Hey folks… if you’re reading this first sentence, I’m warning you now this could be a pretty long post. I might ramble a bit. Just wanted to let you know that right up front. 😉
Like many of you today, I’m trying to figure out exactly how I’m feeling about the election last night. Maybe unlike many of you, I’m conflicted, hopeful, angry, subdued, confused, worried and filled with oh so many different emotions. But I’ll start first with a little sports story and go on from there.
Las Vegas was Cowboys country in the 1970’s…
Like Bryce Harper, I grew up in my formative youth years in Nevada during the late 1970’s and became a Dallas Cowboys fan. How many of you knew that? I bet many of you didn’t (and I’ll get to that point in a minute). I can’t speak for Bryce since he’s WAY younger than I am but back in the late 1970’s, Dallas was, essentially, Las Vegas’ “home” football team. So that’s the team I latched on to – and it was fun to do so because it was the heyday of the “Doomsday Defense”, Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach, Drew Pearson, Tony Hill and one of my personal favorites, Robert Newhouse (R.I.P.). It was easy to be a big time Dallas Cowboys fan back then because I was 9, 10, 11 and 12 years old and the Cowboys were a Super Bowl dominant team.
And then we moved.
We moved from Vegas to Orlando, Florida and then to Northern Virginia. Around that time, I started to go to high school on Northern Virginia and the Redskins started to win multiple Super Bowls. During my freshman year, it was common for me to wear Cowboys t-shirts and sweatshirts to school and I got killed for it. Sometimes physically but mostly verbally. I was lucky because usually the physical part was just shoving and pushing – nothing serious. Added to that misery was the fact the Cowboys were in steady decline while the Redskins were rising to the top. Over the course of high school, I quit wearing any Cowboy stuff. Really, that probably happened in the middle of my sophomore year. Since then, I never personally bought any Cowboys stuff. Anything I have, I got as gifts but I just quit advertising and promoting the fact that I was a Cowboys fan (THAT’S why you probably never knew I was a Cowboys fan). Still, it didn’t stop the people who knew I was a Cowboys fan from razing, gloating, laughing and mocking me in my face every time the Cowboys lost.
And then… the roles started to be reversed. During the Jimmy Johnson era, the Cowboys got better while the Redskins went the other way. Occasionally, I would give a few snarky remarks to my Redskins friends but usually it was almost always after I got some kind of ribbing myself. But for a very large part, I still tried to remind myself what it felt like when I was getting abused for liking a bad football team so I almost always held back the gloating or in-your-face celebrating when the Cowboys were winning their Super Bowls in the 90’s. I’m not saying I never did – just that I tried to keep much of it in check. But even in the midst of all of that, I was still amazed (and frustrated) by the hypocrisy of so many of my friends who were Redskins fans. It was completely okay to give me crap about Michael Irvin being a drug addict yet they praised and completely ignored Dexter Manley’s drug problems as well. But maybe that’s the nature of sports. And maybe that’s the nature of politics as well.
When you’re “for” a team, you’re willing to overlook all of that team’s flaws or, in some cases, justify them. But at the same time, you’re oh so quite eager to point out every single flaw the “opponent” has. Again, maybe that’s just the nature of sports. And politics.
The nature of politics…
I never told anyone this – either personally or via any kind of digital means whatsoever so you all are about to get a pretty big look into my ol’ noggin here.
Eight years ago last night, when Obama walked out on that stage in the Denver stadium, I had a couple of thoughts. First, I secretly hoped it wouldn’t rain. Second, I won’t lie… I was pretty dang excited. I liked Obama. I still do. And despite what many of my conservative friends believe or think, I think once history has its say, it will give Obama a very, very favorable light. We will all be dead by then so you can argue that point all you want. Neither of us will be alive to see if that becomes a reality.
That being said, there was still a part of me that also tried watching that same event with a slightly different perspective. There was a part of me that silently watched that event and thought “Oh boy, this is really going to piss a lot of people off”. In its own way, I can certainly see where it might have been seen as propping Obama up like a conquering Roman Emperor. For me, it was more about celebrating the fact that an African American achieved a position of power that I absolutely never thought would happen in my lifetime but yeah… the whole stadium deal… I could see how “the other side” could look at that with hate filled glasses and think “the World has just ended for me”- just as many of my friends think last night was the end of the world for them.
I never spoke those thoughts out loud though. I never did because I was glad that he won. But I was still silent about the stadium thing even though there was a small part of me that was bothered by the perception of it. So yeah, I’m a hypocrite too. I was so doing the Dexter Manley thing my friends did years before… maybe they also had mixed feelings about praising one drug addict while criticizing another – simply because of their jerseys. Again, I’m not beyond admitting I can be just as hypocritical as the next person – even when I’m trying hard not to be.
But hey, since I am on a hypocritical roll, why stop there?
I’ve already said I am a fan of Obama. In some ways, I’m sort of like the opposite of Alex Keaton on Family Ties – but instead of Richard Nixon photos all over the place, there are Obama photos all over the place – I mean, if I was a fictional character in a fictional TV show, that is. 🙂
But hey, as much as I like Obama, I can’t say I was absolutely pleased with everything that he did or everything that happened through the last eight years. During the first primaries, he said one of his major goals was to shut down Guantanamo Bay and that never happened. It still hasn’t happened. So remember that when Trump isn’t actually able to actually build that multi-BILLION dollar wall like many of you all hope and wish for.
How many of us can truly admit we’re hypocrites though?
Through a series of events, I actually haven’t been on any kind of social media a lot since the results but I was able to check my Facebook feed a few times throughout the day today. Of course there was a lot of gloating and a lot of gleeful celebrations just as there was a lot of bitter complaints and worries and all of that. But here’s what I will say:
When Obama won eight years ago, there were just as many people and conservative celebrities claiming they would be leaving the country too. I always get heavy protests from many of my conservative friends that claim that NEVER happened but it did. And had the results gone the other way, there would be a lot of conservatives claiming they were on their way to Canada as well. I understand… it’s hard to admit that in the middle of
gloating celebrating. This has always caught me as being ridiculous though. It’s simple frustration talking and even rich celebrities who actually CAN afford to move at their leisure and say this – whether they are conservative or progressive – it just doesn’t ever happen. But I’m not upset about the “when you gonna move?” type comments. Like I said, I know that’s a form of gloating. What upsets me is this fantasy that they’ve never uttered the same words at any point during the last eight years themselves. Again, the hypocrisy angers me more than the actual words. But again… maybe that’s the nature of politics.
This other stuff is going to get more complicated…
Like I said… I haven’t been on social media a lot today but what I have seen kind of saddens, frustrates and frightens me but I’ll still try to be fair here.
For all of my conservative friends that have been gleefully boasting and celebratory “the wicked witch is dead” or just simply laughing at the defeat of Hillary, here’s what I will say to you:
You are my friends. Are you going to also laugh in my face when my autistic son’s medicaid is slashed and burned? Are you going to gloat at me when one of my family member’s absolutely needed social security (something she has contributed to since she was 12 years old) gets turned into a volatile 401k stock option? I understand you’re feeling gleeful and giddy that Hillary didn’t win. I totally get that. But just understand that many of us voted for her for a whole lot of reasons. My personal reason was I am personally scared as crap what and how this election will personally and potentially affect me.
ObamaCare… got to admit, it has never REALLY affected me that I can actually see. I know it is expensive. With this new job I just started, I’ve been crossing my fingers and waiting until January 1st when my health care will kick in. We looked at ObamaCare and decided we couldn’t afford it… so I get the complaints. I know it was ram-rodded into law thanks to a two-year congressional majority Obama enjoyed. Just like the “bathroom” bill in North Carolina was ram-rodded into law… not a fan of this kind of political tactic. In fact, I hate it. I also know republicans wanted no part it helping to create it because it would have gone against the laws of nature to assist Obama in crafting the “golden child” of his presidency.
You want change in government? Start demanding that the republicans actually start working with democrats on a wide variety of bills instead of being content that they sent on their hands. Hell, just start demanding CONGRESS actually starts WORKING.
I still believe in Universal Heath Care so instead of simply getting rid of it because you’re mad it ever passed in the first place, how can we improve it? I really don’t care who gets the “praise”. How ’bout we make it better instead of just killing it altogether? Or, is that too much of a radical, hippy, pinko commie idea? 😉
I’m saddened that there is a large percentage of people that truly believe a very, very tiny half percentage of problem ballots out of a billion voters constitutes proof that there is MASSIVE voter fraud some where out there in the great United States – so much so that it constitutes enacting incredible voter restriction laws and procedures. I totally agree there should be nothing wrong with requiring an ID to vote. I also agree that it should be as easy as possible to obtain those IDs to vote – no matter your race, color or where you live. And we should make it easier – not harder – to vote. For ALL Americans.
I am sad that I have some religious friends who sometimes believe certain things in Leviticus but in other times, completely embrace a New Testament Jesus – depending on whether someone is gay or straight. I am sad that one can be divorced multiple times and still be embraced with the “sanctity of marriage” as they marry their seventh husband or wife but then look at the marriage between two gay people (who have never divorced OR remarried) and call it “an abomination of God”.
I am sad that there are a great many people very content that a republican led Congress is absolutely okay with not even having hearings on a supreme court justice. The republicans rolled a HUGE dice in this election and it came up roses for them but remember this because, at some point in the future, the tables will flip and democrats will be in a similar position to do something very similar. When that happens, don’t be angry with them because you were perfectly content to sit back and do nothing when the results fell in your favor. But alas, you’ll probably conveniently forget that when democrats are busy being obstructive and shutting down the government or trying 53 times to repeal a law they have no chance of repealing – simply to make themselves feel better.
Now, to my progressive friends…
Listen… I know you’re angry, hurt and all of those other things but here’s what I will tell you:
Don’t sit back and complain about the electoral college. It is what it is and you would be railing if the results were flipped and conservatives were calling for a ban on the electoral college. This happens every year when one side loses… “BAN THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE!”. That’s just never gonna happen. You can’t be angry when it doesn’t work in your favor but then happy when it does.
If you are angry, be angry at the DNC or be more demanding of them – especially when it comes to mid-term elections. That is something democrats have notoriously been lazy about but Obama had a Congressional majority his first two years in office – that’s how Obamacare got enacted and then… the GOP got mad and got their voters out in droves to flip the congressional power and made it possible for them to become obstructionist. Don’t get angry. Get out and vote in two years. That’s how politics work.
Honestly, had Hillary won, I would have been shocked if she was re-elected. I also always thought that had she won, it was gonna be even worse for her to try and get something done than it was and has been for Obama. The US wouldn’t have been “business as usual”. It would have been “we’re currently in a coma and can’t respond to anything at the moment”. Congress would have absolutely made sure of that. That being said, I will be equally shocked if Trump is re-elected. I always saw either one of these two as being a one term president. Maybe I will be wrong. I guess we will see in four years, won’t we? Again, it’s one thing to “promise the sky”. It’s another thing entirely to try and deliver it. Obama is, unfortunately, proof of that.
I do honestly believe that the US is getting darker, browner and more mixed than ever before. I truly do. But just as Yoda has always said, hate is powerful. And it’s seductive. No, not everyone who voted for Trump is a bigot, a racist or any of those other things. I’m not saying that. Some simply voted against Hillary just as many of you voted against Trump. That’s not hatred in itself. What I am saying is that hate is out there. It exists. There’s hatred for all kinds of different communities that aren’t white, straight and upper mobile. There’s hatred for cops. There’s hatred for blacks. There’s hatred for the poor. There’s hatred for jewish people, muslims, latinos, gays, lesbians, transgendered… the list goes on and on and on.
I’m not sure what we can do about that. The trouble is… people see “hatred” in their own unique ways. What “hate speech” to you is just “humor” to someone else. I don’t know how we stop that but I do know we all need to be vigilant about it.
And finally at last…
Here’s an analogy I have been thinking about throughout the day…
There’s been lots of take about how “make America great” is just code for “going BACK to the 1950’s”. Well, maybe that might actually be the case but… think about a Tsunami.
When a Tsunami starts, the first thing that happens is that the ocean waves recede BACK into the ocean before building up and building up and building up until a huge, massive wave crushes down on land.
As I said above, I truly believe that the country IS getting darker, browner and more mixed than ever before. And it will continue to do so – no matter how many laws or regulations that will be passed to try and prevent it. Maybe… just maybe… this was the last gasp effort of the old, white party to come out in force to try and stop the waves from building… maybe this is the beginning of our own wave receding back into the ocean before it can bring and even bigger wave of change over us.
We shall see.