Category Archives: Politics

Trump, Clinton, the Election, and the Inauguration

We’ve got less than an hour and the time I started writing this, so I’ll make this quick.

This has been one hell of a roller coaster. The primaries were insane. The general election was insane. Election night was something else entirely. The post-election response was unprecedented and unruly. And the path from election night to inauguration day has been anything but a peaceful transition of power.

I want to rattle off some quick points before Trump takes the oath.

Trump

Building a wall is not racist. America is our home. I have a home, and my home has a fence around the property line between my house and my neighbors’ house. It’s not racist. It’s intended to keep people out who don’t have permission to be on my property. A wall around a country is no different. And let’s not forget that we already have a large metal fence on the southern border which is traversed regularly.

Trump talked about people coming over the border and raping and killing. And he was right. Do ALL of them rape? No. Did Trump say that ALL of them rape? No. So what’s the big deal? We know for fact people come into this country illegally through Mexico from Mexico and other countries in Central and South America. Do we know that some of the people here illegally and raped and/or murdered Americans? Yes we do. So again, these remarks from Trump weren’t racist. They were factual.

Talking crap about some women is not the same as thinking all women are inferior. A lot of people have made the claim that Trump is a sexist because he’s called some women disgusting, or other insults. Again, saying that about one woman, or multiple individual women, is not the same as an insult against all women.

Yeah, the grabbing a pussy remark was raunchy. But I find the outrage from the left more than comical considering all the filthy, raunchy, overtly sexual stuff peddled by liberals in the cinematic and television industry. Lefties chide conservatives and religions people for being too prudish, to sexual reserved, no sterile. So it’s rich that the residents of New Sodom are taken aback by someone talking about sexually groping someone. Also, the context amazingly enough, does matter. Anyone with half a brain knows Trump doesn’t (or didn’t mean that he) walks around town and grabs women’s crotches at Starbucks. But a billionaire party boy like him probably hung out in circles and parties where that kind of stuff wouldn’t have been out of the norm. If you went to a swingers party or one of those filthy nightclubs in Vegas, doing certain things there might be perfectly normal whereas they would be taboo and entirely unacceptable in public.

Clinton Losing and the Blame Game

The Democrats lost, but instead of simply conceding, they have blamed nearly everything under the sun. To name a few, they blamed:

  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Islamophobia
  • Transphobia
  • Media Bias (that’s rich coming from Democrats)
  • James Comey and the FBI
  • Julian Assange and Wikileaks
  • Huma Abedin
  • Bill Clinton
  • And finally, Russia though there has been no concrete proof this happened

They have blamed everyone but themselves for picking a politician that the majority of Americans on both sides of the political aisle consider to be corrupt and dishonest. They never stopped to blame the Democrat establishment for choosing their candidate, and running a horrible campaign. Clinton took for granted blue states and assumed she had their votes in the bag. That arrogance cost her marginalized voters in blue states that had been hit economically.

The Inauguration

It’s childish for so many Democrats in office to not attend the inauguration. Do they have the right to do it? Yeah, duh. But is it immature? Yeah. And then there was the Project Veritas video showing Democrat citizens planning to basically perform an act of terrorism by putting acid in the sprinkler system. I hope this 5 year old style of temper tantrums doesn’t continue for too long.

It is incredibly praiseworthy that Hilary Clinton and her husband came to the inauguration. Same goes for Barrack and Michelle Obama, and both former first ladies look fantastic.

It’s cool to see Bush and Carter at the event. There are going to be five U.S. presidents in one place, and that is pretty epic.

Alright, we’ll the inauguration is official starting so I’m gonna blast this post, typos and all, and watch this go down.

Advertisements

Trump Voters, Don’t Get Survivor’s Guilt

The election is over, but I still have plenty left to say.

For the most part it feels as if the two halves of the country just got done kicking the snot out of each other. After a long, hard fought battle, Team Trump has emerged victorious. We won the fight. And now it seems as though many Trump voters have taken on a sort of survivor’s guilt. We’ll don’t. Don’t feel bad for winning.

Just a few days ago I wrote this blog about gloating just a little. And just yesterday I wrote another blog about how in spite of the difference of opinion, we are still one country. But don’t mistake what I said in “We Are Still America”. I am not sorry that Trump won. I am not sorry that I voted for him. I am a little bit disheartened that so many people have reacted to the results so critically.

In light of the five day long consecutive violent protests from Democrats, and on the continued outpouring of anti-Trump doomsday rhetoric reporting from the left media, many on the right are wondering, was it worth it? Yes. Yes, it was.

Let’s play a little game here and put ourselves back in the election cycle. Let us dig up all the grievances and concerns people had against Trump and really dissect it now that we are removed from the fog of political war.

Concern: Was a Trump victory worth it in light of the protests?

Yes, yes it was!

Back in May 2016 I wrote a blog about a Trump rally I had been to on May 27. That rally in San Diego did have its fair share of anti-Trump protestors. But relative to protests in other parts of the country like Los Angeles, or Albuquerque, ours was child splay. Elsewhere in the nation, Clinton and Sanders supporters were attacking men, women, and children. They were burning down cop cars. Vandalizing random cars, businesses, and homes that just happened to be in their path. They littered, and left a scene comparable to a war torn nation in their wake. And of course what would a Democrat led protest be without attacking law enforcement? In light of all this nonsense I joked: If this how anti-Trumpers are behaving when the primaries are still going on, imagine what they’d do if Trump became the Republican nominee. Better yet, imagine what they would do if he won the election

Well… now we know. Act like a bunch of little whiny bitches.

These are the people we beat. These are the people who would be determining the path of our country had they won.

And who is to say it would have turned out any different if another Republican had won, say, Ted Cruz? Democrats are not protesting because Trump won. They are protesting because Clinton lost, and for that we cannot be apologetic. Raiders fans are incapable of losing (or winning for that matter) a football game without stabbing at least three people. Does this mean every other team should forfeit the game to avoid the tantrum that follows their defeat? Of course not.

Grievance: Trump Isn’t Presidential Enough

I heard this one a lot. “He doesn’t have the temperament of a president” “He doesn’t act presidential” “He’s hot headed”. So if you were to swallow what the liberals are feeding you, they’d have us believe that if only Trump had been more presidential, that might have changed their minds. Really? Maybe they would have disliked him a little less, but would it have been enough to make them vote for him?

No.

Remember back in 2012 when Mitt Romney ran for president? That guy was as presidential as it got. Romney was practically Mr. Presidential. The guy never cussed, never drank, never did drugs, never spoke ill of someone else. He had been married once to the same woman forever. He was clean shaven, well groomed, well spoken, and it looks as though he had been born in a suit and tie. He was a red governor in a historically blue state so clearly he could play well with others. Any yet Romney lost by a hell of a greater margin than Trump won by. Mitt Romney’s cool and calm demeanor, his business aptitude, his politeness, his charm, his temperament, none of it fucking mattered to Democrats in 2012. Why would it matter now? Democrats say they want someone more presidential and they got it with Romney and they laughed him out of town by a landslide. Don’t feel bad about how Trump behaved. It was a tactical move to get elected, and it worked.

Retrospect: Democrats say they liked John Kasich

Louis C.K., one of the least funny comedians ever, went on some tirade about how he really liked John Kasich. John Kasich is A-OK. Oh, John Kasich, he’s just the bee’s knees. You Republicans really ought to get behind this guy. That’s probably the only funny thing Louis CK has ever said because no one else seemed to like Kasich. Here is a clip from the New York Times with the final primary delegate count of the four last standing Republican candidates.

2016-republican-primary-results

Remember Marco Rubio, the guy who no one that you knew voted for in the primaries? Well Kasich got less delegates than him. In fact, the only state he managed to take a majority in was his home state of Ohio. So let me get this straight. Louis CK wanted Republicans to put our three legged horse in the race of a life time? Yeah, no shit. I bet he did. Because had we supported Kasich, the general electoral map would have looked like a naked Smurf wearing red gloves.

Electoral map of the 2016 presidential election if John Kasich was the Republican nominee.
Electoral map of the 2016 presidential election if John Kasich was the Republican nominee.

Grievance: Trump was supported by racists

And? We cannot help who we are supported by. Trump denounced the support he got from the KKK in the 2016 election and he denounced Donald Duke back in 2000 well before he had any formal political ambitions, but Democrats seemed to have forgotten that.

Democrats also only consider white racists. They don’t consider black racists, or Hispanic racists, or pretty much the fact that everyone, including non-whites, is capable of racism.

Never mind all of this garbage being propagated on Twitter and social media calling for white genocide, raping white women, and killing police officers.

http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/07/08/black-lives-matter-supporters-celebrate-police-deaths-twitter/

These are the people who support BLM and of the two candidates, which do you think they voted for? So if we’re going to go down the path of judging a candidate by their supporters, can we at least not be hypocrites?

For all the allegations of Trumps supporters being old, white, straight, Christian males, how many non-white people do you know that voted for Trump? How many blacks, Hispanics, Asians? How many Jews, Catholics, an atheists? My experiences may be anecdotal, but I do know people from all of these camps that voted for Trump. People I know firsthand, that I went to school with, worked with, including myself.

Trump won three times as many black votes as Romney did in 2012. He won more Hispanics that Romney did. He won more young voters than Romney did. In fact, I think the only category he slipped in was a 1 point drop in the white women vote from Romney.

For Republicans this may very well be the first step in a long awaited paradigm shift the party has needed, towards a more diverse constituency.

My Advice: Republicans, grow some balls

Conservatives out there, we did it! But in spite of our victory, some still seemed unsure of their victory. Like a Chargers lead in the first half, we keep wondering if we’re going to choke and throw the game in the 4th quarter. Some of my friends are acting like Eeyore in spite of this amazing victory. “Do you really think he can do it?” Yeah, I do. I wouldn’t have voted for the guy if I didn’t think he could deliver, and neither would you.

We won the presidency. We have a majority in the house and senate. Within a few short months, we’ll get to appoint a Supreme Court Justice. By this time next year we’ll have virtual control of all three branches of government; executive, legislative, and judicial.

So why be so timid? We won, act like it. Grow some balls. I’m not professional poker player but one thing I know is that when you’re the big stack, the chip leader at the table, you make big moves to knock out the competition or you’ll get chipped away piece by piece in a battle of attrition and eventually lose. We have two years minimum to get what we want done with minimal interference from Democrats.

Now is not the time to stall at the start line. Now is the time to sprint for the finish line and not look back. If we don’t do a political blitz now on issues like gun rights, we’ll assuredly cede them to Democrats forever.

This election was the culmination of decades of Republicans caving on issues of importance. We allowed Democrats and liberals to control the vernacular, the terminology, and the narrative. When you control the language, you control the ideas. When the term ‘progressive’ is used exclusively to define leftist ideas, regardless of how shitty they are, you become indoctrinated into thinking anything else is wrong. Republicans have held on tenaciously in an echo chamber of liberal bullshit for decades, and despite retaining their sanity, some are on the edge of losing their spine. They’re war torn and battle broken. We’ve heard so much liberal media bullshit and propaganda for so long that we’ve started to commiserate with it, even if we don’t out right believe it.

Liberals haven’t shown an ounce of restraint pushing their agenda, and imposing their views on everyone else. From gun rights, to punitive taxation, death penalties, to how much soda you can buy, what kind of cars you can drive, or fast food restaurants giving toys with kid’s meals. Liberal high school principals have suspended students for wearing American flag shirts on Cinco de Mayo. In my hometown of San Diego, liberals have vehemently been against the Mount Soledad cross even after a private organization bought the land the cross was on from the government. It’s not that they didn’t want the cross on public property, it’s that they didn’t want the cross to be featured prominently anywhere. The fuckery must end. And Trump is the one to end it. Liberals haven’t been shy about pushing their politics, and neither should we.

Don’t let the liberal media win by succumbing. Be resolute. Have the courage of your convictions. And grow some fucking balls.

After the Storm

The storm will pass. The skies will clear. The protestors will eventually empty the streets when their bosses finally call them and say “Dude, I know you aren’t sick. I saw you throwing rocks at police on CNN last night. Get your ass to work or you’re fired.”

Republicans, keep your heads down like we do. Keep up the good work making sure the cogs of society continue to turn. Good job not meeting stupidity with stupidity by counter protesting, that would only inflame the situation.

This fire will burn out on its own so long as the media doesn’t continue to put fire on it.

Do not feel bad that we won. Do not stomp swinging now that we’ve knocked out Clinton. Keep up the fight and don’t let up!

We Are Still America

This isn’t a gloat piece. This isn’t a puff piece. This is from the heart. From my heart. I know these are tumultuous times. Divisive times. But just stomach through this. This wasn’t written for one person, one party, one side. This is for everyone.

For years I avoided the news. I would try to keep up with certain local news, but the media at large was always so negative. The world, it seemed, was also going to hell. Crime, corruption, politics, wars, traffic, accidents, and generally just people being horrible to one another. Add on top of that the occasional natural disaster, disease, localized catastrophic event or pollution. I eventually cut cables entirely, and would avoid the news like the plague. It’s not that I didn’t want to know what was going on or that I thought it was nothing but propaganda. I’m sure a lot of it was. But I would hear and read about these horrible things happening around the world, of which I had virtually no control, only to get saddened, angry, stressed, and dismayed. It cannot possibly be good for ones health to be surrounded by that kind of negativity, all the time.

The election cycle didn’t change the news too much. Still incredibly negative. But social media has certainly changed or at least I finally noticed it change during this most recent election cycle. Social media is also something that for years I have tried to actively avoid but I couldn’t resist the allure of Facebook these past couple months as the political season heated up and finally culminated in the election. As I scroll through Facebook what I see bothers me more than what used to bother me when I used to watch the news: Rampant negativity. But instead of coming from a handful of news networks, this negativity was coming from dozens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of people.

There are a lot of scared people out there. Worried and fearful. Afraid that the sky around them will start falling. As far as they are concerned, there was a tectonic shift beneath their feet.

It takes a lot to genuinely upset me. Namely watching Disney’s Fox and the Hound. But the one sure thing that gets me is the idea or presence of hopelessness. That someone can be so downtrodden that there is no light at the end of their tunnel. No path out of perdition. As I see the posts of friends and family members hurting right now, it breaks my heart. It truly does.

I get that there are concerns about a spike in racism, or sexism, or any other ism. That there is or will be a spike in hatred, or bigotry. There isn’t. And there won’t be. This may not come as much solace from someone who voted for Trump, but it just might. Maybe a little.

Listen, I don’t hate gays. I don’t hate women. I don’t hate Mexicans (I’m half). I don’t hate non-whites, or Muslims. I don’t hate the poor. I don’t hate people on government subsidies. There are a couple billion people in this world and I maybe hate one person, and no, it’s not Hilary Clinton.

The assholes out there were assholes before November 8th. The racists out there were already racists. Those inclined to burn down buildings and vandalize police cars weren’t born on November 9th. Some people are just shitty, and they don’t need a very good reason to shit all over everything and everyone else. To the people out there whose candidate of choice didn’t win, I feel for you. I really do. But I want to reassure you that the sky isn’t going to fall. You are not less safe now than you were on November 7th.

We need to remember that most people don’t wake up wondering how they can make other peoples’ lives miserable. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, we wish for the same things. Health, food on our plate, a roof over our head, a safe neighborhood for our children, all children, to play in. We want jobs, pride of workmanship, good communities, and good schools. We want the next generation to have a better life than we had. I don’t think it matters who you voted for, we can agree that we want the same things, it’s just that no two of us can agree on the best way for everyone to accomplish these things. But just because we can’t agree, doesn’t mean we can’t get along.

Trump won the election. He didn’t win the country. This country is still all of ours. It belongs to each of us, even those who feel disenfranchised, ignored, abandoned, or marginalized.

For all the squabbles, and bitter disagreements, we are still America. One America. Sink or swim, fail or fly, whatever we do we’re going to do it together. The person in the cubicle next to you that voted for the other candidate, they are still human. They were a decent human being before the election and they are the same person now that the election is over.

Thanksgiving is coming up and hopefully you have a large, loving family or group of friends to spend the holiday with. Some of those people you may not have seen in a very long time. Don’t botch the holidays over an election. Don’t lose a friend or sour a family event because of a political grievance.

I have my opinions but this specific post is not going to be me telling you how to think, or what to think. This isn’t a political op ed. It doesn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, socialist, green, independent, or if you voted for Trump or Clinton or wrote in Mickey Mouse. United, we truly do stand, and divided we will most certainly fall. Each one of us is a tiny red, white, or blue thread in the fabric of this great flag, and if we start tearing apart at the seams this entire thing will fall apart. Lets not allow that to happen.

flag-unravel

Fret not. Even if I disagree with you, I still want the best for you. We are still America.

Trump Won, and I’m gloating just a little

Ordinarily I would not gloat about Trump winning. No, really. I’m not usually a sore loser or a sore winner. But I’ve taken a lot of shit from people, friends and family and strangers alike this election cycle because of the candidate, and even the party I supported.

I’ve never referred to a candidate by one of those monikers like Obummer, McSame, McLame, McBush, Killery, Hitlery, etc but certain people just couldn’t help themselves when posting on my wall about Drumpf, Dump, and Cheeto, whatever that means.

I’ve never messed with anyone’s property because of a political sticker. Never peeled it off, never put a sticker over it, never keyed their car. Nada, zilch. I had my Trump yard sign vandalized twice. Someone came on to my property, my home, to disrespect and intimidate me out of supporting a candidate. Is that not voter intimidation on a micro scale? And it’s happened across the country, people getting their signs stolen, their car set on fire because they had a Trump sticker, getting pulled out of their cars and attacked because of a Trump sticker. At the insistence of my girlfriend, and parents, I removed my sign because I didn’t want to risk someone doing something malicious to me, my property, or worse yet, someone I cared about.

I’ve never threatened to leave this country if someone I didn’t like got elected. But I can’t even count how many friends and family members I’ve seen say or hint at this, of course, always democrats. And I’ve seen celebrities say the same thing, of course, always democrats.

I’ve never insulted someone for their political opinions. I have challenged them, sure. I have argued, and debated, and for unknown reasons wasted hours of my life writing nauseatingly long responses on social media that no one probably read. But I have not insulted them. I have not said anything akin to “wow I can’t believe you would vote for Hilary, I just thought so much better of you than that”. But I have had dozens of people insult me in this election cycle, not just alluding or insinuating, but calling me racist, sexist, xenophobic, bigoted, et al. The usual democrat fare. I had one ‘friend’ comment on a blog I shared “I always tell people there are some smart Trump supporters out there” when I posted something he actually agreed with me on that wasn’t even Trump related, basically making it known that in the dozen years I’ve known this person he thought I was a idiot, and that prior to me writing some random blog, he thought all Trump supporters were idiots.

I’ve never trolled anyone because of their political beliefs. But I have had select people systematically troll my social media just so they can shit on every political or opinionated thing I post regarding this election cycle. These people are nowhere to be found when I post a picture of my dog, or a beautiful scene while hiking, or share a photo or blog post about a vacation I took to Hawaii. These people don’t even bother to wish me happy birthday. These trolls are all but non-existent when I post neutral, non-political things. But I can’t take a fucking shit without these trolls commenting on how bad it smells. I can’t post a selfie with my Trump shirt without them shitting all over it, making fun of it with sarcastic, underhanded comments if not out right insults or provocations. The moment I posted something “pro Trump”, I was lambasted, insulted, mocked, and bombarded with a mile long counter post about why I’m basically a human piece of shit.

I’ve never threatened to unfriend someone because of the candidate or party they support. But I have seen about a dozen friends on social media claim they would, and each and every one of them were democrat. One even unfriended me. And I am certain one chose not to do business with me when they learned of my political standing.

I’ve never cried because my candidate won, or lost. But last night before the results were even finalized, I scrolled down my feed and saw about 6 or 7 friends of mine talking about how sad they were, and how they cried, and how they are terrified, and the whole sob fest. I didn’t cry when Obama won, TWICE, and has royally fucked over a ton of people I know, yours truly included. Trump hasn’t even done anything yet except win. He hasn’t even been sworn in. But cry if and when his policies result in your fucking health insurance premiums quadrupling in 5 years. Cry when you lose your job because the entire industry no longer exists. When something tangible happens that adversely affects your life, then maybe you can cry and I’ll give a shit.

I’ve said for years, and especially the last year and a half, that the media is full of shit, and the polls are full of shit. And it turns out I was right.

So I have been threatened. I have been insulted. I have been trolled. I have been marginalized. I have been unfriended. I have been mocked. And you know what? I am gonna fucking gloat a little bit. Because I put up with alllllll that shit, and won. Trump put up with much more than that, and he still won. The mainstream media was against him. The democrat and republican establishment were against him. Celebrities were against him. Democrats would burn down cop cars and buildings and threaten and attack people with toddlers, and women, and the elderly just because Trump was giving a nearby speech or hosting a rally.

So you know what.

Trump won. Ha, ha, HA. IN YOUR FACE. Donald Drumpf won. The Cheeto won. This guy you’ve been shitting on for a year just took the wind right out of your sails. You threw everything you had at him and he juggernauted his way through like champ. And I am thoroughly enjoying watching all these rude people I’ve been seeing the last year eat their words.

President Trump. Get comfortable hearing those words because you’re going to be hearing them a lot for the next 4 years. 48 long months. One thousand four hundred and sixty excruciatingly long days.

So please forgive the shit eating grin on my face.

And if you still plan on leaving America, give me a call. I’ll help you pack.

Colin Kaepernick is… not necessarily unpatriotic

You’ve no doubt seen the deadlines lately. Long story short Colin Kaepernick didn’t stand up during the National Anthem because reasons and now everyone is in a big stink over it. I say reasons instead of actually providing a description because I don’t want to misrepresent what it is CK is protesting or oversimplify his thoughts on the issue. I’m not too big on the whole BLM thing so I would probably do it a disservice, but if I had to sum it up, he’s protesting police brutality and systemic oppression of black people in America.

People are calling him unpatriotic, and calling for him to be kicked off the team, and demanding things from the NFL, and the laundry list of usual demands that Americans of all stripes are quick to shout out over every single perceived slight.

People got mad when that crazy BLM supporter killed a bunch of police officers, and rightfully so. It was horrible.

People get mad when BLM supporters riot in the streets and burn shit down and vandalize communities because it’s idiotic and destructive.

People get mad when BLM supporters shut down a free way to make a point like they did on the 15 freeway in San Diego just a few weeks ago.

But Kaepernick didn’t do any of this. He didn’t kill anyone, didn’t injure anyone, didn’t destroy any property, and didn’t inconvenience anyone. He didn’t stand on a flag, burn a flag, defile a flag. He didn’t even hang one upside down. All he did was… well, nothing. He’s getting flak for not doing something. All the stupid shit BLM and cohorts have done in the past year or so that pisses everyone off – Kaepernick didn’t do.

So I honestly feel like this is people grasping at straws, trying to make something out of nothing. Anyone that knows me knows I’m not on the BLM bandwagon, but let’s be real here. This fervor over Kaepernick is about frustration over not being able to silence dissenting opinions and actions.

It’s easy to dismiss BLM and it’s supporters when they do stupid shit like the burn down buildings. But it’s much harder to brush it aside when they aren’t being unruly. It’s as if people thought that the only way BLM could possibly get attention to their cause was to act like idiots, and now someone comes along and doesn’t do anything illegal or violent and still manages to draw attention to the issue on a national level. Touché. Kaepernick scored a hit and there really isn’t anything to be said about it. Nothing legitimate anyway.

In the absence of any complaints of merit, Colin’s critics have gone with the low blow insult of being unpatriotic. The left has their own list of low blow, cry wolf insults like accusing someone of being racist, or homophobic, or a bigot, or xenophobic. I’ve heard it all, been called it all. And the right has just dusted off their nuclear insult, the brand of being unpatriotic. Easy to hurl, hard to catch, it’s the perfect weapon of choice as a last ditch effort when all else has failed.

The objective of such an insult isn’t to get Kaepernick to find a more constructive way of expressing his opinions. At this point, it’s intended to just shut him up. The proof is in the pudding. He’s a quarterback for an NFL team, so now people are demanding he be fired so that they can take away his podium to silence him on an issue they hope to sweep under the rug quietly.

To many, the National Anthem, or the American Flag are symbols of America. But before we get mad about this, lets stop and thing about what these things really symbolize, and what Colin is protesting.

I won’t go all philosophical on you. I’ll go literal on you. America isn’t just one thing. America is a million things. American is the country. America is the people. America is the land. America is the government. America is our senators and congressmen. America is our president. America is the constitution. America is our military. America is our tax payers. America is our culture. And America is our systems. See what I mean?

I love our troops, I love our police and firefighters, but I sure don’t have many nice words for the people on Capitol Hill.

I love our constitution, but I don’t have an IRS flag waving in my front yard.

When you look at it from a different angle, it’s easy to see how you can love this country so much, but also be fed up by certain parts of it.

Anyone who says that Colin Kaepernick was disrespecting the armed services is being disingenuous because you know for fact that’s not what he meant. He has a very specific grievance against once aspect of this great country and he protested in the most polite, effective way he could think to do. I don’t advocate for BLM but if anyone can name even one way he could have expressed his feelings as effectively that wouldn’t have pissed everyone and their mom off, I would honestly be interested in hearing it. I mean really. What would you have the guy do? Something entirely useless like change his Facebook profile picture and share an angry post? Write a blog? Tweet something?

My dad served in the military for 20 years. Three of my grandpas served in the military and fought in several wars. I have an uncle in the Border Patrol. I have countless friends, and childhood mentors who were in the service. If I honestly thought that what Kaepernick did was an offense to those loved ones of mine, I wouldn’t be defending him. But here I am.

I’m not gonna offer up some moral equivalency argument “well if you think that’s unpatriotic, then you should be even more upset about the blah blah blah statistic from wikipedia blah blah”. Because again, I don’t entirely see eye to eye with Kaepernick on the issue he’s protesting, so I’m not defending his position of protest, just defending the way he’s protesting.

Let me share with you a true story. A couple years ago I was driving through my neighborhood as part of my then regular route, and I saw an American flag waving from a flag pole… upside down. I thought it was weird and it certainly caught my attention. I drove by the house again the next day, and the flag was still upside down. Day after day I drive past this house and each day, the flag is upside down. But at night, the flag is taken down and the pole sits idle and bare.

Finally after about a week, I was curious so rather than drive past the house, this time I drove to it. I parked my car and walked up the driveway towards the front door of a very pretty house in this nice, serine suburban neighborhood.  A car was parked in the driveway with a Marine Corp sticker on the back window. Odd. I knock on the door and sure enough someone answers. The door slowly opens to reveal a senior freakin’ citizen. Not the 22 year old, zulu plug adorned college kid with a Che Guevara t-shirt I would have suspected. No, it was some 70 year old white guy in khakis and a tucked in polo shirt. I ask the guy what’s up with the flag and if he knew that it was upside down. He explains that he was unhappy with the direction the country was going in, and had turned the flag upside down as a sign of protest. He told me about having served in the Marines, and we chatted for about 10 minutes about politics and things we’d heard about on the news. Hmm. Here was this old, white, conservative, veteran, male hanging the flag upside down in a conservative neighborhood as a sign of distress for the condition of our country. Who would have thought? I thanked him for his time, (naturally handed him a business card,) and went on about my way and that was that.

It never once occurred to me this man was unpatriotic or hated America or was disrespecting the police or our armed forces. And I don’t see how what Colin Kaepernick did the other day was any different.

Trump Rally San Diego May 2016

Two days ago on Friday, May 27, 2016 I attended a Donald Trump presidential rally in San Diego, California at the Convention Center. It was a big deal for me because although this will be the fourth presidential election I’ll have had the opportunity to vote in, this is the first time I have ever done something remotely political aside from express my views online. None of the other elections really mattered to me like this one does, and I was surprised to find out that in this regard, I was not alone.

I’m 29 going on 30 this October, and almost none of my friends had ever been to a presidential rally, or political rally or protest, including my friend Brett who invited me and is the same age as me. That’s not so shocking. But I was shocked that people twice my age had never been to one. A guy I spoke to at the trolley station was in his mid 50’s and this Trump rally was the first time he’d ever ‘gotten involved’ in politics if you would call it that. A dozen or so other people I chitchatted with while I was in line shared a similar experience. Something about this election has awoken a sleeping populace of people who normally would be content to stay in the bleachers, but this time around felt inclined to get on the field.

The media narrative is that republicans are all white, racist, straight men. This is the narrative I’ve been told for years and even thought I always considered it bull, it’s been drilled into me for so long that I can’t help but admit I’ve come to believe the lies the media propagates, even the one’s they’ve said about me. So I will again admit I was surprised at the diversity of the crowd at and around the Trump rally and people donning Trump gear. I saw signs depicting Veterans for Trump, Hispanics for Trump, Women for Trump, Gays for Trump, Chinese Americans (heart) Trump. I knew I should have brought my “Secular Jews for Trump” sign, damnit!  I saw (what my bigot eyes believed to be where) a lot of Hispanics, Asians, Filipinos, whites, women, young adults, and seniors. Admittedly not a lot of black people but there were some. Granted, San Diego is only like 6% black.

Security was super tight. SDPD and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department had one hell of a show of force outside the convention center. We had to show our tickets to, and go through three levels of security before even being let into the building. Once inside the building we had to wait in line once more, this time going through a metal detector, with security being performed by the Secret Service and TSA.

Side note here, and please excuse my French: Here’s a big FUCK YOU to the mustached, douchebag, fat shit of a TSA agent who was a total asshole to me when I was emptying my pockets before going through the metal detector.

While I was waiting in line and once we got into the main event I got the tail end of Sarah Palin giving some speech about who knows what. I am not a huge Sarah Palin fan. She kind of reminds me of a 4 year old dressing in their parents clothes pretending to be a grown up, and her speech was no better. I had no idea what she was talking about. Something about snakes and lions and boots up asses. She kind of sounded like a seagull. Listen to her screech of a speech here.

There were A LOT of people inside. About 15,000. There were a couple rabble rousers but they were quickly ousted. Most of Trump’s speech was pretty on beat with his normal stuff, except for about 30 minutes where he droned on and on about some lawsuit he’s involved with right now concerning Trump University. I started to doze off. But aside from that I really enjoyed his speech. I can see how it’s a little easier for Trump to wander off topic than past presidential candidates. One has to remember that he is really the only big ticket candidate in decades who has a great deal of business going on outside the world of politics.  Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, John McCain, George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, these are all people who at the time of running were pretty much, solely politicians. When all you do is eat, drink, breath, and bleed politics it’s probably pretty easy to keep the conversation to politics. But remember, Trump isn’t a politician and other aspects of his professional life are bound to occasionally seep through in his speeches.

One of the things I liked about Trump’s speech is despite that fact that he might not have the favor of everyone in the country I get the vibe he legitimately wants to help everyone in the country, not simply his constituency. I feel like the typical left pander tactic is “vote for me and I’ll tax the shit out people who voted for the other guy and use their money to fund things my constituents care about”, whereas Trump plays more to the tune that our nation as a whole – and everyone in it – is getting taken advantage of on a global scale, with the exception of the political elite on both sides who have rigged the system.

Trump was quick to call attention to the media booth and rally scorn and boos in their direction. Which I kind of liked. He called out a federal judge by name. He called out other politicians and wheels of the system. He doesn’t allow people to hide behind their position, or their title, or the party, or their affiliations or status or prestige or privilege. He is not afraid to point fingers and name names. I loved it, but others consider it un-presidential. The irony is that for years and years the same people have done nothing but complain about how Washington politics are corrupt, how both political parties are in cahoots and playing the American public for fools, how we’re tired of these career politicians who have been in office for decades. And America got what it asked for. Someone with no political experience, who isn’t beholden to any political party and low and behold, he isn’t particularly presidential. Unlike most of us he has actually changed his registered political party several times over the past couple of decades showing that he votes according to issues, not according to party.

Once the event was over, organizers purposefully had the Trump attendees exit from the north end of the convention center to direct them away from the group of Anti Trump protestors at the south end, in an attempt to curtail any inter-group commotion.

I will admit that I was a little curious about the prospect of there being a counter rally. For months now I’ve heard of anti-Trump groups creating disturbance and inciting violence at or around Trump rallies. Just a few days prior to the San Diego rally, things got pretty out of control in Anaheim, another Southern California city just a hopscotch a way from San Diego. Just as I had never been to a political rally before, I also had never firsthand seen a riot or protest, and certainly never seen civil unrest. It definitely crossed my mind that something might go down.

Local law enforcement had different plans. Unlike me they had no interest in seeing any uncivil commotion and pretty much had the area surrounding the convention center on lock down well in advance of the event itself. Law enforcement closed all roads immediately in front of the convention center as well as several trolley tracks. This was coupled with hundreds of those portable event fences that link together, and those large orange traffic barricades. There were members of the San Diego Police Department as well as the Sheriff’s Department. In terms of actual manpower, I think there were in the neighborhood of 150 SDPD, and another 50-70 from the Sheriff’s department.

The SDPD were wearing their signature all black uniforms. While some were in street attire with modest equipment like batons, others were in riot gear, with the riot helmets, riot vest, shin guards, zip-tie cuffs, and the occasional AR-type rifle. The Sheriff’s department in their version of OD green was almost entirely decked out in full battle rattle. A couple of them had those paintball guns with the chili powder balls.

To the left, San Diego Sheriff’s Department in green. To the right, San Diego Police Department (SDPD) in black.

I’ll admit I was kiiiiinda looking forward to seeing some crazed protestor hop the fence and get pelted just for the novelty of the experience. I suppose if I want to see that I need to go to LA County.

The next day when I read the news online, there were reports saying there were 1,000+ violent protestors. Uhhhh. The most I spotted were like 120 people crammed into an area the size of my 1400 square foot house, right before the event started, and they were totally outnumbered by the pro-Trump people. Perhaps we missed some action while we were inside the event itself. It was actually pretty pathetic and a bit of a let down. I wanted to see some action!

The authorities had the place on lock down from the get go – the really nipped any plans for violent protest in the bud. There were still a couple dozen or so protestors but at least while I was street side it was pretty harmless. They were so severely outnumbered by the pro-Trump rally members that even their chants were drowned out by the opposing pedestrians. Proving what we already knew, that San Diego is still America’s finest city.

All in all it was a fun experience. I am glad I did it. I can certainly see how going to these types of things is energizing. You can feel the excitement in the air as people waited to see him. The organizers did a fantastic job with security and herding the crowds around the event. Law enforcement did an amazing job keeping the peace. Trump’s performance was routine, and as expected. If Trump gets elected this will be the first time I ever saw a U.S. president. I’ve never seen Obama in person, or Bush, or anyone else for that matter so this might turn out to be quite the experience.