Post Election Thoughts

First, let me apologize for all the political posts recently.  I try to post more interesting things, but this has been on my mind a lot.  I am working on my own writing more and trying to find better ways to share it.

I spent most of yesterday offline, avoiding Facebook and Twitter for the most part.  It helped to get my head in order and to get my emotions under control.  I highly recommend this if you are feeling overwhelmed by it all.

In thinking about the election and the results I’ve had some thoughts.

Third party candidates.  If you want to be seen as a viable contender and not a joke or a throwaway vote, you need to make some changes.  First, you have to play a long game.  You can’t just jump to the front of the line and win the presidency.  Focus on the state level elections first.  Build a true party.  Win seats in state legislatures, then win some seats in Congress.  Stop with the bullshit joking and act like a real candidate.  We all saw the ridiculousness that Gary Johnson did and some of the stupid things that Jill Stein said.  If you want to be taken seriously, you have to act like it.  Focus on the real issues.  Then you can have a real chance at winning the presidency.

Stop with this “Not My President” and secession bullshit.  For 8 years, Republicans and Tea Partiers pulled this bullshit and Democrats always called them out on it.  Now when the shoe is on the other foot, we liberals are doing the same things.  It’s still just as childish and stupid.  It just makes you sound petty.  I didn’t vote for the asshole, and I am seriously concerned about what he can do in power, but this talk doesn’t help.

Same goes for the “I’m running to Canada.”  Every 4 years somebody says this, and then nobody acts on it.  It just makes you sound stupid and it gives the other side a point to mock you on.  If you’re gonna talk the talk, then you need to walk the walk.  Otherwise, shut the fuck up and work within the system to make a difference.  If everyone with a dissenting opinion leaves, then there is no one left to challenge and power will go unchecked.  That’s not good for anyone.

That is my last point.  Not happy?  Work within the system to make changes.  Call your congressman.  Run for office.  Work to make changes.  Shut the fuck up with your bitching on Facebook and get out there and make a real difference.

What. The. Fuck. America.

It’s currently 5:00 am, I went to bed before the election results were final, but I just found out.  America has decided to embrace intolerance, racism, and fear to an extent we’ve never done so before.  I’m sick, disgusted, angry, depressed, and ashamed.  So much for the beacon on the hill.  I thought we were better than this.

Make America Hate Again

I didn’t want to believe that this could happen.  This isn’t about Democrats and Republicans.  This is about electing a dangerously unstable person who has been proven time and time again to be a liar, a cheat, and whose entire campaign was based around preying on our worst fears and the lowest common denominator.

Make America Racist Again

The KKK.  Seriously, we just elected a man in 2016, who was openly endorsed by the KKK, and did not refuse their endorsement.  The fucking Ku Klux Klan.

Make America Fear Again

This is our own fault.  We did this to ourselves.  For all our talk about being the best and most enlightened country.  We are nothing more than racist hillbillies.  We have elected our drunk, lecherous, uncle who no one wants to be around at Thanksgiving to the highest office in the land.

Make America Afraid Again

For weeks this post has been brewing in my head.  I had this sitting in there, just in case this were to happen.  I had planned on laying the blame at the feet of the uninformed voters, the non-voters, the Bernie supporters who refused to back Hillary, but now I’m just sick and disgusted.  It may be that I’m tired and only running on a few hours sleep, and the shock hasn’t worn off yet.  I’m still very angry at those people, but for right now I’m just sad.

Make America Pay Again

I’m white and straight, so I know that whatever happens I have a fair amount of privilege to protect me.  But, I worry for my non-white friends, my LGBT friends.  All those people who dream of coming to America to make a better life.  Those who see us as a utopia on the hill.  All those people just saw us elect a monster.  They all know what he is.  Now, our only hope is that he isn’t as bad as we think he will be.

Make America Reich Again

I’m sure there will be rage and anger in the future, but for now, it’s just depression.  Sadness.  Shame.  We shit this bed, and now it’s time for us to lie in it.

Decline of Western Civilization

We are just days away from the election.  I, once again, am stressing the importance of voting.  Some areas have early voting, you should have plans in place for voting next Tuesday or otherwise.

This post is not about any particular candidate, but rather the political climate that surrounds us.  It’s no secret that we have two drastically different candidates, and they both have their share of problems.  Again, I’m not here to tell you who to vote for.  This late in the cycle, I think most people already know who they are voting for.

Our world has become increasingly divisive.  Everything has become politicized.  Words like “libtard” are used on a regular basis for those who disagree with others.  Both sides are guilty of pushing towards this climate of extreme polarization.  Sadly, no matter what is the outcome of this election, this climate is only showing signs of getting worse.

Compromise used to be the foundation of our government, majority may rule but with respect to the minority.  Now, compromise is the dirty word that no one uses.  Compromise and understanding now exist in that middle ground which has become a No-Man’s Land where none shall enter unless they face political death.  Even before the election has been finished, members of Congress are already saying they will continue to not do their jobs and simply obstruct everything that is put forth should a Democrat win the Presidency.  Supreme Court will continue to be vacant.

It boggles my mind that this is the world we live in now, and that this has become acceptable.  Apparently, this is the world we want to live in now, because we are all guilty of creating it.  No matter who wins next week, it seems that things will only continue to get worse until our country grinds to a halt, stagnates, and dies.

Sorry to be such a downer, but this election cycle has been utterly depressing from a variety of angles, and the light at the end of the tunnel is a train bearing down on us.

Be An Informed Voter

The election is nearly upon us, some areas have even begun early voting.  I can’t stress enough the importance of going out and voting.

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, that’s not the point of this post.  By this point in the election cycle, I’m sure most people have already made up their mind on who they are voting for.  Even if you have already decided who you are voting for in the Presidential election, there are plenty of other things on the ballot as well.  You should spend a few minutes and take a look at your area’s sample ballot.

You are already online if you are reading this, simply open a new tab, go to google and enter sample ballot.  You put in your address and can view everything that you will be voting on next month.  Spend a few minutes and look at the issues and candidates, maybe even research the Presidential candidates.  Think about what kind of world you want to leave for the next generations, what values are important to you, do these candidates match up to that?  Forget all the memes on Facebook, the talking head pundits on cable news, and really look at what kind of person we are electing to the highest position in the land.

It’s that simple, spend a few minutes, look at the issues for yourself and come to your own conclusions about it.

We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

It’s another politically themed post, again, if it’s not your thing simply move along.  As the election gets closer, these may be increasing.

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself” – Franklin Roosevelt

FDR’s famous quote is wholly accurate today.  Much of what we see and hear in the media and our leaders is predicated on fear.  We are told of horrible atrocities that happen every day all over the world.  Many have a lot to gain by us living our lives in fear.

I refuse to live my life ruled by fear.  I refuse to live in a world where I feel I need a gun to go to the grocery store.  I refuse to live in a world where I feel afraid of Muslims and other minorities.

Our world is safer than it has ever been.  Crime is down across the country and has been on the decline for decades.  Yes, crime still happens and yes horrible things still happen all over the world, but on the whole, the world is a safer place.

One thing that does scare me is a Donald Trump presidency.  He and his campaign surrogates want us to be afraid.  Their business is to make us afraid of Mexicans, Muslims, and other minorities.  He wants us to build a wall, to ban all Muslims coming to the country.  This is not the country that I grew up in.  These are not the ideals of our founding fathers.  This is not the great melting pot.

“Fear attracts the fearful.
The strong.
The weak.
The innocent.
The corrupt.
Fear is my ally.” – Darth Maul

When we are afraid, when we are told that things are so bad, that we need security and a protector.  We will give up many of our freedoms in the name of security, and once those things are gone, they will never come back.

Republican Hypocrisy in the Support of Trump

Yup, it’s another political post.  That’s what happens when you are trapped in the darkest timeline and forced to deal with the possible prospect of a Trump Presidency.  If a political post is not your thing, you won’t hurt my feelings if you skipped this post.

Republicans, I have a lot of problems with what your party’s agenda, but Trump doesn’t even pretend to support it.

Republican Party: We need to support the Troops!
Trump openly mocks veterans and a POW.

Republican Party: We need to enact laws to control who can use which bathroom because of sexual deviants and predators.
Trump speaks openly of trying to sexual assault a married woman.

Republican Party: Those who don’t pay taxes, don’t pay their share are moochers and takers.
Trump talks about how smart he is for not paying taxes, and due to current tax laws may not have paid taxes in nearly two decades.

Republican Party: Family values!
Trump has been married 3 times.

Republican Party: American jobs!
Trump runs a company that has outsourced work outside of the US.

Republican Party: Illegal immigrants are taking American jobs.
Trump has hired migrant workers in his hotels, paying them well below standards.

Republican Party: Christianity!
Trump doesn’t even seem to be able to cite a simple biblical verse.

This isn’t even going into the seemingly limitless problems with Trump, his poor business practices, lack of knowledge for the job, numerous lawsuits, bankruptcies, and more.  Republicans if you support Trump there is a word for you, Hypocrite.

Stuff I’ve Written – Live Your Dreams (part 5)

In the past, I’ve shared some of what I’ve written here.  It may be good, it may be terrible, but I need to get it out into the world.  If you like what you read, let me know.  I’ve been posting this story in installments and this is the final chapter.

Live Your Dreams (part 5)

Two more weeks passed as John continued to refine his novel.  With this draft he let Stephanie review it again and he emailed a copy of it to his brother, Pete.

Pete wrote back three days later.  “Hey little bro, this is really good.  Where did all this come from?  Glad to see that you are putting your time off to good use.”

John and Stephanie both agreed that it was time to send his manuscript off to an actual editor and to start submitting samples to publishers.  At night they would talk of what should the cover art be or joke about who should star in the movie.

During the day while John would write, Stephanie was beginning to worry.  She had picked up as many extra hours at work as she could.  John being home all the time helped with the cooking and chores, but the financial stress was starting to wear her down.  His unemployment had run out, and their savings was dwindling.  He still applied for jobs but wasn’t getting any call backs.  She was hesitant to bring it up with him, he was in a good place and she didn’t want to ruin that.  He had been there for her while she finished school.  She felt it was her turn to be strong for him.

Tuesday started as most Tuesdays started now.  They slept in until it was time for her to get up and get ready for work.  He got up with her and watched her leave.  He went in the study and worked for a few hours.  At 3:00 he stopped, went outside to get the mail before making a small lunch.  He was halfway through the living room when he stopped dead in his tracks.  A small white envelope in his hand, the rest of the mail fell to the floor.  The letter was from one of the publishing houses he had submitted a sample to.

He gingerly put the envelope down on the table, still unopened, grabbed his phone and texted Stephanie. “I got a response, what should I do?”

“Open it silly.”  She responded several agonizing minutes later.

“Do I have to? Should I wait for you to come home?”  John was pacing the living room now.  Excited to see what it said, but also terrified of what it might say.

“You can wait for me if you really want to.”  She responded.

“Good, I’m afraid of what it might say, either good or bad.”  He knew he was not going to get any work done today now.  He turned on a video game to take his mind off the letter, but he could still feel it there like it had a magical power to it.

At 7:15 Stephanie finally came home.  John was getting a bit frantic with nervousness.  She came in to find him pacing the room with the controller in his hand still trying to play the game, unable to sit for even a minute.

“Oh thank god you’re home!”  John tossed the controller down, gave her a kiss and put the letter in her hand.  “Open it, I can’t.  I just can’t.”

Stephanie laughed at how ridiculous he was being.  “Okay, I’ll open it, but you need to sit down and relax.”  She opened the envelope and read the letter inside.  Her smile beginning to fade.

“What? What does it say?  They hated it right?”  John was back on his feet.

“I’m sorry sweety.”  She began to read the letter aloud.  “Dear Mr. Miller, we thank you for your submission but unfortunately we are not interested in publishing your work at the present time.  We wish you the best of luck in your career.”  Stephanie came over and put her arms around John.  “It’s okay, rejection is part of the job.”

“I know, but I just had this feeling like things were going to turn around for us.”  He put his arms around her.

“Take the night off, relax with me.  We will watch something fun and cheer you up.”  Stephanie walked them into the kitchen.  “Now what are we going to do for dinner, I’m starving.”

 

Two days later, another rejection letter came in.

A week later, two rejection letters showed up on the same day.

As the days stretched into weeks, more letters would arrive.  All of them saying the same thing.  John’s heart was crushed with each one.  It became harder and harder to pull himself out of bed each morning.

Even though they didn’t talk about it much, John knew how bad their finances were.  He went three days without a shower, and hadn’t shaved in nearly two weeks.  Stephanie worried everyday when she left for work, what shape he would be in when she got home.  She never saw him go in the study.  She would call him everyday on her lunch break and she could hear the TV on in the background.

John knew he was sinking into depression.  Daytime TV is full of depressed people and people who have failed at life.  However he saw no way out of it.  His writing had failed.  No one was calling him back about the applications he had turned in.

John was falling asleep on the couch watching a heartthrob actor talk about his latest tearjerker movie, he was woken up by his phone chirping.  It wasn’t Stephanie’s ringtone.

“Hello.”  He hoped it wasn’t a call back on an application with how groggy his voice sounded.

“John? Hey! It’s Tommy.”  The voice on the phone identified itself.

“Tommy?”  Slowly the wheels in John’s head turned.

“Sorry, it’s been a few months hasn’t it.  Tommy Jackson, we used to work together.  You were across the row from me until we were booted out the door?  I didn’t wake you up did I?”

John woke up a bit more.  “Tommy, hey.  Sorry I was kinda out of it.  How have you been?”

“I’m good.  I was actually calling you to see if you had a found a job yet, I know it’s pretty rough out there.”

John was awake, but confused now.  “It’s going okay, I haven’t found anything yet, but I’ve got some applications out there.  Why do you ask?”

“Well I remember you were really good at solving some complex problems back at the old job, and I’ve started at a new company and I think we could really use someone like you.  I’m in pretty good with the managers here.  I think we need to get together one day and I’ll let you know all about it.  Would you be free for dinner tomorrow night?  You can bring Stephanie too.  I’ll bring Janice.  Think of it as a job double date.”

“You and Janice? Wow.  Yeah, we can do dinner tomorrow night.”

“Great!  How about the italian place on Main, Antonia’s at 7:00?”

“Sounds like a plan.  See you tomorrow then.”  John hung up feeling confused, but like there was a slight weight lifted off of him.  This was closer than he had gotten to a job in weeks.  He texted Stephanie to let her know.

She texted back “That’s great sweety. I told you good things would come.”

 

John and Stephanie walked arm in arm through the door of Antonia’s restaurant.

“Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight”  John whispered in Stephanie’s ear.

“Only three times tonight, but thank you.  Again.  You are looking quite dashing yourself too.”  Stephanie said with a smile.

Tommy stood and waved them over from across the room.  “So glad you guys could make it.  John you remember Janice?”

“Yes, we met after my incident with Roger.”  John laughed.

“That was so embarrassing!  It’s funny now, but was so awkward then.”  Janice laughed

They sat at the table, laughed and exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes.  Tommy finally brought them back to the point of the dinner meeting.  “Now, for the reason I called you.  It’s been almost 6 months since we were both let go, and it looks like you haven’t yet found anything.  I was lucky enough to make it into my current position and I know we need someone like you.  I’ve spent the last 2 weeks building the case for my bosses, this isn’t a position open to the public yet.  I’ve convinced them to talk to you first.  I think you would be perfect for the position.  What do you say?”

“What do I say?”  John was trying to hide his desperation, and not seem to overeager.  “I say yes, what do you need me to do?”

“Great news!  Bring your resume down tomorrow morning around 9:00 and we can get an interview going right then.”  Tommy shook John’s hand over the table.  “Now that that’s settled.  I’m starving, I hear their lasagna is to die for.”

The rest of the evening was full of laughs and good times shared.

On the ride home John turned to Stephanie “Was I too eager? I didn’t want to sound desperate.”

“No, you didn’t sound desperate at all.  You sounded like you were happy that a friend was offering you a good job.”  She patted his leg.  “You worry too much.”

John could already feel the burden on his shoulders lessening, but one thought was still nagging at him.  “Do you think I am giving up on my dreams?”

“What do you mean?”  Stephanie asked.

“Am I giving up on being a writer by taking this job?  I’m just worried that I gave it up when things got bad.  Should I have stuck through it and kept fighting?”

“You’re not giving up.  At least I didn’t think you were.  This job, whatever job you do doesn’t define who you are.  It’s just a way to pay the bills so that we can go off and do the things we want to do.”  Stephanie reassured him.  “Last I checked, there was only one requirement to being a writer.”

“Oh yeah, what’s that?”

“To write and to keep writing.  As long as you keep doing that, you are a writer.”