Politics and Social Media (or, an exercise in futility)

Perhaps I’ll designate Tuesdays as being the time of the week that I’ll make political posts, considering this is when I’ve felt like posting something political recently…

It’s kind of sad seeing the same arguments being made by the same people in favor of their designated side of the aisle; talking in circles at each other and nobody walks away satisfied. Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing people who share my point of view speak up (often eloquently), so I’m not saying stop it, but this post is just exasperation that it’s essentially the same argument at its roots that everybody’s been having since about June of 2015. I see a post that’s political, then I see the names of people commenting and I immediately guess (correctly, every time) what they’re going to say. It’s safe to say we are all pretty deeply entrenched in our professed point of view.

What’s my point? Knock yourself out, speak up for what you believe in…but don’t expect to change anybody’s mind who disagrees with you. At best, you might encourage those who do agree with you but are too circumspect to speak up (you know who you are out there 😉 ).

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Post-Election 2016, cont.

My biggest fears about the forthcoming Trump presidency, Part One: What impact will his actions have on our First Amendment rights. I worry very much about the press, which he’s so vilified and which many of his followers have become hostile towards, and how they’ll be able to cover his administration effectively. Will journalists be intimidated, threatened, and brow-beaten into treating him with kid gloves? And how soon will his followers start calling his critics like me “traitors” who should be jailed for “treason”? I’m calling it right now. It’s disturbing that his followers who are oh-so-dedicated to the Second Amendment might have absolutely no problem trampling on the First.

And what does it even mean when people say we all need to “come together” now? Does that mean we can’t question the new President? Does that mean that those of us who didn’t vote for him—and who outnumbered those who did nationwide, never forget—need to shut up and go to the back of the room? Just seems like a hollow thing to say. I’m willing to give Trump a chance, but I’m not willing to fall in line if I think what he’s doing is detrimental.

Post-Election Musings

I was told recently by someone that if they see “Continue Reading” at the end of one of my Facebook posts that they ignore it and scroll on…so this week I’ve started posting paragraph sized snippets in order to retain readers on FB…so what you see below are those chunks in order. 

I unfollowed the majority of Trump supporters a long time ago, so I’ve been blissfully sheltered from what I imagine to be all the gloating right now. But you’re all entitled to be happy today, because you earned it. I don’t believe you’re stupid, or racist, or sexist for supporting him, the way most liberals are lamenting right now. I’ve always accepted the majority of Trump supporters’ sincerity in their beliefs about this campaign. I do want to say, however, that there is no “making America great again”, because America has ALWAYS been great.

And I never unfollowed Trump supporters out of spite or simply because I disagreed with them; it was just that so many have been obnoxious and would post the same old shit and stupid memes over and over that it got predictable and old. I’m tempted to name drop some of the Trump supporters who I have kept on my feed, because I always felt they were thoughtful and sincere, and have tended to have a more insightful commentary that made me think.

I made no secret of my opposition to Donald Trump. I think he has enabled and emboldened a new generation of racists and white nationalists in a way that’s very disturbing to me, and I maintain they permeate the Right in a larger proportion than those sincere Trump supporters I mentioned previously should be comfortable with. And don’t pull Black Lives Matter on me as your trump card (no pun intended); I’m not talking about the Left here; I’m talking about the Right.

And before you go crazy at my last post, I am NOT calling all Trump supporters racists; I’m saying that white nationalists make up a larger portion of his support than you should be cool with.

Having said all that, I was heartened by the graciousness of Trump’s victory speech last night. It’s true that’s considered the norm at the end of a presidential campaign, but he could easily have gloated and played to his base, but instead chose the high road. I think perhaps now he’s beginning to realize what he’s gotten himself into.

And remember, the President is not a king (despite the Right’s accusations of Obama allegedly abusing his power with all of his Executive Orders), and Trump by himself cannot turn back the clock on minority, LGBT, and women’s rights; not and expect to be re-elected in four years. It’s true with a Republican House and Senate for at least the first two years he’ll be able to affect things like Obamacare and the Supreme Court, but Justices have been known to buck expectations. This Republic was designed with checks and balances that still hold, even today.

I didn’t realize that the vote totals still aren’t completed, and that there is a solid chance that Hillary may actually still win the national popular vote; she leads by over 200,000 votes right now with 92% of the total vote tallied; the bulk of her votes are probably coming from California. Liberals, don’t turn this into a rallying cry for Trump’s supposed illegitimacy; our Electoral system is designed with the States being the ultimate electors of the President; our country’s very name demonstrates that, the United STATES of America.

And conservatives, temper your elation with the knowledge that your guy might not win the popular vote and understand how that shows just how divided this country is, and that while you will have full control of the government for the next two years, if you overreach you could easily lose it starting with the 2018 mid-term elections.

My main hope going forward, is that Trump ends up governing closer to the middle than he’s let on during the campaign; he was admittedly a Democrat for much of his life before this. I fully accept him as my next President, and I hope my previous worries that he’d be a disaster get proved wrong.

Hillary’s corruption vs. Trump’s corruption

It is all about the narrative: Hillary is “corrupt” while Trump is “tells it like it is”. Sure, he’s a little “rough around the edges” and “uses bad words”, but at least HE’S not CORRUPT. Yeah, I’ve seen you on FB making this argument, that Trump’s seemingly only vice is that he “uses bad words” and “says mean things”. Well. I can only imagine the fever pitch with which his supporters would be slathering and gloating and showcasing his own examples of corruption—Trump University, anyone?—if it were Hillary involved in these schemes and not him:
“…you’d have to work incredibly hard to find a politician who has the kind of history of corruption, double-dealing, and fraud that Donald Trump has. The number of stories which could potentially deserve hundreds and hundreds of articles is absolutely staggering. Here’s a partial list:
•Trump’s casino bankruptcies, which left investors holding the bag while he skedaddled with their money
•Trump’s habit of refusing to pay contractors who had done work for him, many of whom are struggling small businesses
•Trump University, which includes not only the people who got scammed and the Florida investigation, but also a similar story from Texas where the investigation into Trump U was quashed.
•The Trump Institute, another get-rich-quick scheme in which Trump allowed a couple of grifters to use his name to bilk people out of their money
•The Trump Network, a multi-level marketing venture (a.k.a. pyramid scheme) that involved customers mailing in a urine sample which would be analyzed to produce for them a specially formulated package of multivitamins
•Trump Model Management, which reportedly had foreign models lie to customs officials and work in the U.S. illegally, and kept them in squalid conditions while they earned almost nothing for the work they did
•Trump’s employment of foreign guest workers at his resorts, which involves a claim that he can’t find Americans to do the work
•Trump’s use of hundreds of undocumented workers from Poland in the 1980s, who were paid a pittance for their illegal work
•Trump’s history of being charged with housing discrimination
•Trump’s connections to mafia figures involved in New York construction
•The time Trump paid the Federal Trade Commission $750,000 over charges that he violated anti-trust laws when trying to take over a rival casino company
•The fact that Trump is now being advised by Roger Ailes, who was forced out as Fox News chief when dozens of women came forward to charge him with sexual harassment. According to the allegations, Ailes’s behavior was positively monstrous; as just one indicator, his abusive and predatory actions toward women were so well-known and so loathsome that in 1968 the morally upstanding folks in the Nixon administration refused to allow him to work there despite his key role in getting Nixon elected.”
Now, if you’re going to comment and dispute any of the above, I CHALLENGE you NOT to invoke Clinton as your equalizer. I want to see if you can actually defend Trump on his own merits. I’m sure some of you will whine and pout about me “oppressing” your First Amendment rights, but any invoking of Clinton in any response will simply be deleted; we all know all about Clinton and her baggage…but the NARRATIVE that she is the corrupt one while Trump simply “uses bad words, get over it” has sheltered him from more thorough examination of his own (non-sexual harassment related) past.
And yes, this article is TWO WHOLE MONTHS OLD, let it go Brian, sheesh…well, dumbass, it’s still relevant. And before you try the “At least Trump hasn’t made decisions that killed people!” line, he simply hasn’t been in a position to have to make those decisions; that’s part of what holding public office entails.
EDIT: I will accept a response that effectively acknowledges the above while still maintaining Clinton is worse. I just don’t want to see a litany of her shit as a counterweight in my comment thread. I know all about her shit. But you can’t say Trump doesn’t have his own corrupt shit going on.

Undecided Voters

Because what Facebook needs is yet another political post:

I do wonder how many people are still genuinely undecided between Clinton and Trump, to the point where the debates (both the actual presidential ones and people arguing on social media) might influence them one way or the other. It seems to me that everyone who is voting for Trump has already committed to him, and the undecided voters are really just conflicted about whether to hold their noses and vote for Clinton, or vote third party or even write in, say, Bernie Sanders. I just think it’s hard to believe that people at this point are still weighing Clinton vs Trump per se; it’s really got to be Clinton vs third party/write-in for the undecided voters. That’s just my intuition on the matter; I haven’t really researched who the undecided voters are.

Trump vs Clinton: Or, the lesser of two evils

In all fairness, I still accept people’s sincerity in maintaining their support for Trump. The way people who don’t like Hillary for all her faults think she’s still a better option than Trump is effectively no different than those who continue to support Trump despite his lechery because they think he’ll still be better than her. That’s where we’re at this election. To each their own; but I’m not going to burn bridges with people for their decision/perspective on this matter. #Election2016

Trump “hot mic” Access Hollywood video

Wow…just wow.
 
Look, I get that a lot of my friends out there in Facebookland hate, hate, HATE Hillary Clinton; you don’t like her, you don’t trust her, you think she’ll be bad for the country. I get it, if that’s your view. And I also get it if that’s your basis for supporting Trump…
 
But MAN…shit like this video being par for the course with Trump has just GOT to be driving you up the wall. THIS is the person you’ve anchored yourself to? At the very least, watch the video in this link of his “locker room” talk about women before forming a response to this post. I don’t expect this to change your mind about Trump; if you still consider this “better” than Hillary, that’s your prerogative. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of, “But, but, but, BILL CLINTON!!” responses as a “defense”. But just stop for a second and think about how sad that is that you’re reduced to debating whose sexual indiscretions are worse.
 

A Message to Bernie Bros…

I have something to say to the Bernie people who are still gnashing their teeth in lamentation over Hillary’s nomination. This is something I commented on a friend’s thread and have been meaning to post on my page, so I figured I’d paste it here with some additions:
 
RE: Anger at the Democratic Party for screwing over Bernie Sanders.
The fact of the matter is that the parties can select their candidates in whatever way they so choose; they’re not accounted for at all in the Constitution. Binding popular selection by the public via the primaries is actually a relatively recent development dating to the sixties. Before that it was basically the kind of backroom dealing among party bosses that I see a lot of people (mostly Bernie people) lamenting about today regarding Hillary’s nomination (see: Super Delegates).
 
My overall point is that Bernie chose to run as a Democrat…which actually probably enabled a higher profile for himself than he would have gotten if he had ran as the independent he’s always been throughout his career. But in running as a Democrat, he simultaneously ran into the “rigged” party system that was almost explicitly designed to keep someone like him out. Is it fair? No. Is it democracy? No. But we’re not even a true democracy as it is; we don’t even elect the president by direct popular vote. Undemocratic? Maybe, but in any case that’s how the Founders DESIGNED the system.
 
I guess the ultimate question Bernie followers need ask themselves now is, is the progressive movement (i.e., the policies Sanders’ espoused) in a better position overall now than if he hadn’t ran as a Democrat. Hillary was forced to pivot left in order to accommodate him. That’s something right there. You can say she’s lying to get votes, but Sanders’ profile is exponentially higher now and he could be in a position to influence things via the Senate if Hillary wins. Just a thought.
 
Oh, and who would you rather have choose the make up and character of the Supreme Court for the next generation? Chances are the next president will get to nominate as many as three or four new justices since so many current ones are in or are about to enter their 80s (to say nothing of the current empty seat that one particular party refuses to hold a hearing for). Roe V Wade, gay rights, voter laws, environmental laws, health care laws, gun rights…those worth giving over to Donald Trump just because you don’t feel like you were treated nicely enough by the DNC?

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.

Super Bowl Recap, and Beyonce…

My Two Day Late Super Bowl Recap, which segues into a now-rare BPR Political Post:

Great defensive effort, especially by Denver, though that tends to make for a bland football game overall. Cam Newton did become a sulky, pouty player when faced with adversity, and not even diving for the football on that one play after he fumbled was a bad, bad look for him. I empathize with his abruptly leaving the post-game press conference, though. I might have been the same way if I were in his shoes, especially with the Denver player nearby trash talking during his own interview.

RE: The Super Bowl Halftime Show: I’ve always been lukewarm regarding this. It’s really just a spectacle and it’s overly pre-packaged and stage-managed. Which I guess is necessary for what it is. (Although U2’s 2002 performance was phenomenal and remains my personal favorite.) But…why Coldplay? LOL. I have no opinion of that band, good or bad, and from some of the social media responses, they evidently are the Nickleback of the aughts, heh. Chris Martin was totally out of his element and outclassed by Beyonce and Bruno Mars. He should’ve just have hung back at the end and let the other two close the performance instead of looking like he was photobombing them.

RE: Beyonce’s protest song. I’m seeing a lot of huffing and offense over her alleged “racist” “anti-police” song, etc, especially among followers of a certain toupee’d presidential candidate and tea drinking segment from the right side of the political spectrum. People always seem to have to find a way to be offended by just about anything, I guess. I’ve always felt that, regarding race and racial issues, black people and white people are talking on two totally different wavelengths and neither side is really “hearing” what the other is saying. So White People Outrage over Beyonce, brought to you by Fox News, is just another example of people not getting getting the point.

(Photo credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)