Why are you throwing away your vote on a 3rd party? or “Let the Consequence follow” (version 1.2)

This post is taken from a conversation that I had on Facebook with a friend, who is a Mormon (as I am) wherein I tried to explain to my best ability why I’d vote for a third party. It’s a rough argument, but it’s also a Facebook response. It’s got room to grow.

Warning: A whole lotta religion and personal belief follows. I spend very little time being funny and a lot of time being uncomfortably serious in this post. Trust me- it wasn’t easy.

Voting McMullin is a long-term strategy. I know he’s going to lose. I am ok with this (as far as being ok with my candidate losing, or Trump surging in Utah goes…)

I’m not talking about making a statement for the sake of making a statement. I’m talking about apprising the GOP that if they want my vote in the future, they’re going to have to take me and my principles seriously. By withholding my vote from both Clinton and Trump, I’m saying “I expect more from my candidates. In the future, I will continue to vote elsewhere until you guys get your acts together and present me with something worth voting for.”

Trump’s distasteful personality vs. Clinton’s criminal acts
I keep hearing people say “Trump said things but Clinton DID things.” The insinuation is that Trump simply speaks poorly, but that Clinton has been verifiably criminal. The next logical insinuation is that Clinton is therefore “worse” than Trump. I don’t understand this. If you don’t believe that Trump is not guilty of criminal acts (Google search: “trump and the law” and read about 75 separate lawsuits against Trump), then it might be easier to get back to something you and I agree on: “As a man thinketh, so is he…” This is found in Proverbs. If you believe that there is no act that Trump is guilty of, except in word, then consider that the way that Trump speaks is the way he thinks and that, as he thinks, so is he.

“The stakes have never been higher” and voting out of fear
Each and every election year, we hear the same phrases: “The stakes have never been higher.” “Now is not the time to vote your conscience.” Etc. With this mentality, we’ll be stuck in this cycle forever. Every election year that we don’t say, “Vote your conscience” or “Vote for who represents you”, we further embed into our political system a habit of non-reform and send a message to both major parties that we will vote for the frontrunner of our own party, REGARDLESS of how they’ve lived their personal lives and in a lot of cases, regardless of their past policies.

Right now, by voting Trump, republicans are saying, “Send us a filthy-mouthed, womanizing, dishonest-in-business xenophobic candidate and we’ll vote for him.” By voting Clinton Democrats are saying “Send us an election-tweaking, corruption-mired public servant, private server-holding candidate and we will vote for her.” There is no line in the sand. We simply tell ourselves that we’ve done our best and that our only hope is to “block” the other bad guy from taking office. We vote out of fear and not out of duty to our principles.

I don’t want Clinton to win; But I don’t want Trump to win even more
Some of us see Trump as a greater threat than Clinton. We see a man who can’t go a couple of days without losing his temper and “going off”. We see a man who is unhinged and literally needs to remind himself verbally at the microphone to “stay on point.” Sure we despise Clinton. Some of us (like me) were furious with what her campaign did to Bernie Sanders. I was a Sanders supporter (long story, if you’re interested, but I’ll skip it, for now.) So I’ve been accused of wanting to see Clinton go into office. This is not true. I wish people would stop saying it.

Doing the right thing, even when it’s difficult
Well-meaning adults spent a great deal of time in my youth, teaching me that sometimes we need to do the right thing, even when it seems to hurt us. For instance, I was taught that if I get into a situation at school where I haven’t put myself into position to do well on a test, it’s not ok to cheat off of another classmate. We tell the story of a kid who didn’t cheat, but ultimately received a poor mark on his test- and we celebrate the personal integrity of this student. The reason that this is an important lesson, is because we know that a student who doesn’t cheat on a test (even when it means a personal, yet temporary defeat) will ultimately grow up to be true to himself, which will of course serve his family and community well.

But right now I hear people saying, “Look, you need to vote for the sleaze-ball (Trump or Clinton), even though there’s a perfectly decent man who is running for office (let’s use McMullin in this example, although surely there are other decent people), because he doesn’t have a chance of winning.” In my opinion we are turning our backs on the lessons of our youth and saying to ourselves, “Well in this case, it’s different because the stakes have never been higher”. All of a sudden it isn’t how we play the game; it’s whether we win or lose. All of a sudden, it’s ok to cheat on the test, because if we don’t pass, we’ll never get into medical school. Sure we wouldn’t cheat on other, lesser tests, but this one- this is critical, we tell ourselves.

If we continue to elect people who don’t reflect our values, we will never be represented
I believe that my freedom is best exercised when I vote for a person who represents me. If my values are most-closely reflected in a Trump or Clinton, then I am best served when I vote for whichever one aligns with my principles. But if neither do a decent job of representing me, and a McMullin is available for election (and does represent me), I’m best served by voting for him.

Voting for the long-term future and shirking a party, if needed
In Helaman, chapter 2, verse 5 (Book of Mormon), it reads:
“For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.”

It never occurred to me before, but I wonder if it’s possible that, in this verse, the people who “chose evil” were well-meaning citizens, that chose evil over good, simply because they were afraid. But in this verse, there is still a small group of people who chose good. They chose good, even though they were in the minority. It was the right thing for them to do. They literally chose to lose for the sake of choosing the right. The did not align themselves with the majority. I wonder if they did this, even though the stakes had “never been higher”.

I don’t share this to say that this candidate or that candidate is the right or the wrong candidate. I use this to illustrate that those of us who are choosing someone who we believe to not be the best candidate, simply because we are fearful, should reconsider the advice laid out in the Book of Mormon.

Steadying the ark
Another possible analogy, which may or may not hold water, is the lesson in the 2 Samuel, about steadying the ark. In this analogy, a well-meaning Uzzah puts forth his hand to steady the holy ark of the Lord, even though a strict commandment forbade touching the ark at all. Uzzah was concerned that without intervention, a stumbling ox would cause the ark to fall. So he made a judgement call and tried to steady it, rather than do what he already knew was right.

This story is used to illustrate that even though we may be fearful and well-meaning, our first call is to uphold our principles and obey God’s commandments and let the chips fall where they may. This election is no different to me. We have been called upon to elect wise and righteous people, who represent good principles and sound judgement.

There is an LDS (I think?) hymn that goes:
Do what is right; let the consequence follow.
Battle for freedom in spirit and might;
And with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.
God will protect you; then do what is right!

Think long-term
Let’s consider the long-term, both spiritually and civically. As long as we continue to vote for subpar leaders, both major parties will continue to select subpar candidates for our consideration. We can and should do better than this. And since I actually do believe the stakes have never been higher, there is no time like the present to lay the groundwork for our country’s future, by voting for a “losing” candidate.

Let’s not reach out to steady the ark by voting out of fear. Let’s do what is right and let the consequence follow. God will protect us.

Why are you throwing away your vote on a 3rd party? (version 1.1)

This post is taken from a conversation that I had on Facebook with a friend, who is a Mormon (as I am) wherein I tried to explain to my best ability why I’d vote for a third party. It’s a bad argument, but it’s also a Facebook response. It’s got room to grow. So for now, I present to you Why I’m voting for Evan McMullin. Enjoy.

Voting McMullin is a long-term strategy. I KNOW he’s going to lose. I am ok with this (as far as being ok with my candidate losing, or Trump surging in Utah goes…)

I’m not talking about making a statement for the sake of making a statement. I’m talking about apprising the GOP that if they want my vote in the future, they’re going to have to take me and my principles seriously. By withholding my vote from both Clinton and Trump, I’m saying “I expect more from my candidates. In the future, I will continue to vote elsewhere until you guys get your acts together and present me with something I consider worthy of voting for.” If my representatives don’t get this message, then I’m not sure what else I can do.

Trump’s distasteful personality:
I keep hearing people say “Trump said things but Clinton DID things.” The insinuation is that Trump simply speaks poorly, but that Clinton has been verifiably criminal. The next logical insinuation is that Clinton is therefore “worse” than Trump. I don’t understand this. If you don’t believe that Trump is not guilty of criminal acts (and I do), then it might be easier to get back to something you and I agree on: “As a man thinketh, so is he…” This is found in Proverbs. If you believe that there is no act that Trump is guilty of, except in word, then consider that the way that Trump speaks is the way he thinks and that, as he thinks, so is he. (Ok, it’s a stretch, but I think there’s something to this.)

On federal judges, religion, family values:
Each and every election year, we hear the same phrase: “The stakes have never been higher.” “Now is not the time to vote your conscience.” Etc.

I disagree. I think that we could do this forever. Every election year that we don’t say, “Vote your conscience” or “Vote for who represents you”, we further embed into our political system a habit of non-reform and send a message to both major parties that we will vote for the frontrunner of our own party, REGARDLESS of how they’ve lived their personal lives, their actions, their words, etc.

Republicans will say: “Send us a filthy-mouthed, womanizing, dishonest-in-business xenophobic candidate and we’ll vote for him.”

Democrats will say: “Send us an election-tweaking, history-mired public servant, private server-holding candidate and we will vote for her.”

Many people will disagree with this, but it will help to explain some of the success of Evan McMullin: Some of us see Trump as a greater threat than Clinton. We see a man who can’t go a couple of days without losing his temper and “going off”. Sure we despise Clinton. Some of us (like me) were furious with what her campaign did to Bernie Sanders. I was a Sanders supporter (long story, if you’re interested, but I’ll skip it, for now.) So I’ve been accused of wanting to see Clinton go into office. This is not true. I wish people would stop saying it.

I’ve voted for several Democrats for political office (local govt, as well as nationally.) I’ve voted for Republicans in the same manner. I am happy to vote for anyone who seems to align with my personal values. It’s not conventional, but I need to be true to myself. My point is that those who accuse me of wanting Clinton (or Trump) to win do not understand my point of view. And it might be helpful to understand it, because I’m not the only McMullin supporter who believes the following:

Clinton is bad. Trump is worse. I’m voting for McMullin because I want to vote for someone who represents me. This is the purpose of our country- we are a representative government. If “the stakes have never been higher” and I vote for Trump or Clinton out of fear, am I not losing, already? If I withhold a vote for McMullin, who represents me much more closely in temperament and policy, am I doing myself any favors? If you believe in Trump’s message and don’t vote for him, are you doing yourself any favors (I had to add that, because I know I’ve been hard on Trump supporters.)

I have been told to vote for Clinton or Trump because:

  • McMullin will lose.
  • I’m throwing my vote away.
  • McMullin doesn’t have the necessary experience.
  • McMullin is trying to derail Clinton.
  • McMullin is trying to derail Trump. (Yes, BOTH of these derailing arguments are being leveled at McMullin supporters.)

But I don’t think I should vote out of fear, especially if it means not voting for my best representative (Yes, even if he/she loses). I’m not going to support either Trump or Clinton, both of whom do a poor job of representing me. I believe that my freedom is best exercised when I vote for a person who most closely represents me.

In the short-term, this is a losing battle. And this is what everyone is quoting McMullin on. He says his #1 goal is to block Trump. So people say, “See? He’s trying to throw the election to Hillary!”

But they are missing the point. This is not a short-term movement (hopefully). The goal is to not only send a message, but to let Washington know that there is a large group of people who are willing to lose in the short-term, for the sake of winning in the long-term. What that win is might be different to different people. For me, it means I win personally. I can honestly say “I voted for a representative of me.” I can also say “I voted for the long-term goal of getting reasonable and less-corrupt candidates into the pool for the future- maybe even the 2020 election.

And since I actually DO believe the stakes have never been higher, there is no time like the present, to lay the groundwork for our country’s future, by voting for a “losing” candidate.

Why are you throwing away your vote on a 3rd party? (version 1.0)

This post is taken from a conversation that I had on Facebook with a friend, wherein I tried to explain to my best ability why I’d vote for a third party. It’s a bad argument, but it’s also a Facebook response. It’s got room to grow. So for now, I present to you Why I’m voting for Evan McMullin, version 1.0. Enjoy.

Voting McMullin is a long-term strategy. We KNOW he’s going to lose. We are ok with this.

I’m not talking about making a statement for the sake of making a statement. I’m talking about apprising the GOP that if they want my vote in the future, they’re going to have to take me and my principles seriously. By withholding my vote from both Clinton and Trump, I’m saying “I expect more from my candidates. In the future, I will continue to vote elsewhere until you guys get your acts together and present me with something I consider worthy of voting for.”

“Trump’s distasteful personality”: I keep hearing people say “Trump said things but Clinton DID things.” The insinuation is that Trump simply speaks poorly, but that Clinton has been verifiably criminal. The next logical insinuation is that Clinton is therefore “worse” than Trump. I don’t understand this. If you (Ok, if I say “you”, I’m not singling you out, Sunny, I’m just saying, like “any Trump supporter”) don’t believe that Trump is not guilty of criminal acts (and I do), then it might be easier to get back to something you and I agree on: “As a man thinketh, so is he…” This is found in Proverbs. If you believe that there is no act that Trump is guilty of, except in word, then consider that the way that Trump speaks is the way he thinks and that, as he thinks, so is he.

On federal judges, religion, family values…
Each and every election year, we hear the same phrase: “The stakes have never been higher.” “Now is not the time to vote your conscience.” Etc.

I disagree. I think that we could do this forever. Every election year that we don’t say, “Vote your conscience” or “Vote for who represents you”, we further embed into our political system a habit of non-reform and send a message to both major parties that we will vote for the frontrunner of our own party, REGARDLESS of how they’ve lived their personal lives, their actions, their words, etc.

Republicans will say: “Send us a filthy-mouthed, womanizing, dishonest-in-business xenophobic candidate and we’ll vote for him.”

Democrats will say: “Send us an election-tweaking, history-mired public servant, private server-holding candidate and we will vote for her.”

Many people will disagree with this, but it will help to explain some of the success of Evan McMullin: Some of us see Trump as a greater threat than Clinton. We see a man who can’t go a couple of days without losing his temper and “going off”. Sure we despise Clinton. Some of us (like me) were furious with what her campaign did to Bernie Sanders. I was a Sanders supporter (long story, if you’re interested, but I’ll skip it, for now.) So I’ve been accused of wanting to see Clinton go into office. This is not true.

I’ve voted for several Democrats for political office (local govt, as well as nationally.) I’ve voted for Republicans in the same manner. I am happy to vote for anyone who seems to align with my personal values. It’s not conventional, but I need to be true to myself. My point is that those who accuse me of wanting Clinton do not understand my point of view. And it might be helpful to understand it, because I’m not the only McMullin supporter who believes the following:

Trump is bad. Clinton is bad. I’m voting for McMullin because I want to vote for someone who represents me. This is the purpose of our country- we are a representative government.

You mentioned freedom. If “the stakes have never been higher” and I vote for Trump or Clinton out of fear, am I not losing freedom, already? If I withhold a vote for McMullin, who represents me much more closely in temperament and policy, than Clinton or Trump, simply because Clinton and Trump supporters have convinced me that:

– McMullin will lose.
– I’m throwing my vote away.
– McMullin doesn’t have the necessary experience.
– McMullin is trying to derail Clinton.
– McMullin is trying to derail Trump. (Yes, BOTH of these derailing arguments are being leveled at McMullin supporters.)

Well, I’m not going to vote out of fear. I’m not going to support either Trump or Clinton, both of whom do a poor job of representing me. I believe that my freedom is best exercised when I vote for a person who most-closely represents me.

In the short-term, this is a losing battle. And this is what everyone is quoting McMullin on. “See? He’s trying to throw the election to Hillary!”

But they are missing the point. This is not a short-term movement (hopefully). The goal is to not only send a message, but to let Washington know that there is a large group of people who are willing to lose in the short-term, for the sake of winning in the long term. What that win is might be different to different people. For me, it means I win personally. I can honestly say “I voted for a representative of me.” I can also say “I voted for the long-term goal of getting reasonable and less-corrupt candidates into the pool for the future- maybe even the 2020 election.

And since I actually DO believe the stakes have never been higher, there is no time like the present, to lay the ground for our country’s future, by voting for a losing candidate.

Choosing a political party to support

As a Mormon, there is a lot of peer pressure to simply be a conservative republican.  The remaining few of us who identify as Democrats, Utah Democrats, Independents  whatever, there is equally strong pressure to be a little superior about our moderate takes on politics.

In my opinion, politics is one place where it’s important to be grounded morally, but realize that, oftentimes there are more similarities between parties than many would prefer to acknowledge.

Be wary of those who argue against everything you believe or say.  You’ll make little headway in a political conversation.  Good friends will respect your sincere beliefs and lousy friends will disregard anything that doesn’t fit into their political dogma.  Don’t mistake passionate or concerned friends for lousy friends.  🙂  Oftentimes, people will challenge you because they sincerely want to understand where you are coming from.

There are good people to be found in all political parties (so far that I’ve found) and there are good people needed in all political parties.

Try not to get caught up in the anger of a party or issue.  Keep a level head and be honest with yourself about what you feel is right.

There will also be times when it’s important to part ways, ideologically with your own party, over one more issues.  Sometimes you may agree with both or all parties.  Sometimes you will disagree with all parties on issues.  You may be labeled as wishy-washy, or whatever.  That’s ok.  Always follow your heart, the Spirit, and your head.

Facebook, where news comes FRST!

My last political post was wildly successful, in that, the reviews were very decisive.  [1.  “Don’t you have a job?” -Wanda, Oroville, Ca.
“You seem to have no grasp, whatsover, on American politics.”  -Ed, Ogden, Ut.
“We are still interested in talking to you, Mr. Nelson.” -Jack, at Debt Collectors, Inc.]  So it prompted me to delve into the subject, again.  It also didn’t hurt that Google Adsense deposited a hefty sum [2. Hint:  There were a lot of zeros before the decimal mark, so I pretty much made bank.] into my Zion’s Bank account.  Anyway, let’s get started.

It seems that, the closer we get to an election, the more intense and heated the debates become.  However, the benefit to these heated debates occurring on Facebook are manyfold.

For instance, if you’ve ever tried to research candidates on your own, you’ve probably noticed the same thing that I have- it sucks.  You start out, exactly the way that your High School education taught you- you go down to the city library and ask to use the microfiche reader.  But all you can find are articles on John Beluschi’s death and the advent of the Commodore 64 (what Yours Truly types these littles gems out on).  Finally, you find yourself at the Salvation Army, surrounded by Encyclopedia Britannicas and underneath a  Tombstone Epitaph.  The closest you can get to becoming a more informed citizen is [3. If a sentence doesn’t finish itself within a half an hour, it wasn’t meant to be.]

But, getting back to what I was saying when I was placing weird words into this post on a bet…The benefits to these heated debates occurring on Facebook are manyfold.  In fact they are so manyfold [4. And that’s 3!], that they should be discussed in the laziest fashion, possible- listed:

1.  Strength in numbers:  With many news outlets, such as “reputable” newspapers, or The Horse’s Mouth, the problem you have is that you are dealing with one source.  On Facebook, once a political post has been shared over and over and over, you are assured that thousands of sources agree on the information contained in the post [5. “Obama, as a newborn, was prone to planning the demise of the United States.  And he’s a lamprey liver.  Share if you agree!”]  Sometimes the sources are so reliable and plentiful that you might see the same, exact post, up to twenty times a day!

2.  Reliable citations:  When a debate breaks out on Facebook, you have the benefit of source citations.  For instance:  “THE FEDRAL RESURF WANTS TO TCK A WAY OWER GUNS AND RITES TO A FARE TRIAL SAMPLE OF CONDITIONER.  PASS THIS POST ON IN 30 SECONDS OR LES, OR YOU WILL DIE ORATLEAST THAS WHUT MY NCKLE BOBY SEZ!!!”  While this poster’s spelling isn’t exactly “Harvard-friendly”, if you know what I mean, at least it’s backed up by a close relative.  Now- imagine the Power of Information, through Facebook, when it’s passed on by this poster’s entire family tree!

3.  Up-to-date information:  Traditional media sources are incomplete, in that, a single news reporter can only receive up-to-date information, as often as every five minutes.  Now imagine that same news reporter, breaking in on your episode of “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers”, every 10-30 seconds, with all manner of updates from friends, relatives, and celebrities!  What we are talking about here, folks, is information as it happens, pretty much.

Betty White’s Off Their Rockers:  Emery- “Hey!  Who put all o…”

Reporter:  “We interrupt this very important reality tv episode of ‘Betty White’s Off Their Rockers’, to let you know that Mitt Romney’s horse was attacked by an Obama-loving picket line, just this morning, in Manchester, New York.  We know now that sugar cubes were involved.  We return you to your regularly scheduled episode of ‘Betty White’s Off Their Rockers…'”

Betty White’s Off Their Rockers:  Emery- “f these rocking chairs in my l…”

Reporter:  “We interrupt this very important reality tv episode of ‘Betty White’s Off Their Rockers’, to let you know that we mischaracterized the line that attacked Mitt Romney’s horse.  We, earlier, identified the line as a picket line, when, in fact, it was actually a line forming for the new iPhone 5, which should be released in approximately years.  But they were violent and we were right about the sugar cubes…We now return you to your regularly scheduled episode of ‘Betty White’s Off Their Rockers…'”

Betty White’s Off Their Rockers:  Emery- “iving room!!!  And why is Betty not in any of th…”

Reporter:  “We interrupt this very important reality tv episode of ‘Betty White’s Off Their Rockers’, to inform you that your uncle ‘likes’ kittens, and that “THE FEDRAL RESURF WANTS TO TCK A WAY OWER GUNS AND RITES…”

 

"Romney supporters are fools and Obama supporters are to blame", or, "Why I miss the Original Philadelphia Deli"

Maybe I’d forgotten how bad Facebook can be around Electoral Season.  Or maybe things have gotten worse, this time around.  All I know is, this kind of stuff wasn’t nearly as prevalent at my Dad’s deli, in the 90’s- and my Dad’s deli played Rush Limbaugh and Shawn Hannity at an ear-cracking decibal (Ok, I’m not sure when Hannity came to AM fruition, but you get the point, don’t you?)  The Original Philadelphia Deli was the Facebook of it’s time.  (And yes- you could be “unfriended” at my Dad’s deli.)

At the deli, you friended people, met friends through friends, photographs were on the walls and far-back table, which were liked and people were spewing forth opinions of all kinds and shapes, albeit a little more delicately than what I’m seeing on Facebook, these days.  Let me show you some of the differences between what my friends at the deli did, and what my friends do on Facebook, now.  (For the record, I am also guilty of some of the below.)

Public declarations:

At the deli, if someone wanted to criticize The President, or a politician, they’d share it with someone who was interested in the conversation.  Only a few (and there might have been a few) would swing the west-main door wide open and with a red face proclaim, “Anyone who’s voting for Clinton is a no-good, welfare-abusing, lizard-skin-wearing SOB and isn’t deserving of the air they breathe.”  (The aforementioned voice is Yosemite Sam-style.  If you’re too young and have no reference pointer to Yosemite Sam, you may use “Plankton”, from Spongebob Squarepants’ Spongebob Squarepants.)  Most would have whispered these political concerns at the table with friends, or shared it in a reasonable voice over the counter with a patient ear.

If a friend with a differing point of view came in the door of the deli (and they might even, currently, be wearing the lizard skin at the time), voices were hushed and the friend was ushered over, anyway, to the table to hang out and talk about other things- things that were probably held in common by politically-differing friends.  Like why our Cheesesteaks were so good.

On Facebook, however, individuals regularly blast entire groups of people, all of whom they are “friends” with.  There is no concern for hurting feelings or offending those who might be closest to the poster.  It’s too easy.  Access to Facebook, a couple hundred friends in the captive audience and an opinion.  And then spewing.  Sometimes every hour…or worse- every time the person walks by their computer with a political synapse firing through their brain.  (That last sentence seemed a little inappropriate, but it made me laugh, so I’m leaving it.  I just wanted you to know that I know that it’s not an ok sentence.)

Inciting the riot:

Sometimes it’s just the same post, over and over, but with slight variations:

“Romney’s a Mormon and probably in a cult.”

“Romney, the Mormon, is probably in a cult.”

This can continue for days.  Sometimes the poster becomes so desperate for clicks and likes and comments, that, if business is not booming (so to speak) they’ll become rabid:

“Mormons are in a cult, stealing furniture from Ikea on Wednesdays, and I have proof…proof which is upcoming…and is poorly cited.”  (Possible status comment from Mormon friend:  “Heeeeeyyyyy….”)

Again, at the deli, this kind of popping off probably would not be tolerated, even from friends.  Unless it was a joke.  A well-executed joke, from someone the staff and customers love and trust.  Even then, pitchforks were in supply in Dad’s office.

The undisputed post:

The most annoying political post, I think, is from the person who feels that what sets their opinions apart from others, is that they are more studied, well read, or have “proof” to support their post.  Oftentimes, the individual feels that they have the corner on truth, because they have “been there, done that”, or have a degree from Undisputed Eternal Proof University, or whatever.  It has never crossed this thoughtful, educated person’s mind, that equally smart and learned people have differing opinions- and are their friend on Facebook.  But they blast away, anyway, because…They.  Know.

The passive-agressive post:

Toward the end of an offensive post:  “Just sayin’.”  Sometimes this phrase is used to lessen the blow to friends.  As in, “Anyone who voted for a democrat in last year’s county election is on crack cocaine, and is probably somewhat descended from a lamprey.  Just sayin’.”

Exercise:

Try insulting, in person, your friend’s intelligence in a harsh manner.  Use this person’s sister as a subject for this exercise.  Now, see if things blow over after you say “Just sayin’.”  Did it work?  Is that friend still your friend?  Are you missing a number of appendages?  How many?  Explain.

Here’s my point, I guess- There used to be a time when our mothers would remind us that, if we couldn’t say something nice about a person, maybe we shouldn’t say it at all.  That time has passed.  We’re saying things that are not nice about our friends, anyway.  Except, now we’ve stepped it up a notch and say it publicly and with intent to insult.  So, here’s the new quote, since we’ve failed our mother’s advice:

“If you can say it on Facebook, you ought to be able to say it to your friend.”

In person.

Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America

Just finished John Avlon’s book, “Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America”.  This was a terrific book and it spoke to my constant tendency to be suspicious of the fringes of talk radio, news, and political politics.  I think that the author may have leaned this book slightly to the left (70 percent of the time, I’d say that his criticisms were pointed at the right, but he spent some quality time leveling a lot of the imbalances that also happen (just as frequently) on the left.  At the end of the book, more books are recommended, which I may have to look into.

His closing with George Washington’s words are perfect.  Read them and see if he (Washington) wasn’t ahead of his time.

Lunch with Lynn and Dan Hauser

Just got back from having lunch with Lynn and Dan Hauser (as stated) at Wingers.  During lunch, Dan received a call from Mike Lee (Utah Senator).  Lynn and I suggested Chamomile Tea Party, as opposed to the currently popular “Tea Party”, which he passed on to Mike.  It was about as close as I’ve gotten to making an individual push for change in Washington.