, a near hardline between right and wrong, but where that line blurs the smudger is usually a healthy dose of compassion.

No, why I’m venturing back a little bit is to just try to understand my nation – especially in wake of this most recent election. I remember a poll I saw a couple of years ago that said that roughly 80% of Americans self-identify as Christian. Which is fine. It would make sense. It’s not exactly a small umbrella, and our national make-up would support such a number.

What I find that doesn’t support is what we actually do. I admit my lack of intimate knowledge with the Bible. What I attempt to learn is always a bit of a crash course. I think I have some of the basics down, though. Treat your neighbors how you would be treated. Don’t judge or persecute others. Even your enemies you treat with respect and kindness. Be kind to the poor and those in need. Do not kill.

All of which sounds wonderful. Except we don’t actually live by that. We embrace the death penalty. We heavily persecute immigrants. We are unwilling to help those who are in desperate straits either because of war, famine, or whatever (they might be terrorists!). We bristle at our tax dollars proving medical care and food for the poor and homeless.

We also are not supposed to judge for fear that we too may be judged. But there is just something about our self-identifying as a Christian nation and our lack of living up to that self-identity that is particularly jarring to me.

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immigration is a red herring

November 11, 2016

Anytime an opinion piece mentions getting tough on immigration as a necessary goal, you should know that they are full of shit. And it’s pieces like Krauthammer’s that makes everyone else look at the GOP is a barely coherent thirty year hanging at the side of the room looking like the mentally deficient wart that they are. All of 11 million illegals are in the US today. If you think they are so damaging to our economy, that they are taking all of the “good” jobs (seriously, what do you think they are doing? Are doctors crossing the border illegally and setting up shop?), then enjoy your fantasy world. Building a wall would do nothing but be an economic boost with the construction jobs.

This is without getting into the delusion that the GOP hasn’t been the obstructionist power for the past six years – and for the bulk of the Clinton administration before it, and that the Reagan era had any fucking clue about the economy.

The one lone hope is that Trump isn’t part of the GOP mainstream and is coming at the whole machine from the outside. The more he enmeshes himself with traditional GOP governing, the worse his administration is going to be.

Clinton is Right

November 11, 2016

We need to give Trump a chance. There is the outside chance that he bucks both parties and does what he originally promised to be his strong suit – brokering deals across aisles to pave a new divergent path. And things such as spending on infrastructure is good and will help the economy (unlike tax cuts and deregulation which will do nothing but pad the wallets of the wealthy).

Granted, all of the people rumored to be on his transition team and in position for cabinet positions say that this won’t happen and the path he’ll forge will be a combination of batshit crazy and far right stupidity, but he deserves the opportunity to prove his doubters right. If you have real faith in him being as horrible as you fear, it won’t take long.

 

I have to think of moving now

November 9, 2016

It’s sort of funny that my two most recent posts will be about politics rather than writing, or hockey or damn near anything I actually enjoy. Watching the election play out tonight, and I’m deeply disappointed in such a large chunk of my country siding with someone who so blatantly embraced ignorance, racism,┬ásexism, and damn near every sort of hate and fear to try to leverage himself into the presidency. It’s disheartening.

But looking at a government that will now be ruled by the GOP for the next four years (yeah, there are midterms, but with so many states already gerrymandered all to hell, does anyone have any hope for them? ) and the supreme court for even longer… what I worry most about is my little girl. I was watching her sleep a few moments ago, and I came to the realization that I don’t know what sort of world I’m now bringing her up in, and that maybe it needs to be changed. Not the world, I can’t do that, but the part of the world she herself is a part of.

I don’t know. ┬áThis will probably be a conversation our family will be having now. Maybe see how the next year or two goes, while buttoning up loose ends that would have to be buttoned up, and then…somewhere else. Maybe. I just don’t know.