Now We Know…

It does matter, now we know.  For years, decades even, I recall hearing the idea that it really didn’t matter who the president was.  Things remained mostly the same, relatively.  But that idea, almost lament, was shattered drastically when Trump took office.  When he took the American people hostage.  We now know that one very disturbed narcissist CAN change the lives of so very many people.

Those ‘Make America Great’ people have not seen the change affect them, yet.  They were hoping for something big… and when that change hits them, they will see it.  Sadly, it will not be the change they were hoping for. Our country will be united because we will all finally be suffering together.

The people who have already felt that change? The LGBTQ community where haters have been emboldened to strike out against an entire group of Americans, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, women who need health care, the free press, South Koreans, liberals, the Lokota people, Puerto Ricans, NFL players who take a stand or a knee, and many more have been affected by his hostility that lashes out in early morning tweets and in executive orders.

In the past, it might have been possible to just muddle through a four year term, muttering your displeasure as our illustrious leader makes policy that may or may not improve your life and the lives of your neighbors.  But THIS president, THIS president is holding America hostage, so many are dangling dangerously over an open cauldron of boiling oil, just waiting for his next ‘decision’.  By decision I mean a fleeting thought that pops into his head.

This time it really did matter… and because enough of us thought our country, our government, was too big for one man to make a difference, we are being ‘led’ by someone who is focused on himself and his close friends and family.  Never again can we stay home or throw up our hands at election time because we don’t like our choices…. the lesser of two evils? Well, that didn’t happen… I don’t like to use the word evil… but in this case, evil won.  Resist and hang on. It matters

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It’s Not About Him…

Tweet, tweet, tweet… day after day we read absurdly offensive statements from our president.  We asked ourselves why he took so long to tweet about Charlottesville  or any other event… there is only one answer… Charlottesville was not about him, and when things are not about him he doesn’t really care until someone makes him see that those events require a presidential response … what he really cares about is what he tweets about: crowd size, news that makes him look bad, SNL, people who disagree with his handling of an increasing number of incidents at home and around the world. He does not really care to tweet about incidents- just the people who disagree with or criticize him or things that will make him look good to his base.

As we go through these next 3 + years remember that everything that comes out of the white house is meant to make him look good, feel good or fire up his base. His perception of events are not ever objective.  For example, there may have been a commotion when he was tossing paper towels, what he said he heard were cheers, cheers for him.  It was probably shock, confusion, and a bit of outrage, but that is just my spin.

No tweets (that I have seen) about the California fires… he doesn’t really care much for Californians who didn’t vote for him, and sending his thoughts and prayers to that liberal state may upset his base.

If someone makes it about him… we will see some commentary and perhaps action… otherwise he has better things to focus on like his executive order reversing health care subsidies for the most needy Americans.  So glad he is showing America he can keep his promises. I can’t wait for America to be great again.

Disturbing Visit

It may not have gone unnoticed, but it hasn’t gotten the response it deserves.  The very first school our president went to visit was a private Catholic school.   This should have made headlines, drawn criticism from the National Teachers Union, and the separation of church and state should have been part of the discussion around the CNN newsdesk.

I am not against private school or private religious schools. If parents want something different than their local public school and a non-secular education based on agreed upon standards and curriculum, they can pay for it and make that choice.  They have the choice to take their child to a public school out of their district out of their area and still have that education paid for. That is very different than our government paying for private schools. His  visit sent me, a public school teacher, a clear message. Our president is going to follow Betsy DeVos’s lead and work to funnel some of our meager education dollars into private religious schools. Where is the separation of church and state?

The idea that somehow this will make education better, that the students of my little rural school will reap the benefits of this potential change in policy is ludicrous.  Unless the parents of these children are willing to drive  their child long distances each day they will be educated in their local school.  Who are those parents willing to make  that drive? Families who can afford the gas, families who care deeply about their child’s education, and parents who are involved.  Not to say that many lovely families who value education will choose to keep their children in their local school…but there may be an exodus of many of the best and brightest to schools where they can screen out children who struggle to behave, are low academically or demand too much attention from a teacher.

Who will be left in public education? If Trump has his way, I fear for public education, where we will have to make do with less and less while educating an increase percentage of those most difficult to educate.

This voucher system has not been thought through, but someone needs to start doing some serious thinking and stand up for our children, all of our children… and in standing up for all our children we ARE standing up for public education.

This disturbing visit should have sent shock waves through advocates of public education but instead we were freaking out over 3am tweets.  Don’t let him shift our focus on what really matters…if we become caught up in his distractions we may just miss what is really happening…

Wear Your Hat!

Okay, it is Day Two… we are all searching through FaceBook to look for pictures of marches across the world, find out how many were there in support of LOVE and denouncing Trumps hateful ways, and basking in the glow of rallying millions to stand together.  Now what?  Perhaps, like me, you live in a town where the majority of people have a different idea, that you are more alone in your opinions than you were as you marched yesterday.  What can YOU do to keep the movement going and to create a dialogue?

Wear your hat!  If you didn’t have a pussy hat at the march yesterday it is not too late.  Make one today… it is so easy.  Just a long pink rectangle folded over and sewn up the sides… I’ll attach a link to the pattern… if you can’t knit or crochet, you can just get some pink fleece and make two seams.  Wear it when you go out, show that you are in solidarity with the marchers without saying a word.  You don’t have to wear a shirt that says something controversial ~ it is just a hat… and if people watched any news yesterday, they will know what it means and if they have a different point of view, it just might spark a conversation (hopefully not a confrontation).

People who were on the fence or didn’t vote in the election will be the most easy to talk to… they are the first people to begin that conversation with…

So, on Day Two start talking (or keep talking)… keep wearing your hat! I have to dry mine out first… it is soaked from the pouring rain at the march in Eugene!

https://www.pussyhatproject.com/crochet/

 

 

Just Kidding Folks

The more I hear and see Donald Trump the more I think back to that interview he did in the late 80’s or early 90’s… it looks like you can’t find it anymore on-line… but basically it said that if he did want to run for president he would run as a Republican because they are the ‘dumbest group of voters’…. sorry folks, it looks like he got you.  So far you moderates who voted for him are feeling vindicated because he has walked back many of his strong right stances that helped him rise to power and pushed me over the edge.  He has walked back repealing Obama Care, building the wall, waterboarding, deporting 11 million people, and prosecuting Hillary Clinton and more.  Those promises were what riled up his rally supporters, had them beating up protesters, screaming on CNN, and condoning his hateful speech.  They are feeling duped right about now.  ‘Lock her up!’ was their battle cry, it got them to the poles and got him on t.v. without paying a cent for coverage.  If you didn’t realize it when this all began, Trump is the biggest showman there it… more so than any politician, he would say ANYTHING to get elected.  And now that he is, we are stuck with his antics for the next four years.

So, when I go out to protest his inauguration on January 21, I am doing far more than protesting Trump. I am protesting his original supporters, those who picked him because of the hateful lies he told to get elected, I am protesting the system that put him in office even though he lost by almost 2,000,000 votes,  I am protesting Breitbart, and a billionaire (not Trump and not an educator) in charge of our education system whose organization only gives money to religious schools and wants school choice and I am protesting you who decided that a crap shoot was our country’s best bet.

Trump’s campaign platform? ~ ‘Just Kidding’

Changing the Presidency

I watched the vice presidential debate last night and listened as the vice presidential candidates discussed issues, their running mates, their experience and their vision.  My take on Mr. Kaine is that he is ready to be Hillary’s vp and take over if necessary… My take on Mr. Pence is that he will be running the country.

It occurs to me that if we do end up electing Trump, we will be changing the way our political system is structured. We will go the way of countries that have sitting emperors or kings and queens… our presidency will become a figurehead… he will throw out the ball during the first game of the World Series, he will host state dinners, he will open malls and dedicate statues, he will travel the world going to weddings of foreign dignitaries, and he will host Easter Egg hunts on the White House lawn… Mr. Pence will be running the show… he will have to be.

Trump has been measured these past several days in his use of Twitter – someone has probably confiscated his phone… Hang on, they must be telling him… let Pence get out there… because when you vote… if you pick Trump… you will be voting for the measured man he picked for his running mate and against having a real president.

p.s. Vote for Hillary

Participate!

I know you are disenchanted with the choices of candidates… and we are over voting for the lesser of two evils… but sitting at home on election day is not the answer.

I had dinner last night with some friends that I have great respect for.  They are deep thinkers, educated and intelligent.  We are not all in agreement about our political stance and that is just fine because we are all reasonable.  But many of my friends are considering not voting at all and this saddens me.

I know our system is far from perfect – very far, but not voting does not send that message.  No one will know why you chose not to vote.  You could just be uninterested, uncaring, out of the country, too busy, or just lazy.  We need the message to read: I don’t like the choices you have given me and I want you to do a better job… so vote… send in your ballot and write someone in… doing that is not going to affect the outcome anymore than not voting… but it does send a very different message… and here in Oregon, voting is easy – you sit on your couch, mark your ballot, and mail it in – done.

So write in a candidate, pick Jill Stein, or just put Bernie… but let the powers that be know that you are not happy with our system, you are not lazy, you are fed up, and if they want you to vote out of fear, you are not playing that game anymore!