What Kind Of World Do You Want?

I just spent a half hour looking at Facebook. I read several articles about current events. I saw pictures of our president and his wife with victims from one of the latest mass shootings. He and her were smiling and he was giving the thumbs up sign. This man has no more self awareness than a rock. He basically used these hurting people as a photo op staring himself. I read that many of them refused a visit from him. Good for them, I thought. I’m glad they refused. I wondered what I would have done in the same situation. If it had been me I would like to have said, “Sure, I’ll see the president”, and then told him to his face that the only reason myself and the other survivors are here is because he spreads fear and racism. He spreads hate and division. Then I would tell him to get the f**k out of my room.

I hate feeling angry. Anger is destructive. It harms your mind and body. Ever since trump became president I’ve felt more of it than ever in my life. Anger at him, at the NRA, at congress. Anger at the people who like and support trump and his racist, bigoted, hate filled views and actions. I feel anger right now while I’m writing this. I’m angry.

When trump announced his candidacy I started telling anyone and everyone what a bad president he would make. I reminded them of his failed businesses and bankruptcies when they said a business man would make a good president. I told them about all the racist and misogynistic things he said. I told them about his narcissistic behaviors. I reminded them that he had no political experience and they said we need someone outside the political sphere. I went on and on. But it didn’t matter because most Americans live in fear. They don’t even know what it is they’re afraid of, and yet they live in fear. And he played on their fears. He made them feel as if their fears were justified. People always want to feel justified. They want to feel that what they’re feeling and thinking has merit. And he made them feel justified. All his presidency has done for them is to make them even more afraid and they don’t see it.

So here we are, in the third year of trump’s presidency. Hate and fear have taken center stage. A fascist regime is coming closer to reality every day and still, people don’t see it. I see people making comments on social media like this: “This is not who we are as a country,” or, “What have we become?” Unfortunately, this is naive thinking. Look at history and you’ll find we have always been a racist nation. We have always been fearful. We feared Native Americans. We feared witches. We feared black people. The North feared the South and the South feared the North. We’ve feared the rich and we’ve feared the poor. Fear drives us. And when you fear something long enough you begin to hate it. You hate it for making you fearful. And hate makes you do things like slaughtering other humans with assault weapons. And then we bury our dead and wonder how we got like this. No one knows what to do. No one remembers that this country has a constitution that states exactly what we can do. No one thinks they have any power to change the situation. It’s easier to crawl back in your hole and fear everything outside than it is to stand up and demand change.

The only reason our government is the way it is, is because we have let it become this way. It’s our fault. You won’t hear too many people say that. They want to blame the NRA, or trump or whoever but ultimately, it’s us. We the people have allowed our politicians through their actions or inaction’s to make our country what it is. Rather than take responsibility with our vote we just keep voting the same corrupt people back into office. Rather than demanding that our politicians do what we want of them we say we don’t have time for that. We’re too busy. We have complicated lives. And so, we get what we’ve asked for, even though we didn’t realize we were asking for it. And now we don’t know what to do.


Lets Win!!!

As a retired person, I have more time on my hands than the average American. I try to spend my time wisely, but I also want to enjoy the time I have. I never really saw any other purpose in working other than to enjoy my time away from work. Seriously, what other reason is there to go to a job, and work 40 or more hours every week if it doesn’t contribute to your life away from that job? So once I (luckily) reached the point in my life where I could get away with not working, I quit. Makes perfect sense to me. But that’s not the point of this article. With the current political situation Americans find themselves in, I started thinking back about things I learned about human nature while I was working. I’ve always been an amateur psychologist and sociologist. I find human nature and thought to be fascinating. So here are some random thoughts I have had on politics, and human nature.

First, I’ll tell you a story. I worked as a Medical Laboratory Technician. Which means I worked in a hospital or clinic lab doing, Immunohematology, microbiology, chemistry, hematology, immunology, urinalysis, and phlebotomy. I wore a long white lab coat, with pens in the pocket. At the clinic I worked at, there was a front desk area for the lab where patients would check in for their lab appointment. Occasionally there would be a disgruntled patient who would argue with the front desk women (the front desk always had women workers) about their bill or whatever it happened to be. The patient could be a man or a woman. I was the only man who worked in the lab at that time. While an argument was taking place with a patient, other lab workers (women) would come and go in the area and it did nothing to detract from the argument. If I, as a man in a white lab coat were to walk into the area, the patient would immediately calm down. I learned two things from that. Men and women both treat women worse than they treat men. A woman in a lab coat is not seen as an authority figure by men or women, but a man in a lab coat is.

Centuries of patriarchal society has done its job. Men and women both will see a man as an authority figure before they see that same thing in a woman. There were times when I sat at the front desk while the regular desk people took a break. I never once had an argument with a patient. Never. And yet people wouldn’t hesitate to start an argument with one of the women who worked the desk. How does this relate to the current political situation I eluded to? We have a lot of women who are running for the next presidency. And we have some men. The women running clearly outnumber the men and yet most of the news coverage is about the men.

Politics, is like sports. I also learned this while I was working. I talked to a lot of patients over the years and the one subject that most people had in common, was sports. And politics is a lot like sports. We want to win. We want our guy to be the best. The smartest, the strongest, the most admirable. I talked with a lot of people when Donald Trump was running for president. I brought up things like the fact that he had no political experience. Or his possible criminal activity. Or sexual assault allegations. Or multiple bankruptcies. None of that mattered to his supporters. Then I started looking at sports figures. Many men in sports have been convicted of crimes. Adultery, abuse, drug and alcohol charges, theft, etc. The list is long. The stories are in the paper and then they’re gone. Nobody cares. As long as they’re team is winning, no one cares about the crimes. As long as the politician promises winning, (who did that?) nobody cares about their behavior.

When I was in grade school, I was skinny and scrawny. No one wanted me on their team. I was the last one picked. And the teachers never saw that as a problem. The team captains were chosen by the teacher and they were always the most popular kids, the most athletic. And they of course always chose the most athletic kids first. All they wanted to do was win. That’s all that mattered. I was always such an outsider, because I didn’t give a damn about winning anything. I didn’t want the glory or the recognition. I just wanted to live, and enjoy life. I always felt sorry for the losers in any competition. Because the winners would run right over the losers and leave them behind. Always.

This is how I see politics today. It’s a competition. In a football game, you make the right plays, throw the ball the farthest, move it the most and win. In politics, you have the politician who is the most popular, (always a man) say the right things, be at the right places to get the most votes and win. A huge part of American culture is devoted to sports. Sports bars, sports channels, billion dollar stadiums, multi million dollar players. In order to make politics more popular, they have to make it like sports. Remember Trump teling you how much winning you were going to do if you voted for him? Americans want to win. At all costs.