ENOUGH

Posted by Doug White under Political

I’ve thought about writing this before. I’ve been hesitant to do so because I’ve learned in this day and age, political affiliation has become something like a cult and there is no amount of words that can be said to some that will ever convince them that the candidate they support isn’t disgusting and bad for this country.

But, seriously, enough.

Enough.

Enough.

Politically, I tend to lean to the Right. I’m fairly conservative, but have some libertarian leanings. I believe, mostly, that we should leave people alone to do the things they wish to do, regardless of what I may think of those activities myself. That is, as long as they are not hurting others. That last statement is why I can’t fully support the Libertarian movement as they are pro-choice and that most definitely hurts millions of babies every year. But, I digress.

As, a conservative, I was a Republican for decades. With the exception of a silly, youthful decision to vote for Ross Perot in the 90’s, I’ve voted the Republican ticket on every election from 1988 to 2012. But, I saw in the last eight years, that our Republican party is no longer conservative and has done almost nothing to try to prevent Barack Obama from doing the things he wants to do to this country. Even electing the Tea Party did little to nothing to prevent the destructive policies of President Obama. The Republican Party talked a good line, but all they really cared about, much like the Democratic Party – was to be re-elected. And we, as a people, continue to fall for it – every single time.

For me, it became too much and I withdrew from the GOP and registered as an Independent. I planned to continue to vote conservative wherever I could, but was going to try to take a more honest look at candidates before I gave them my vote.

Along comes the 2016 election. I saw the Democratic Party veer in two directions. One, in the form of Bernie Sanders, an old, grouchy guy who seemed to resonate with younger voters because, if I had to guess, he was promising them all sorts of free stuff. His policies veered wildly towards socialism and the fact that this country came perilously close to making him the nominee, frankly scares the crap out of me. Mark my words, that mentality isn’t going away people. It’ll be back full force someday and if we don’t do better with our children, that will be the American Way soon.

The second way was in the form of Hillary Clinton – someone I’ve been saying for years, will be the next President of the United States. But the fact that she will be, should be rather shocking to anyone who lived in the 90’s during the tenure of her husband’s Presidency. If, for no other reason, then the sheer amount of sexually disgusting acts of him and her determined efforts to destroy the women her husband attacked.

But, she has her own things to answer for as well – even if she never will. Her lack of help as Secretary of State to those who needed it in Benghazi will forever in my mind cast her as evil. Her ignoring the laws in regards to having a private email server that contained classified information, as well as her destruction of emails that she was ordered to provide is purely criminal, despite her getting completely away with it when the FBI said that anyone else would be charged, but they are choosing not to in her case.

And there are many, many others. But in the Democratic Party, the fact that she is a woman, holds sway over any sort of sane reasoning to actually determine if she’s capable of leading this country (she is not).

Frankly, I was looking forward to seeing who the Republican Party would send to go against Clinton.

  • Cruz – uh, ok…I like him, still a bit new to the field, but ok…

  • Fiorina – ok…interesting. I’d like to learn more.

  • Walker – good choice, interest…wait, he’s out?

  • Rubio – yes. This guy is good. Keep going GOP…

  • Paul – Like him. He’ll never win.

  • Carson – likable…but as a politician, he makes a good surgeon.

  • Huckabee – eight years ago, great candidate. Now, he’s just looking to cash in.

  • Bush – oh dear God. Have we learned nothing?

  • Christie – Blowhard. Literally.

  • Trump – uh,huh?

No way. Trump, can’t win the nomination. Right? After all, he’s the guy who keeps claiming he’d run, almost did four years ago, and told us how the “blacks love him”. This guy is a buffoon. Sure, he makes a great reality show leader on The Apprentice, but President? No way.

I watched, in fascination, as the world let Trump literally take over the process. No one talked about anyone the way they talked about him. He was all anyone talked about.

Then he said something that was a turning point for me. He told people that John McCain, a man who spent years as a prisoner of war was not a hero because he was captured. (https://goo.gl/gs9VgN). Wait, what? McCain was captured so he wasn’t a hero? Ok, NOW people will stop supporting this man.

His support went up.

It was at that point, I knew I would most likely not vote for him. Not that I have any personal love for John McCain, but he, and many, many others ARE heroes for the time they suffered at the hands of our enemies FOR OUR COUNTRY. For goodness sake, Trump insulted our soldiers, and he has never served ONE DAY for this country. NOT ONE.

But, trying to keep my mind open, I started looking at what policies he wanted to implement as President. Let’s start with one that I am most passionate about. He was pro-choice until a mere 5 years ago. Then as a part of his candidacy for 2016, he suddenly becomes pro-life. Yet, in the span of days, he changed his position on abortion three times. And that was this year.

Changing his mind on policies is the norm for him. He has absolutely no coherent plan on any issue. Don’t believe me? Read this (https://goo.gl/lSvxII). His political stands change so fast it’s almost dizzying. Even his signature policy, building a wall and banning Muslims has changed many times.

It became very clearly to me very quickly that Trump is not a conservative. He is what liberals assume conservatives are. He’s a liberal playing a conservative and the Republican party was falling for it. It was at this point, I became part of the #NeverTrump crowd. I won’t vote for someone without conservative principals. Trump has none.

He won the nomination. There’s a whole other article to write about how he and Hillary won because our electoral process is insane, convoluted and not in the best of interests of the American people. I probably won’t ever write it, because…most people don’t care. It’s the way it is, and no one cares that most of them have absolutely no say in the nomination process at all.

But, as I said, he won. As did Hillary. What’s a guy to do in this situation? Look at Gary Johnson? Hmm…maybe.

Then… https://goo.gl/0CihgK

Nope. Gary Johnson is a walking example of why marijuana should probably stay illegal.

I resigned myself to not voting for any candidate, something I have never done since I was legally able to vote.

But, I continued to watch with morbid interest as Trump’s support grew. How, as he became obsessed with Twitter, that he would post the most outrageous statements and his support…continued to grow.

Then, as Hillary collapsed at a 9-11 event, blamed it on pneumonia, hugged a child the same day in a photo op and possibly exposed the young girl to her sickness (if she really had it), something occurred to me.

Trump may win.

I was filled with as much dread with that thought as I was with Hillary. He might win.

As the first Presidential debate came on, his numbers had even surpassed hers. Watching the debate though, another thought came back. This guy is a moron. He was unprepared, ventured off track, couldn’t handle a single insult thrown his way. It was like I was listening to a two year old throw a temper-tantrum.

His numbers started going back down. Yet, he continued to go to Twitter and insult one person after another – instead of trying to get a political message out to the people. I thought again, well, it can’t get any worse, right?

Boy, was I wrong. (https://goo.gl/XFoJxC)

Enough.

This man is disgusting. His attitudes toward women have always been disgusting. He has married three times and the stories of the marriages are tabloid fodder. He has expressed a weird fascination with the attractiveness of his own daughters.

But, this latest revelation is by far the worst. He is openly gleeful about his ability to sexually assault women because he has power.

If you continue to support this man, if you blow this off as no big deal, then you are saying, quite resoundingly, to every woman or girl you know, that men wanting to force themselves on them, is ok. You support the sexual assault on women.

“But, but, Bill Clinton!”

You are 100% right. Bill Clinton should get no pass. Neither should Hillary. Hillary did not assault the women, Bill did. But she helped him get away with it. She helped him destroy those women.

If you continue to support Hillary Clinton, you tell every woman or girl that if a man forces themselves on them, that is ok for them, the victim, to not be believed. To be denigrated. To be destroyed, not just by the attacker, but by the woman who goes to bed with him each night. You support the sexual assault on women, too.

I’ve been told if I don’t vote for Trump, I am voting for Clinton. If I don’t vote for Clinton, I am voting for Trump. That’s what the cults have taught you and I’ve had enough of that mentality.

I will counter that mentality with: If you vote for either, you are part of the problem. Men in power will continue to exploit women (if you think Bill or Donald still don’t, you’re fooling yourself). Women in bed with those men, will do all they can to retain the power they have – including making the victim out to be the one who is wrong.

Enough. This is not what our founders had in mind. Neither of these candidates deserve the office of President.

Enough. If you want to make a true stand, vote for none of them. People with morals have got to stop being led like lambs to a slaughter and voting for such denigrating, disgusting choices.

Enough.

ENOUGH.

Second Chances

Posted by Doug White under Personal

Daddy. Dad. Father. Pop. Many names for one guy. Whatever you call him, the man who is half of the reason you are here certainly influenced your life in some way. For many, this was in a good way, for others, not so much. Every man has the ability to father a child, but it takes a lot of love and effort to be a Dad TO that child.

I was fortunate to have a second chance at having a father in my life.

The man who played a part in my existence, I barely knew. Without going into a lot of familial dirty laundry, he was in mine and my sister’s life until I was four. He was not a good man and after my mother divorced him, for a period of time, he hurt several people in my family, both emotionally and one time, physically.

Granted, I was young and so many of these stories I have heard from the adults that went through this. But I have a very powerful memory that sticks with me even today of when he and several members of his family actually kidnapped my sister and I. It was for a brief period of time and he was upset because he wanted us to spend time with him over Easter and it wasn’t his time to have us.

So, he took several of his family members and drove to where my mom was living and took my sister and I from her. I remember seeing my mom in tears, screaming and I was scared. I couldn’t have been much older than four or five. I was yelling for my mommy and I put my hand out the window. This man’s father, my “grandfather” if you will, rolled the window up and pinched a finger of mine before I pulled it away.

This man who married my mother was, simply put, not a good man.

My mother met another man not long after the divorce. He was a young man in the Air Force who was visiting someone he knew and met my mother. He returned the next time to visit his friend and my mom. The time after that he returned to visit my mom.

To say that this man was smitten with my mother is an absolute understatement. I have truly never met a man so in love with a woman as the man I call Dad today, is with my mom.

When he asked her to marry him, my mother was obviously hesitant. She’d just gotten through a bad divorce. What if this one didn’t work out either? She had two kids to take care of and was not sure she could put them through that again.

This man came up with an idea. He asked my mom and us two kids to travel with him to Florida where he was to be stationed. If we got there and she did not want to marry him, he would pay for her to go back to South Dakota. My mom agreed.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

This man, my Dad, took two kids who were not his own, and a woman whom he adored and he made them his family. Along the way, we had another kid enter our life, my second sister. The three of us were always treated the same by this man. I never thought of her as my “half-sister”, she was my sister. And after a period of adjustment by the young boy that I was, I soon thought of him as “Daddy” and then finally “Dad”. And at some point, he made it official and formally adopted my other sister and I and I carry his surname to this day.

My mom and dad have been together for more than forty years now.

This man is, simply put, a great person and a great father.

He has been a father to me and my sisters and plays an important role as the grandfather of mine and their children. He is called “Grump” by the grand-kids, named so by my oldest, when she had a hard time saying Grandpa. He likes to pretend he’s a grumpy old man now and that the name fits, but he’s far from it.

I love this man. I aspire to be like this man everyday. He’s not a perfect man, no one is, but he’s a good one and that’s what really counts. I want to be the husband to my wife that he is to my mom and I try hard to be the dad to my kids that he was to us.

Someday I want to be my grand-kids “Grump” as well.

Last year, my biological father died. I found this out by accident. I had little contact with him as I was growing up and the last time I saw him was the year my oldest was born. To me, this man had stopped being a father a very long time ago and so hearing that he died had little effect on me. He was just someone I knew when I was very young.

My Dad, is the man who took a young woman and two young kids and made a family with them.

My Dad, is the man who threw me in a car when I was suffering from the croup and raced me to the hospital, so I wouldn’t die.

My Dad, is the man who taught us how to ride bikes and when he thought we were ready, took us to the top of a hill and let us go. (He didn’t tell my mother he was going to do that either!)

My Dad, is the one who taught me how to drive a stick-shift and complains about the neck pains he has from those times to this day.

My Dad, is the one who, when as a young boy I would yell, “You’re not my Dad!” loved me anyway. (He may not have particularly liked me at that moment, though.)

He taught me all the best things about being a Dad. He may not have played a part in my existence, but in every single way that counts, he is my Dad. And I thank God that he gave me a second chance for getting a real father in my life.

Happy Fathers Day, Dad.

Dad to Dad

Posted by Doug White under Personal

Much has been written and said about the Brock Turner case in the national spotlight lately, a man who was convicted of raping a woman who was intoxicated past the point of being able to consent. I’m sure I’m not saying anything really that new, but I still feel the need to say it.

This young man’s Dad lamented about the punishment his son was facing over ’20 minutes of action’. I, as a father of two young girls, one college age, am both disgusted and outraged at the idea that this man equates young women such as my own daughters as a piece of meat. Worse, he doesn’t even seem to recognize the woman exists. Instead this woman was just a vehicle for his son to have some fun. She was just a means to an end. This Dad’s comments weren’t just reprehensible, they, in a sense, allowed this woman to be raped again.

Additionally, much has been said about the amount of alcohol that this young woman drank.

Let’s stop right there a moment.

How much she drank, is completely, one hundred percent – irrelevant.

If people want to talk about the stupidity of drinking to the point of obliviousness, or drinking at all for that matter, feel free. I’m with you. I used to drink when I was younger and I quite foolishly got intoxicated beyond the point of being able to take care of myself and I look back on those days with a bit of mild disgust as to how stupid I was. I quite honestly put myself, and others at one point, in some danger with my foolishness.

So, feel free to talk about limiting alcohol or not using it at all.

But do so outside discussion of this story.

The moment that you add that topic to this story, you are in effect saying that this is the young woman’s fault. That she is somehow to blame for this man dragging her behind a dumpster and putting his finger’s inside of her and violating her. You are blaming the victim.

I personally wish people wouldn’t drink. At all. Nothing good comes of it. But people can legally drink and they can legally drink to the point of blacking out. And you still don’t get to rape them. Period.

We have for a very long time on this planet, in various cultures including our own, treated women not only as second class citizens, but as property. We have treated women as conquests for men and it is only recently that women have started coming into their own place in society, as equals with men.

And we have a long way to go.

I, like I mentioned, have two beautiful girls. I worry about them everyday. I have one who is in college, which means that for nine months of the year, I have no idea what is happening to her at any given moment. As a parent, that has been incredibly tough for me to deal with.

I realize boys will find my girls attractive. I also know that my girls may find those boys attractive too and at some point, that relationship may become sexual. Their mother and I have taught them that it is far better to wait until marriage but we are also realists and understand the world our girls live in.

I am terrified of the idea that someday though, a boy will try to force himself on either of my girls. Why am I terrified of this? Because it happens to more women than we like to admit.

In the span of one year, several years ago, we encountered, not one, not two, but three men who took advantage of young girls. One of these was in a former church of ours. We left this church because it generally took the same approach that the people around Brock Turner did. Yes, the law punished the young man who assaulted the women but not before the church completely turned it’s back on each victim in the church and then rallied around the young man – whose father held a position within the church.

What I remember most about that incident? When the incident was brought up in the church, one man looked at another afterwords and said, “Well, kids will be kids.”

The assaulter was eighteen.

The victim was EIGHT.

That man may not have known that, but do you see what I’m getting at? We continue to discount the attacks on women in society because we don’t want to deal with the honest truth, which is that in a society where women are still considered to be the weaker sex, there are men who are going to use that to their advantage.

For many years in my life, I have been bombarded with the idea, that even God Himself thinks that men have dominion over women. Men are the head of the house, women are to be his help mate. I even wrote about this on this blog page years ago as I tried to put justification around this belief that I have personally struggled with my entire adult life. I struggle with it, because I don’t believe it. I am not better than my wife. I am her equal. And she is mine. We each have strengths and weaknesses and hopefully we accent each others weaknesses with our strengths. But I reject the notion I rule over her.

If I face some sort of retribution for that in the afterlife, so be it.

I have taught my girls the same. They are not less than the person they choose to be their spouse. I have taught them that while dating, if a boy starts trying to exert his will over them, dump that dude fast. They are their own person and the choices they make as adults are theirs to make.

Some might say this makes me a feminist. I don’t know about that. I’m not overly fond of feminism, I have seen it used to try to make women better than men. I reject that too.

Men and women are different. But neither is better than the other.

And neither has the right to do anything harmful to the other.

So, from this Dad to Brock Turner’s dad, I say this:

Sir, you are not a father. Not in any sense of the word. You have raised a man who sees women as something to get pleasure off of. You have taught him, that ’20 minutes of action’ is more important than treating someone with dignity, no matter what they have done to themselves. You are not a man. You are a weak, evil, little being who has raised another person to be the same. You believe that women, like my own girls, are not entitled to be treated in the same way as your boy, simply because they are a different gender.

I find you sir, disgusting. And a sad excuse for a person. You are the reason I, and many other Dad’s who have daughters of their own, have trouble sleeping at night.

I sincerely hope that the mindset you vomit out into the world is quickly dying a slow death and someday will be gone from this planet. Hopefully someday, people like you will be gone and girls like my own daughters can live in this world with a sense of peace, safe from the likes of you.

My daughters deserve that kind of world.

The woman your boy assaulted deserves that kind of world.

All women do.