The 2016 Election and Total Freedom

We’ve moved beyond the, “lesser of two evils” model here in 2016. On one hand, I reject the hysterical fear mongering of the right which states that a Hillary presidency will lead to the National Guard busting in your front door to steal your guns while they force you to watch an atheist perform an abortion on your wife. I reject the laughably reactionary warning from the left that a Trump presidency will see, Free Guns for Toddlers stands on every corner being run by Klansmen against a backdrop of mile after mile of crucified immigrants. On the other hand, these cartoonish examples of extremes do not negate the fact that we have two choices which are doing their best to appeal to the extreme wings of their respective sides.

First of all, the decision not to cast my vote for Donald Trump has nothing to do with me wanting a Hillary presidency. That particular castigation has been thrown at me a number of times by rabid Trumpkins. No, I will not bend my knee and get in line with your incomprehensible lunacy so you can pretend you have a normal candidate for the next six months. You made this liberal bed, you hitched your wagons to this disingenuous star, you own it. Hell, your own man said you didn’t need us, so why do we need him?

Answer: we don’t. 

For the first time in my life as a voter, there is no lesser of two evils to choose from. They are equally as reprehensible. Thomas Sowell (one of the most brilliant men alive) said it best of Trump; “There was a time when someone who publicly mocked a handicapped man would have told us everything we needed to know about his character.” It is awfully apparent at this point, that the fact that he has said and done absolutely disgusting things over the past year is neither here nor there on the national stage. It doesn’t matter to his droves of followers who were basically equated with sociopaths by the man himself when he used the now infamous shooting-on-Fifth-Avenue line. He is a died in the wool liberal who has been a liberal his entire life. He walks back absolutely everything he says that gives me and other conservatives even the slightest glimpse of hope for his candidacy within hours of saying it. His body of work stands for itself and I don’t trust people who have made umpteen millions of dollars looking out for no one but themselves. So basically, I don’t trust millionaires, period.

Hillary is equally as nauseating. She will kowtow to special interests in a manner which would make a lobbyist blush out of thrombosis inducing cringiness. Every single move she has made over the past year is so painfully rife with pander that it is hard to take her seriously, even when she’s coughing uncontrollably. She is so loathed by her own side that she is being given a run for her money by a kindly old lunatic who looks like he’s perpetually frustrated with a jacket zipper stuck on a shirt button. Don’t misunderstand Bernie’s appeal. A very small number of his supporters are true socialists and an even smaller minority of those Bolsheviks actually have half a clue on what socialism is. He is appealing for one reason and one reason only to the majority of his supporters and moderate Democrats; he’s not her.

To reiterate my previous point: there is no lesser than equation in this election cycle.

When faced with the choice that Americans are going to have to make in November, it is easy to fall into despair. I did for a while. Until I realized the magnificent liberation that comes from being absolutely skunked. A line from Matthew Broderick’s character in the movie, The Freshman sums it up best; “there’s a kind of freedom in being completely screwed… because you know things can’t get any worse.” I can actually vote my conscience this go around. Quite frankly, the last two GOP nominees for president didn’t exactly light my sociopolitical, partisan world aflame. In fact, I wasn’t a fan of either. This year, I can honestly vote for who I think would be the best option for leader of the country. As a conservative, my vote doesn’t matter here in New England. That fact coupled with the awful choice equals total freedom. Ah, that makes it all a little better.

I will end up voting for whoever the Libertarian candidate is or perhaps write-in someone else. Because after careful consideration I’d rather throw away my vote than to cast it for someone my principles can’t reconcile. I’d rather know that I had nothing to do with our national nightmare than be part ot it. Sorry, Trumpkins and Hillbots. But my soul ain’t for sale.

Not this year anyway.

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The 2016 Election and Total Freedom

Obama’s Apology Tour 2016

The lengths to which the left will go in order to embarrass the United States never fail to astonish me. Liberalism is apparently the truest form of sadomasochism. The idea that the world will somehow open up its heart to the United States and give us great wodges of cash and candy if we simply tramp around the world-beating our chests in a collective mea culpa is comical at best and eyerollingly cringey at worst. It is never in the best interest of a country to appear like an ex who is leaving, “I am so sorry” texts in your messages at 3:45 AM. Our president doesn’t seem to care about the repercussions of appearing weak and whiney on the world stage and why should he? At this point he’s about as checked in as a high school senior in mid-May.

Obama is apologizing for the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The fuel for this particular fire is the theory that the Second World War could have been won without dropping Fat Man and Little Boy. That coupled with a genuine disdain for the United States on the part of the left mixed with the desire to smear the past into a sludge of guilt and shame which we could never possibly be proud of. Of course, the anti-bomb argument only works if you completely discount the fanatic resistance the US military encountered during their island hopping campaign, (see; Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Peleilu) the Japanese use of suicide attackers as a viable combat tactic (see; kaitens and kamikazes) the propaganda being spewed by the Japanese government which led ordinary citizens to kill their children and then themselves instead of surrendering to Americans, (see; Saipan) the empirical evidence of horrific brutality visited on innocent people by the Japanese army (see; Nanjing) and the fact that it took two atomic blasts to force Japan’s hand. Oh and I almost forgot; the argument only works if you are in favor of starving a country to death slowly and killing them with a lot of little explosions rather than two big ones.

Although political leaders do not speak for everyone in their respective countries, the perception is that as they go, so do the people. Example; regardless of how many Russians actually support Vladimir Putin, whenever he does or says something outlandish or alarming the response is usually, ‘Russians are _____.’ So when the president apologizes to a country for dropping ordinance which facilitated the almost instantaneous end of the most horrific war in human history, we the people are apologizing by proxy in the eyes of the world. I am tired of apologizing. I am tired of apologizing for things that I feel no regret for while truly warranted apologies are left out in limbo (See; Christians / homosexuals / women in the Middle East). I wonder if the citizens of Dresden will ever get an apology.

I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone outside of a psych ward who thinks that the deaths of civilians during wartime isn’t morally reprehensible. Death is not a good thing. I repeat; death is not a good thing. Those of us who’d rather not apologize for the bombings do not love, like or even admire death. The unpleasant reality is simply this; during wartime, I am more concerned about the lives of the members of our military than the lives of the people we are fighting. It is far more dangerous and ultimately hurtful to moralize during wartime than it is to choke down and accept the fact that during war, regardless of unifrom or no uniform, people die. I am not sorry for the bombings, however I am sorry that they had to happen in the first place.

It all seems worthless to stamp feet about it at this point. By January 20th the problem will take care of itself. At that point it’ll be up to we the people to start apologizing to the world for the next four years.

Obama’s Apology Tour 2016

Porcelain > Knowledge

For the past couple of days, I have been showing the film, ‘The Pianist’ to my students. I am a high school religion teacher and my classes are made up of mainly Sophomores and Freshmen. As a religion teacher, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to illustrate the fact that the Jewish people’s struggles didn’t end after the Babylonian exile or the Roman occupation of Judea. I wanted them to see a film with gritty realism which was faithful to the actual story of one man’s survival. I wanted them to remember to never forget the Holocaust. Most importantly; I wanted them to understand that as human beings they have a sacred obligation to stand against evil whenever and wherever they see it.

It is not an easy movie to watch by any means. You do not need to be a Jew or even a student of history in order to be gut-punched by the film. Regardless, they seemed to truly enjoy it. Or enjoy it as much as a film like that can be enjoyed. In fact, my Freshmen clapped at the roll of the closing credits. Lots of questions followed. The question which was the most disturbing was asked a few times by a few different students. “Why did they do that?” They, being the Nazis and do that meaning something horrible. It dawned on me by the third time I was asked the question that they didn’t know who the Nazis were. Only a person who does not understand the depth of evil and visceral racism which permeated National Socialism would ask a question as innocently naive.

So I asked them; how many of you don’t know what the Holocaust was? To my shock and horror a number of hands came up. The rest seemed to have a hazy idea of what it was about. Only a handful of students out of all of my classes understood it sufficiently to be able to relate the horror of what they had learned to their fellow classmates. Absolutely unacceptable.

I spoke with one of our history teachers the following day and was told that the Holocaust was covered during our student’s Junior and Senior years. Well that’s good. But, what the hell is going on in our public schools? Most of our students come from the public school system. They find the transition to the Catholic school system to be challenging at first and then they adapt quickly. That is of course, after they are forced to catch up on core subjects such as English, math and science. I have had sophomores whose writing is essentially on par with a fifth or sixth grader’s. What the hell is happening?

Our school system is nothing more than a liberal proving ground. We care more about having all of our children learn in the exact same manner than what they are actually learning. We care more about possibly offending the sensibilities of students who see an American flag in the classroom than we do about the sensibilities of students in the same classroom who may have lost family defending that same flag. In the end I suppose it doesn’t matter. I, along with the history department at my school, can teach about the horrors of the Holocaust until the proverbial cows come home. The minute they get to college, their professors will tell them how Israel is an evil country. Their idea of the Jewish people will be so politicized that the lessons of the Holocaust will be lost in a broken jigsaw puzzle of progressive claptrap to the point where they no longer exist in the minds of the students at all.

But enough about what students know or what they should know or what they need to know. Lets talk about where they can shit.

Porcelain > Knowledge

A Culture of Crud

“George Zimmerman may have acted legally, but the man is a sociopath.” Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review

Read this first. Try to stifle your dry heaves. George Zimmerman to Auction Weapon Used in Trayvon Martin Shooting

How do you feel? Little queasy? Good. You should. We have a serious problem in this country. There is a paradigm shift which is taking place all around us as we toodle along, blissfully unaware of the impending poop storm looming in the near distance. It begs the same question I seem to be asking myself daily; how much more bullsh*t are we supposed to take before enough is enough?

I know that the Conservative pages on social media are within hours of picking this story up and running their own pieces on it. That does not bother me. It is news and it is in the public domain. What does and will bother me are the inevitable comments. The internet is tricky. It is nearly impossible to decipher what is actual sentiment and what is the regurgitation of an antagonistic troll. I guarantee for every, “this is disgusting” there will be a meme of Trayvon with something tragically snarky written. For every, “I can’t believe this” there will be a, “don’t mess around and you won’t get shot” post.

Zimmerman acted within the law. Was he right to shoot the kid? I don’t know. Legality and what is, ‘right’ aren’t always interconnected. I wasn’t there. Neither were you. However, he is an unimaginably large POS. 4 easily googleable stories to prove my point:

  1. He shoves a cop when he’s 22. Knowing that the person he’s shoving is a cop. Please, tell me more about his subsequent love affair with law and order.
  2. 2013: Shoves a shotgun in his girlfriend’s face.
  3. 2014: Road rage incident that leads to a mountain of BS.
  4. 2015: Throws a wine bottle at his girlfriend.

Now he is selling the gun he used on a kid who was half his age because the kid was kicking the crap out of him. He picked a fight he couldn’t win. Let that sink in. We can no longer allow the absolute trash of society to be given places of even momentary prominence in the media. We can no longer allow ourselves to feed into it.

I’ll finish with this. For as long as there have been people, there have been creeps. The kind of people who would love to get their hands on a weapon if they know that it was used in a killing. Shadowy figures in an ersatz black market which is essentially seen as a sick fetish. Regardless of its potential future worth, the gun in question is a weapon that has taken a life and people drool over it. Pretty bad? Here’s the kicker; we now live in a USA where the question of whether or not to publicly auction such items off is no longer a question at all. Ah, what a time to be alive.

 

A Culture of Crud

Extreme Begets Extremes

I hate to sound like a liberal apologist. I loathe to sound like a left-winger. I cringe inwardly and outwardly when I think I remotely sound like a Salon.com contributor. But, every once in a while you have to set aside the icky feeling which springs from the question; do I sound like them, in order to make a point. With our current apparent choices for president this November, only one thing is absolutely clear; President Obama was a catastrophic cultural failure.

It is a common misconception to believe that the current state of American politics represents an unprecedented drop in political decorum. This is simply untrue. The attacks which were run against candidates and parties in the 19th century make today’s debacle seem tame by comparison. It cannot be ignored however, that while the current state of things is much different from the way it was over 116 years ago, there is still a tremendous amount of vitriol swirling around out there in the ether.

So we have what we have now. The extreme ends of both parties and ideologies are gaining an enormous amount of traction. As recently as the previous election cycle, the idea of a seriously contending Democratic candidate alluding to the virtues of socialism would have been unthinkable. At very least, the natural inclination to extol the virtues of socialism by the left and candidate would have been stifled to the point where the dirty word itself would merely have been alluded to in an attempt to pass ideology as sweet sounding policy. Now, we have a presumptive Democratic nominee who was almost beaten by a socialist. An openly socialist, socialist. It would be in the best interest of Hillary to recruit Bernie for VP but that would be career suicide for the man who built his campaign on the platform; ‘I am not like her.’ Then again, at his age, how much more career can there realistically be?

We have a presumptive Republican nominee who has been as far from conservative as a GOP candidate could possibly be. Lets use the previous comparison formula to keep things on an even playing field. As recently as the previous election cycle, the idea of a Republican candidate donating over a hundred thousand dollars to the person they are running against coupled with a solid liberal history would have been unthinkable. A candidate who literally told his supporters that they were stupid with his shooting-people-on-Fifth-Avenue analogy. There is no amount of logic, empirical evidence or outcome projections that can dislodge his rock solid support. His appeal is far easier to quantify than one would care to admit. It is not because he is a great candidate. It is not because he holds the same ideals as his supporters. It is not because he is a principled conservative. It is not because his vision for America is sustainable let alone attainable. It is because the human mind relegates reason in order to achieve its most sought after goal; instant gratification.

After almost two full terms of President Obama attempting to change the character of the United States, the frustration levels among some on the right-wing made thoughtful political calculation, analysis and reason seem almost nauseating when contrasted with the immediate release offered by a figurehead who says all of the awful things that swirled in their minds but were afraid to say. Pulling the lever for the Donald offered many disenchanted GOPers the instant gratification they desperately wanted which came after watching Romney flounder in ’12 coupled with the subsequent hurricane of Obama overreach. Donald Trump is not a presidential candidate. He is a drunken rant to your buddies after you’ve had a bad day. Or a bad seven years. The relative ease by which he sailed into the nomination is on par with the relative ease that the president’s ideological paradigm shift took root in the left over the past seven years. For every action … well you know the rest. There is an old adage which is said any number of different ways but it perfectly reflects the sentiment at the core of the Trump Train. See if this rings a bell:  I knew it was a bad idea then and I know it’s a bad idea now but man, did it feel good at the time.

There are two solid facts that need to be understood by anyone who supports a candidate who could be considered politically controversial:

  1. Political tides are cyclical. One always comes as a response to the previous.
  2. Smugness from the previous cycle amplifies the more destructive elements and voices from each subsequent cycle.

With Trump leading the charge at least in title, you can be sure that with or without a win in November and with the appeal of socialism among the young and the reckless that are just now graduating; the push back is going to be unthinkably extreme. I have a feeling that a lot of people are going to learn those two facts the hard way. But I guess it doesn’t matter because at the time it felt great. For some people at least.

 

 

Extreme Begets Extremes