Married White Female, Looking for a Healthy Debate

Our world today allows us to create our own skewed version of reality. Social media, every single day, throwing anything and everything that we already agree with in our faces, and news feeds making us feel superior and right. How can I be wrong? I’ve been blasted by twenty-two articles in a span of ten minutes showing my opinions as fact at this point.

I put myself into check sometimes with reminders that this also applies to me. It’s not easy to keep an open mind and truly listen to ideas that push against what has been smothering you since Facebook and other social media outlets started targeting their audiences with sponsored content. Your entire social media existence is warped, and that’s why we feel so strongly about issues – it’s being fed to us on a silver platter. Sure, it’s warped to your liking – but that’s the problem.

Healthy debate is a treat nowadays. I have a hard time finding a person with opposing viewpoints to have a sensible conversation with; to explain, in a normal tone of voice, why they feel a certain way and then allowing me to do the same. Believe it or not, when I express myself, I enjoy a (respectful) contradictory remark. I cross my fingers and hope that this person hasn’t been bitten by the social media bug. That maybe, just maybe, a respectable, low-key exchange of opinions is possible.

The vast majority of humans who utilize social media would rather pump their fists and bang their chests, knowing that you won’t jump on their bandwagon. The opposing viewpoint does not matter, whoever says theirs the loudest wins – and they still hate each other.

We used to debate, we used to try to be open-minded to differing opinions. Not anymore, because we don’t even care enough to educate ourselves, let alone other people. It’s too easy. Fake news is real news, and real news doesn’t stand a chance. The speed at which information gets relayed to and from is faster than we, as a world, can keep up with… and that will be our demise.

It used to be common conversation to imply that everyone was entitled to their own opinion without pure madness erupting. That was fun. Suddenly, no one is listening. No one is interested as to why their neighbor voted the way they did, why they are choosing to not vaccinate their children, why they are for, or against gun reform. Instead of instantly judging, if we could take the time to just ask, why. 

We would be in such a better place if healthy debates were still a common occurrence. Whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Independent, white, black, Mexican, Catholic, Atheist, young, old – this reality we live in affects us all in a range of different ways, but here we are.

Next time you’re in a position to have a real conversation with someone who doesn’t look at the world the same way you do, take it and embrace it. Listen to what is being said and respect that even if our ideas are polar opposites that we’re still human beings, coexisting.

Stop Telling Protesters To Grow Up

Protesters come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. Millennials seem to get picked on the most, but they aren’t alone. In the last year I’ve been witness to God-fearing Americans putting down a right that is given to us in America, something that should be celebrated.

Most recently we have the Pence protest that took place during the graduation ceremony at Notre Dame. I read an article that made my head spin, inspiring this rant. Not only are we given the right to protest, we are given the right to free speech, so by all means, the writer of said article is entitled to that. Something I do not think is a right is ignorance.

“Nothing prevented you from sitting and listening to the advice of a man who has come so far in life, who took the time away from his schedule and family to be with you on such an important and pivotal day. Regardless of his political beliefs, there is value in what he has to say simply because of the life he has lived. He is deserving of your respect because he is the Vice President of the United States of America.”

The writer is correct when saying it was, indeed, an important and pivotal day to these graduates. What’s interesting to me is that it’s implied they owe something to Mr. Pence, because of the life he has lived. If you’ve ever spoken to anyone who lives in Indiana, you’d know about the poor taste in their mouths regarding the commencement speaker, well before he was the Vice President.

If you didn’t know, Notre Dame is in Indiana. Mr. Pence, as their governor, has personally affected these people.

Pence himself even accepted the walk-out, praised the “values and teachings of the university which urges its students to engage in free speech and expression.”

PLEASE, STOP TELLING PROTESTERS TO GROW UP.

Peaceful protest is not cry-babying. Peaceful protest is not disrespectful. Peaceful protest is not a temper-tantrum. Peaceful protest is not selfish. Peaceful protest is not cowardly. Peaceful protest is actually the opposite of all those things. The art of coming together as a unit to make a statement is democracy in action.

While humans are being treated poorly and wreak of inequality, we have people in the USA frowning upon it? Peaceful protest? This truly baffles me and the only logical thing I can come up with is that there isn’t anything in this world that is directly affecting these believers of the, grow-up  mindset.

Congratulations to the ones able to disconnect themselves from the madness that is now. Your lives must be very peaceful, not being concerned with anyone other than yourselves.

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I have some question for you though:

Why does it bother you so much that people care? Why do you find it personally offensive that men and women are standing up for what they believe in? Were you upset when Martin Luther King gave his I Have A Dream speech during a peaceful protest? What a fucking cry-baby. Grow up, Dr. King. Or, is it just millennials that give a bad taste in your mouth?

Most importantly, why do you think American, tax-paying citizens should have to just sit down, shut up and deal with it?

Civil rights, women’s rights, anti-war movements all need people willing to have their voices heard. America would not be America without peaceful protest. To those of you wishing protesters would just grow up, take a piece of advice from yourself. Grow up. Educate yourselves. Or, stay ignorant and if you have nothing nice to say… just keep it to yourself – that’s what we’re supposed to do anyway, right?

I believe in absolute freedom of expression. Everyone has a right to offend and be offended.  -Taslima Nasrin

E is for Election

Here’s the deal – I wasn’t always this crazy. I swear. Today, I will not rave about Bernie Sanders or go on a rage filled rant about Donald Trump; I just want to figure out how this happened.

It’s unclear when I first was introduced to the idea of this man named, Bernie Sanders. What I do know? It snowballed awfully quick. I went from being this person with zero opinions to give regarding anything political and preaching that an uneducated vote is worse than not voting, my go-to excuse for avoiding the whole process.

Now? Well, it basically consumes my soul.

Is it because my son is getting older and I’m concerned for his future? Is it because finally a politician is speaking a language that makes sense to me?  Maybe this is just what happens after thirty…?  No. That can’t be right – I have plenty of friends older than thirty who observe from afar and are too nice to say so, but they’re more than likely tired of my political posts on social media.

If someone would have told me even two years ago that I would have a political sign in my yard and bumper stickers on my car I’d give you a look that screams, Get the f*** outta here with that nonsense.

Currently, I’ll talk Bernie to anyone willing (or not) to listen to me and Lord knows, once I start I can’t stop. Let’s be honest, one of the reasons I signed up for this A-Z challenge was so I could grace Properly Ridiculous with things other than politics…

…cause I guess not everyone is into all that.

Long story short, I’m sorry I have allowed this madness to consume my soul and I’m sorry if you’ve ever wanted to tell me to just shut the F*** up.

But in reality, I’m not sorry at all.

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Feel The Bern, Bitches.

 A-Z Challenge : Day Five

[If you actually do want to read some Bernie posts feel free to click here, here, here or here. If you want to read some Donald Trump rants click here, here or here.]

 

An Open Letter To Donald Trump Supporters

Dear American Citizens Who Support Donald Trump,

Are you listening to this man? Beyond the feeding with a golden spoon, Donald Trump doesn’t tell you anything more than I could – only I have no golden spoon. I watch him dodge questions and change the subject every…single…time he’s asked anything; if he is forced to stay on topic, he uses the same rhetoric every single time.

I’m the best at ___________.

___________ love me.

I have a plan for ___________. I’m gonna fix it.

You see, the thing is, he started it.

Nobody respects ___________ as much as I do.

Do none of you care how he intends to do anything? I have not heard a single response that gives me any reassurance that he’s capable of leading our country.  Hell, I wouldn’t trust him to pick up a loaf of bread from the store for me and you want him to be in charge of the free world.

… I just don’t get it.

You hold signs up at his rally that read, “The Silent Majority” – is that something to be proud of? Do you feel good about that statement? I’m wondering what it is you have been silent about… Asians? Disabled people? Muslims? Women? Blacks? Mexicans? Abortion? Thank God Trump has stood up and spoken for you – you all seem so grateful with your hate on full display.

Maybe some of you just need a hug to remember what compassion feels like.

A lot of you are walking into Trump’s Self Serve Yogurt Hate Bar, filling your cups and raving about how delicious it is. Whether you fill your hate cup with Blacks sprinkled with a few chunks of Muslim, or your hate of choice is Women topped with a few Mexican morsels … I have a hard time believing you don’t have a favorite flavor when I find out you support this guy.

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Just smearin’ the hate all over the place…

Mr. Trump has made a point to change his position on abortion THREE times in THREE hours. That’s insane, can we at least agree on that? He has been Pro-Choice for years and years and years; if your candidate wants to switch his position to Pro-Life that’s his right, but why? [That’s hypothetical; I don’t need to know why, I just want him to know the reason for shifting especially if he feels women should be punished for having one.

I find it hard to believe Donald Trump, the man you are supporting for president had any intention of actually becoming the nominee for the white house. He wanted to rile up the system and the Republican party. I’m sure many of you have children, how about a daughter?  Do you think Donald Trump goes to bed at night hoping for a better future for your kids?

This is a man who won’t allow his ego to stop. Donald Trump does not lose.

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Wow.

Him… alone, can take out ISIS; that’s intense. Your preferred candidate believes he has super hero powers. Additionally, he exaggerated the number of casualties – perhaps I’m being overly bias, since I already believe he’s a lunatic, but he grabbed onto a tragedy and attempted to spin it in his favor with lies and more empty promises. There are things that money cannot buy – common sense, reasonable ideas and compassion for example.

How did Bernie Sanders end up with the radical, out-of-this-world reputation while Donald Trump continues to dominate mainstream media? Any off the wall comment he makes is repeated 3,453 times in 24 hours. At this point, I have to believe there are a lot of you who support trump based on name recognition alone.

I liked him on The Apprentice.

He says it like it is.

He’s not part of the establishment.

We that kind of power in the White House.

Those are real answers I’ve been given when I try to have a conversation with one of you. All I want is to have an educated debate, or even just a somewhat sane, rational non-argument with a Trump supporter. I know I’ve asked you a lot of questions so I’ll cut you a break and leave you with one final inquiry and it’s the only one I really want an answer to.

So I ask you, Trump supporter, What is your favorite Trump policy and how many times have you heard Mr. Trump speak on the issue?

The floor is yours.

Live & In Color: Bernie Sanders in Appleton, Wisconsin

The dynamic I witnessed today at the Bernie Sander’s Rally in Appleton, Wisconsin was unlike anything I’ve ever seen or been a part of, ever. When thousands of people come together with one common denominator there is a vibe that makes you want to pump your fists and high five until it hurts; and that’s before even getting inside.

We had a hard time deciding what time to arrive, how early is too early? Living less than ten minutes away, logically my husband and I pulled out of our driveway at 7:45am  with a door-opening of 9:30am.  Come to find out, the first people showed up at the Appleton Performing Art Center, ready to wait for Bernie, at two o’clock in the AM and a few hundred earlier than us.

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Our POV
Photo by Graham Washatka - www.grahamimages.net
Photo by Graham Washatka – www.grahamimages.net

Scanning the faces of all these people we are passing while making our way to the end of the line, which weaved around the venue and down the block at this point, I’m finding average college kids, hippies galore, old ladies and any other stereotype you can come up with. There are street vendors with wagons filled with T-shirts and buttons screaming into megaphones about a revolution. There are people running for congress handing out information – and an old Jewish socialist brought us all here.

If you’re in need of some free education…

Democratic Socialism Is Not: Communism

Democratic Socialism Is: People Over Profit

If you’d like further information… click here. 

I’ve never been in the presence of the Secret Service before and scenes from The Blacklist just started spinning around in my overly-excited brain once we got inside. I’ll go ahead and state the obvious… those guys mean serious business. Don’t make a joke… is all I kept repeating while making my way to the metal detector.

When we made our way to the seats, up in the 2nd balcony, there were roughly two hours before Senator Sanders was scheduled to begin speaking. The anticipation was not to hear what he has to say… I know what he’s going to say. I’m well versed in Bernie’s speeches and policies – but it’s like hearing your favorite song live for the first time.

Photo by Graham Washatka - www.grahamimages.net
Photo by Graham Washatka – www.grahamimages.net

Chants of his name echoed throughout while people started the wave; I saw high fives, people embracing and shaking hands that I feel never would have crossed paths otherwise. Everyone was happy. Everyone was there with the same radical ideas. Bernie Sanders has brought people together, he has opened the minds of people who have dismissed politics and felt complacent with more than a few terribly corrupt government happenings.

When the Senator made his way to the podium, I made a conscience decision to take in my surroundings and if I’m being honest, I’m having a hard time putting my experience into words. There was so much hope, excitement and awe at once, but it was so far from being overwhelming – I didn’t want the cheering to stop. He expressed his views, plans and hopes for our country while the audience never stopped encouraging him for more with standing ovations and outbursts of support. I’ll tell you what there was not also, there were zero violent incidents.

When it was over he made his way to shake hands with supporters and even offer some hugs to attendees who were close enough – like those dedicated 2-am-ers.

Photo by Graham Washatka - www.grahamimages.net
Photo by Graham Washatka – www.grahamimages.net

For the husband and I, seeing and hearing him with our own eyes was plenty to fill our cup. Bernie Sanders reeks of genuine compassion and truth. I left feeling proud to be a part of his movement and ready to place my early vote for him here in Wisconsin tomorrow. I urge all my Wisconsin friends and followers to at least take a look at his policies and if he’s not the candidate for you – at least go out and vote for who is on April 5th. Find your polling place: HERE.

[Okay, okay…I know I said if he’s not for you to vote for who is, but I challenge you to find another candidate running for president who flies coach, has voted consistently for 20+ years and radical or not, has the American people’s best interest at heart.]