Alternative Facts

Been a busy two weeks for me. My cat, Weebles, was hospitalized for most of the past two weeks. Been dealing with that and work and various projects. Just generally busy.

And apparently I’m not the only one.

President Trump spent his first few office days doing the political equivalent of releasing a raunchy fart on a crowded school bus and the world has been understandably abuzz.

I think what shocks me the most as I browse various social outlets are the gobs of individuals from both sides that believe just flat out falsehoods about this presidency. They take to Facebook or Twitter and try to convince others of these things, omitting or refusing to accept just how wrong their stance is.

Let’s clear up some of these myths, huh?

Democrats lost, they should just accept it.

No. They absolutely should NOT just accept a loss that they feel was unjust or incredibly unfortunate. The truth here is that Trump DID in fact win within the confines of our system as it is laid out. However, this election shed a brighter light on an issue that was already fairly visible to many: that the American election system is imperfect. It allows in too many ways for someone to rake in a win through manipulation or honestly just strategics. It plays out as more of a game and less of a platform for political ideas and opinions. The control the media has is also exponentially troublesome, considering the political bias and other corporate-minded interests of media outlets these days. Considering America prides itself as a country that affords rights to its citizens to protect them from things that they feel are oppressive or unjust (a point I will be referring to quite a bit) then NO, those who feel negatively about the election results should not just roll over and accept it. Should they call for recounts and do-overs? No. Should they look into becoming an advocate for change of the electoral system? Probably.

Doubting the President will ruin this country.

Nope, wrong. A president is not someone that the people must blindly follow regardless of their internal feelings. We’re on a one way street to dictatortown with that kind of mentality. Again, America prides itself on being a country where it is reasonably fine for someone to have a negative opinion for our Yam- Commander-in-Chief. By that fact alone, it is up to the President to EARN the respect of the people. It’s why we have all these absurdly arbitrary polls and approval ratings and why we as citizens place so much weight in those numbers. A President should not expect to enter office free of any criticism or dissent. That’s just to be expected in any political system where the people are given power. Hell, even the Emperor gets the crap beat out of him at the end of Gladiator after the soldiers refuse to give him their swords. If you give the power to the people, those people will require you to earn their respect. It places the citizens of the country into the system of checks and balances. It makes a President want to work, want to keep the will of the people in mind (or at least it’s supposed to). If you don’t earn that respect, you get a fat Russell Crowe fist right to the hair-lip.

It won’t be so bad.

Possibly, true. Who knows what the future brings. Maybe he’ll only make it a couple more weeks before impeachment. Maybe he’ll turn the economy around and get the world in line behind us. Maybe he’ll make America Great Again!

But…

It’s not always about the “ifs.” Sometimes it’s about what we already know. Since taking office, he has insulted US allies, threatened Mexico multiple times, padded his cabinet with highly opinionated, usually bigoted and mostly unqualified people, insulted US intelligence agencies and signed various executive orders in regards to destabilizing government agencies such as the EPA, slowly shattering the ACA, telling Native Americans and the environment to fuck off, and just generally telling women what they can do with their bodies. Sure, there has been SOME good. Stocks went up, mainly as investors redirected their funds out of government bonds.  The point, however, is that damage has ALREADY been done. Regardless of how the next 4 years go. Other countries are nervous. A foreign body has directly affected a US election. Analysts and specialists detail how on edge the world is. The doomsday clock ticks forward. Will it really matter how good of a job he does in the wake of this? The real work will be simply recovering from the wound of electing this carrot person in the first place. (I’m reminded of the speech at the end of Twilight Zone’s “The Bunker”)

Protests are unamerican.

Have you HEARD of America? This country was FOUNDED on protest. Most of this country’s greatest achievements were only obtained by those brave enough to speak out. Now, I agree that violence and rioting cannot be a part of it. I understand why riots occur, I do. I understand that frustration and pain can build, making action seem all too necessary. But to get true change, the message can’t be tarnished by violence or any action that the media will spin into a smear (granted there are a lot of conspiracy theories out there about people being hired to rile folks up, but I won’t get into that here). Having a message, calling for change, shouting and refusing to be silent is inherently one of the most american things someone can do. Letting the people remain powerful. Telling people to quiet down, to stop their voice, is asking America to stop being America. You’re asking people to NOT practice the rights provided to them by the first amendment. The VERY FIRST one. Honestly, people telling protesters to stop marching, telling people on Facebook and Twitter to quiet down, those are the least American people I know.

America needs to be made great again.

Okay, maybe these are the least American folks. Sure, this statement looks tasty. “Wow,” you think, “America can finally reclaim the glory it once had.” Here’s the problem: to when are we referring? Okay, let’s break it down. Has America EVER been perfect? No, sure. No country has achieved perfection, because as we know from High School Government classes Utopias are impossible. However, America has made some pretty impressive strides, done some pretty impressive things. Overcome our fair share of hardship. So I’d honestly say we are pretty great. Plenty of room for improvement, sure, but that’s part of the fun. Looking to the future and hoping for the change. Now, when someone comes in and says they want to “Make America Great Again” they are first of all saying that America is not currently great. The achievements we’ve made, the strides we’ve taken are not great. So then I have to ask, why? What has made these not great? Because this message to me draws one of two conclusions. The first is that petty political shit like the ACA or the EPA or foreign policy or trade deals or illegal immigrants (who, by the way, want to be here because of how great our county is) are more important to that person than years of civil rights advancement, revolutions in technology and science, people uniting in times of strife, the dawn of a concept that Love is Love, and becoming one of the most watched countries in the world. It seems that to this person, the fairly inconsequential actions of one president is enough to wipe away all the amazing things the country has achieved, which to me suggests that this person found those things to be even more inconsequential. The second conclusion is that this person finds a time in the past to be preferable. So how far back do we go to please this person? The homophobic 70s? The segregated 50s? The suffrage-free 1900s? Should we raise the stars and bars? How far back we goin’ here? Essentially, this person is suggesting that a time in the past is better than where we are now. So, either 8 years is enough to them to erase a history of growth and advancement, meaning they hold an incredibly low opinion of said advancements, or they want to go even further back, meaning they would choose to see certain advancements erased entirely. Maybe I’m stretching. Maybe he just wanted fun hats.

WE didn’t act like this over Obama.

You

Don’t

Say

When Obama Was Elected: An Outpouring of Hate in 2008 by David Neiwert

Anyway, hopefully this clears some things up. Like my Facebook friend list, if I had to guess.

~C

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