“Hello darkness, my old friend”
If people hate America, it should be because over 40% of us allow less than 60% of us to elect our president and that’s an optimistic election year.
It’s usually closer to 50%.
“Because a vision softly creeping, left its seeds while I was sleeping”
I accompanied my stepmother to the polls during the 1984 presidential election. While she waited to cast her vote, I stood by the entrance of the school and asked people who they voted for as they exited.
As she walked out, she heard me. Immediately, she cut me off, told me my question was inappropriate, and apologized for me.
I asked her why? I was under the impression one candidate was far superior to the other and I just wanted to see if people made a bad decision.
She told me politics are personal.
Turns out, one was far superior that year according to voters. Only 53% of US voters showed up that year. 59% of them elected Ronald Reagan to a second term. He beat Walter Mondale 525 electoral votes to 13. Minnesota and Washington D.C. chose Mondale.
“And the vision that was planted in my brain, still remains”
My grandfather defined Republicans and Democrats for me.
He said Republicans teach a man to fish and Democrats give a man a fish.
While there were other easily digested anecdotes, religion was never part of it.
“In restless dreams I walked alone, narrow streets of cobblestone”
I’ve known I was gay since I was in first grade; I did not choose this supposed lifestyle.
I played hockey for 10 years. In those locker rooms was where I heard the word faggot.
Every time I felt I needed to be interested in a girl, I chose someone unattainable, sometimes from another school.
I began to think I was sick, but the thought of a girlfriend gave me anxiety because it would be a lie and she would be a tool.
I never told anyone until after I left Alaska to attend college.
I was 37 when I realized someone else in my graduating high school class was gay.
To this day, politicians waste money fighting basic workplace protections preventing harassment or discrimination against me.
They tout job creation.
I thought we’d be beyond this by now.
“People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening”
We act like life is black and white, and nothing could be further from the truth.
Today’s headlines would have us believe life is simple and matter-of-fact.
We, the people, are divided by absolutes and armed with free speech.
Follow, share, repeat, but whatever you do, don’t think.
“Silence like a cancer grows”
Spoon fed and distracted, we’ve become stoic and desensitized.
We are not malnourished.
“Hear my words that I might teach you; take my arms that I might reach you”
Screw baseball and football; America’s favorite pastimes are manipulation and hypocrisy.
Forget everything you’ve heard because today’s party names are labels and nothing more.
The first and second amendments should be honored, literally, and handled responsibly.
Neither are going away, no matter who is president.
Lump separation of church and state in there too.
Knitting needles have put more religion than the constitution permits into the fabric of our nation.
Freedom to think you’re right isn’t the right to define freedom.
Every citizen of this country should be able to form and build a family.
Every citizen of this country should be protected at work from any form of harassment or discrimination.
When you hear something scary from anywhere but the source, you’re being manipulated by fear.
Fear equals desperation and is the lowest form of manipulation.
So long as we can make each other feel stupid, scared, or insecure, we don’t have to admit what we don’t bring to the table.
Hate perpetuates fear and fear leads to war.
You have a choice to be part of the problem or part of the solution.
Fear causing hate will never produce a solution.
We have a lot to fix and it won’t happen over night.
It may not happen in your lifetime.
We shape a better future by being better people.
Love thy neighbor.
People will die no matter what.
“But my words like silent raindrops fell, and echoed in the wells of silence”
We all agree opinions don’t matter, except the opinions we agree with.
It’s easy to feel right when everyone tells you you’re right in the safety of your very own chamber of echos.
“And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made”
The United States isn’t mentioned in the bible.
7.3 billion people are on this planet and less than 5% live in the United States.
There is no war on Christmas.
There is no war on Christianity.
Anyone who tells you differently is a war monger, looking for a fight.
The Pledge of Allegiance was originally written by a socialist minister in 1892 and did not contain the words ‘under God.’
‘Under God’ was added in 1954.
‘In God We Trust’ first appeared on US currency in 1957 followed by coins in 1964. Personally, that doesn’t bother me so long as our currency is strong.
Religion is good, but can be dangerous in the wrong hands, especially a government.
Freedom of religion is not going anywhere and neither is my right to say that.
It’s time to rip off the tape.
There are no official presidential candidates, but we’re seeing the dress rehearsal.
Believe it or not, we are in a safe phase of our election process. The rubber meets the road after the primary elections.
The vitriol you hear today is between leaders fighting for supporters to represent their parties and is not representative of the American population.
First world problems.
We live in a world of ‘do as I say, not as I do.’
One party wants to raise taxes to fund programs while the other believes there are plenty of tax dollars for what they care about.
Lobbyists pad the pockets of both parties as our tax dollars are astronomically wasted with little effort to fix.
We have a financially irresponsible government and we face ongoing tax increases, yet there are plenty of sources they aren’t collecting from.
Did I say lobbyists earlier?
Global warming enthusiasts fly around on private jets and contribute as much, or more, to the carbon footprint they shame others for denying or even caring about. Do nothing or deny, neither contribute to the solution, just make sure to throw your aluminum in the blue bin, okay?
Some people perfectly understand the second amendment, but twist the first amendment to accommodate their own selfish interpretation. Mostly, this affects other people more than it affects themselves.
The people who want to do away with the second amendment altogether, expect literal compliance with the first amendment, while their gun carrying bodyguards protect them.
Neither are willing to negotiate because any mention of being responsible is an all or nothing argument.
People waving the flag of ‘family values’ get exposed for infidelity, adultery, or same-sex shenanigans. They’d rather risk keeping a secret and destroy the family they value so much than deal with their own unhappiness.
Self proclaimed pro-life loyalists only care about the moment a sperm penetrates an egg, but do nothing for the life the embryo eventually lives.
People who identify as ‘pro-choice’ don’t often approve of people who choose to think differently.
The party ruling the executive branch of our government cannot gain the population’s confidence to simultaneously rule the legislative branch, thereby causing an endless stalemate, all while we foot the bill. These are our leaders.
The stuff that gets done becomes campaign fodder for the next election cycle to undo.
States start their own controversies that require intervention from the judicial branch of our federal government.
Both sides have taken notes on the legal acrobatics of defining what the word ‘is,’ is.
It used to be obvious when a headline was from The Onion or an actual news source.
Polarizing hypocrisy is more common than bullet holes in this country.
We are better than that.
Today’s parties are two different degrees of unappealing with two fundamentally different strategies.
Power, greed, corruption, hypocrisy, narcissism, and complete disrespect have beat the living crap out of politics and have filtered down to how we act toward one another. They pander to us for our votes enough to not disturb the base.
That doesn’t mean don’t vote, if even reluctantly.
New leaders with new ideas and unifying messages will emerge if we are willing to accept them.
I believe in a passionate majority.
We can change politics in America.
Be part of the solution.