Posts Tagged ‘vote’

I have been accused of having dangerous thinking, ladies and gentlemen.

This happened a day or two after the election, and when the accusation was levied my feelings were quite hurt. I understood the accuser was upset their candidate had lost. I didn’t and don’t understand why they felt it necessary to lash out at me, the only person in the room that had voted the other direction. Being the only person in the room with my opinions, I also can’t help but wonder if they would have had the balls to abuse me that way had I been anything other than alone.

Whatever the situation, the event stands and has happened. I am a villain with dangerous thinking.

I thought I could keep quiet over this personal injustice – not because there are people who have had their cars stolen by thugs (read: protestors) that learned more about how violence is the answer over how and why the democratic process works. I don’t have it that bad, right? No, I struggled to keep silent because I was afraid.

You see, if this blog post gets back to the wrong people I will be ostracized more than I already have been as a dangerous thinker. I will be unfairly judged. I already have been unfairly judged, as a matter of fact. The cold irony is I’m being hated and judged by the very exact same people who have complained about intolerance and talked about loving one another around me for the better part of a year. So I know at the bottom of my heart that speaking up is going to kill my participation in some activities I’m fond of.  My feelings do not matter, and I am not allowed a safe space unless I sit down, shut up, and promise to be good.

Yet, I have come to realize that it’s our silence against this sort of behavior (whether on my level or the car theft’s) that has aggravated the problem. My mother and various other people throughout my entire life spent a lot of energy putting me down for having the fire to speak up for myself. I noticed the social change when people who push back and cry, “Stop it!” started to get portrayed as the bad guys in movies and film. I have been ostracized before for speaking up against something that I felt was wrong. Why should this be any different? I must speak up, even if it means once again suffering the consequences for my particular brand of social activism.

I always knew the truth was a fragile thing in this country and our lives, but it was Sarah Palin’s situation that showed me how serious the problem was. I didn’t know who she was when she was selected to run for vice-president, and back then I didn’t pay as much attention to the political climate as I do now. I thought it was kind of neat that a woman was running for one of the two presidential roles, and that’s as deep as my thinking got. Then the libel and slander against her began.

It would take me a novel to discuss everything the media and the political campaigns did to Mrs. Palin and her family. Let me just skip to the end: she never said she could see Alaska from her house. That’s a quote from Saturday Night Live. And there’s nothing like seeing the pain in her eyes when the interviewer asks about those days. The pain that I and other Americans caused for falling for those lies. Some of us still believe them.

I actually think Sarah Palin is a pretty smart, savvy cookie – not because the media told me so. It’s because I paid attention to her tract record, sat and watched a couple of complete, uncut speeches, and came to know her political philosophy. Through learning about her, I realized something very important. People don’t like to think.

Except me. I like to think. Dangerously.

With this election cycle, I decided to be very careful – more careful than I had ever been before. I examined potential candidates by finding articles for and against them, checking facts, and even going so far as finding old stories from ten years ago or more to assess people’s backgrounds and characters. I wasn’t going to the store to buy socks. I was making my choice for the leader of my country – it was no small choice and in my opinion required a lot of deep thinking.

For the most part Hillary lost my vote nearly from the beginning. I’d been watching reports of her deeds since before the last time Obama was elected. Jill Stein I also took a good look at, but in the end I couldn’t condone someone who felt spray painting property (even in protest) as a mature figure in the White House even if I could swallow the thought of increasing socialism in the country. I’m a registered libertarian, so Johnson actually had my vote for a long while. Regretfully I convinced my aunt to vote for him, but digging deeper made me realize he was not the liar for me. MacMullin also nearly got my vote… until I realized he was more using a divide and conquer strategy to take votes away from Trump than he was actually running for President – setting his ties to Hillary aside.

Hillary might have gotten my vote after that. I had been ignoring Trump with a firm shoulder because the media had told me he was a sexist, racist bastard. I was told he’d been through four, no wait two, no wait ten bankruptcies.  I didn’t want someone with that sort of thinking in the White House. Would he take away more rights from we the people in the same way the Democrats took away rights from the Blacks not long after the Civil War?  Would he put us even more into debt than we already were? And didn’t he try to take away a man’s house just because he thought it was ugly once? He was an asshole. Couldn’t trust him. Wasn’t voting for him.

And then a Hillary supporter showed me the way. She said to me – and I can’t quote directly – “That is not how I want to see my country.”

The context of the situation was her point of view on some social policies certain parties were trying to implement. She wanted them, they’d been slapped down, she was not happy about it. The delivery of the statement was translated as a big red flag with the following message embroidered on it:

WHAT I WANT IN THIS COUNTRY SUPERSEDES YOUR FREEDOMS OR ANYTHING YOU MAY DESIRE AS A FELLOW CITIZEN.

Literally, I kid you not, when she said that to me my heart squeezed inside of my chest. My blood didn’t run cold exactly, but fear for my future made itself known in a very real way. I couldn’t argue against it, although I did try to reason with it a bit through the Red Man’s tactic of storytelling. The message I got back was taken this way:

I WAS NOT BORN YET/WAS TOO YOUNG WHEN 9/11 HAPPENED AND HAVE NEVER KNOWN THE FREEDOMS YOU SPEAK OF. THEREFOR THE SENSE OF LOSS YOU AND OTHERS OF YOUR GENERATION FEEL ISN’T IMPORTANT TO ME.

Do you know who else told people like me things like this? The government, as they stole our children out of our homes to place them in Indian Schools far away to either die or have their culture literally beaten, raped, and educated out of them. What they wanted in their country superseded our sense of freedom, and they made it clear through socialist programs and re-education. It wasn’t even education for what they considered to be the good, I might add. The entire purpose was to teach my people how to be servants in their homes. This makes my fears founded in history – that subject my high school teachers decided I must fail at.

I need to be clear here. I’m not saying the Hillary-ite was actually saying these things. It’s just that with the context of the conversation this is how it looked, and when I reread the conversation this is how it continues to look. From there I knew. Trump was the only way for me to go. It was only a couple of weeks until the big day: election day.

But I went kicking and screaming. I was going to know about this man, by the gods, and I didn’t care that Sarah Palin had endorsed him. As a matter of fact when she did, I felt let down and had even emailed her to tell her how disappointed I was.

I began to dig… And I realized Trump had been Palined by the media. What I mean is, they’d twisted the facts about him much in the same way they had done with Sarah Palin. And just like with Sarah Palin, I and others were falling for it.

Maybe Trump is racist. Maybe he’s not. The opinion regarding that aspect of his personality swings both ways, sometimes in the same week at the Huffington Post. When I looked at each event that was branded as racist, I saw a man making some heavy business decisions that just happened to have to do with social problems. Then I found events that suggested his racism was situation based, like that time he was given the Ellis Island Medal of Honor or that other time he fought against racism.  The older he gets in his tract record, the more levelheaded he gets with his statements. It’s almost as if he was maturing or something. Strange, that a person could grow up like that in this day and age.

Trump probably might be sexist. He’s said some pretty typical things about women – oops. Did I say typical? I meant, he has said some pretty politically incorrect things in his lifetime some of which were in private or happened before the PC movement was really a movement. And some of the things he said in more recent times were against one person in particular, not against the entire gender, and highlighted his foot in mouth disease a lot more than it did his views on the opposite sex. Again just like with the last issue there was another side to it, the side that said he was a champion of women (according to his female employees). I don’t even want to discuss the alleged sexual assault complaints, as that is something which happens to literally every single outsider running for public office the pro quo doesn’t like. Also, those charges were dropped conveniently when it became apparent he was not going to be driven underground but instead was gaining endorsements and support by others who had been through that particular fire. Moving along.

Oh you’re telling me Trump is homophobic? Explain to me then why he proudly displayed the rainbow flag at one of his rallies when he’d been told he had LGBT support. And most importantly why is it that he defended gay rights in some of his speeches, chewing on the words as if he could barely utter the fact that Muslims kill homosexuals. He wasn’t happy about it. It angered him. Why would a homophobic care?

Something I found out recently, too. At least some of the footage you’ll find on the main websites covering his speeches have been cut, and those cuts magically make him out to be exactly what the narrative would like you to believe. I had the fortune of finding a website that made a public comparison, putting the cut speeches next to his whole speeches, so that I could hear what he genuinely was saying. I knew it happened in today’s media. I didn’t realize how bad it could be.

There is one thing in common the issues I have listed above. They’re hot topics for today’s social environment. Something else. They were all used to smear his name and present a falsehood. When I got past all that and actually looked into facts and events I could only come to the conclusion that Trump was a Grade A asshole at times – but not asshole enough for that to take away my vote. He’s just a man that has made mistakes. He even made a public apology for some of them. He’s only human, a human that sometimes reaches out a helping hand to people. The things I found out about him made me think he was the best candidate out of the entire line up. Thus, he won my vote.

However, he didn’t win my undying faith. He’s president elect, not cosmic omnipotent elect. I predict within a year after he takes office, the same people that are talking about how wonderful he is now will hate him just as much as they hated any president in their lifetime. When you’re running for president, you’re asking to be the most hated person on Earth. We won’t know how well he’s genuinely doing for two years. That’s a long time to wait. It’s a long time to think about it.

When I try to explain my reasoning and why being accused of doing anything dangerous hurts to people, I get cut off. I’m not sitting in the corner being quiet, and I need to shut up. But like it or not, he won my vote and he won the vote of a lot of other people in the country. It happened. This is the American democratic process. Maybe you don’t like the electoral college, but on my end the backlash against our system spurred me to learn more about that – because if I’m ever asked to sign a petition against it I want to know the whole story and not just some media spin. I have learned even more from this election, although I still have to remember it was Palin that taught me to seek the truth.

Since the time of Reagan, I noticed a trend for the candidates to make jokes and be entertaining. Hillary even had the backing of various media superstars with a concert. These people are counting on the people to decide with their hearts and not their minds. They’re counting on you and I to remain soft, malleable and not dangerous. Safe. When they talk about the issues, they do it with a jester’s bell tinkle. Doesn’t it bother you that they’re counting on you not to be thinking?

Trump did not win my vote because of dangerous thinking. Rather, I’m guilty of thinking period. In my honest opinion it’s an even greater crime that thinking is not an encouraged skill in this country, especially when it comes to deciding our leaders. Too many people don’t like to think. They want to be told what’s good, they don’t want to learn from history, and they’re easily satisfied with a small stimulus check as if $200 can wipe way an entire lifetime of wrongdoing.

That is where the real danger lies. Not with me. I’m a thinker. The only thing I’m a danger to is the crowd that would prefer I sit down and shut up.

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