Current Events – 29 July 2017

Twenty-two years ago today, Melissa Stacey and I walked down the isle.  She became Melissa Buhl, and I became Melissa Buhl’s husband.  We’ve had our ups and downs, but we’re still here, together.  Our partnership is strong.

As I write this, I’m sitting in the passenger seat of Melissa’s Ford C-Max.  We’re on our way to the beach to celebrate our anniversary.  I don’t normally go to the beach, because I don’t like getting sunburned, wind chilled, and crowded by other beach-goers.  Then there’s the sand, which as Anakin accurately pointed out is coarse and gets everywhere.  What I’m saying is that I avoid the beach so that I don’t turn to the Dark Side.  But today, I decided to compromise a little bit and do something nice for Melissa, because her happiness outweighs my discomfort.

That’s how I live my life.  It’s how Melissa and I have been able to make our marriage work.  She and I are very different people, but we are able to stay together and enrich our lives by making small compromises and challenging each other to do things that we normally wouldn’t do.  Today, I’m going to the beach, and maybe I’ll have fun!  Tomorrow, maybe Melissa will play a computer game with me.  Maybe she’ll have fun!

I’ve been following current events, and what I see there is a lack of compromise.  Democrats and Republicans are both drawing lines in the sand, or planting their feet, or plugging their ears while the other is speaking.  It’s all partisanship, all the time.

And everyone looks bad.  In my opinion, the Republicans are looking a little worse than the Democrats, mostly because I can’t stand McConnell, and I don’t trust Ryan.  But red or blue, neither side is impressing me these days.

I want our congress to love our country the way Melissa and I love each other.  That means being willing to accept each other’s differences and make compromises for the betterment of everyone.

We need a strong congress, unified in their love for the country.  We need them to take a step back, look at the world, and realize that there is work that needs doing.

North Korea is now capable of launching missiles that can reach the U.S. mainland.  Russia meddled with our election, and Putin is strutting like a peacock because he got away with it.

Trump is not a man that is qualified or capable of handling any of this.

Republicans, you can still get your legislation signed by Pence.  He’s in your corner, and he’s willing to do work.  You don’t need Trump.  It is in your best interest to dump him before he interferes with your re-election efforts.

Judging Trump by his actions, all he wants to do is play golf and grandstand.  He enjoys the crowds.  He basks in the attention.  He doesn’t love America.  He loves himself.

We need to replace Trump as soon as possible with someone that respects the office.  Someone that loves the country.  Someone that can function with at least a little bit of decorum.  And we need to yank out all of the shills and shysters  Trump has populated the government with.  Get DeVos out of there.  Ditch The Mooch the way his wife did.  Give Ben Carson the pink slip.  Put someone in charge of the EPA that actually believes the EPA should exist as an organization.  Take a long, hard look at all of the appointees and make sure that they are qualified for the position.

And for the love of all that’s good and holy, send Steve Bannon home.

I don’t think President Pence will be much better than President Trump.  But I think his hand will be steadier.  I’ve seen enough of Pence to know that he’ll be less embarrassing.


But yeah.  It’s my anniversary.  And I’ve returned to social media a little bit more.  If this post is any indication, I can’t seem to engage with any topic without turning to politics and current events.  I’m constantly seeing aspects of my life that I’ve learned from, that our leaders could learn from.  And I think, “Maybe I should get involved.” But that would be terrible.  I don’t have the patience or personality to get into that kind of public service.

I just need to focus on my writing, and my family, and my work.  But I gotta say… it’d be a lot easier if our leaders would start doing what’s best for the country instead of what’s best for themselves.


Why I’m Not Going Into Politics: Our Borders

Now that we’ve passed the 4th of July holiday and I’m no longer worrying about my band’s fireworks booth, I can continue talking about why I’d never make it in politics.  This is a follow up to my last post.

Unlike my last post, I’m going to jump straight to my (probably) unpopular opinion.  That is, I don’t think we should be trying to strengthen our borders.  We should make it as easy to come here as possible.

For support of this position, I turn to the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Everyone in America is descended from immigrants.  Even the roots of Native Americans stretch overseas, because we all come from a common place.  Whether you believe that common point is The Garden of Eden or Africa, it doesn’t matter.  We are the same species.  We have the same blood in our veins, the same needs to feel comfort and love.  We are all more alike than we are different.

On this topic, it is too easy for me to spin off into generalizations.  Getting back to specifics, I think we should welcome immigrants and put them to work.  Give them jobs with fair wages and tax them just like everyone else.  We should hold to our ideals, which is that everyone is created equal.  I don’t see what difference it makes if they were born in this country or not.

Fear is what drives the urge to build walls and tighten border security.  Fear that someone is going to come in to the country and do something terrible.  Fear that people will come into our towns and steal our jobs or change our way of life.  Fear that we’ll lose our identity.

As I told someone recently, any decision that is rooted in fear should be examined.

I believe there are answers to each of the concerns I just mentioned.  In regards to security, we’ve missed the mark.  We’ve killed more of our own people than any foreign agent.  Home grown terrorism is much more successful than the imported variety.  And there are two simple answers:

  1. Do more to make this place home.  Quit making people uncomfortable just because their faith doesn’t match your own.  Quit threatening people with deportation.  Listen to people, and be more inclusive.  Basically, the exact opposite of President Trump.
  2. Accept the fact that no matter what you do, there will be people that do bad things.  There is no level of security achievable that is 100% effective.  There will always be people that do evil.  Let’s give them fewer reasons for wanting to kill people and destroy property.

We can still be the shining city upon a hill.  We just have to be remember our beginnings, when we let hope and idealism drive our decisions.  Not our fear.