An Open Letter to All of the Traumatized Clinton-Democrat College Students

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Dear Clinton-Democrat College Students,

For the past 18 months, you enthusiastically proclaimed you were going to put an end to racism, sexism, bigotry, income inequality, animal cruelty, student debt, and poverty.  You were going to “heal” the climate and save the planet.  You were going to open America to all who simply wanted a better life, and enhance our country with inclusiveness, tolerance, and diversity.  You were going to give high-paying jobs, quality healthcare and free college educations to everyone.  You trumpeted your individual and collective strength, your commitment to your mission, your readiness to rise up and change the world!!!

Right up until about 3am on November 9th

Since then we have seen from you pretty much one thing, and that is just how incredibly FRAIL you are.  You need puppies, and crayons, and Play-Doh, and safe rooms to protect you from further “triggers” and micro-aggressions.  You need counselors, and private time, and unconditional empathy in order to cope with your collective fear and unprecedented disappointment.  You also seem to need public forums, and targets at whom to direct your outrage.  You don’t have the energy to attend class, much less take exams, but you do have the energy to yell in the face of anyone with whom you disagree, to attack police officers, and destroy public and private property.  One after another you seek out any microphone and camera in order to tell the world how you are sick to your stomach, unaccepting of reality, unable to sleep and absolutely afraid.  Aren’t you even the least bit embarrassed by all of this?  Weakened and afraid?  Come on.

Life is hard.  Period.  Successful, effective, independent and rewarding life is even harder.  And by the way, this is still, more than any other country in the world, the Land of Opportunity.  It was never supposed to be the Land of Entitlement, much less the Land of I Always Get My Way, especially if I threaten to yell a lot on social or mainstream media.

Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen… grow up.  Understand the disparity between simply making a commotion, and actually making a difference.  Show America you are capable of being more than just victims.  Between the ages of 19 and 27, I “suffered” through three Presidential elections, standing on the losing side of every one.  In two of those elections our generations’ chosen candidates got CREAMED!!, the race being over before the 11 o’clock news.  We watched it, and bitched about it, and were totally bummed out.  We swore a little bit, and a few might have even hit the bottle or the bong.  And then the next day we got up and went to class and back to work, hoping for better in four years.  We disagreed with the opposition’s platform just as strongly as you do, but we weren’t afraid, much less incapacitated because we lost.  We believed we were strong enough and smart enough to persevere through whatever lay ahead, and together, we survived and even prospered despite our then-perceived impending doom.

So…, IF you are so damn right, and concerned, and noble, and smart, then stand up and get busy promoting your platform in a manner that at least garners some measure of respect, and maybe even acceptance.  Be confident, even courageous!  With integrity and civility, convince the majority of the electorate that your way is best for all, not just for you.  And if you encounter resistance, then either improve the quality and delivery of your message, or move on.

One final note: it’s just my opinion, but I think you are much more likely to get others to give your platform serious, respectful consideration if don’t spend so much time and energy calling them racist, sexist, hateful, bigoted, radical, uncaring, clueless, homophobic, environmentally irresponsible, heartless, fascist, privileged, and/or deplorable.  Let’s just call each other “Americans,” better yet… Fellow Americans.  And if you are not comfortable with that characterization, then perhaps you should take it upon yourself to leave the USA and go to school elsewhere.  Unless of course, you are afraid…

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Veteran’s Day

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Veteran’s Day…

A day to show respect and gratitude, a day to demonstrate genuine appreciation.  However, before we say thank you, we should take a few minutes to truly contemplate the meaning of the day, and the measure of our gratitude for those for whom the day is named.  Sadly, and with no intended disrespect, we’ve gotten pretty comfortable throwing around the word “Hero.”  We often label the unusual or exemplary actions of those in uniform as heroic.  Unfortunately, more often than not, the uniform we’re focused on is emblazoned with a number on the front and back, rather than an American flag on the shoulder or over the breast pocket.  We need to re-think that.  The person who wears the uniform with the flag puts on that uniform and swears an oath to risk the life they have to protect the life that we have.  THAT’s a Hero! They take the risk, we reap the reward.

“Semper Fidelis”                             “Semper Paratus”

Though politicians and newscasters seem compelled to constantly make judgments (usually after the fact) as to whether the risk is worth it or not, the person in uniform does not have that luxury.  In fact, they often have very few luxuries, because committing one’s time in uniform to honor, duty and sacrifice leaves little, if any room for luxury.

“This We’ll Defend”                      “Non Sibi Sed Patriae”

We all have our favorite “teams,” and even favorite uniforms and jerseys.  Let’s remember that the praiseworthy individuals for whom Veteran’s Day is named really are OUR team, and therefore it is for them that we should cheer the loudest.  And not just on this single day, because for them, every day they are in uniform is potentially a BIG game.

“Aim High…Fly, Fight, Win”          “Always Ready, Always There”

Though the calendar says November 11 is Veteran’s Day, I say that’s not enough.  I think we should consider making it OUR duty to take the things we associate with Veteran’s Day (like recognition, respect and gratitude) and be on the lookout every day for opportunities to demonstrate those attributes for the benefit of the men and women of the United States Armed Services, past and present.  They are our Team, and we owe it to them to be committed, supportive and grateful fans.

Finally – November 8, 2016

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Today we vote, FINALLY!  Yet truth be told, I’m not really looking forward to going to the voting booth.

If we’re to believe at least some of the “news” reports, for the first time in our adult lives, more Americans will be voting NOT for someone (and selecting their opponent by default), than voting FOR someone, because they genuinely believe that candidate will do a commendable job. This is the America we’ve collectively built? It’s as if I have to choose between two distasteful meals, neither of which I like, and, in fact, either one of which is likely to make me ill.

And yet, I have to eat…

If the past two years of political campaigns have taught us anything, it is that we must do better than this.  As long as we continue to act as though “my side has ALL of the right answers, and your side has NO right answers,” we will only prolong and increase our divisiveness, and subsequently fail to be an exemplary Representative Republic. If We the People of varied heritage and ideology are to coexist and thrive, then we must remain open to the possibility of learning from each other for our mutual benefit. Look at it this way, though the Patriots are presently owning the AFC at 7-1, even the hapless 0-9 Cleveland Browns have scored 19 touchdowns, so even the Browns must know at least something of value :).

Finally, as I gather my thoughts in order to cast a sensible vote, I will try to focus on the important things that shape my beliefs and hopes, those substantive things about which I genuinely care:

I care more about what a soldier says than what a celebrity says.
I care more about what happens at the border than what is said on a bus.
I care more about the economy than emails.
I care more about solutions than blame.
I care more about gender-neutral Boardrooms than gender-neutral bathrooms.
I care more about a raised Flag than a raised fist.
I care more about social maturity than social media.
I care more about integrity than victory.
I care more about children’s laughter than childish demands.
I care more about opportunities than entitlements.
I care more about Patriotism than politics.
I care more about character than color.
I care more about who is effective than who is offensive.

And I care more about the United States of America past present and future than any and every other country in the world. This is OUR HOME, me and you, those with whom I agree and those with whom I disagree. Let’s come together, figure this out, and get to work. It really is up to US.