Archive | November, 2016

Don’t Tell Me How To Fucking React

10 Nov

In case you are someone who knows me, follow me on the Twitterical Explorer.

The “Open Letter” is the wannabe blogger’s (it me) way of jerking off.  Whenever a divisive topic comes up, plenty of open letters sprout up in which someone tries to rise above the fray.  The other use of the open letter is to score cheap brownie points by people who think like-minded.  “An Open Letter To My Teacher” is a great one because, who doesn’t love teachers?

The open letter (I’ve utilized this too, in the spirit of transparency) is basically setting yourself up to be portrayed as “not all of us”.  It is a way to embolden yourself as a equally an independent thinker but who also is aware that there are differences in opinion.  In some ways its charming, in other ways its patronizing.  A person could have amazing intentions but then it goes around Facebook, and of course gets distorted in some other way.

My original post was going to a breakdown of an article that has been constantly shared on my feed.  It was going to be me trying to make jokes (mostly failing) and overall negative in tone.  I of course accept the results of this election, regardless of my distaste, but there needs to be some things that have to be addressed.

Stop telling me how to fucking react.  Stop telling me to be respectful.  Stop telling me the proper way to go about things.  Stop telling me how.  Stop telling me why.  Stop telling me when.

I’ve accepted the results of this election pretty easily.  I’ve even talked to a few Trump people who I personally like, because they were happy and friends talk.  Democracy, in our system, worked.  I can’t afford for Trump to be a disaster.  No one can, and especially some more than others.  Like all presidential races, this is telling us where the direction of our country is headed.  There’s nothing I can do to prevent a Trump presidency anymore.

But you know stop with this wishy-washy bullshit.  Stop with this trying to take the high road nonsense.  Stop with the sorry not sorry.  Stop saying that we all need to talk to each other.

No we do not.  We know what we believe about each other.  Hearing you bloviate about your takes on taxes, foreign policy and income inequality will not get us anywhere other than acknowledging we are mostly different.

This isn’t my first one, 2010 and 2014 electorally were way worse than 2016.  My person lost to yours.  But really nothing much else changed.  Couple backbench congresspeople are gone.  A new Senator or three.  A lot more incumbents stayed on, there will be elections that go my way and ones that will go yours.  That’s nature, especially in a duopoly.

Instead, I want YOU to ask yourself questions.  I want YOU to think about everything that is going on around you.  Don’t leave your house to expand your horizons, stay inside to think about why this election is the way it is.

I want you to wonder why your friends are terrified and upset.  Its not “HASHTAG SAFE SPACE LIBRULLS” or “oh, they just lost and are butthurt”.  I want you to wonder why these protests are ongoing and the damage that has been inflicted.  I want you to wonder why we don’t like you now more than we did in 2014.  Genuinely think about it, even if its for five minutes.

I want you to wonder why Trump won, the way he did, primarily and nearly solely off the backs of white voters.  I want you to wonder why most minority demographics voted more against him than for him.  Are you going to blame the media?  Probably.  But how come you can show an upsetting video of a man being beat up for allegedly supporting Trump and that is an indictment on Hillary voters BUT David Duke and the KKK are not yours?

Also, why the fuck are they on your side?  Is it that they just love your dude’s opinion on unions?  Have you ever wondered, even for a microcosm, why that was?  I know why people support Trump to a degree.  But doesn’t that make you think “hmmm, why is this a thing”?

Half the people I know, and yes incredibly micro small sample size, that are telling me to calm down are the ones who freaked the fuck out when marriage equality became law of the land.  They are the ones who acted like Caitlyn Jenner winning a fucking ESPY (the fakest award in the history of the galaxy) was akin to giving Hitler a Purple Heart.  They were the ones who were absolutely convinced, before the mother fucking election started, that it was already rigged for months.  They wonder why “grab them by the pussy” (while problematic they admitted) was relevant.  They promised Obama would tear the fabric of society because I don’t know, he was not born in America or was a closeted Muslim or actually named Barry Soetoro.

They wonder, “whoa how come people are calling me racist/sexist/homophobic FOR MY VOTE”.  Now, if someone said that to me….of course I would deny, but I would wonder why so many people would think that way about me.  When I share a fucked up Trump thing happening, your reaction shouldn’t be “hey, I’m not a racist” but “wait, why do I think that I’m being called a racist when no one mentioned me?”.

I don’t think you are a prejudiced unless I have pretty confident reason to believe otherwise.  I wouldn’t be friends with you if I had my doubts.  But when you immediately play defense, it does make me think otherwise.

Look, Trump will be President for the next four years.  I trusted you that your worst fears under Obama wouldn’t happen and I think we confirmed it.  Now I need to do the same.  A President will barely get anything, IF ANYTHING, they promised accomplished.  Legislation is notoriously glacial and the system is designed to move the ball inches, not yards.  A President is about a message.

What do you think the message is right now?  Is it really just making America the same as it “used to be”….whatever the fuck that means?   What part of you aligns itself with the KKK?  What parts of his campaign turned you off and what was the tipping point in getting you back on the wagon?  Did you believe resistance to the Affordable Care Act outweighed a lack of knowledge on critical foreign policy issues like the nuclear triad?

Why do you think “we should move on”, forty eight hours after a year and a half of this shit is the right thing?  Why do you think Democrats gave Republicans the war in Iraq (supported by our 2016 nominee!) and the PATRIOT Act?  Why do you think we tried to give you a nationwide law based off your 2012 nominee’s statewide one?

I want you to genuinely think like I do.  But we have different opinions.  However, I’ve spent the last forty eight hours wondering how my party underperformed so badly amongst rural and suburban demographics.  I’m still wondering, but at least I’m thinking.

Don’t fucking tell me how to react.  Tell me why I should accept.

 

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Moving Forward & What To Do

9 Nov

In case you are someone who knows me, follow me on the Twitterical Explorer.

Well, that happened.

We were all wrong for the most part.  The data, which suggested a close race that could swing, wasn’t necessarily far off but the way it happened has to go down as one of the biggest shocks in recent history.

The best way I can comprehend what happened is to sort of breakdown how Trump was able to pull this thing off.

Let’s Talk Numbers (stats from)

In a quick way, the 2012 vs. 2016 race look similar to each other.  Women broke for Democrats at about even rates as did white voters vs. non white voters for each party.

However, the biggest breakthrough for Trump came from his margin with men and non-college educated white voters.  Mitt Romney for starters won men by 7% and non-college educated whites by 26% in 2012.  This year?  Trump is looking at 11% advantage with men and by nearly 39%.

Other important things to look at, and this is just me hand-picking stats but ones I find interesting, were how those who thought the economy was the most important issue preferred Clinton by 10% points.  Those who saw immigration preferred Trump by a 32% swing.  33% of voters thought the economy was “good” and they preferred Clinton by a robust 76-19% rating.  Those who thought it was “not” good (41%) preferred Trump from 55-39% and those who saw it “poor” saw Trump win with 79%-15%.

These are important factors because the economy was considered the most important issue.  Clinton seemed to be trusted more to handle it but if you had a negative view of the way things were (62% total) then Trump was preferred.

But let’s look at certain counties
2012 Results 2016 Results

Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were the surprises of the night going from looking safe blue to Trump territory (with Michigan joining).

I like to personally look at Pennsylvania given my ties to the state and my shock to have seen it look like a moderate Clinton victory to a small Trump success.

Now, this race was very close.  With less than 2% of the vote separating us from a Clinton presidency.  But looking at Pennsylvania you can see how Trump built a coalition to turn it red.  It was simple….he turned the red counties even more red.

Obviously the attention was on the Philly suburbs, but let’s take a look at Perry County as an example.  A small county in the southern part of the state, Perry is very rural and a safe conservative district.  In 2012, Mitt Romney won with about 69% (nice) of the vote which earned him about 12,500 votes.  In 2016, Trump bumped up to nearly 75% with over 15,600.  Clinton would lose about a thousand votes from Obama in 2012.  Even smaller Juniata County saw Trump find nearly two thousand more votes with Clinton losing around 800 votes.

These are very small numbers but match up with one of the ongoing theories I hear occasionally on television that the Democrats slightly regressed in blue areas while Republicans were able to find more red.  These counties, deeply white, helped Trump win the state by just about a percentage point as Clinton ran slightly behind 2012 Obama’s numbers in urban and suburban areas.

Obviously Perry and Juniata weren’t bellwethers but mostly white, non-college educated counties were Trump’s firewall and Clinton’s kryptonite was slightly depressed showings in major metro areas.

Now what?

In every blog I post, I like to think I have the answers.  Often times, I’m wrong but usually its something that I believe to be possible.  Sure, I didn’t think Trump could be the nominee at all but the thought always remained in the back of my head.  I figured he would drop out and save face but to his credit, he saw it out and was able to tap into something never before seen in my lifetime.

This time, and I say this to the few who I know will be reading this, I have no words for you.  I have no idea.  This is my hobby, something I genuinely love to do, and I failed.  Obviously, this wasn’t my fault (I voted therefore did my part) but I feel massively letdown and upset.  It has nothing to do with who won but by how wrong we all were.  How did we not see Pennsylvania being one of the biggest threats to leave the blue column?  How about Wisconsin?

There’s something we aren’t seeing.  Its easy to say, well one party has trouble holding on to the Oval Office for so long, but Trump is not your normal candidate.  He’s a NYC billionaire (allegedly) who usually would be the villain in direct-to-TV movies on rural people losing their neighborhood.  But, he was able to drive up white voters and I guess…some mild apathy towards Hillary had relaxed city turnout.

I can’t afford for Trump to be a disaster, so I pray that he succeeds.  However, I have no indication if the last six years have any belief that he has any idea what he is doing.  I know we all like the concept of “let’s work together”, but you know when the fuck did you guys do that with President Obama?  Literal government shutdown happened on your watch.  What does Trump say to the LGBTQ community?  Black, Hispanic, Muslim, women and Asian voters?  There’s genuine fear amongst these citizens and that needs to be addressed before we give him our time of day.

The only pride I have is that the Democrats are the party of inclusion.  Maybe that’s what turns some away.  Maybe that’s how Applachia continues to sprint towards red.

It is hard to be excited when this blow to the stomach has happened to us.  I, frankly, feel defeated and drained.  I am not even mad that my candidate lost, but by how gobsmacked we all were.  You feel like a failure, we got out….we voted….we were mad!  But, Donald Trump was able to pull it off and that’s not without accident.

Its hard to imagine being excited about Cory Booker in 2020 or Andrew Cuomo.  Maybe we can draft Elizabeth Warren to run.  But who knows if she’d even want to because I certainly wouldn’t after what happened this cycle.

Bernie Sanders, flaws and all, exposed that a progressive wing can be established.  There needs to be accountability but also….

I don’t know.  I genuinely do not.  How will we drive up the suburbs again?  Will these small red pockets get even more red, making it that much critical to get out and vote?  Hillary had the best run GOTV campaign possible, yet still….no dice.

But I can rest easy knowing that there is a tomorrow.  I can rest easy knowing that there is inclusivity and passion on my part.  In 2010 and 2014, the Democratic Party got blasted.  But we weren’t blindsided.

I don’t know what’s next.  But there has to be something. Complacency is not an option.

 

On Friends & Politics

7 Nov

In case you are someone who knows me, follow me on the Twitterical Explorer.

Hey guys,

Breaking news.

There’s an election tomorrow.  Yup, the big one.  I’m sure you are shocked to hear that such a big event has flown under-the-radar but alas, here we are.

Okay, I know that wasn’t funny because that looks like some shit Andy Borowitz said and he’s the worst thing in media.  However look, this is a big and polarizing topic that has torn friendships apart and probably had families questioning their love for one another.  There are two legitimate candidates (more on that later) and both have been in the public eye for a very long time and have said/done some questionable things to say the least.

But let’s talk about some things.  Because in a lot of cases, including those who are on my side, this is the first time any of you have paid any attention to the political world.  In a way that’s great.  Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have either brought out passionate supporters or ardent detractors.  Yet you can’t say that’s not a good thing.  The more of us with passion, the better.

In another way, I will totally be a douchebag and say…yeah its amateur hour over here.  Between those whose only fashion accessories are the 2 for $20 Target graphic t-shirts of dead musicians and those with profile pictures of them fishing or with a glass of alcohol in semi-formal situations; its pretty cringe.  For those who know better, its all the more frustrating to see you all react over every single poll as some sort of finality.

Now, let’s get to the best part of this.  I genuinely do have something to say here, and this is not being my bizarre contrarian or wannabe motivator.  Here are some genuine facts.

1)-None of us really know shit

I am included, remember I was 100% convinced that Trump was just a flash in the pan and there was no way he was a serious candidate.  There was NO WAY this guy could have even won a state, right?

Way wrong.  I follow political races closely.  In fact, I’m excited to see who starts going to Iowa and New Hampshire in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.  I spent four years writing a political blog, with only forty people reading it daily, out of true love.  I love this stuff.

But guess what, I’m dumb as shit too.  Think of this, if you have a high opinion of yourself, do you GENUINELY know who the main players are in Syria?  Do you really know the institutional processes of our criminal justice system?  Do you really have the tiniest idea of how people just can’t “move” to find better jobs if they are in a disenfranchised location?  Do you have the faintest idea how there’s just only so much you can tax, only so much you can fight Wall Street, only so much you can do to fight income inequality?

If you do, do you genuinely think your answers are the right ones?  We live online.  I can find you probably twenty legitimate seeming sources that will tell you one answer, and then twenty that disprove it.  Of course we all have bias and opinions.  But man, half of you all don’t even know your congressperson-do I trust your parsing of legislative and judicial law?

2)-There is no such thing as a perfect candidate….admit your bias

The WORST take in this election is the following:

Look, don’t get me wrong (my candidate) is not that perfect.  I admit (my candidate) has so many flaws but I just can’t let (other candidate) win.

That is so weak that I don’t care who you are, but it just perpetuates bullshit.  Here is my point….you are either one side or the other.  This year should’ve taught you that.  Could you have genuinely seen yourself voting for Ted Cruz over Hillary?  Or Bernie over Trump?  Could you realistically look at all twenty plus candidates that ran on both sides and think that?  Look at their records, and that includes John Kasich’s union killing methods and Jim Webb’s safe Democratic vote.

Now if you do, congratulations you are a true independent voter.  But if not, drop the pretense that you are some independent voter that goes above party politics to pick the best choice for the country.

Barack Obama, who is starting to see an approval rating bump, ran as a fairly liberal counterpart to Hillary Clinton’s centrism.  Yet (and I love the guy to death) his major achievements are a healthcare bill that’s corporatist/neoliberal at best and only embraced marriage equality when it was politically right.  George W. Bush, a conservative, did more to inflate the national debt more than anyone.

Which leads me to

3)-Politics is a game of inches

Neither candidate will get what they want unless they go all executive action on your ass.  Now, of course I’m of the belief that Trump being in charge of the nuclear football is terrifying in itself, but really what you are voting for is a message.

No legislation gets passed.  It has nothing to do with parties but power.  If you know you are the most liberal Republican or most conservative Democrat in the Senate, you can let them woo you so much that you can water down any bill.

There’s been plenty of politicians who promise comprehensive change but our system renders that impossible.  You are voting for a message that will be held to the fire for four years and probably longer.  This is your protest.  Embrace it.  You will likely not live long enough to see your desired wish of legislation enacted.  But you might be able to brag you lived long enough to start it.

4)-Third Parties Are Bullshit

C’mon, we have two deeply unpopular candidates and Gary Johnson’s clueless Muppet ass can’t even be taken seriously.  I think the more candidates the better, but let’s admit….we are a two-party system and unless you are MEGA BILLIONAIRE OVERLORD, you are not a real candidate.

5)-Maybe They Aren’t Your Friends

With social media on the rise, and everyone being able to freely float their opinions into the vast empty sphere of the internet, has made us see each other differently.  I for one, embrace it.  Hell, there’s a 90% chance Fall Out Boy makes the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame….we already suck and there’s no turning back.

Now, it’s time to really look at who your friends are.  Were you friends because of convenience—maybe you just were on the same team, job, or class and got along because you had to spend so much time together?  Were you friends because you can honestly say regardless of the occasion, you would find each other?

If you see yourself deleting multiple friends, consider why.  Are their opinions truly that dreadful (and yes, some are god awful) where you are willing to throw it away?  Cause fuck it, I wonder that all the time when you post Walking Dead bullshit like its some good show.  But usually, I come around.

However, don’t congratulate yourself for deleting shitty people.  That should be a given that we all do.

Now, if you find yourself getting questioned….take a step back and wonder why.  Am I that awful?  Am I saying things that, when seen under a different light, look downright repulsive?

Again, I’ve thrown my opinions out ever since I had social media.  I’ve been boisterous, I’ve been a douche, I’ve been compassionate, I’ve been it all.  But maybe we should alter what we say, not because HURRDURR IM A VIRGIN BUT ALSO I HATE PC POLICE but maybe we shouldn’t be shitty.

I have no doubts why I’ve fallen out with certain people.  They think I suck, I think they do.  In some cases, I’m genuinely bewildered; in other cases, I totally get it.

6)-New Jersey residents, Vote No On Question 1

CASINOS ARE NOT WAYS TO GENERATE REVENUE, NO ONE HAS MONEY TO GAMBLE, IF THEY DO, IT DOESN’T TRICKLE DOWN AND THEN YOU HAVE MULTI BILLION DOLLAR BUILDINGS NEXT TO FORECLOSED HOMES AND BANKRUPT PUBLIC SCHOOLS.