Trump won. Now what?

I woke up this morning at 4:30 with a sinus headache. After medicating, I made the mistake of checking my phone notifications, so I’m now writing a blog at the earliest time of day ever, ever.

It seems Donald Trump won the election. That surprised me.

I'm just as confused as anybody right now.
I’m just as confused as anybody right now.

But you know what didn’t surprise me? Liberty definitely didn’t win. Instead, our president-elect has campaigned against the First, Fourth, Eighth and 14th Amendments. I honestly don’t know how anyone can expect him to keep a campaign promise when he can’t even keep a promise to a wife.

However, I’m going to make good on my word when Trump is officially installed as POTUS: Honor the emperor (which, ironically enough, some have actually called him that). The main question is how we move forward from this, particularly when he didn’t exactly win a landslide and the age demographics skewed heavily toward older people voting for Trump. We’re currently just as divided as before.

That said, here are some basic pointers for Trump supporters, particularly Christian Trump supporters, in the wake of the election.

  1. Don’t gloat. – Seriously. Don’t do it. You’ll only make things worse.
  2. Be consistent. – The fact that Republicans have a majority in all of the federal government shouldn’t mean that you buy whole hog into everything they do.
  3. Don’t expect the government to improve your life or spread the Gospel. – I hope I don’t have to elaborate further.

I still feel the need to elaborate on the third point. Governments don’t improve lives, pretty much ever. I fully expect that after Trump’s first term, abortion will still be legal, we’ll still be in perpetual, illegal, undeclared warfare; and that our civil liberties will be even worse off than they are now, mainly because the Religious Right has bought into the notion that all is well as long as the GOP is in charge. This should not be. If we were in a post-Christian culture literally yesterday, that didn’t change overnight.

Honestly, I hope that Trump implements policies that benefit the entirety of our populace. I’ll support him when he does, but I’ll also – with gentleness and respect – strongly oppose him and speak up against bad policies. I challenge and invite you to do the same.

A brief thought experiment for Donald Trump supporters

At this point in the election cycle, I’m operating under the assumption that Donald Trump will end up as President of the United States. I’ve made my resistance to that pretty well known on other outlets (and probably this one, but I’m too lazy to check), but I’d like to offer a thought experiment for Trump supporters, to see if they’ll reason with me.

I give it a solid "maybe."
I give it a solid “maybe.”

The vast majority of Trump supporters I’ve come across are quick to make the claim that, “America is the greatest country in the world.” Other than the fact that you can’t actually prove such a statement, that’s fine to have your opinion.

However, Trump’s entire campaign slogan is, “Make America great again.”

Visual proof.
Visual proof.

According to Trump, America is not currently great at all, so how can one claim that America is the greatest in the world when there currently isn’t any greatness? That would, by default, mean that another country is the greatest, assuming there’s enough greatness to go around or that a country not called the United States is allowed to be great.

I believe that illustrates the cognitive dissonance pretty well. Correct me if I’m wrong.

No, I’m not moving from Rand Paul to Ted Cruz

Rand Paul’s announcement regarding his freshly dead presidential bid officially killed any shred of liberty within the major two parties. Many have assumed and encouraged me to jump ship to Ted Cruz. While he’s more stomach-able than the likes of Marco Rubio, Donald Trump or Ben Carson, that will not happen.

Yes, Cruz is better than all three, but here are just some reasons I can’t justify a vote for Cruz, other than that he looks like Kevin Malone from The Office.

It can't be unseen.
It can’t be unseen.

Military – I don’t care if it was a joke, anyone who jests about bombing any area so much that the sand will glow in the dark has no business command our nation’s armed forces. We’ve spent over a decade building failed nations, meddling in affairs we don’t understand and intervening in civil wars.

And what do we have to show for it?

Benghazi’s attacks were the result of arms running to ISIS, and the reason that power vacuum happened was because we illegally intervened to remove Muammar Gaddafi. ISIS came to power partially because of the power vacuum in Iraq and partially because we armed the “Syrian rebels” (I’ll give Cruz for voting against arming the rebels, but his rhetoric doesn’t lend itself to explaining the root cause of the problem). Both of those were specifically United States actions.

So now, we’re supposed to throw more of our soldiers into the Middle East as cannon fodder because we can’t figure out not to get in the middle of civil unrest? I don’t think so. He hasn’t even mentioned anything regarding the fact that constitutionally, only the Congress can declare a war, which hasn’t happened since World War II.

On top of that, Cruz and every other Republican wants to increase military spend when we’re already trillions in the hole and we have a bigger military than the next 10 countries combined and we have 662 foreign military bases in 38 countries. We already can’t nationally pay our bills; it’s irresponsible to increase the biggest part of our budget when it’s already bigger than we need for it to do its real job – national defense.

#SorryNotSorry

Fourth Amendment – Yes, Cruz kinda came out against the PATRIOT Act, as he should have, and he called for NSA reform.

What he didn’t tell you at first was that when he voted for the USA Freedom Act, it actually gave the NSA more power to collect your phone records.

Now, to Cruz’s credit, he at least opposes the indefinite detention clause in the National Defense Authorization Act, but that’s what overreaching surveillance gets you. If you want to send me to war, get a congressional declaration; if you want to search me in any way, get a warrant.

Auditing the Fed – Cruz proved himself unreliable by missing the Audit the Fed vote – which he had previously said he supported – claiming he had a campaign event in New Hampshire scheduled at the same time as the vote. Of course, his wife works for Goldman Sachs, so we couldn’t have that, right?

War on Drugs/Criminal Justice Reform – Cruz currently says marijuana is a state issue, but there’s no telling what he’ll say tomorrow. At the same time, he’s on record for saying the War on Drugs, which has led to Merica having the largest prison population in the world, is the “law of the land” and just needs happen. He also seems to be cool with the militarization of police and won’t really address the whole police brutality thing. That’s kind of become a big deal lately.

Problematic theology – Look, I get that we’re kinda international buddies with Israel, but they’re far from perfect and do some jacked up things sometimes. That didn’t stop Cruz from extolling Israel’s virtues at a conference that was supposed to be aiding Iraqi Christians in their plight with ISIS, as he started ripping on Hamas because we Americans LOVE ripping Bible verses out of context. Cruz has even said that placing an embassy in Cuba as part of our re-engagement with our neighbors to the south was a “slap in the face to Israel,” because we won’t move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I mean, at least we didn’t have a trade embargo with Israel for over half a century.

Sorry, Cuba.
Sorry, Cuba.

In short, I don’t trust Ted Cruz to support the entire Bill of Rights, nor do I trust that he won’t get us entangled in yet another asinine, pointless armed conflict, nor do I trust how he views the role of government in economics or its role in his theology.

Am I off base here? Let me know in the comments.

Replace the Confederate flag in SC with real heritage and culture

It’s official. South Carolina is removing the Confederate Battle Flag from the State House grounds.

I know it’s been pretty contentious, but I think I found an alternative symbol of even deeper Southern heritage and culture.

Union Jack

 

It’s the only thing that makes sense. The original 1606 Union Jack, still in use at the the time of the Revolutionary War, would be perfect if we’re using the same logic.

“What’s the logic?” you ask. It’s painstaking, I know, but I figured the original colonizers, from whom we got our language, and who also lost a war to control this land and who also owned slaves, just like the Confederate States of America, should be honored. After all, not even half of Americans even supported the Revolution in the first place.

Surely, this would be a better move than to keep a flag up that was only put there out of resistance to the Civil Rights movement. We’d hate to make black people think we don’t like them.

AlexStephens
“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.”

Join me in changing your profile pictures to support our real heritage.

MLB showcases how absurd the “Support the Troops Regardless” movement has gotten

I love baseball. I love our guys in the military. Believe it or not, I like America on most days. I just don’t like when the latter two invade the former.

Sadly, Major League Baseball has pandered to the Support the Troops All the Time for Every Single Thing They Do Because They’re Obviously Superhuman crowd for several years, most notably with their goofy Stars and Stripes merchandise that’s worn on Memorial Day, Independence Day and 9/11. This year, they tipped us off to how insane the whole thing has gotten.

Derp MLB

“But what’s the problem?” You may ask. Well, there’s one big one.

2559d7603ouedg7ldhw0br4fn
“Sorry.”

There are actually two countries represented by teams in Major League Baseball. While a lot of people think Canada is the 51st state, they’re actually their own nation.

Additionally, over 25 percent of MLB players and nearly half of minor league players were born somewhere not called the United States. Is it not strange to arbitrarily force someone from, say, Nicaragua, Colombia or Panama to celebrate the U.S. military when it’s done so much to hurt the citizens of those countries for over 100 years? Let’s also not forget that we took a third of Mexico’s land a long time ago, and our current drug policy has led directly to rampant violence and poverty in our southern neighbor. Oh, and that trade embargo against Cuba pretty much boned the citizens.

When I watch baseball, I just want to watch baseball, not participate in what amounts to propaganda to support whatever war we’re sticking our noses in next. Also of note, slapping camo on something doesn’t make it patriotic; it just makes it ugly.

We can do better than this nonsense. The “Rah, rah, ‘Merica,” crowd has to understand that we’re clearly not the world’s moral beacon and haven’t ever acted like it, so we need to stop pretending the United States government is some force for good. Furthermore, Memorial Day is about remembering fallen soldiers, not rallying the troops.

I actually thought the designs couldn’t get any worse, but here’s what teams will be wearing for Independence Day.

Screen-shot-2015-05-08-at-6.45.49-PM

Paul Lukas at Uni Watch puts this more eloquently than I can.

“Although I don’t yet know this for sure, I’m assuming that MLB will once again be donating profits from the sale of these caps to Welcome Back Veterans. That’s nice, but Independence Day is not a military holiday — it’s the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence’s ratification. So if MLB once again ties the sale of Independence Day merch to a military charity, they will be (a) misrepresenting yet another holiday, (b) once again promoting the insidious notion that support for the military and patriotism are synonymous, which is patently false, and (c) continuing the endless drumbeat of celebrating the military over and over and over again, to the near-exclusion of all other sectors of society. All of this is unacceptable. (It’s also worth noting that MLB could do all of this strictly via merchandising, without making the players wear gas station-style caps on the field.)”

Appreciate the guys who serve in the military when they do the right thing and for their willingness to get shot at, but we have to come to grips with the fact that propping up South American dictators and intervening in African civil wars doesn’t equate fighting for what little freedom we have left here or with loving the country any more.

The Indiana “religious freedom” law is bad, but not for the reason you think

Everyone is flipping out today over the new religious freedom act signed into law in Indiana by Governor Mike Pence. Literally everyone of those people is missing the point. Everyone.

Everyone.

Truly, the left’s panning of this law is both comical and hypocritical. For the people who claim to be all about tolerance, they’re advocating forcing people to do things against their religious beliefs. The obvious cause of this is things like Christian bakers not wanting to endorse a gay marriage, Christian lodge owners being screwed by the government for turning down a gay wedding ceremony, or any combination of the florists, bridal shops, photographers, or T-shirt makers who have been legally boned for not wanting to celebrate homosexuality.

What the left is calling the “victims” in these case is missing is Freedom of Association and Freedom of Religion, also known in the United States as the First Amendment. If I sell a guitar on Craigslist, I can sell it to whoever I want. If a potential buyer says they’ll just destroy the guitar or kill someone with it or use it in an explicitly Satanic band and I decide that makes me uncomfortable, I can refuse to sell him my goods and/or services. That’s okay; he can go elsewhere.

The same applies with a cake. As a Christian who has actually read the Bible, I believe it would be wrong for me to endorse a gay marriage by supplying much of anything for the celebration. I would not sell them the cake, because it would violate my convictions. Likewise, a gay baker shouldn’t be forced to sell a cake to anyone, just like anybody can refuse service to anyone for any reason.

Immediately, people will scream how it’s not fair. Get over yourself and let the free market sort out your offense. If it’s truly an egregious offense, people will care and boycott a business. If not, then whatever. Go somewhere else or learn how to make it yourself.

swanson

Here’s an example that literally no one can say is wrong. A vegan cake shop would never, ever bake a cake for someone with bacon on it, no matter how hard they protested. Why? Because they’re vegan. And while they’re missing out on the best food on earth, that’s their right as a business owner. Bacon makes him uncomfortable, so he declines the business. End of story.

The basic premise of this bill is that you need to stop using the government to regulate others’ actions when you don’t get your way. If someone declines you service, nut up and move on. Don’t pitch a tantrum like a toddler.

Stop it.

 

But after 450 words, I digress. This new law is still garbage for one reason. I’ll copy and paste from Indiana’s own summary:

“Prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the governmental entity can demonstrate that the burden: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. Provides a procedure for remedying a violation.”

For something touted so much by conservatives, this actually increases government. They can still tell you what to do whenever they feel like it.

So we’re no better off.

The “freezing homeless child” video is a sham

There’s a month-old video going around that shows a kid acting like he’s homeless in New York City, and it purportedly takes over two hours for someone to even talk to him.

If you haven’t seen the video, here it is:

I’ll give you a minute to grab the Kleenex if you fell for it.

Now that you’re back, let’s look at just a few of the problems.

The first problem is that there are at least two cameramen. People knew this kid wasn’t homeless. Homeless kids don’t have two cameramen following them around while they have an obviously-cut-with-scissors shirt on. Remember, this is New York City, where practically everything gets filmed. They probably thought these guys were recording a new episode of Law and Order: SVU or something.

Secondly, if it was really five degrees Fahrenheit, this kid has frostbite and/or hypothermia after being out for two hours with no coat and no shoes, assuming he didn’t take a break to run inside every five minutes. It wouldn’t take much of a fluctuation in wind or temperature to really make things dangerous for this kid.

wind-chill-frostbite-chart
Good job, older brothers. You could have killed your younger sibling.

 

Of course, the tipping point is really the fact that half the in-video captions are in Comic Sans. There is literally no faster way to get people to stop taking you seriously than to use Comic Sans for something that’s supposed to be serious (This means you, English teachers.).

Comic Sans
No. I refuse.

I think it’s safe to say the “homeless kid” social experiment was just a drive for YouTube subscribers, particularly when most of this channel’s videos are pranks, and prank videos are the worst (I don’t want to watch morons making other people feel awkward.). Thanks, Internet, for the click bait.