Name Calling in Politics, and Football

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I have a significant number of friends and acquaintances that ascribe to a political ideology that differs from mine.  We discuss, debate, sometimes argue, and do actually on occasion learn from each other.  I also have a number of friends (and family) who wear a lot of maize and blue, while I wear green and white.  We too debate, tease, and on occasion gloat with respect to our respective football team’s athletic endeavors.  What we do NOT do is denigrate each other, much less call each other despicable names.  Sadly, respectful discourse does not seem to be terribly popular across America today.

Being a reasonable guy trying to gain understanding, I simply have to ask a question:  Does anyone really think that destroying property, insulting fellow Americans, obstructing public event participation, and refusing to accept Constitutionally-defined Presidential electoral results are appropriate and effective means by which to persuade others to change their team loyalty?

To those that think it is, I believe you are wrong, and your beliefs and methods will continue to leave you in your present situation, that being that in all of the political/governmental areas that matter, you are losing the game.  Yes, your team racked up more total yards of offense (the popular vote), but you failed to score enough touchdowns (winning states).  Your team ESPECIALLY failed to score touchdowns from inside the Red Zone (MI, OH, PA, WI).

In addition, what’s with all of the vitriolic name-calling?  I’ve read that there are 3,144 counties in the USA.  Virtually every major news source agrees that President Donald Trump won a little over 2,600, and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won about 490, resulting in the final State tally of 30 vs 20.  What in the world gives you right to label ALL of those who voted differently than you as stupid, hateful, sexist, bigoted and racist (just to list a few)?

How is it that you are SO much more intelligent, compassionate, and rational than nearly 63 million of your fellow citizens?  Is this really the way we want Americans (football fans or not) to demonstrate tolerance, intellect, insight, understanding, and knowledge of the true nature of the culture in which we live today?  And by the way, all the intellect, insight, understanding, and knowledge in the world doesn’t mean a thing if nothing is actually accomplished for the greater good.

To that, I’m not impressed by political strategy, game plan, what plays are called, or even total yards.  I’m more interested in positive outcomes, successful results…, touchdowns!  And I really don’t even care which team within the House, Senate or Executive Office has the ball, as long as AMERICAN touchdowns are being scored.  Unfortunately, today in America it seems that Democrats are completely offended by Republican-scored touchdowns, even when liberal, or working class, or inner-city constituents benefit.

One final thought: Lately it seems that the ONLY way to be sure that you don’t OFFEND anyone, is to NEVER take a stand on anything.  Two of our fellow Americans have been VERY politically outspoken over the past several months, offering up all manner of opinion and solutions.  At the risk of once again being vilified by many, including members of my own family, I am going to take a stand: I really do NOT believe that America would be a better place for all under the “guidance” of Rosie O’Donnell and/or Snoop Dogg.

If, because of my stance you find me offensive, I’ll respond with the simple, yet poignant words of Shane Falco: “Yeah.  Yeah, I can live with that.”

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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…

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.