I’m really trying to limit my political posts, but there’s one thing in particular I have to say for the time being: I do worry that this election in particular has the potential to lead to friendships being ended because of the anger and passion that’s being tapped into by the candidates and by social media, in particular. There’s a saying that friends shouldn’t discuss religion or politics, and that’s always been true, but social media is amplifying political commentary in a way that’s never really been seen before, and the propensity of people who disagree with you commenting on your posts and arguments getting out of control.

I’ve already had one friend delete me from his friends lists over a spat, and previously have felt myself alienated from still others. I think if it really does come down to Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump, things are going to get REALLY nasty, not just with their campaigns, but with social media in general. It’s not going to be pleasant. That’s why I would like to see John Kasich make it somehow, although he won’t. He’s the only candidate in the race I can see who doesn’t automatically piss off half the population by his very being. And I’ve already had people trash talking me about him, like it’s a fucking basketball game or some bullshit.

Anyway, I’m starting to get a little heated myself. It’s why I stopped making political posts for a while and why I need to refrain again going forward.

Merrick Garland

BPR Political Post:
(Uh oh, I’ve been gradually posting more of these recently; need to keep tabs on that…)
It’s eye-rolling that the Republicans are stone-walling Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court. From everything I’ve read, Merrick Garland is a superb choice who is a moderate, and frankly a more palatable pick for the Republican Senate to live with than what they can expect from a President Sanders or a President Clinton. There’s no legitimate reason to block him.
But I “get it”; Republicans want to hold out and see what happens if Cruz or (GULP) Trump get in and can choose a conservative justice. Fine, so be it. As long as they’re honest about why they’re stalling. And for all the Democrats and liberals up in arms over this move, let me tell you, if the tables were turned and it was the last year of George W. Bush and a liberal judge’s seat came open, you would be doing the EXACT. SAME. THING. And giving the EXACT. SAME. EXCUSES. And you know it.
It’s all just political bullshit.
#supremecourt #supremecourtjustice #merrickgarland #Obama
EDIT, March 18th, 8pm: In response to comments conservatives made on my FB page asserting Garland “voted against the Second Amendment”, this was my response:

Interesting. I got curious to find out more regarding both of your assertions that Garland “voted against letting citizens own firearms”, so I decided to research the subject, reading both what would be considered “conservative” and “liberal” websites. 

I’m assuming you’re both referring to Parker vs. District of Columbia, which in 2007 ruled a Washington DC handgun ban was unconstitutional…it was a 2-1 decision, but it turns out that Garland was NOT involved in the ruling; he merely agreed to the city’s request to have the entire court’s judges reconsider the case, not just three of them. Ultimately the court denied the request with a 6-4 vote, Garland being one of the four “yes” votes that included both a liberal judge named David Tatel, but also a renowned conservative judge named A. Raymond Randolph. There’s really nothing in such a vote—voting to reconsider the case—to indicate hostility to the Second Amendment, especially considering Randolph’s vote. Perhaps if they had reheard the case and voted on it, we would know something more definitive.

The other thing I’m finding is that in 2000 he voted to affirm that the FBI could hold on to gun purchase records for six months for auditing purposes in order to make sure background check systems worked…which the NRA asserts amounted to an “illegal national registration of gun owners”. Garland’s vote disagreed with that assertion. Your interpretation may vary.

My take on this is that conservatives are grasping at straws.

Trump protests

BPR Political Post:

I’m stepping out of my political post semi-retirement briefly to comment on the whole Trump protest thing, considering he’s here in KC today. And this is directed at liberals more than the Trump supporters. You don’t like what Trump says, that’s fine. You want to protest outside of a Trump rally, that’s great. You should. But I can’t condone an active effort to actually disrupt his events in an attempt to shut them down. Guess what: He has a right to say what he wants to say, whether you agree with it or not. And his supporters have a right to congregate and listen to him speak. That’s called the First Amendment, and it applies even to those who say things you don’t agree with, even when they’re disgusting.

Trying to shut down his rallies is only going to encourage violent acts and ultimately harden his support. And yes, I’m well aware of protesters being attacked by Trump supporters at previous rallies. That’s wrong. And that is completely on Trump for passive-aggressively condoning and encouraging that behavior, and he needs to be called out for that. What I’m talking about here is actively escalating that aggression by trying to break up his events. This has the potential to become one of those cases where liberals who like to harp about how oh-so-tolerant they are actually demonstrate how INTOLERANT they are when it comes to someone who disagrees with them. You don’t see Trump supporters trying to break up a Bernie rally.

So my message is, if you want to protest Trump, do it right. Do it smart. Don’t turn it into a riot.

Comment on somebody’s Trump post

One of your comments up above inadvertently hit the nail on the head about Trump’s appeal, Stef. Where you worried about what would happen if he becomes President and people start to feel comfortable expressing their true/racist feelings. I think that’s the key to his support so far. A segment of the country that’s long felt under assault and marginalized by mainstream society, and which feels they have been  made to feel guilty for being white suddenly feels validated by Trump. And I don’t make that characterization to justify, rationalize, nor certainly endorse that view; it’s just what I see in his supporters.

These are people who don’t like somebody like Leonardo DiCaprio getting an Oscar and then “wagging his finger” at them about global warming before (as they see it) hypocritically getting on his private jet to burn jet fuel and fly to the French Riviera to party, nor do they like being lectured about being politically correct and having to say “African American” instead of “Black”. (And they really do view someone like DiCaprio in that light.) Basically, they see Trump as somebody who makes them feel good about who they are and just being themselves. “Hey, it’s okay to be racist! Just DO IT!” (snark)

Even though it’s looking more an more like he’s going to be the Republican nominee (though I still expect somebody can eventually overtake him once enough of the others drops out and the non-Trump votes begin to coalesce), I don’t think he beats either Clinton or Sanders, if only because his support seems to be capped off at 35% of the Republican vote, while the total Republican vote as a percentage of the whole country is itself something like 35% (i.e. 35% of 35% equals, what 12% of all voters total?).