elections, politicians, politics, true crime, Trump

Self-appointed masters of the drop boxes…

Happy Tuesday morning to all. Yesterday, Bill, who has been feeling under the weather, finally took a COVID test to see if he was infected with the virus. Some people who were TDY with him in Bavaria had gotten positive results. Sure enough, he’s got the bug, so he’s working from home today. I told him days ago that he shouldn’t go in to work, because he’d be spreading his germs. Did he listen to me? Naw. Oh well… guess my MPH degree didn’t help this time. 😉 Fortunately, he’s not very sick. He just has the pesky head cold version of COVID. So far, I’m not feeling sick, either, but then I had COVID a few months ago. Maybe my immune system is working. I’m glad we didn’t go out and do anything over the weekend.

I keep watching the news about the upcoming elections. There are some truly vile candidates running for office, which is worrisome for those of us who long for leaders who are respectable. However, even though I don’t like the MAGA candidates at all, I still firmly believe that people should be allowed to vote for whomever they wish. That’s part of being in a free society. I don’t like it when people try to tell me who I should vote for, so I try not to do it to anyone else. Yes, I express disdain people like Donald Trump, and I don’t understand the appeal of having him, or people who “lead” like him, back in office. But I still believe that people should be allowed to vote freely, even if I disagree with their choices. I feel that way because I want the same privilege for myself.

I was dismayed to hear about people in Arizona lurking around drop boxes, watching people dropping off ballots, taking pictures of them and their license plates, and in some cases, actually confronting them. This morning, Bill told me about an video on CNN about a woman in Arizona who was hanging out near a drop box and confronted two armed men. The woman in the story appeared to be on the liberal side of the divide, but there have also been some from the more conservative side, some of whom are bringing their guns with them. I said, “Eventually, someone is going to get hurt or killed for meddling in other people’s attempts to cast ballots.”

This is insane.

As I’ve mentioned more than once, things have changed a lot in my lifetime. I’ve been around for 50 years now, and I’ve never seen or heard of this kind of foolishness surrounding elections prior to the Trump era. People have lost faith in the voting system, and some of them are taking it upon themselves to interfere with the process. There’s actually a significant population that believes our elections are fraudulent, simply because Trump didn’t win in 2020. They can’t fathom why he wasn’t chosen over Joe Biden. I just don’t get it, though. To me, it’s very EASY to see why Trump didn’t win. I may not think Joe Biden is the most exciting or dynamic person to lead the country, but it’s least he’s a basically decent person.

This is crazy!

Donald Trump has a history of corruption that runs for miles, and he’s a proponent for violence and disorder. He’s flat out expressed admiration for autocrats; he’s had many failed businesses and marriages; and he refuses to play fairly, even with our allies. Moreover, he doesn’t care about other people; he only cares about money and power, and he says and does embarrassing things that make the United States look like a Banana Republic. To me, this is very obvious. In my opinion, Trump doesn’t have any traits that good leaders possess. All he has is superficial charisma, which he uses to wind up people who are motivated by the same things that motivate him. But they don’t seem to understand that he doesn’t give a shit about them, and neither do his acolytes. Once those people get in power, they will proceed in screwing over everyone.

Still… I realize that these are just my opinions. I understand that other people feel differently. They think Trump is awesome, and they will vote for candidates who support him, like Kari Lake, who has said that she will only accept the results of her run for governor if she is declared the winner. I say, it is certainly their right, as Americans, to vote as they see fit without interference. All I want is the same opportunity. Fortunately, I voted absentee, which is still okay if you live abroad. I doubt the candidates I voted for will win, but at least I tried. And no one brandished a gun in my presence when I voted, because I did it in the privacy of my own home, in a country where far fewer people own weapons.

People have lost their minds.

I still like to hope that there are still reasonable people in the United States. Even if they don’t like liberal policies, I would hope they would make a choice for sanity. I, for one, am not a big fan of extreme liberalism. Politically, I would describe myself as deep purple. But I am NOT ever voting for MAGA Republican extremists. They are dangerous, and they are turning my homeland into a place I don’t recognize. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I long for the day when it seemed like the government was run by adults with a sense of decorum. Maybe those days are gone forever. Once again, I find myself glad that I never had kids.

The drop boxes are a good thing for people who can’t make it to polling locations. These are folks who don’t have access to transportation, sick, elderly, or disabled people, or maybe those who have to work when the polls are open. They are Americans, too, and they deserve the right to vote, just as much as someone more privileged does. For all of the complaining conservatives do about people getting “free stuff” and grifting taxpayer dollars, they don’t seem to understand that their “dear leader” is the biggest grifter of all. And people who are stuck in poverty are not inherently criminals or “stupid”. It’s not a crime to be poor, and someone who has the misfortune of being impoverished doesn’t necessarily “deserve” that fate. Drop boxes help make elections more fair, because they allow more people access. But conservatives are afraid that people who make less money– some of whom are non-whites– won’t vote for their candidates. They’re afraid that straight, white people will be less powerful, and less relevant. So they bring their guns to the drop boxes and meddle in other people’s voting.

When I read about these people with their guns, voluntarily taking it upon themselves to “oversee” the drop boxes, all I can think is that eventually, someone is going to get hurt. Someone is going to end up in prison because they have been misguided into believing in conspiracy theories. Some families are going to be forever changed, in a multitude of negative ways, because of that misguided belief.

I like to hope that some of the people who believe that the elections are rigged are, overall, decent folks. But then someone gets hurt or killed or even just psychologically traumatized, and it ends up in the news. It’s just ludicrous.

Anyway, our votes are on their way to Texas. I wish us all luck.

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controversies, politicians, politics, Trump

Sarah Palin lost her election, so now Republicans are crying foul… AGAIN!

I was amused this morning when I read a news article about how Republicans are bitching that Sarah Palin lost her bid to re-enter politics in Alaska because of Alaska’s “ranked voting” system. Sarah Palin and fellow Republican, Nick Begich III, faced off against Democrat Mary Peltola, in a congressional special election. Alaska is a famously Republican state, so the GOP apparently felt that one of their candidates would be a “shoo-in” to win. Mary Peltola faced long odds in her efforts to claim the seat of Don Young, who died in March of this year. But Mary did win, and she will be the very first Alaska Native member of Congress, and the very FIRST Democrat to represent Alaska in the House since 1972!

And yet, now Republicans are bitterly COMPLAINING that Alaska’s voting system is a scam! It couldn’t be their candidates lost because people are sick of Republicans’ relentless attacks on freedom, could it? It couldn’t be that the people of Alaska remembered that Sarah Palin, the former governor of the state, QUIT halfway through her term to be a political pundit, could it? It couldn’t be that there are people in Alaska who respect the Constitution enough not to elect a Trump endorsed candidate? And some people have realized that Republicans have ruined their party by affiliating with treasonous, money-grubbing, dictator wannabes like Donald Trump and his criminal gang? No… couldn’t be. Poor Sarah Palin was ROBBED. Not.

All of a sudden, a system that worked FOR Republicans for fifty years, is now a scam, because a DEMOCRAT finally won? What kind of bullshit is that? Sounds like sour grapes, to me.

What an idiot.

It seems like that’s the new mantra for the GOP. When your candidate loses, for good reason, by the way, it must be because the election was rigged. It can’t be because your policies suck for being cruel, anti-freedom, sexist, and ultimately not for the good of ALL people. Alaska’s system worked exactly the way it was supposed to work. Trump backed Palin won against the less famous Begich, who might have been more acceptable to all voters than Palin was. The MAGA assholes voted for Sarah, because they like Trump. But a lot of people, as a whole, do not like Trump. So some people voted for the Democrat candidate instead of flakey Sarah Palin, who abandoned her post as governor and aligned with Trump.

I’ll tell you what. People are going to find out too late that they are on the wrong side of history. If Trump gets back into power, he’s going to ruin the United States. He’s more unhinged now than he ever was, and he’s only getting older and more desperate. Republicans in the know realize how much he’s fucked up their party, and they wish he’d shut up. But he won’t do that, because he’s a grandiose malignant narcissist, and he can’t accept being the loser that he obviously is. So he’ll keep trying to get back in power, and he will not stop until he’s dead or in a coma or something. Meanwhile, the people who cheer him on will refuse to see reality, and when Trump forms his own party, they’ll vote with him. And the Republicans, as a whole, will lose.

I never had an issue with conservatives, per se. I’m actually a centrist, myself. I can see why people on the right get irritated by liberals. I find certain liberal beliefs pretty annoying. And they also have their share of obvious narcissists, who push agendas that restrict freedom and scare people. They push agendas that people see as government overreach and restricting their freedoms (although I think abortion bans are about as overreaching as a government can get).

Take, for instance, “cancel culture”. A few years ago, there was a trend of people videoing people behaving badly and putting it on social media, in an attempt to ruin lives. They would get called out for being sexist, racist, etc… or just appearing to be that way. Then their behavior would go viral, and they’d lose their jobs and get death threats and what not. Well, I can see why people on the right side of the spectrum would not like that trend. I don’t like it, either. Not every bad encounter is motivated by racism, and no matter what, it’s not cool to ruin someone’s livelihood simply because of a disagreement. It’s NEVER okay to send someone death threats or invitations to commit suicide. But some folks on the left were doing that, supposedly for the “common good” of stamping out racism or whatever other “ism” was popular for the day. Those tactics are divisive and do more harm than good, in my opinion.

I think Trump appeals to people who respond to charisma and the attitude that they don’t have to take any “woke shit” from the left. They are also people who are motivated by money, and the appearance of having more of it to spend in the way they like. That’s understandable, of course. What some of these folks fail to realize, though, is that Donald Trump, as a narcissist, does not care about them, and ultimately will not do anything for them. And far right candidates who stump for Trump also don’t care about their constituents.

Not all Republicans are MAGAs. Some of them have a sense of decency and functioning brains. So yes, they will vote for a Democrat if it means this MAGA nonsense might someday stop and we can go back to being a more “normal” country, where women aren’t relegated to second class citizenship and denied privacy. It used to be that right wingers would compare liberalism to socialism and communism. But their policies, which are proving to be extremely unpopular to those of us who don’t want politicians regulating things like whether or not to continue a pregnancy, and would rather not have to worry about being shot, are proving to be less appealing than voting blue. Unfortunately, the United States has a lot of folks in it who don’t read or travel, and aren’t big on critical thinking. So they get taken in by Trump’s promises. Sooner or later, they will find out that he’s on the wrong side of history. He’s not a good man.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t bad people on the left. I have seen some murmurings about Meghan Markle wanting to become a politician, and if she did, it would no doubt be as a blue candidate. I think that would be a disaster. Fortunately, I also think a lot of people see right through her, even though she keeps trying to play the race card. She doesn’t have Trump’s charisma, either. But she’s an example of someone who is an obvious narcissist and just wants to be on top, as Tyra Banks put it in the theme song for ANTM (America’s Next Top Model). Tyra Banks is another obvious narcissist.

Now is the time for people to vote for people over parties. While I believe that some level of narcissism is necessary to run for public office, and all people have narcissistic traits to some extent, it’s NOT a good thing to elect full blown narcissists to public office. Public office is supposed to be about SERVICE, not getting rich, gaining control of others, or being in power. So we should vote for people who want to serve, not people who are charismatic, well-known, wealthy, or loudmouthed. Politicians should CARE about the people, not having power, money, and control.

Unfortunately, our culture has been trained to give people a chance… even people who obviously don’t merit one. We don’t pay attention to the “gift of fear” and judgment, which are both innate survival tools. We’ve been taught to suppress judgment to our detriment. Bill and I both knew, several years ago when Trump burst onto the political scene, that he was going to fuck up the country. For us, it was like seeing a sign in bright, neon, flashing letters. Why? Because we have been exposed to less powerful narcissists who have wreaked havoc on our lives. Once you’ve had that inoculation, you are mostly immune to narcissistic bullshit. Or, at least you can spot it at a hundred paces. It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum they’re on. Narcissists SUCK as leaders. And that is what Trump and a lot of his political minions are. They care more about themselves– money, power, and control– than doing things that make life better for everyone.

Anyway… no, I don’t think Alaska’s election was rigged. That’s nonsense. Republicans need to wake up and realize that MAGA is going out of style. And if something isn’t done about Donald Trump, our country is going to be fucked… and their party will be a shell of what it was. Oh… and Democrats will win… as long as we continue to have free, fair elections, the likes of which I’m feeling less and less optimistic about. But we’ll see. I’m glad I’m 50, and my life is likely at least half over, so I can stop caring about this shit.

By the way… I LIKE Alaska’s voting system. I think it makes a lot of sense. People should be allowed to rank their choices. Maybe if we could do that, we could avoid voting in more terrible people like Trump. Oh, and it’s also high time to allow us all more choices in elections, so we don’t have political contests with two shitty candidates.

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Biden, complaints, politics, rants, Reality TV, Trump, YouTube

Things are really getting uglier by the day…

Happy Friday, everybody. It’s a sunny, warm day in Germany so far, and I’m looking forward to another nice weekend with Bill. Right now, I’m listening to another video by Katie Joy Paulson, the woman behind the popular YouTube channel, Without A Crystal Ball. I discovered Katie Joy at some point last year, when I got hooked on YouTube videos while Bill was out of town on business. I mostly watch her videos about the Duggars, but every once in awhile, I watch some of her other stuff.

I know a lot of people don’t like Katie Joy. She’s been sued for defamation by a number of people. Nevertheless, she continues to make videos, and there are lots of rumors swirling around about her. I, personally, don’t have much of an opinion about the rumors. I have not been personally involved in any of the controversies about her. I mainly watch her stuff because she includes clips from the old Duggar shows, and God help me, I find the Duggars interesting… in a trainwreck kind of way.

This week, Katie Joy has been talking a lot about Todd and Julie Chrisley. Until this week, I had never even heard of Todd and Julie Chrisley, but I’m now finding myself falling down another rabbit hole. I think I heard their name for the first time last week, but it wasn’t even Katie Joy who uttered it. In fact, I think it was the lady behind Down the Rabbit Hole at Bedtime who first introduced me to this very southern, apparently very wealthy couple from Georgia, who just got convicted of bank fraud and tax evasion. The Chrisleys are currently trending, because both Todd and Julie are very likely going to go to federal prison soon. However, Todd Chrisley also sued Katie Joy for defamation, and according to a video she put out yesterday, Todd Chrisley has a habit of suing people. Katie Joy quoted Mr. Chrisley as saying that he “sues people for sport.” Charming, huh?

The video that introduced me to Chrisley Knows Best. This video is by Down the Rabbit Hole at Bedtime.

Katie Joy says she started talking and writing about the Chrisleys in 2019, when they were indicted by the feds for tax evasion and bank fraud. The couple were accused of falsifying bank documents to illegally qualify for loans, and not filing tax returns. They finally went to trial last month, and they were found guilty. The Chrisleys are facing up to 30 years in prison, although it’s unlikely that they’ll come even close to getting that lengthy of a sentence. Naturally, Katie Joy has reported about these events, even though Todd Chrisley threatened her and did, in fact, sue her. Below are three videos she’s done in the past week about this situation.

Yikes!
Todd Chrisley accused KJ of lying and threatened her…
It’s pretty ugly stuff.

Again, I don’t have a horse in the race myself. I never watched Chrisley Knows Best and, in fact, had never even heard of the show or the Chrisleys until a couple of days ago. However, listening to Todd Chrisley speak, I come away with the idea that he’s kind of a nasty, hateful, and desperate character. He repeatedly says that nobody cares about KJ, but then he sues her, and spends time talking and writing about her. Obviously he DOES care, on some level, and she is a threat to him. If she weren’t threatening, why would he bother seething about her on his podcast? Why would he sue her, especially since he now has no money to pay for lawyers? I listen to him speak, and he practically bubbles over with hatred. I can hear it in his voice, and it’s very unnerving.

Katie Joy didn’t go after Todd Chrisley for “personal” reasons. He’s a public figure, and his case was in the news. She covers those topics. It’s not like she hated him and decided to destroy his life. She covers him because he has a television show and he got busted by the feds. Todd Chrisley, on the other hand, appears to be going after Katie Joy simply because he hates her. He accused her of lying and defaming him, and yet he’s been found guilty and is very likely going to go to prison, along with his wife. So I’m not sure his lawsuit against her is going to be successful.

So why am I writing about this today? I think it’s because Todd Chrisley, and his nasty vendetta against Katie Joy, sort of epitomizes the way I see a lot of Americans lately. People are so incredibly polarized and negative. It’s just really ugly and trashy. It’s like we’ve forgotten how to respect each other as human beings. Listen to the way Chrisley speaks to and about Katie Joy. It’s the way a lot of people are talking to each other now. If you don’t agree with someone’s opinions or politics, that’s reason to dehumanize them and treat them with disdain. It didn’t used to be that way.

This morning, I woke up to a statement posted on Facebook by a woman I’ve known since I was eight years old. We grew up in the same small town in Virginia. She is a very nice person, and while we weren’t necessarily close friends when we were growing up, we now have similar views about politics. We have both abandoned voting for conservatives, mainly because of the complete shitshow the Republican party has turned into in the wake of Donald Trump. My friend, who works as a teacher and truly loves her students, posted this:

Finally got home and turned on the tv. I wish I hadn’t. Footage from Jan. 6 literally makes me sick. Crazy people shouting “USA” while behaving like animals (who should have at the very least have been tear-gassed). Knowing that people are going to again vote for the hate-monger who invoked that behavior and are condoning that behavior makes me even sicker. Unfriend me if you must, but I will forever speak out against traitors and cowards.

One of her friends– someone else from our conservative, southern hometown, wrote this:

I would never unfriend you for differing opinions as long as we understand, I too will also speak against the idiot leadership we have in office as we speak. 

But honestly I won’t have the discussion because you are so far left and I’m on the right so I will just be a friend! Lol 

And my old friend, God bless her, wrote something that really speaks to me, personally:

I’m glad that we can remain friends too. But I’m actually not far left. I don’t like Dems either and I’m not a party line person. I would NEVER condone or continue to support anyone who engaged in or incited such anti-American acts.

Bravo! I wouldn’t go so far as to say “I don’t like Dems”. The fact is, I do like a few Dems. However, there was a time, not so long ago, when I liked conservatives much more than I do now. I consider myself a Centrist. There are a lot of policies and ideas championed by the “left” that I don’t agree with at all. I don’t like cancel culture. I don’t like having “wokeness” crammed down my throat. I don’t want to be forced to wear a face mask for the rest of my life. And, while I do think COVID vaccines are a good idea, I am not in favor of forcing people to be vaccinated, unless there is a very compelling reason to do so. Like, I do think healthcare workers should be vaccinated. I do think that people who are dealing with vulnerable people should get their shots. But I hesitate to advocate for forced vaccinations– just as I don’t think anyone should be forced to stay pregnant.

But, as we all know, there are currently only two political parties in the United States that have a chance in hell of getting elected. Yes, other parties DO exist, but they can’t win an election at this point in time. So, my option is to vote Democrat, or vote for people who promote the likes of Donald Trump, who raped his ex wife, brags about molesting women, has been bankrupt repeatedly, and, when he was in office, egged on a segment of our society who tried to overthrow our government! It is also the party Josh Duggar prefers, and I don’t even need to discuss the likes of Kandiss Taylor, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mitch McConnell, and Lauren Boebert, do I? No, I don’t align with any of those people, and high gas prices don’t enrage me, because Europeans have been paying high gas prices for plenty of years. It’s nothing new here. Americans have been spoiled.

I am not a big fan of Joe Biden. BUT– while he’s not the most dynamic or amazing leader we have ever had, he’s leagues better than Trump is. Joe Biden is not a narcissist, and he does care, on some level, about people. Donald Trump is an absolutely vile person, and he has no business being in a position of political power. I can’t fathom how decent people can champion a man like Donald Trump for president. What will it take before people see how absolutely awful he is? There’s so much proof of how selfish, corrupt, and “above the law” he is. He’s also extremely incompetent, even as a business person. I think countries should be led by human beings who CARE about the people they lead. Donald Trump doesn’t care about anyone but himself. Unfortunately, Trump has emboldened a lot of freaks, and our political system has become a huge embarrassing free for all.

It blows my mind that abortion– which really is necessary medical care for some people— is now potentially going to be illegal in many parts of the United States. At the same time, people are screaming about the prospect of gun control. How is it that so many people are horrified by an early abortion, but they are not equally horrified by an already born six year old being obliterated by an AR-15 in a classroom? How is it that we have ignorant MEN who want to force ALL pregnant women to stay pregnant, even if they are experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, which will KILL them, if it continues? I thought we settled this shit a few years ago, when the moronic MALE Ohio Republican wanted to compel doctors to “reimplant” ectopic pregnancies. Remember John Becker, who famously said of treating ectopic pregnancies:

“Part of that treatment would be removing that embryo from the fallopian tube and re-inserting it in the uterus so that is defined as not an abortion under this bill,”

Seriously!!!!

That fucking idiot doesn’t even know that ectopic pregnancies CANNOT ever be salvaged, and are often FATAL to the pregnant person if they aren’t treated with ABORTION. And yet, there he was, trying to make stupid laws about pregnancy, something about which he obviously knows NOTHING. And WHY should a woman who needs that kind of lifesaving treatment, have to explain or justify it to ANYONE? No, I don’t cheer for abortions, nor have I ever had one, and nor would I necessarily want one. But it’s not my business why someone doesn’t want to be pregnant or needs to have an abortion. It’s not my body, my finances, or my health on the line. And it’s certainly not the business of a MAN who will not ever face a situation like that, either. Why are these fucking men allowed to make laws about things they don’t know anything about?

Mama Doctor Jones speaks about ectopic pregnancies. She got the below comment from someone who clearly has no idea what they’re talking about…
Mama Doctor Jones is an actual physician! She knows of what she speaks.

It seems that abortion, guns, and gas prices are the only things most Republicans care about… Oh, and banning “illegals”… How disgusting and dehumanizing is it that these “God fearing folks” refer to other human beings as “illegals”? How would they like it if the United States suddenly became so dangerous or inhospitable that they wanted to leave for safer territory, and they were called ILLEGALS by other human beings? Actually, I kind of understand how some so-called “illegals” must feel, as I live in Germany. We are here in Germany legally, but right now, I feel like a refugee from my country. I watch from afar and feel very apprehensive about going home again, because it just seems like such a dangerous, polarized, unhinged place full of maniacs.

Living in Europe has forever changed me, and it’s changed my political views. That being said, I don’t hate all Republicans. I have many friends and family members who are Republicans… sadly, quite a few of my family members don’t speak to me anymore, all because of politics. So… I guess I don’t have a reason to go home. They don’t care, anyway. Fortunately, most Germans seem to have a more mature, humane, and magnanimous attitude about all humans, although of course there’s racism here, too. But at least here, I don’t worry about being shot when I go to the market or walk my dogs.

Anyway… I hope things get better at some point before I finally pass out of this hellhole we call Life. It’s gotten really bad, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I’m just so sad to see how people seem to hate each other, simply because they have differing opinions. I thank God for Bill, because I think if it weren’t for him, I would be back in a full on depressive episode. I wish we could all come together and cooperate to make life better for EVERYONE.

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Trump

Lying down with dogs…

A couple of days ago, I wrote about a friend of mine who posted on Facebook about how flabbergasted he was that some people think racial relations have improved under Donald Trump’s “leadership”. My post was written when the discussion was “young”, and one “friend” had referred to liberals as “libtards”.

I’m not really a fan of namecalling, even if I’m guilty of it at times. I especially don’t like it when people namecall folks they don’t even really know personally. It’s one thing if you have personal experience to back up a derogatory moniker, and quite another when you just lump everyone into a group without knowing them. I don’t think it’s right to call Republicans “rethuglicans”, either. I know some very decent people who identify as conservative. I know some pretty crappy people who say they’re liberal. I, myself, don’t really identify as either. On some issues, I’m extremely liberal. On others, I’m a lot more conservative. I guess I’d call myself a “centrist”.

Anyway… that discussion blew up a lot over the past couple of days. One fellow– I probably knew him when I was a teen, but I don’t really remember him now– insists that liberals want to “run his life”. He got into it with a woman I’ll call Lisa who seemed quite reasonable to me, and not just because I happened to align more with her politics than his.

The original poster, a black man who describes himself as a “monster of a man” at 6’6″ and 255 pounds, able to bench about 400 pounds, wrote about how he’s noticed that much smaller white men feel emboldened to insult him. Now… I do know the original poster. We went through school together from the fourth grade. He’s a great guy, but he’s right when he refers to himself as a “monster of a man”. He’s a very big guy– was so in high school and no doubt remains so today. And yet he gets dirty looks when he’s having dinner with white women.

The original poster’s friend, a guy I’ll call Matteo (since I don’t know anyone with that name), says he’s not a racist. He says he treats everyone the same. However, as soon as people find out he supports Donald Trump, people label him a racist. He doesn’t like that. And, he laments that the people calling him a racist aren’t people of color, but “brainwashed” white people, some of whom were posting in that thread.

In fairness to Matteo, I can see why it frustrates him that people assume he’s racist for supporting Donald Trump. However, I can also see why people would draw that conclusion, based on Trump’s very well known racist proclivities. There’s an old saying… if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Well… I lie down with dogs at every opportunity and have never had a flea problem, but you get the drift. If you align yourself politically with someone who makes a point out of tasking immigration authorities to hunt down, detain, and deport anyone who is deemed an “illegal” (undocumented) alien, people might assume that you agree with said politician’s views. If you’re alright with the “illegals” being caged like animals as their children are ripped away from them, people might assume that you are racist.

For his part, Trump himself claims that he’s the “least racist person in the world”. And it’s true that he has hired people of color, married (white) women from European countries, and probably does treat almost everyone the same– except for those he either wants to screw out of money or literally screw. But once those people aren’t useful anymore, he treats them the same, too. I don’t know, maybe there’s a certain “fairness” there. It’s really just people from “shithole” countries Trump doesn’t like. He’s ready to embrace any hot looking Norwegian or Swede who wants to move to America… especially if they’re also female and wealthy. Nah… Trump has had plenty of racist allegations and accusations pinned on him, and the record shows that he discriminates openly.

So Matteo apparently ignores all of this and thinks Trump is a swell guy. If he’s truly not a racist, I’d love to know what about Trump excites him. Is it because he’s someone who has gotten a couple more bucks in his paycheck? Is it because Trump seems plainspoken? Does Trump seems like a “regular guy” to him? Actually, Donald Trump is not like your typical country boy. He grew up wealthy, attended expensive, private schools, and has never worked an honest day in his life. But because he’s a “Republican” (for now, at least) and claims to be against abortion, he’s a “great American” and the “best president” we’ve ever had in the United States. Very fine.

So the OP, my big black friend, explains that because Matteo is a white guy who has never experienced the kind of racism that he has firsthand, he says Matteo doesn’t understand his perspective. Matteo takes exception to this and launches into a strange argument using cancer as his example. He says he can have a negative opinion about cancer even though he’s never had it. He says he can have a negative view of rape, even though he’s never been raped. And by that standard, he can “understand” racism, even if he’s not black and has never been called by that well-known derogatory term that is no longer suitable for print.

That’s when Lisa– someone else I probably met sometime but don’t remember now– jumped in and tried to explain things to Matteo. Her explanation was very reasonable and well thought out, and she correctly pointed out to Matteo that equating cancer to racism is invalid, since ANYONE can get cancer. It’s not an affliction that only affects a certain group of people. I would also say the same about rape, although women are much more likely to experience rape than men are. But if you’re a white person, you will never be black. If you live in the United States or another place where people look at others differently due to the color of their skin, you can’t have the perspective of racism that someone who is a member of the minority has. Now… if you go to a place where white people experience racism due to their skin color, maybe you can have an inkling. But that’s not really how it is in most parts of the USA.

Matteo went on about how it’s the media’s fault that people think life is so bad. He says the media has convinced everyone how much it sucks to be in the United States and that if we’d just stop letting the media spoon feed us reality, we’d see how Trump is making America “great” again. And now, I must stop and interject.

At this point in time, I have at least four white, female, college educated friends who are searching for work. Each of these women has put out at least a couple hundred resumes and, yet they report that they have each only scored a handful of interviews. Two of these friends went as far as to put up GoFundMe campaigns because they need immediate help with their bills and/or keeping their housing. I keep hearing– indeed in that very thread I’m referencing– about how awesome the economy is and how unemployment is at an all time low. If that’s true, why are four of my college educated friends– women whom I know are intelligent, talented, and hardworking– struggling so hard to get work that pays enough for them to support themselves? Where are these “good jobs” with “good benefits”, where qualified people are considered regardless of their age, sex, and whether or not they have children? Why are Bill and I donating money to my friends who have just been laid off at Christmastime and are terrified of being kicked out on the streets? There but by the grace of God go any of us!

Getting back to Matteo and his claims that America is on its way to being “great” again… Lisa, the OP, and Matteo discussed more and the thread soon devolved into a comparison between Republicans and Democrats. Matteo brought up that Democrats were behind the Ku Klux Klan. Here’s the direct, unedited post that led me to write today:

The problem I think you really have is political. The democrat party thinks of African Americans as nothing but a vote. All talk and no action. The political plantation, if you will. Only a liberal would think advancement is a bad thing. If you could get over your political self for a moment you might understand. You guys put politics above all including race. After all you guys founded the KKK and opposed the civil rights act. You want to control people’s lives instead of improving them. Obama said you would need a magic wand to bring back manufacturing jobs (not dead end jobs) and guess what…Trump is bringing back those very jobs. It is YOUR party that plays the race card to divide. The liberal media makes stuff up to promote division and tension. (DICLAIMER: YES RACISM EXSISTS IT HAS AND PROBOBLY ALWAYS WILL TO SOME DEGREE) but your political side does nothing but make it worse. I can actually site time after time where the left has blatantly made stuff up! I am not accusing you of this, but I am damn sure accusing your party of it. Pure EVIL!

Hmmm… and yet Republicans are all about getting in bed with conservative Christians, pushing the anti-abortion agenda to get votes. Republicans are all about doing away with programs that help those who are stuck in poverty get ahead. They are all about denying rights to women and people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. Quite a lot of them are pretty racist, too. I know this because I am related to them, grew up around them, and I’ve heard how they talk and seen how they behave. That’s not to say that there aren’t liberals who are racists or just want to get ahead somehow by pushing an agenda that is palatable to certain groups. I just think Matteo really fails to see that his arguments do go both ways… even as he points out that they go both ways. He doesn’t seem to see the big picture.

However… I am a firm believer that people should be allowed to vote the way they want. I didn’t jump into this discussion myself, because I find arguing with people like Matteo to be a waste of time. It’s 90% white men who take the attitude that racism isn’t a problem in the United States, and that Republicans are all about not letting the government get too big and interfere in other people’s lives or, more importantly, ability to make money on the backs of less advantaged people. They are all about pulling one’s self up by the bootstraps, even if the bootstraps are hopelessly broken or dry-rotted. Well… despite Matteo’s protests, I do think Trump is a racist. I do think many people who support Trump are more racist than they’d like to admit. I think most people have some racist proclivities deep down, but it’s especially bad among white, conservative, southern men who are all too ready to embrace the false idea that Trump pushes– that they are the “real victims” of discrimination.

In 1989, Trump said he would rather be a “well-educated black”… because they have an “advantage”. Boy… this is exactly the attitude my friend was referring to! It’s a shock that in 1989, a man with Trump’s supposed “education” would be referring to people of color as “the blacks”.
Indeed…

But, in fairness to Trump, some Republicans are starting to turn on him. They see that he’s not someone with whom they want to be aligned. They don’t want to “get up with fleas.” I can’t say I blame them, although flip-flopping to get ahead is such a political thing to do. Trump should know, since he did it himself.

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