Protest, But Protest With Love

This is a response to the one-word prompt “Protest” by “The Daily Post.”

To Live in the United States is to live with the protest; the ability to redress one’s grievances and stand for or against something. Since its founding, there has been a long tradition of protest movements such as the civil rights movement, the women rights movement and so on. At the same time, there has also been within these movements and others an ugly side to peaceful protest, that being rioting and responding with violence on the part of the protesters. When one protests, he/she should do so with love, not hate.

The goal of protesting is to peacefully advocate for some form of change in either society or government policy or both. This can work when others see you protesting and bringing an issue to light and may sympathize and even agree with you. But only if they can relate to you and your cause. They will not be able to relate or react positively at all if instead of peaceful protests, there is rioting in the streets, with looting and destruction of property, and even violence against fellow man.

Love of fellow man/human beings is what changes hearts and minds and improves this world that we live in. Hatred only hardens the heart and mind and makes things worse for everyone. Love unites, and hatred divides and destroys. So the next time you believe there may be an injustice in the world and are pulled to protest that injustice to bring attention to it, do so with love and not hate. Love those behind the injustice and only hate the injustice. As St. Augustine has said, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”


The Election Is Over; What Next?

So Donald Trump has won the 2016 Presidential elections and is now President-elect. What are we to do next? That is the question going through everyone’s mind in the country these last couple of days since the election. From the supporters of Trump and those who did not support him, to his skeptics. How will he govern, will he be a uniter or a divider? Can and will he be able to control himself in order to put together an effective government to get things done?

Now that Trump has won the Presidency, he has a long and difficult road ahead of him; no the nation has a long and difficult road ahead. The nation is still heavily divided upon itself and thus needs healing and while Trump did win overwhelmingly in the electoral vote which is what matters, he lost (though just) the popular vote. Which will only make it more difficult for him to bring the nation together and get consensus to get things done.

I have had my doubts about Trump, a whole lot, and I still do, but he is the Presidential-elect and won fair and square, thus we all in this country, myself included have a duty to at least give him the benefit of the doubt and help him the best we can, for he will be our President. As our President, we want him, no need him to succeed. For when the President of the United States succeeds, “We The People” succeed. But when the President fails, “We The Peole Fail.”

President-elect Trump is going to need all the help and prayers he can get in the coming days and months ahead. From setting up the right transitioning and getting the right cabinet and team formed that will help him to govern; to dealing with all the problems that are facing us as a nation right now and the more that will pop up in the next few years.

Make no mistake, I see rough times ahead both for the United States and the world. From economic and financial issues, to the Heath Care Law (Obamacare), to tearism and dealing with Radical Islamist Extremists and other tensions and hot spots around the glob. Donald Trump when he takes office, he is literally going to have to take off at “light speed” to tackle all the issues and problems heading our way.

So please,  everyone dealing with the shock that Donald Trump is actually going to be President of The United States of America and not liking it too much and perhaps fearing the worse; please remember that like you and me and everyone else he is human. He deserves a chance to prove us wrong about him. Believe me, I have grave concerns about him, and do indeed fear just what he will do with all the power about to be bestowed upon him. But here is the thing, I hope and pray to God that I am wrong, and will greatfully rejoice if I am. What’s that old saying “Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.”

Immorality Now Rules The United States

The election is over and the people have spoken, though it remains to be seen just what they voted for. It was also a surprising night with just how close the election results were and how well Donald Trump actually did. No one had really seen this coming, Hillary Clinton was the odds on favorite to win and was ahead in all the polls. Yet, here we are with a President elect Donard Trump. What does this say about the country and about us as a people, now that such a man like Trump could be elected President of the “Free World?”

Ever since its founding the United States has been a great country, not because of its power, but because of its goodness and because of the ideals that it has represented. The United States has always been an exceptional nation and a beacon to the world not because of its might or its people, but because it has for the most part been lead by virtue and goodness. It has stood for something greater than its self. Yes, there has been a many a flaws throughout the nation’s history, but despite those glaring flaws, it has strived to do better and be better than it is.

This has been what has always made America great and exceptional. Not because of its people or its leaders, but because of a calling of its people and its leaders to be better than they are. To improve, to self-examine, and to always be aware of one’s deep flaws and the flaws of the people, leaders and the nation as a hole. This is what has caused the United States throughout its history to stand up for the oppressed and to inspire the oppressed to stand up for themselves, even when from time to time, this great nation has its self been one of those keeping some oppressed.

With the Election of Donald Trump to the Presidency, I fear that all of this may change and that would be the greatest travesty in the history of the world. For what does it say about a nation and its people that it would chose for a leader, someone like Trump. A person that is so immoral and out for himself. He very little expresses remorse for his actions or what he says no matter how hurtful. He regularly attacks and just savages anyone who criticizes and disagrees with him. He mocks and belittles people. And he is obsessed with his image and “brand” and how he appears to others. The way he treats women and sees women is just so troubling and yet, says so much about his character or lack of one.

Thus, it is troubling to see a nation such as the United States vote in such a person as President (as leader) of said nation. America has been great because America has been good; in order to be good requires the people and leaders of a nation to be virtuous and moral. With the election of Trump, we as a nation are now entering uncertain times.

To be sure I have great reservations about Donald Trump as President. I was concerned as already said about his immorality, but also his unperdictability and just the plane unknown about just what he would do as President. I hope to God that my concerns are wrong about him, for he will now be my President and just what it would mean for the nation, the world, and the future if they are not. The people have spoken, and for good or ill, Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States of America. Come what may, we will as a nation, I truly believe make it as a nation and as a people if we remember and stick to what has made us “Great.” That being that we have been “Good.”

My Vote For A Third Party Candidate Is Not A Vote For Hillary Clinton!

The 2016 Presidential election cycle has been the ugliest, most surprising and most difficult of any so far, at least in my voting lifetime. The two candidates for President of the United States are some of the worst we have ever seen. Both have very high unfavorables, and both have extreme character flaws. I still cannot decide which one is worst or will be worst if elected. Although, I do believe that both are and will be bad for the country just in their own different ways. Thus, I cannot and will not be voting for either Hillary Clinton or Donard Trump. Though I will still be voting both for the down ballot and the presidential one. Here’s the deal that does not mean that I am throwing my vote away and am defacto voting for Clinton, we as a country have to move away from the notion that there are only two choices in voting, and voting for a third is giving it to one of the two.

Here’s the thing for me, in my politics, I am very conservative. I cannot stand the thought of Hillary as President, I totally believe that she is wrong for the country and will take us on the wrong track. My principals and beliefs will not allow me to support her. However, this is also the case with Trump, while I can to a certain extent relate with him or his supporters, unlike with Hillary, again, my principles and beliefs will not allow me to vote for him. Nonetheless, those same principals and beliefs say that I have to vote for a candidate for president. Staying home or just voting for the down ballots is not an option for me; to me, voting is a right but it is also a duty. So I have to vote for the president, but cannot vote for either of the two major party candidates, that leaves a third party ticket.

The thing with this choice for me, and I suspect a lot of others is that there is this misconception that in our two party system, a vote for a third party in a two-party race is just throwing your vote away and allowing one of the two to more easily overcome the other. This is so not true, if one candidate was fated to win, he/she would win no matter how you vote. Two things here, one, in any political race no one is fated to win, and two, the belief that in any race there are only two choices, just because we have two major political parties is so overdone and just plain wrong. In fact, the issue is really a self-fulfilling prophesy, that only comes true because people believe it and thus act upon it.

Over this last weekend, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has come out saying that he would vote for Trump and in fact endorsed him. Yesterday, on the Glenn Beck radio show he defended his decision to do so by saying that Hillary Clinton was such an unbelievable choice and that Trump was the only thing that stood in the way of her and a “Supreme Court stacked with liberal judges and progressive opinions.” Ted Cruz in defense of his decision also said that “this is a binary choice.”

Again, the ideal that any Presidential election, let alone this one is a binary choice is just plain wrong. We almost always have more than two choices in our presidential elections. There is always another choice to vote for and still vote. Even if you have to decide to vote for just the down ballot, you can do so. But more importantly is that elections are not about choosing the lesser of “two evils” or  voting for a ” not this person.” No, voting is about choosing who you think is best for the position, and who you think best represents you and your concerns/values. We need to remove ourselves from this “us versus them” mentality in politics and the notion that “if you don’t vote for him you are by the default voting for her.”

This is not the case for me, I am not voting for either Clinton or Trump; I will in the end vote for who I think best represents my concerns/values. My choice will not be perfect, but then this is politics we are talking about, that does not exist. In the end, we all have to just make our best judgement calls and make do with what we have. But there is always another choice, America and I hope you take that to heart. 

The Meaning Of Rebellion; Happy Birthday, America

As we celebrate our Independence day, this day for the 240th time since the 13 United States declared independence from Great Britain, we need to remember why one rebels. To remember that rebellion cannot be taken lightly. We humans, rebel for a lot of reasons, because we are oppressed or we see others being oppressed. We rebel because we may see injustice in the world. There are also different levels of rebellion at one’s disposal, there is the violent kind, the peaceful and passive kind. But whatever the form it takes, it should never be taken lightly.

Rebellion according to Merriam-Webster is either an attempt by a group of people to overturn or change a government, open opposition to a person or group of authority, or going against the rules or standards of society. All of that is correct in telling what the act of rebellion is. But that does not explain exactly why one rebels or when rebellion is called for and exactly what type of rebellion is called for. 

When the 13 colonies decided to break away from Great Britain they did so at great risk and  at first very reluctantly. Even when fighting started after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, at first they just wanted there grievances solved. For them rebellion was a last choice kind of thing. It was not at all taken lightly, the act of rebellion by the 13 original states. But that is the thing that we as Americans, as the inheritors of 13’s act of rebellion and fight for independence need to remember, that it was not an easy thing to decide to rebel, let alone succeeding in it.

When we celebrate our independence and all the freedoms that we as Americans enjoy in this great country, we also need to remember just all the original sacrifice and thought that went into making it all possible. But above all we also must remember that no matter the form it takes, the act of rebellion is an act of change. Thus those doing the act of rebellion must have a clear idea of what that change is to look like, less they come to regret the change.

To rebel against an authority because one sees an injustice being done is not enough, one needs to know how they would make things not only different but better. Rebellion is never good, what is good about some rebellions are the results of rebellion. In order to have good results, one needs a clear and reachable vision.

So remember, America as you celebrate your 240th birthday, just why you had rebelled in the first place. Ask yourself was it a good result. I say it was and because it was, if I had to I would rebel again to protect the results of the original act of rebellion by the 13 original United States of America. Happy Birthday America, Happy Independence Day!




Honor To Those That Gave All

Independence day. flag usa

flag usa on the background of sunrise

So today is Memorial Day, a day for the United States of America to honor all men&women who died while serving the military. The history of Memorial Day dates back to the late 1860s after the Civil War. Those who risked it all and died for this great country, most certainly deserve all of our thanks and gratitude. We can never honor those who gave their lives in the line of duty enough, but we can try.

Why is this the case, why do we honor those who have fallen so? Why do we need to? Because we just do, those men and women who have laid down their lives for us and this great country gave their all. Every man and woman who ever died while in the service of the United States Military, did so for something greater than themselves.

That mentality to not only recognize that there is something bigger than oneself but to make the decision that, that something is worth diving for is unfortunately a rare commodity, and as such that kind of mentality deserves more than any other to be respected, honored, and remembered. Actually it requires much more, it requires that we put up those with that mentality upon a pedestal so that their sacrifice is never for gotten. Not just their sacrifice, but what they sacrificed for and why they did so.

We honor and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and died because it is not only the right thing to do and because it is the least we can do, but because these heroes inspire us. They inspire us to stand up for what is right in the world and what we believe in. We also want future generations to remember them and their sacrifices and also be inspired by them.

So that is why we honor our men and women in military service that died for this country and why we have to do so. In the end we really have no choice but to honor them. They gave so much for us, they gave it all, that the very least that we could do is give them the honor that that have earned and deserve. So honor and remember the men and women of our arm services who have died for us.

The Disaster of American Politics

This is a response to the one-word prompt “Disaster” by “The Daily Post.”

Disaster, that pretty much sums up what politics in the United States of America have become. People both the politicians and the political lay person attack one another. No one can get along anymore and we cannot find qualified people to run for public office because they are afraid of the mud slinging and having their families brought into the mix.  Increasingly, at the local, state, and national level, the government cannot get anything done even on things that everyone agrees on because of the politicization of everything; not to mention the spread and growth of the bureaucracy.

Things have gotten so bad with regards, to running this country that both major political parties have produced unconventional candidates; we have either a self-proclaimed socialist in Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side and on the Republican side, we have Donald Trump, which I am still not sure what and who he is other than being a, well a potential disaster. Yet, both of these men have and continue to draw huge crowds in support. To top it off, once we finally get to the general election for the Presidency of the United States, we may have the choice of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton which in my view is no choice at all, both are equally bad.

Actually, between both parties, of all four of the main candidates: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz, none are really good choices. All of this goes back to the point that America’s whole governing political system is in the dumps. Everyone knows it and are just getting more and more fed up and wanting to throw in the towel.  It is pretty much the reason behind the rise of the likes of Trump and Sanders.

Politics is a disaster, there is no question on that point, and they will continue to be so as long as the voters, that’s “We The People” continue to be disinterested voters. When one does vote, ones need to vote informed. Voters need to really know the who, what, when, and where of those candidates and positions that they are drawn to vote for.

We all must also realize that our elected officers and potential elected officers are just a reflection of ourselves and our broader society. If we want a productive and polite political process in the governing of this country, then we need to lead in that. The last few years and even few decades, we have not been that example for our politicians to follow. As long as the people continue to not show virtue, of their own and do not educate themselves on who and what they vote for than American politics will continue to be a disaster.

The founding fathers, indeed the founding generation of this great nation knew this well. There is the famous story of at the end of the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention when walking out a woman came up to Benjamin Franklin and asked, “What have you given us, sir?” He answered, “A Republic ma’am, if you can keep it.” Well said Ben, and unfortunately, you were right, for we are about to lose it.