It is finished

It’s Friday night, two days before Christmas, and the one phrase that has been going through my mind all week is “It is finished”.  It’s been a long week full of twists and turns, but it’s almost over.  After this one ends, however, another one begins.

Monday, the Electoral College electors met in their appropriate state capitals and cast their votes for the 45th president.  Of course, this was basically an exercise in formality as we already knew who would be voted as the next president.  My first thought on Monday was “it is finished” because I wouldn’t have to hear any more about this damned campaign.  This is my 7th presidential election that I’ve voted although I remember them all the way back to Reagan in 1980.  This is the first one where I have not seen people defend their choice proactively.  Instead, every defense I’ve seen of electing Trump devolves into some rant about Clinton or Democrats.  What does it say about our incoming president when not even his voters can affirmatively defend their choice less than two months after making it?  Buyer’s remorse already?

Tuesday, I took the youngest to the doctor because he was sick.  The test results showed a positive Type-A flu AND positive for strep.  So, for the past few days, I’ve been playing daddy doctor trying to get him back into fighting mode.  We have a date with the TV, snacks, and Alabama Crimson Tide football on New Year’s Eve, so there’s no time to get sick now.  Today was probably the best day as he only went into whine and shut down mode only once.  Well, it doesn’t matter because I’m going back to work tomorrow since mommy is off.  He should be back to full strength for her (bless her soul).  Nah, he’s really a good “big boy” as he calls himself as he’s not a baby anymore.

Then, there was the video making the rounds of the mother and daughter getting arrested in Fort Worth, TX after they called the police to report her 7-year-old son getting choked by a neighbor.  They were charged with resisting arrest, but I’m still scratching my head as to what the initial charge would have been for there to be an arrest to resist.  Maybe I’ll ask my family members who patrol the streets to see if they can help me out with this one.  I always find it hard to grasp getting arrested for resisting arrest when you haven’t done anything to get arrested for in the first place.  Had that been my 7-year-old son, the charge would have probably been aggravated assault or something worse.  Anyone who has the testicular fortitude to put their hands around the neck of any of my children had better be ready to deal with me once I arrive on the scene.  It’s going to be a long and detailed discussion about the who, what, where, when, and why.

Finally, I came across a…  umm…  I don’t know what to call it other than an opinion piece written by Chris Kluwe in regards to his feelings about the incoming president.  If anyone in America honestly feels like they don’t have any f**ks left to give at this point, it’s probably because Mr. Kluwe used them all.  Seriously.  After reading his post, I went to Amazon.com and put an order in for a case of f**ks.  I received an automated response that they were on back order because of Chris Kluwe.  I understand his feelings, but at this point, “it is finished”.  We can’t un-elect Trump.  We can only ensure that our actions help those who need help while trying to make sure those running the country doesn’t screw things up.

For those who follow the life and teachings of Christ, they should remember the last words he spoke before he gave up the ghost on the cross.  In the book of John Chapter 19, the story of the crucifixion is laid out for all to read.  His last words were written in Verse 30, “It is finished”, according to the King James Version.

After going through all I did this week, after seeing and hearing all that came before me, I realized that this is just the end of one phase and the beginning of the next.  I have my anxieties for the future.  I worry about the effects that the potential future changes will have on my friends, colleagues, and even my family.  I won’t allow myself to get discouraged by thinking about the future though.  I’ll just roll up my sleeves to get ready to tackle next week because that one isn’t finished yet.

Thanks for reading as always.  I know there are lots of different blogs to read, but I really appreciate those who take the time to stop by and read my vents and musings.

Have a safe and wonderful:

 

  • Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
  • Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican)
  • St. Lucia Day (Swedish)
  • Hanukkah (Jewish)
  • Christmas Day (Christian)
  • Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian)
  • Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish)
  • Kwanzaa (African-American)
  • Omisoka (Japanese)
  • Yule (Pagan)
  • Saturnalia (Pagan)

Just want to make sure I don’t forget anyone or leave anyone out.  If you don’t celebrate holidays, then just be safe anyway.  There is far too much crazy going on in this world to not be cautious.

 

Team MAGA is loaded. Seriously

I found this interesting detail today from Quartz that I think is worth sharing.

The 17 people who US president-elect Donald Trump has selected for his cabinet or for posts with cabinet rank have well over $9.5 billion in combined wealth, with several positions still unfilled. This collection of wealth is greater than that of the 43 million least wealthy American households combined—over one third of the 126 million households total in the US.

Maybe it’s just a quirk based on him picking people from within his own social circle or something.  I even read a comment in an article about this where someone made the statement (joking, I hope) that they would be less susceptible to being bribed because they’re already wealthy.

This is what we have to look forward to America.  This was the choice that we ended up with.  This is the team that is going to look out for the everyday man and woman, the forgotten people of America.

IF, and that’s a very big if, they even know those people actually exist, I would be very surprised.  I’m not throwing in the towel yet, but when you see the 1% get rid of the middle man, then that gives the appearance that it’s time to get paid.  I seriously hope I’m wrong.  I guess that one way of draining the swamp is filling it so high that it overflows its border.  Then, it’s no longer a swamp.  It simply becomes a lake.

Linked story from The Guardian:  Trump’s billionaire cabinet could be the wealthiest administration ever

Method or message 

My family received this mailer to remind us of the runoff election for county commissioner chairwoman* that takes place on Tuesday.  Two things quickly came to mind.

First, why do politicians have to resort to stoking fear to gin up support?  If you want me to vote for you, then I have to be comfortable with your policies and decision-making skills. Governing from fear is not effective in the long run and usually leads to mistakes that harm more than they help.

Next, where are there liberal Democrats in the South?  This is Georgia, and my Democratic Party representative, Rep. David Scott, supported the incumbent Republican Senate candidate Johnny Isakson over the Democratic Party nominee Jim Barksdale in the election that just took place.  How liberal is that?

If you’re always afraid of every little thing that crosses your path, how do you intend on governing a fast growing county?  I know this is local politics , but it’s the same tactic that plays out on the national level.

I don’t live in fear, and I don’t want decision makers who do.  I want people who have the ability to see a situation and be able to find multiple ways to solve the problem without causing more damage than doing good.  America wouldn’t be what it is if we let fear dictate our choices.

I guess I could say that she tried to reach out to me as I didn’t receive anything from her competition.  Then again, maybe the Democrat running already knows that I hate getting political junk mail and is really more in tune with my feelings.

*The race is for chairwoman as it’s two women running for the position.

Searching for that silver lining

As the incoming Trump administration is still coming together, I’m trying to search for signs of how things will go.  I’ve heard both sides argue how Trump is going to do what he said he was going to do, and I’ve also heard the doom and gloom predictions of what’s coming down the pipeline.  Personally, I like to see who the president picks to make up their cabinet and advisors before I try to predict what’s going to happen.  I did that with both Bush and Obama, so I will extend the same courtesy to Trump as well.

Given his picks so far, the one thing I can come away with is that we’re going to be in for a long, long 4 years.  Trump rode populist anger against “elites” yet his picks are all pretty much elites and/or billionaire donors of some kind.  I don’t see any earthshaking “drain the swamp” picks as much as I see standard right-wing ideological picks that any Republican ideologue would choose.  From the pick of Steve Bannon as a White House advisor to Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, this country is going to swing so hard to the right that NASCAR may have to switch to running races in the opposite direction to avoid having to make left turns.

There’s also the issue of ethics that the administration will have to come to terms with.  Many of his picks have deep and varied investments that would likely face scrutiny during confirmation hearings.  As for Trump himself, he’s already stated “As far as the, you know, potential conflict of interests, though, I mean I know that from the standpoint, the law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.”  Trump’s businesses make their fortune from the marketability of his name.  Add the title “President” before that name, and the marketing potential shoots through the roof.  What person or company in any country would refuse to engage with any Trump related business now?  I don’t think anyone, the Founders included, ever contemplated such a complex issue to ever reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

To further complicate things, America will also have to deal with whether outside influence tilted the balance of this election.  I read a story today from Philly.com about Russian influence in American politics this year.  It’s quite interesting, and I included a link if you want to check it out.  A Google search for Russian troll factory returns numerous articles about how Russia used social media to spread propaganda, including fake news stories.  America probably got taken for a ride this year in more ways than one, and only time will tell whether that’s true or not.

Maybe that’s the silver lining in this election.  We’re going to hit rock bottom so hard on ethics that people will realize that the government is not a business and being an expert in business does not make one an expert in running a government.  Maybe Trump will indeed make America great again by ensuring people become civic engaged and we find some ethical people who actually care about running the country.  I’ve already been working on my playlist for the next four years.  I’m starting off with Zoom by The Commodores because a brother can still have a dream nowadays:

I’m searching for that silver lining
Horizons that I’ve never seen
Oh I’d like to take just a moment and dream my dream
Dream my dream

Post 2016 Election: First thoughts


My first thought at 2:50 am on November 9th, was “What the f**k!?” when I rolled over in bed and heard the words “President-elect Trump” come from my TV.  I had always figured it was a very distinct possibility considering that we were voting for two of the most disliked candidates that I could ever remember.  I just wasn’t completely prepared to hear that announcement.  I knew all along that, no matter who won, I wouldn’t be skipping with joy over the thoughts of my incoming boss.

I wanted to write this yesterday, but it literally took more than 24 hours for me to get my thoughts together.  So, here goes…

Take our country back = Make America great again

White America got their country back.  We minorities got the message loud and clear.  Some have called this a “change” election, but I don’t buy that.  This was all about anger and resentment, plain and simple.  Trump basically rode that anger and resentment and used it to his advantage to end up in Washington DC.  The fact that he had minority support does not negate the fact that angry White America is what put Trump in office.  If you wanna accuse me of playing the race card, then that’s you and your opinion.  I’m just calling it as I see it from my perspective, and there are far many more Americans who agree with my assessment.

Look at the increased attacks on Muslim looking people.  Look at the increased intimidation of Blacks by people waving Confederate battle flags.  That stuff isn’t from patriotic duty to country.  That’s from people who hate minorities.  Trump fed that anger, whether intentional or not, and those who supported him are going to expect him to act on those promises he made from the southern wall to banning Muslims.  Interestingly, the ban Muslims part of his platform has disappeared from his campaign website.

America is angry, and rightfully so

As I said, this election was all about anger.  Trump stated “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer” as part of his victory speech.  Reading social media, some have taken that to be a *wink, wink* to middle America, aka White America in flyover country, among other things.  I’m going to take him at face value as I’ve done for the entire campaign and not read anything extra into it.  The angry people for the most part, however, have been White America though, so there may be some truth to this.

People are angry because of a perceived lack of economic growth and job loss.  Trump has promised expansive growth and bringing jobs back.  That’s not going to happen though.  The only way those jobs come back is if the wages paid in China are paid here.  I don’t see Americans working for $5 a day or something lower.  Immigration has also been an issue.  Immigrants are not the ones passing laws that have led to the top income percentile taking most of the benefits of our economic growth.  Trump has also promised to do many other things, some of them being very unconstitutional from the jump.

The bad thing about acting out in anger is that you usually regret those actions later on down the road.  I hope I’m wrong, but I have a feeling this will be the case for many people.  I don’t worry as much about the damage that a President Trump with a GOP Congress can do as much as I worry about the backlash when Trump screws his supporters.  People have overlooked his blatant lies and snake oil salesman presentation and have put faith that he’s going to do what he said.  What I don’t get is how does a large group of Americans buy the argument that Donald J. Trump is going to get rid of corruption, or “drain the swamp”, in Washington DC when he has a verified history of less than ethical behavior himself.  We’ve basically sent a billionaire who has taken full benefit of everything he could as part of that 1% to end the corruption that enabled the 1% to make out like bandits.  In other words, America sent the fox to not only guard the hen-house but to live there as well.

Republicans have to govern now

I know this is a long stretch, but it’s been one in the making.  Read any comment section, and GOP supporters brag about how many governorships, legislative seats, and other positions they hold.  Now, they control Washington DC.  There’s no Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or Hillary Clinton to blame anymore.  The GOP has full control of it all, and the results are theirs, and theirs alone to be responsible for.  If we see growth based on their governance, then kudos to them.  If we see downfall, then it’s theirs to own as well.  They can’t simply say “No” or uphold legislation now and call that governing.  They have to actually do the jobs they get paid for.

I’m sure that anything negative will come with the “it’s Obama’s or Democrats fault” for the next four years, but that dog won’t hunt.  If Democrats play opposition to the effect that Republicans did against Obama, then it will still mean that Trump’s policies are failures.  That’s what we’ve seen since 2010, so the GOP has already set the precedent.  As the old saying goes, what goes around comes around.  If Democrats act just like Republicans have, I’ll have my criticisms about their actions, but I’ll still blame Republicans for not getting things done as they’ve blamed Obama.

In Conclusion

Do I expect change?  No.  Nothing will change from this election.  America is still going to be America.  Do I expect Republicans to effectively govern?  No.  They couldn’t pass legislation before, and they won’t do it now because the legislation they want to pass will directly affect the very people who put them all into office.  They won’t have Obama or the Democrats to blame for them screwing their own supporters.

At some point, Americans will have to come to grip with the changes that are happening around us.  We lost jobs that are not coming back.  Our economy has gone from a manufacturing based engine to one that is service based.  The wages in the service industry will have to change to reflect the new norm, or we’ll all continue to suffer economically.  We can’t continue to demand change in Washington DC and keep sending the same people back expecting different results.  In other words, the things that we’re angry about are directly caused by the actions we keep doing over and over.  We’re going to have to accept our changing demographics and know that we’re still America.

I’m praying for those who are angry and hope their situations get better.  I know that America will survive and keep going.