Political Ramblings

Posted by Doug White under Uncategorized

I need to ramble a bit….

So … Donald Trump is President today.

Here’s how excited I am on what’s in store for the next four years:

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(Yes, I have a beard. Now focus…)

Politics…what a fascinating beast it is in our culture, not just in this country, but anywhere. We say that it shouldn’t be discussed in polite company because, well, it never ends up staying polite. But we also feel that we have to be heard so we speak our mind. But boy do we hate it when others do the same.

I am conservative, who in this current political climate, is a man without an island. There is no one in America leading the conservative cause. Let me make sure I’m understood…THERE IS NO ONE IN AMERICA LEADING THE CONSERVATIVE CAUSE.

(Yes, I’m yelling, hold on a second while I take my blood pressure medicine).

Okay, I’m back.

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Where was I? Oh yeah, conservatism.

Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States. He is a proclaimed Republican – but was a proclaimed Democrat for many years.

He is not conservative.

He does not espouse conservative beliefs.

When he makes sense, which is rare, the closest I can come to what he is, is a populist. Now, I can’t claim to have a perfect understanding of populism, but as best as I can tell, it is a movement that is tied to a group of people who are angry at the current norms of political society. In all honesty, there are things about populism that interest me. However, keep in mind, Bernie Sanders could be considered a populist too. And quite frankly, Bernie Sanders and HIS movement, scared the crap out of me.

But, even there, I have my doubts. That is because Donald Trump is a liar. He lies about everything. He lies so much that I’m not sure he even realizes he lies. He lies about how he won the election. He claims it was a landslide, when it clearly wasn’t – especially when he didn’t even win the majority of the votes. He lies about businesses that have decided to move back to America. He takes the credit for this, despite some of those businesses going, “uh, hey, we actually planned this some time ago.”

He is even lying today. He claims his inauguration had the highest number of people ever. Ever. That’s provably false. Disclaimer: I don’t personally care how many people he had vs. how many others had. If he wants to believe otherwise, great. This lie pales in comparison to others he’s said. BUT…it’s a lie. And it’s what he does.

“Boy, Doug, you sure are acting liberal right now. Why do you hate America?”

No, I’m not.

(And I dispute a group of people hate America because they believe something other than I do.)

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I am a conservative – who wants the Republican President to act conservative. I want a President who believes in limited government. I want that person to stand up for liberty and the freedom of every person to live the life they want, so long as it doesn’t harm another person or violate their freedoms. I want a President who tells every person, “Go be the best person you can be, and we’ll stay out of your hair.”

(Aw crap, I think I just became libertarian … but I digress.)

I do not believe Donald Trump is that man.

Could he surprise me? Possibly. Do I doubt it? Most definitely.

When he does good, I will say so. When he acts against the conservative ideals I hold true, I will say so too.

In other words, I am willing to wait and see. And it’s not like I had a choice in the matter to start with, with the idiotic way we do elections, I mean …

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Okay … ANYWAY, the main reason I started writing this was really more of a growing frustration I have, not with Donald Trump specifically, but with everyone generically. I’m tired of political arguments. Sure, when I write stuff like this, I open myself up to them, but they crop up all the time. And it’s exhausting.

For example…the night before the inauguration I wrote the following on Twitter:

I know a lot of people are freaked out about the next four years. I’m not freaked, but I’m not looking forward to it. I didn’t want Trump as President, nor did I want Hillary. I never felt Obama represented everyone, he was a very partisan President-as they all are anymore I guess. So there’s no one in the political arena I feel truly represents conservative ideals.

But we have him.

Now what?

I will speak up when I think he’s doing good – don’t see that happening much, and I will speak up when he doesn’t. I will do what I believe every American should do, stand up for what you believe is right.

I applaud that, even if I disagree with the position (until it gets violent of course).

So, fight for your ideals. But take heart. He’s ONE man. I do not believe one man – in this day and age – can do the serious harm that some of you think he will do to people. Not in this country. Not in our country. We are better than that.

I have to believe that.

We’ll see if the next four years prove me right.

I honestly, truly, felt I was speaking optimistically and with the perspective of an open mind.

I had a man on Twitter that I’ve known for years, say I only said what I said, because I’m a privileged white male.

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I guess from his perspective, I should say that the world is going to end and everything sucks.

Last month, I debated a young woman, who was an avid Bernie supporter, that went into the wee hours of the night. The basic premise I got from that conversation is that the younger generation thinks their lives suck because the older generations screwed everything up.

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A few weeks later, I got into a disagreement when I was told that 15,000 people voted for the gorilla Harambe in the 2016 election. When I was able to prove that false, I was told, “This is why I don’t talk to you about these things.”

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Today I got it from the other side. I was told I was brainwashed because I don’t believe that Trump is a conservative.

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Not one of these conversations did I go looking for a debate with anyone. I didn’t even bring up the topic of politics with these people. It was brought to me. The Twitter one, could arguably be said to be something I brought on myself – it is an open forum – but I honestly didn’t believe the statement was “triggering” or “provoking” or whatever it’s called when people get their feelings hurt today over the dumbest of things.

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… so, what am I trying to say in all my ramblings? I don’t know. I’m not sure anyone cares what I have to say.

People want to be mad. For eight years, Republicans wanted to be mad at Obama. They believed stupid things about him. They believed he had Joan Rivers murdered. They believed Michelle was born a man. That Barack was gay, but Muslim so his plan was to kill gays.

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Ridiculous, conspiracy level nonsense.

Now, Trump comes along. Democrats also believe he’s going to kill gays. That he’s going to put Muslim’s into camps. That he had hookers pee on him in a hotel because the Obama’s stayed there.

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More ridiculous, conspiracy level nonsense.

Why can’t both sides see that they are DOING THE SAME THING? That they are behaving in the exact same way they hated that the other side did before them?

Do we not have critical thinkers? Do we not have people that can look at things objectively and say, this will be good, or this will be bad and be able to objectively say why?

Some people are going to read this and realize that I am talking about them. I love you all, but you’re quite frankly frustrating me. I respect that you all have your own opinions. I’m tired of fighting with you about them. Yelling and screaming at the world that your opinion is right, isn’t changing anything.

It’s wearing people like me out.

I know lots of people from all walks of life. This is what makes this country so freaking special. And I love that people believe strongly in their beliefs. I love the passion.

But the anger is exhausting. And it makes me not want to care.

In the end though, I’m not sure that you care that I don’t care.

So, feel free to read this, disagree with me, believe I’m an idiot, think I’ve got it all figured out, whatever. Or don’t read it at all.

(should’ve said that at the beginning huh?)

I’m just a guy, who knows a little about some things, and nothing about a lot of things. I’m nobody special.

Stop thinking that you must change my mind.

Ultimately, I don’t see a lot of difference between either side anymore. And you’re not going to change my mind on THAT, until I stop seeing everyone yelling and no one listening.

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I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

 

** Apparently my ramblings now include lots of GIF’s. **

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.