Kavanaugh and Common Ground

The recently concluded U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh have ignited the passions of all Americans. Seldom in our nation’s history have political sides been so fiercely divided. Democrats strongly believe Kavanaugh didn’t belong on the nation’s highest court. They strongly believe he is guilty of sexually assaulting a 15 year old girl 37 years ago when he was 17 years old. Many have called him a rapist. Many believe his angry response to these charges disqualifies him because he demonstrated a temperament and a political bias that is inappropriate for serving as a judge let alone a Justice. Many believe he would over turn Roe vs Wade, the 45 year old Supreme Court ruling that legalized virtually all abortions throughout the land, and because of this he is unqualified for the Court. These are Democrat’s beliefs. And it makes no difference how wrong YOU think these beliefs are. It’s clear Democrats are immovable in these beliefs. Polls show no other demographic is the determining factor in whether a person finds Kavanaugh qualified or not. Not age, race, sexual orientation, income, geographic location. Nothing but your political affiliation determines whether you think Kavanaugh is guilty of the cruel charges against him. If you vote Democrat you believe his confirmation to be a travesty.

Republicans believe Kavanaugh was wronged and smeared with lies and exaggerations in a calculated character assassination designed to derail his Supreme Court nomination. They point to the fact that no charge against him is any newer or fresher than 35 years ago. Republicans point to accuser’s inability to produce evidence or corroborating witnesses. They point to Kavanaugh’s lifetime of service in government and in community service and his wonderful family. They believe him to be a good man.

As this is written we are 3 days from his confirmation being solidified and the storm has not quelled yet. Democratic politicians even talk of opening investigations into the recent claims that date back 30+ years and of impeaching the Justice. Samuel Chase, an original signatory of the Declaration of Independence is the only Supreme Court Justice to ever be impeached. The U.S. House voted for impeachment in 1805. The Senate acquitted the Associate Justice that same year.

It’s hard to fathom where we go from here. Division is so firm right now. But this Republican hopes to invoke the words of three Democrats in this writing in the hopes of beginning a mending of this country. Few things politically have upset me to the degree this matter has and while I think it would be easy to point fingers at the Left for their tactics in the Kavanaugh case, there is no getting around the fact that the Left is firm in its belief. So continuing to try and change their mind amounts to pounding ones head against brick. They would say the same of the Right.

In 1963 President John F. Kennedy said: “So, let us not be blind to our differences–but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

It was in the context of world peace. But’s its cry for togetherness applies very much to today.

It was during his 1961 inaugural address that Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” 

In 1988 defeated Democratic Presidential candidate Jesse Jackson addressed the Democratic National Convention in a stem winding speech where he repeatedly invoked the phrase “Common Ground”. “Common Ground! That is the challenge to our party tonight. Left wing. Right wing. Progress will come not through boundless liberalism nor static conservatism, but at the critical mass of mutual survival. It takes two wings to fly. The Bible teaches that when lions and the lambs can lie down together and none will be afraid, there will be peace in the valley. Common ground. American is not a blanket, woven from one thread, one color, one cloth. “

And in 2004 a State Senator from Illinois spoke at the Democratic National Convention about Red states and Blue states:

Three Democrats. One theme. We are all bound together and we all can achieve more when we work together.

Togetherness and love for one another is the only answer. It’s important for everyone of us to learn disagreement is not hate. Agreement is not love. Love is love. And we need a lot more of it.

So where can Americans find common ground:

Do we all want health for ourselves and especially our children?

Do we all want our politics free from corruption and graft.

Do we all want reduced crime in all forms?

Do we all want peace in the world and to remain free of war?

Do we all want safe, dependable roads and bridges?

Do we all want police forces that keep us safe and that don’t abuse their power?

Do we all want opportunity to pursue happiness as we define it?

Do we all want clean air and water?

Do we all want to eliminate the threat of global terrorism?

Yes is the answer to all these questions. And there are so many more that given time and some help I could list.

I’ve said many times, you and I are being manipulated. Sometimes its obvious and often it is more subtle. But both sides do it. Republicans and Democrats make crises out of whole clothe in order to incite the passions of their followers for the purpose of gaining money and votes. Be aware of this, sensitive to it, and reject it when you see it.

The American people have it within our own powers to end the hate and move forward happily toward a brighter future. Through volunteerism, charitable donations, and voting for political candidates who reject rank manipulation, corruption and graft we can put into power more honorable men and women. We’re capable. 17 years ago in the wake of 9-11 who would have ever thought a black man with a Muslim father and name would be a two term President of the United States? Two year ago who successfully predicted a vain, loud, egomaniac TV personality and businessman would be elected to the same office?

To get to the point where we can foster the type of political leaders we need to stop calling names and presuming each others motives. As pointed out above, we all want pretty much the same things. We all can share common ground on nearly all issues. We just need to better figure how to get there. Founding father Benjamin Franklin was renowned for his wisdom and ability to find compromise. He also said, “Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” 

LET’S GET STARTED.

We Need More Racists for the Good of our Country

Dictionary Definition of Racist

It’s happened again. 😦

I’ve once again been called a racist. The person writing this hateful charge doesn’t know me, and we have never met. But he took exception to my opposition to the bias headlines of a news story that I felt demonstrated a clear one-sided explanation of a story/dispute. What the story is and the content of my comments are unimportant. I stand by them. They were made publicly on Facebook and Liked or Loved by a huge majority of the hundreds of those reacting to what I wrote.

Usually when this false charge of racism is directed at me I never defend myself by enunciating my life’s deeds or accomplishments. I feel to do so is akin to a true racist responding (as so many do) by saying, “I have lots of black friends”; a claim that is frequently sad and weak and doesn’t excuse a racist’s words or deeds.

But with our nation so politically divided and with claims of racism being thrown about at every little hostility or disagreement I think it might be instructive for all to see and read what this “racist” looks like (rhetorically speaking). If I’m a racist, I pray for our nation’s future that we have more and more racists going forward.

To see an interracial couple today, in 2018, is neither rare nor upsetting to most people. It’s common. And it’s properly accepted. But, in 1985 when I became engaged to a black woman and still in 1987 when we were wedded it was still rare and it was still looked-down upon by many; including my father and others in my family. But in spite of its rarity and the ignorant condemnation we received I married a black woman and remained mostly happily married to the mother of my three black children for 28 years. We lived together for 30 years.

During my first marriage I was fully involved with and accepted by my ex-wife’s immediate and extended family. In fact its true to say my black family was more involved in my and my children’s lives than my white family. We holiday’d together. We travelled together. We laughed and cried together. And sometimes we argued. In other words, we were a pretty typical family. Were it not for my ex’s severe personal failings we’d probably still be married today and I wouldn’t have divorced her. (BTW- these personal failings are sadly common among couples regardless of race. Duh!)

I love them all.

Though half their lineage is white (Caucasian if you prefer) my 3 adult children identify as black. I was always present in their lives. Coached them on various sports teams. Provided a stable home. Loved them, and tried to be the best dad I could be. I’m proud to say I taught them much and imposed strict discipline when necessary. One thing I didn’t and couldn’t teach them was how to be black in America. Individually I told them all this at times when their maturity called for it. I told them that racism still exists in our country, that it’s awful, and that to some degree it will always exist. But I also taught them there is no reason it should ever hold you back. I taught them it’s an obstacle that needs to be overcome and often ignored. The fact that its an obstacle that I never faced was immaterial to their lives. For the wise person understands that we all face different obstacles and we all must overcome our own obstacles in order to progress, be productive and be happy.

Recently I remarried a wonderful, smart, beautiful woman. Incidental to all her wonderful qualities is the fact that she is Mexican. She and her whole family were born in Mexico. While a naturalized United States citizen she remains proudly and defiantly Mexican. And I love her so very much.

In the nearly 4 years since we first met I’ve gained a lot of learning and respect about and for Hispanic people; their traditions, their nature. It’s been quite educational. It hasn’t change my view about illegal immigration, which I oppose. I support President Trump’s efforts to stem the flow of illegal immigration and to deport most violators. My wife has a different point of view on this subject. We don’t talk about this subject….anymore.

This may shock some but in my nearly four years of knowing my wife and her family and friends I have seen more racism and bigotry directed at her and other Hispanics than I ever saw in over 30 years with previous black family, ex-wife, and children. If you think skin color is a trigger for hatred; just watch the reaction to a group of Hispanics speaking Spanish amongst white or black strangers in a public setting. It’s like a magnet for their condemning eyes. And it is sad.

Nearly 5 years ago I met a pretty black woman at a business networking event. My marriage was dissolving and I wanted to get to know her. This was before I met my current wife. Though no romantic relationship ever developed, I learned of the charity for which she worked, became involved, and for three years have served on its Board of Directors. While not specifically targeting blacks or minorities with the food service it provides, black and other minorities are the primary beneficiaries of our service work. African-Americans also make up the largest majority of this organizations workers, donors, and volunteers. It’s a 30-year-old organization that is the 2nd Largest food-distributorship to needy in the state of Washington.

I could go on and on. But what I’ve written are just some of the highlights of a life that is dominated by being-with, loving, serving and living with blacks and now other minorities. So, I’m a racist? Well, being self-confident and proud I would say…I want more of me out there.

President Trump is a racist too, or haven’t you read that? He presides over an economy with the lowest recorded black unemployment and hispanic unemployment ever recorded. And he touts that fact at nearly every opportunity. As everyone knows He was the star of The Apprentice which aired for 15 years on easily the most Liberal television network, NBC. Trump received recognition and awards from many black leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He was in the public eye most of the past 40 years. And prior to choosing to run for President no one called him a racist.

I didn’t support Trump in the GOP Primaries in 2016. Out of the 16 legitimate Republican Presidential candidates that ran in 2016 he was probably my 13th favorite. I didn’t vote for him in the Primary in my state. I never posted support for him in my social media activity. I wasn’t a supporter. I am now.

Of course, if you watch CNN or MSNBC frequently you now know that those who support our President are all racists too. Known proudly as “Deplorables”, so named by Hillary Clinton, we are all said to be hateful and intolerant of blacks and other minorities. And according to the Left we hate immigrants…particularly those with brown skin.

The facts that are lost in all this name-calling by the Left is that these “Deplorables” on average attend church more frequently than do Trump’s opposition and give a higher percentage of their incomes to charity. With both sides lamenting the destruction of families and of family values in our country…based on these FACTS all I can say is we need more Deplorables. We need more racists.

Clarification: For those too moronic or hateful to understand that the title and repeated theme of this blog is intentionally provocative and sarcastic, I feel sorry for you. Yes, this author hates and condemns true racism. It’s an ignorant scourge on people and our society in general. True racism needs to be condemned whenever it rears its ugly face. Additionally, the common and repeated and false charges of racism that we all see and hear today I condemn equally. In most cases its leveled by ignorant people who simply don’t understand another person’s thoughts and actions. But when wielded by powerful elected officials it is simply evil. It’s presumed such people are intelligent enough to know what true racism is. So their use of such a charge on the President and so many others in this country must be interpreted as merely selfish acts designed to hurt their political opponents and to divide the people of this country. It’s working. And it needs to be stopped. All who agree with this post need to Share it.

For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.

Martin Luther King Jr.

10-23-73 The Genesis of Today’s Supreme Court Nomination Fight

With news yesterday (July 9, 2018) that President Donald Trump had nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court all hell broke loose.

Democrats held rallies outside the Supreme Court building and elsewhere in the country decrying the choice and vowing to give it “the fight of our lives” to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Senator Richard Durbin even said on one of the Sunday TV News talk shows that sitting Senators ought to be willing to sacrifice their re-election in this year’s mid-terms in order to stop another Republican President’s nomination to the highest court in the land.

All this tumult might have some wondering, why is it like this? And, has it always been this way? There is no question the political divide in this country is wide and virulent. Democrats HATE President Trump and everything he says and does. And by extension they hate Republicans and all that they stand for. Many Republicans hate Democrats…but mostly, I think, they feel sorry for them. And I have to admit many Conservatives just think of Liberal Democrats as stupid. Prior to Trump the President Democrats loved to hate the most was Richard Nixon, whose responsible for today’s mess.

However, while we’ve always had political divides in this country and at times they’ve been extreme…just see the 60s…both the 18 and 19…60s…the process of nominating and confirming a Supreme Court Justice used to be done rather quietly and respectfully. It changed because of what happened on October 20, 1973. 

For those not old enough, educated enough, or interested enough, October 20, 1973 is an historic date and one of the darkest days (nights) in United States history. It would become known as “The Saturday Night Massacre”That was the night that our Constitutional Government was walking on the edge of a sword and nearly collapsed. It was the night President Richard Nixon tried to save his ass from impeachment and possible criminal prosecution by having Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox fired for continuing to look into Watergate.

So, you ask, what does Watergate and the Saturday Night Massacre have to do with today’s Cat and Dog fight over a Supreme Court nomination. It changed everything and established an excuse for the political retribution that continues to this day.

You see, Nixon knew he was guilty as hell of covering up his association with the Watergate burglars and for 1 year had been slowly squeezed into a position where that guilt would inevitably be revealed. He knew Cox was a no-nonsense investigator who eventually would find out Nixon’s culpability. So Nixon did what he thought he could get away with. He ordered Attorney General Elliott Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson refused. And quit on the spot. Not deterred, Nixon then asked the Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to do the dirty deed. Ruckelshaus, likewise, refused and resigned.

With the top two administrators of the Department of Justice now defying the President and out of jobs…the third person on the tree of authority in the DOJ was the Solicitor General. At that time that person was Robert H. Bork. Bork felt it was within the President’s authority to fire Cox. So he carried out Nixon’s order and gave Cox the ax. It was also rumored that Nixon promised Bork a Supreme Court nomination if he would carry out his order.

Well, as history tells us Nixon resigned from office the following August and that rumored Supreme Court nomination for Bork never came. That is…it never came from Nixon. Fast forward 14 years to July 1987. President Ronald Reagan tabs Bork for the high court. That’s when all hell broke loose for the first time…in a Supreme Court nomination fight…that is.

Democrats had a looooong memory. Like an elephant (as opposed to a jack-ass) they remember that Bork was the one who executed Nixon’s order to try to end the Watergate investigation. They hated Nixon. And for Bork to acquiesce to Nixon’s order made Bork public enemy number 1. Add to that the rumor that Bork was promised a Supreme Court nomination and Democrats were all fired up to stop him.

It mattered not that Bork was thought to have an extraordinary legal mind, and before and since the Saturday Night Massacre had established an overwhelmingly credible resume. This was about political retribution. Bork lost his confirmation in the Democrat controlled Senate 42-58. And in so doing a precedent was set. Through political vendettas, scorched earth, character assassination and political pressure Supreme Court nominees of a President could be stopped by the opposing party.

Democrats tried it again 4 years later when George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas. The Anita Hill sexual harassment charges dominating the process. But Thomas’ 52-48 confirmation vote was the closest in over 100 years. And the vote was strictly along party lines. Though it is worth noting that 11 Democrats voted in favor of confirmation. Only 2 Republicans voted against.

113 men and woman have sat on the Supreme Court. Only 12 have been nominated and rejected by the Senate. None since Bork. Others have been nominated and then withdrawn…in some cases due to a presumed Senate rejection. But none created the political fire that Bork created or established the precedent we all suffer through today.

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Nazis, Communists, Homeless, and Bums and other Things I don’t Understand

Today’s world is becoming increasingly hard to understand. Here is a list of my thoughts in no particular order.

 

In Seattle and other cities, you have to pay to park your car on the street beside the curb for a short period of time. But you can pitch a tent on that curb and pay nothing.

 

In Seattle, and other cities, if you stay in that parking place too long you will be ticketed and have to pay a fine. But that tent can stay on that curb/sidewalk indefinitely and pay nothing.

In Seattle last year the city paid over $200-million on homelessness last year and the problem got worse. But rather than take a new approach Seattle’s City Council and Mayor are preparing to spend more and do the same things.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan proposed a plan that will provide beds for 500 homeless people each year above what is already available. But with 10,000 homeless people living on the streets of the city and the homeless population growing at 44% over the previous 2 years many more than 500 people per year who are homeless are coming to Seattle; resulting in a net growth in the homelessness population under Durkan’s plan.

The same people this week who are applauding ABC for firing Roseanne Barr (and her whole TV crew and cast) for offending people with Barr’s ugly racist Tweet about Valerie Jarrett are the same people who protested the NFL’s new anthem policy last week and protested lead anthem protester Colin Kaepernick not having a job in the NFL.

Roseanne can Tweet a 2a.m. drug and alcohol induced racist comment, but dozens of national political pundits across the country speak of white privilege, and white people keeping down the black man and other clearly racist claims and nobody bats an eye.

Men are repeatedly and deservedly berated for cheating on their wives. But studies show that women who work out of the home (nearly all women) cheat as much as men and nobody ever condemns them.

People drive in the right lane of a multiple lane freeway inhibiting merging traffic when no right lane exit exists for miles.

Democrats say Republicans are NAZI’s, or condemn the GOP because many Neo-Nazi’s vote Republican. But many admitted Communists and Socialist are part of and vote for Democrats. And Communists and Socialists have killed, murdered, and falsely imprisoned FAR more people than NAZI’s ever did.

Many American youth advocate for Communism, or Socialism while ignoring the historic train wreck of such societies not to mention the current, present-day examples of Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba, the Czech Republics and other authoritarian regimes like Iran.

Democrats say they are for the common people. But they actively advocate, protest and march for the removal or restrictions on the common people’s Constitutional Rights. Under fire by Dems is the 2nd Amendment, free speech as guaranteed in the 1st Amendment, free to exercise of your chosen religion also the 1st Amendment, freedom of peaceable assembly (unless you agree with them) also 1st Amendment, the sixth Amendments right to a trial by jury (choosing instead to condemn and ruin lives via mere accusation on Social media), and of course the 9th and 10th Amendments are to be ignored completely.

President Trump is hated by 1/3 of the country and at least disliked by 1/2 the country despite all the good that is coming out of his Administration such as lower taxes, a strong economy, rising worker’s compensation, record low unemployment, continued low interest rates, rising home prices, illegal immigration border crossings at 40 year lows, a renewed respect for military and law enforcement, peace talks with North Korea, recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capitol, defeat of ISIS, and more.

He’s doing a good job.

Countless people spending hundreds of dollars they can’t afford, enduring tremendous pain and permanently scaring their bodies with tattoos.

Liberals continue to perpetuate the myth that homeless people are poor unfortunate people who but for the grace of God go I; when abundant evidence continues to show that the lions share of homeless are people who by choice live on the streets bereft of personal responsibility.

One successful parent is ostracized by adult children for having imposed fair, responsible discipline in their youth; while those same children embrace the other failing parent who imposed no discipline whatsoever, lied, cheated and spent the family into financial ruin. Examples of such are wide and varied. We’ve seen it a lot.

People lament the loss of personal responsibility and family values all while church attendance continues to decline.

People are ticketed for j-walking but in Seattle you can openly indulge in drug use.

Homeless are called homeless and not BUMS which is a much more fair and accurate description because calling someone a bum is mean but calling someone homeless is compassionate.

Having compassion for the homeless is what we’re all supposed to feel according to Liberals even though compassion solves none of the homeless’ problems. We are not supposed to be tough on the homeless and expect more of them because that’s mean, even though doing so would solve a lot of the homeless’ problems.

President Trump is engaged in Peace talks with North Korea and is being criticized for engaging with a tyrannical Dictator.

Drivers do something wrong, like cut-you off, and when you honk your horn they flip you off like you did something wrong.

Men wear shaggy beards that women…for the most part don’t like…and the men wonder why they can’t get a good woman.

Slow walkers. They’re everywhere!

You smile or say “Hi” to someone who walks right by you and doesn’t acknowledge you in any way.

People not recognizing that illegal immigration is a bad thing for our country. 55% of illegal Immigrants that are here are on welfare. Those that are not on welfare are working jobs that would otherwise be filled by Americans or legal immigrants. The people whose jobs they are taking are generally the least educated and most needy in our society. And illegal immigrants are more willing to work for lower wages thus forcing the wages to remain low for everybody else…especially legal Americans.

Failing to recognize the lives of Jesus’ apostles as concrete evidence of his divinity or of their mass psychosis.

People who endure the long, cold rainy Northwest Fall and Winter and complain that its too hot after a few days of 70 or 80 degree temperatures.

And lastly, I don’t understand why those who share my thoughts, feelings and lack of understanding of today’s world won’t share them or theirs more publicly.

Thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

Tell Homeless to Leave

At some point America has to wake up and accept that some age-old values really do have merit and benefit. There are a lot of things that I could be talking about with the preceding sentence. But for now, I am talking about how to deal with homelessness.

I live near Seattle, WA and drive through the city at least 5 days per week. What I’ve seen over the past 5-8 years is a city that used to call itself The Emerald City become something more akin to the Brown and Gray City…or whatever color you would most frequently assign to trash. Because trash is everywhere. And its piles are only growing.

The former pervert Mayor Ed Murray declared a homeless “state of emergency” in 2015. And since that time the number of people who live on city streets, and under overpasses, and in traffic mediums has only grown. Little has been done, and what little that has been done has actually been decreased since Murray resigned in disgrace after numerous allegations of him molesting teen boys decades ago.

What is most disturbing about Seattle’s homelessness is the increased brazenness of those who occupy our streets. As reported in this story from FOX News, many homeless are bragging about not paying rent and living off the welfare services and the generosity of others: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/04/09/homeless-residents-brag-about-makeshift-mansion-near-seattles-famed-space-needle.html

The city’s leftist political leadership and charitable organizations have tried lots of things. But one thing they haven’t tried is making homelessness and vagrancy the crime that it ought to be. I’m fully prepared to take the hateful comments that will follow the preceding statement. Because such thoughts are what have perpetuated this national disease.

Let me ask those who would condemn me for my tough statement by asking, what about the current situation shows love and compassion for those affected? Do you actually think letting people live on the streets is good for their well-being? For their health? For their soul, if you believe in such things?

All this so-called compassion and tolerance for the problems the homelessness create shows no tolerance or compassion for those negatively effected by the filth, the crime, the drug needles strewn about the city, the aesthetic decay of the city, or any of the big cities across America ill with this problem. To the contrary. All that’s shown for those who want to stop this Liberal Holocaust is contempt.

Here is what I’d like to see. Start arresting the drug users and dealers, and thieves and vagrants, . If the jails fill up, then incarcerate them in make-shift fenced, and guarded internment camps. Provide them tents, food, and medical care. Deny them drugs or freedom until they have served time enough to get off their addictions or found housing upon their release. Again, I expect a lot of hate coming for such comments. But again I ask, how is what I’m proposing not better, significantly better, than what these poor people are currently enduring?

Expect more of them. Expect them to be humble. Expect them to seek help and be responsible for their own well-being. If you expect more from them, I am 100% confident most of them would live better and would stop being the blight on our city that they currently are.

I would never deny a hungry person food, or a sick or ill person medical treatment. But that doesn’t mean I have to let them live where ever they want, doing whatever they want. We used to have standards. It’s long past time that we embrace those values again and stop tolerating decrepitude.

I pray my proposals are right and helpful.

Thanks for visiting.

You Are Being Manipulated; Guns, Abortion, Healthcare

“When a broad table is to be made, and the edges of planks do not fit, the artist takes a little from both, and makes a good joint. In like manner here, both sides must part with some of their demands.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

I’ve written it before, and it remains true today. YOU ARE BEING MANIPULATED. You, be you Republican, Democrat, Independent, Liberal, Progressive, or Conservative…YOU are being manipulated. You are being made to feel angry. And you are being made to feel the opposition…from your point of view…is stupid or evil or both. Once I outline a few recent examples, I think you too will agree. I would ask, how could you not?

The predictable political rants over gun control following the calamitous murder of 58 Country Music fans in Las Vegas Sunday night prompts this post. As if a Pavlovian response to it those on the left are calling for restrictions or bans on assault weapons and/or bump stocks which the killer used to make his semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic killing machines. 2nd Amendment advocates reacted predictably saying the Democrats want to take away your guns and make us all servile patrons of a Nanny state.

The fact is that a poll from June 2016 (and other polls) following the killing of 49 at a Orlando nightclub showed that 55% of Americans favored tougher gun laws. But when broken down to specific restrictions like wider background checks, keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill or felons or people on the terror watch-list support grows to between 87-90%.

With such overwhelming support you have to wonder why something isn’t done by Congress. Nothing is done, because if something truly effective and SMART were done Democrats and Republicans would lose an issue in which to bludgeon the other party. Each party is served by keeping the issue alive. It goes back to the old axiom “Follow the money”. Donations to each party as well as the NRA and Anti-gun groups grows precipitously from each groups/party’s constituents whenever there is a mass killing in the United States involving guns. USA Today also reported Monday that stocks in U.S. gun makers shot up 3% following the Vegas shootings.

So Democrats keep hammering Republicans as gun lovers and as being unconcerned for those killed by gun users. The GOP is afraid to budge even on the most reasonable gun restrictions for fear of additional measures coming in the future eventually leading to repeal of the 2nd Amendment; and for fear of suffering repercussions at the ballot from gun enthusiasts.

It’s the same with Democrats and abortion. A Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans favor some restrictions on abortion plus an additional 18 percent favor a complete ban. So, 70% of Americans favor some restrictions or a total ban on abortions. A separate ABC News poll shows 62% of Americans favor a ban on late-term or partial birth abortions. But faced with this overwhelming data Democrats jump up and down screaming that Republicans want to take away a woman’s right to choose. They say its part of the GOP’s War on Women. Like Republicans with guns they won’t budge on any reasonable abortion restrictions for fear that money will dry up and liberal voters will remove them from office. Such a position always leads to the nonsensical dodge answer we saw from Hillary Clinton during last year’s debates.

It’s been over 50 years since the Supreme Court Roe vs Wade decision that legalized abortion on demand at any stage of a baby’s development in the womb and we still can’t get Congress and a President to agree that aborting a child days or weeks before their natural birth is essentially murder of a fellow human being. There have been numerous times in the past 25 years when Pro-Life Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress and six years under George W. Bush and right now when they controlled Congress and the Presidency. So why not take action? Because then the GOP wouldn’t have their issue any more. They wouldn’t be able to call Democrats baby killers AND continue to receive the political donations they get from Pro-Life groups. 

Healthcare is no different from the abortion issue and gun control. In watching the Republicans first in the House and then in the Senate continually fail to repeal the falling-apart Affordable Care Act with zero Democratic help or input I’ve come to two conclusions. Democrats will block and fail to support any bill that includes wording repealing Obamacare. Republicans could present a bill that is a near carbon-copy of Obamacare under a different name but Democrats wouldn’t support it if it includes language making AFA the former law of the land. Secondly, Republicans are so invested in repealing Obamacare they would never approve any legislation that keeps the name, AFA, even if it’s proposed solutions completely overturn every unwanted, unworkable aspect of the key piece of legislation in Barack Obama’s legacy.

And holding on to a “problem” for political gain is not just an American tradition. Or have you not heard about the plight of the Palestinian refugees. 70 years ago hundreds of thousands of Arab peoples fled the newly formed state of Israel for neighboring Arab, mostly Muslim, states of Lebanon and Syria and Jordan. Those refugees and their subsequent heirs are denied citizenship, home ownership or any kind of legal status in the countries to which they fled. Stop for a moment and ask yourself, what would happen if they were welcomed in all legal sense into the nations in which they’ve resided for the past 70 years? Would we still have a Palestinian crisis? My guess is no at best; and at worst it would be a far less divisive issue resulting in far less terrorist deaths and wars all these many decades later.

Neither Republican or Democratic party will compromise on our issues. In today’s political real-life world to compromise is to be a traitor to your party and to your constituents.

Thank God our great American leaders of the past didn’t feel that way. At the first Constitutional convention the elderly statesman Benjamin Franklin urged his fellow conventioneers to approve the newly written document saying: “I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution: For when you assemble a Number of Men to have the Advantage of their joint Wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those Men all their Prejudices, their Passions, their Errors of Opinion, their local Interests, and their selfish Views. From such an Assembly can a perfect Production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this System approaching so near to Perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our Enemies, who are waiting with Confidence to hear that our Councils are confounded, like those of the Builders of Babel, and that our States are on the Point of Separation, only to meet hereafter for the Purpose of cutting one another’s throats. Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that it is not the best.” He compromised.

So did Abraham Lincoln. Most people’s knowledge of history tells them that our 16th President freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. If that’s your memory, your memory is false. Lincoln compromised. His Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 only freed the slaves in the rebellious Confederate states. Four “border states”, Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware, had slavery and fought for the Union. Lincoln didn’t want to lose those states to the Confederacy. So he compromised his own principles for the greater good of winning the war, retaining the United States whole and living to fight the battle of slavery at another time.

One of the least known but impactful compromises in American history was the Connecticut Compromise of 1787 which created the bicameral Congress we live under today. It allowed for each state regardless of size to have two representatives in the Senate, and representation based on population in the lower House.

Let’s imagine for a moment what might happen if our political leaders stopped driving wedges between Americans and instead compromised on these three divisive subjects.

What if Democrats agreed to halt all late-term abortions after 20 weeks (like a bill just passed by the House last week) in exchange for bans on bump stocks, assault weapons and gun sales to all with mental health issues, criminal backgrounds, or on the terrorist watch list. Republicans would agree to the greater good of saving unborn lives while relinquishing their debatable and somewhat twisted interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

On healthcare what if Republicans agreed to let the name Affordable Care Act stand, but agreed with Democrats to completely change it by removing the mandatory insurance purchases by individuals and companies, allowing for intra-state purchase of insurance, and tax-deductible health savings accounts, as well as high deductible catastrophic coverage policies.

What would happen…three issues that have been issues dividing Americans for decades would instantly be removed. Each side would have to compromise on one of their core issues, so neither side would look like losers…or both sides would. And Americans could truly benefit from some common sense legislation that most Americans support. Other issues may still cause us to debate but these 3 vitally important matters will finally be addressed in a truly bipartisan common sense manner.

No I’m not drunk.

 

We’re not listening to each other

Can anything be heard over the screaming?

When did all this start? When did our American society become so divided? And when did our people become so angry with each other?

A pessimist might say it began at our nations founding when a two-party political system was established. Founding Father John Adams, our nations 1st Vice-President and 2nd President as well as co-editor/author of the Declaration of Independence warned us against such a system. John Adams said: There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic intotwo great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

Some might say division of cultures with the Civil War was never resolved and those divisions continue to this day.

It’s hard to argue that men and women think differently which is why most men are Republican and most women are Democrat. So, perhaps our slow decline began in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Prior to then our nations leaders were chosen almost exclusively by white men whose interests and ambitions were not too different one from the other.

True political division was seen in the 1960s and that might be the beginning of all of today’s troubles. It is when many historians say America’s government stopped trusting its people, and people stopped trusting its government culminating emphatically with the Watergate scandal.

I tend to think today’s specific problems began more recently. In 1992 after 12 years of relative progress in worldwide peace, the end of the Cold War, racial relations, and economic well-being we elected Bill Clinton President. Republicans were furious at losing the White House to a small state Governor with serious personal-morality flaws who took the highest seat in the land having received only 43% of the vote. They saw it as a stolen election with Ross Perot taking what they felt was rightfully the votes of President George H.W. Bush. And to make sure the anger and resentment was shared equally on both sides of the political aisle Democrats were enraged eight years later when in 2000 Bush’s son won the Executive Office in the closest election in history. Historians have calculated that George W. Bush beat Democratic nominee Al Gore by less than 200 votes in Florida only after a Conservative Supreme Court ruled that the Florida vote recounts must stop. And the win in Florida gave the whole nation to Bush.

Yelling and pointing fingers

Barrack Obama won election in 2008 as the most leftist President this country has ever had. And no matter what any pundit thinks the cause, no Republican, not John McCain, not Abraham Lincoln, was going to win in 2008. The economy was in shambles, we were at war over seas, and more importantly the pendulum had swung back to the left as it tends to do in this country every 8-to-10 years. But having the first black President with a decidedly left ideology made the extreme right in this country “Angry”; most of the anger was for genuine disagreements in Obama’s political stances. Sadly some was racist. But I truly don’t believe racism was the primary reason for opposition to Obama. Democrats think its was the only reason. After all, what did Obama ever say or do that wasn’t spot-on perfect? 😛

As an older white man I hold a pretty unique point of view on society and race relations. While not exclusive, I am one of a very small minority to have lived and experienced the variety that comes from three very different and divergent cultures. I was raised in an upper middle class almost exclusively white city of Bellevue, WA. My parents and grandparents were all American born with German ancestry. Our traditions followed the American-European traditions of my ancestry in faith, (we’re Christian) in politics, food, dress, celebrations, etc.

At age 23 I married a black woman. For 28 years I was closer to her black family and their traditions and customs than I was to my family and traditions. And yes they varied. Not a lot. But the differences and certainly the beliefs were distinct.

Sadly my marriage ended, and while not entirely or even largely, I believe my ex-wife’s ardent devotion to Barrack Obama (as with nearly all other black Americans) and my opposition to him began to divide us ultimately leading to the dissolving of our union. Her total commitment to him was so unmoving that I strongly believe she began to look at me differently and more critically.

Does finger-pointing and yelling ever lead to resolution?

I have since been blessed to meet and love a Mexican woman and to receive her love in return. It’s been an adventure and sometimes a challenging one learning her culture and traditions. But it has been instructive.

Here is the single most obvious societal and cultural fact I have learned about my life with whites, blacks and Hispanics: WE ARE SEPARATE. We may live side by side, and in most large cities in this country we do. But we are as separated as if we lived oceans apart. Not surprisingly blacks like to hang out with blacks, whites hang out with white people, and in my view to an even MUCH larger degree Hispanics congregate with other Hispanics. And while I have no experience living with and co-mingling with Asians I don’t think its a stretch to say Asian people like other Asian people. Right?

Black, Asian, White, Hispanic

So is this a problem? Obviously the answer is yes it is…and simultaneously no it is not. It’s a problem because we all reflect to some degree or another that which we are most frequently exposed to. And if our exposure is limited to our own minority (or majority) ethnicity, traditions, beliefs and cultures our actions, words, and beliefs will be reflective accordingly. And the problem with that is we tend to look at other cultures and traditions and beliefs as different (which they are) and bad or evil (which they are not). They’re just different.

I’ll give you one personal example. My beautiful Mexican lady and I have celebrated 2 Christmas’ together so far. And MY tradition of Santa Claus being part of Christmas is not only not celebrated by my lady-love, it’s actually a point of antagonism. Mexicans don’t celebrate Santa Claus; nor do most other countries or cultures in the world. She explains that the Mexican tradition is to teach children that Baby Jesus brings them gifts on Christmas eve. She looks at Santa Claus as evil because it takes away from the true meaning of Christmas, which is to celebrate and worship the birth of our Lord and Savior. She feels so strongly that she won’t even use gift wrapping paper or holiday cards with Santa depictions. Conversely, I too celebrate the birth of Jesus. But I look at Santa as a magical tradition dating to the true story of Saint Nicholas and representing everything that is good…love…generosity…sharing…charity. Our loving, peaceful life together depends on each of us respecting each others traditions. I can’t expect her to ADOPT all of my traditions. Nor can she expect that of me. But in this example and other unmentioned ones our survival as a happy couple requires that we listen to each other and accept the differences and embrace as many of them as we’re able.

How is this different from society at large? I maintain that it isn’t. Based on what I’ve seen in these three different races and cultures that I’ve experienced in my life I think its foolhardy to expect blacks to change who they predominantly choose to hang out with and get their points-of-view from. Same with Hispanics. It’s the same for white people…but liberals seem to think this fact makes white people racist. It doesn’t. It makes them normal human beings.

So finding a solution to the political and racial tensions in this country is as simple as finding collaboration between two people enjoying Christmas together and with family. As simple as a man who loves football and a wife who doesn’t co-existing 5 months out of the year. As simple as a rock-n-roll fan and a country music fan cohabitating. Open your present from Baby Jesus Christmas Eve and then tear into the stockings Christmas morning. Watch your football alone or with friends while your non-football fan wife goes shopping or to the Salon. Listen to your Rush, Led Zeppelin, Journey or Fleetwood Mac on your time while your partner listens to Shania Twain, Garth Brooks, Rascal Flats or Sam Hunt on their time. Then take turns when your together or don’t listen to anything at all…except each other.

It’s clique, but its true. The things that unite us as Americans far outweighs the things that divide us. Be generous, be accepting, compassionate and empathetic. When faced with people who think differently than you listen and avoid anger. Some may think more emotionally; some may think more logically. Some may base their thinking on their beliefs and traditions and what they’ve been taught. It’s important to remember its different from what you’ve been taught. And you will never change their mind yelling and pointing fingers. You might win them over if you just accept them, wish them well, live and let live.

May God be with you all and bless your  lives.

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