Sunday, June 12, 2016

"Unfriended" - Amazing It Took So Long

It finally happened.  I unfriended a long time friend on Facebook and pretty much cut ties over politics.  It was probably overdue.  We were close for a while but after a few moves we drifted apart.  It happens, of course, but social media and modern technology makes staying in touch easier than ever.

He was a middle of the road guy usually, but lately he had drifted more.  He was more bitter and chose to place blame on the administration. Not in a well reasoned way, but lashing out.  He was Trumpish in his insulting. 

He didn't have any trouble accepting the additional unemployment that was offered to him when he wasn't working.  Those same extended benefits that his newly beloved conservatives wanted to cut off several times.  However everything was Obama's fault.  Know what part of the conservative philosophy that you're missing there, bub? Personal responsibility. Maybe your 6 jobs in 10 years has something to do with YOU, not Obama.

And it wasn't just politics.  He insulted teams he didn't like, players that turned him off and he did it in a way that was holier than thou and it was grinding on me.

You don't like LeBron?  Fine.  Don't go online and call him overrated.  You just show yourself to the world as a fool.  And that's only one of dozens of examples.

This was constant and unending.  I was tired and had enough.

Today was the finale.  The final straw. I had to be

"He pledges allegiance to ISIS.  Lets see Obama and the liberals spin that!", he posted after the Orlando Club Pulse shooting.

Shut the hell up.

There is nothing liberal or conservative about this country being attacked.  About people gunned down in a club in central Florida.  There is no god damn spin to be had.  It was reprehensible.  It was evil.  It was hate and it was terroristic.

Just how did you think this was to be spun?  I'm liberal, sure.  I'm also absolutely insulted that he would insinuate that I would spin such a despicable act in some way to make it seem less awful that it was.  That there was any excuse. That a liberal is apparently incapable of loving his country or recognizing evil when he sees it.  It's a time for coming together and instead this guy just further tries to split people apart.


Go F yourself.  I'm done with you.  Enough is enough.  I've already written that civil discourse is possible and I'm done with you all that can't have one.

Yeah, I'm tired of thoughts and prayers, but I'm also tired of bitter, angry people that choose to insult, bully and use name calling to try and make a point - I get enough of that watching election coverage...

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Two Friends Walk Into a Bar...

A debate raged at the bar of the card club at Canterbury Park one weekend.  I was adamantly rejecting my opponent’s characterization of me as an extremist liberal whilst trying to make her understand that her boy, Donald Trump, was the bane of human existence.

Okay, that may be a bit of an over characterization of our conversation. 
The fact is, though, that while she’s not thrilled with Mr. Trump and has serious reservations about him, she is a conservative Republican and even though I’m not an extremist on gun control, I am a liberal leaning Democrat. 

Needless to say we have our differences- some of which are deep and likely never to be reconciled.
We’re also friends.  Her husband and I have been friends for years and she and my wife have grown close as well.  (Yes, you read that right – since last rant I have me a missus [her term before you rip me]…but I digress)  My friend is smart, funny, ambitious and strong (as is my wife, for that matter...). 

We can talk about anything and all is well.  Politics are a different story.  At the end of the day, though, the four of us can go out to dinner, have a good time and enjoy the company.
When I was in Washington D.C. and working for the House of Representatives, Ronald Reagan was President and Tip O’Neil was Speaker of the House. The two could not agree on anything as far as the direction of the country, the role of government or governing philosophy.  Yet they could remain friendly.  After Iran-Contra, Reagan wasn’t “Lyin’ Ronny”. When Ted Kennedy challenged a sitting President Jimmy Carter in the primaries, no one threw chairs.

At the end of the conversation we parted as friends.  There wasn’t any name calling.  There was conversation.  We won’t agree on everything political but that’s okay.  There is an ebb and flow to the political leanings of the country.  We live in the greatest country in the world where freedom of speech and expression should be cherished and nurtured.
Civil discourse and then compromise has served this country well for 240 years.  It’s very sad and disheartening to see politics and governance has become my way or no way.  Maybe the powers that be need to take a lesson from two friends in a bar?