The Trump Presidency: How Did We Get HERE?

THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY HOW DID WE GET HERE?

It was Tuesday night. November 4th. 2016. I was mostly drunk and furious. On my knees with tears on my face raging to the heavens at the absurdity I was witnessing. This wasn’t the world I wanted to live in. This wasn’t the way I wanted to see a Republic fall. Or rather, I wailed about not wanting to live through the collapse of my nation.

     I went on Facebook and ranted and raved. My wife locked herself in the bedroom because, despite our vows, she didn’t want to move to Canada. And several of my friends just left Facebook altogether due to the diatribes they were seeing. Not just from me of course.

     The next day, embarrassed by my hyperbolic posts, I deleted them save for one. Which I’ll get to later. I then proceeded to write an amended piece. Not one of “Let’s give him a chance,” but one devoted to a more in depth analysis as to WHY I was so vehemently upset. You see, I meant what I said. I was just ashamed with how I said it.

     Now, based on the fact that I raged so (afterall, no one saw this coming…well, outside of a few predictors) one might assume that I’m some far left liberal nutter who can’t imagine a conservative president being in office again. Because they don’t hold the same values as America right?

     Sorry to disappoint. The truth is I’m a moderate with liberal leanings. It’s also true that I despised Hillary Clinton. But, and it’s important to stress this, I didn’t throw my support behind her because I thought her policies were superior. Nor that I just hated the guy she was running against and she was the lesser of two evils. (I mean, she was, but that’s incidental.) No it was because I knew she could do the damn job. Hell, I know Mike Pence could do the job. That Romney would do the job. That certainly John McCain could do the job. And even that walking meme Jr could fumble his way through most of the job (with help from his puppet master, of course.) In fact, the majority of the voters felt the same way.

     YET, here we are. The bumbling cheesy poof won. The man who probably couldn’t figure out how to zip up his own pants with his tiny, tiny hands without assistance from his yes men is now leader of the free world and God help us all.

     Like I said, I’m a moderate. So this isn’t an ideological issue I’m having as such a charge is levelled quite frequently at people who hate the man. In fact, though liberal leaning, I would have been fine with a McCain administration. Ok with a Romney administration. Somewhat dubious of a Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, or a dozen other’s administrations. Yet they still would have brought a certain perspective to the table that we are currently missing: that they alone are not the ones to “save” America but would work within the framework of the Constitution to perform their jobs.

     That we find ourselves with this affront against all the values we hold dear is a terrifying example of what can go wrong when a nation loses faith in its government. What’s even more worrisome is that his supporters don’t seem to get what all the uproar is about.

     So how did we get here?

     I have heard a variety of reasons of how we ended up with the current president. Reasons running the gamut from racism to xenophobia. From sexism to destroying Washington. And from what I can tell it’s all of the above. And none of said reasons. You see, for whatever the reason was, it was determined that the only way to solve it was to pull the pin on a giant orange grenade, lob it at Washington, and see what the end result would be.

     And what these last several weeks have demonstrated quite clearly is that such a mentality is a detriment to our Republic.

     Drain the swamp? How about we make it more murky.

     Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it? Well, they probably won’t pay for it but we’re gonna build it anyway no matter the cost!

     Immigration reforms? Let’s go ahead with that Muslim ban but NOT call it a Muslim ban and assume no one will notice. (And then argue with the Judicial Branch claiming they’re “so called Judges”. They’re judges, bub. This is what judges do.)

     Deal with actual terrorist threats? Nah. Let’s make up terrorist attacks and then focus on our daughter’s clothing line when a real one happens.

     Defend the LGBT community like we said? Pfffft! Don’t be absurd! It’s clear people only go to the bathroom to watch each other do their business. (I mean, I don’t. I don’t want to know what’s going on in the next urinal or stall over. I get my business done and get out. No time for conversations. You hear that?? I don’t want to chat while doing my business so stop trying! Where’s the “Shut Up And Do Your Business” legislation, huh?)

     He has also gone slap happy with executive orders and memorandums (which are on par with the number Obama issued in his first three to four weeks. Both went crazy compared to the last six presidents) in his first month in office. My issues with these last actions are not so much numerical (insane though it is) but substantive. We rolled back regulations on Wall Street before. Did that help America or, oh I don’t know, lead to an economic crash in 2008? Why is he obsessed with creating a government run task force to combat crime nationwide? Shouldn’t we rather make sure our police forces are better trained and prepared to handle a wider variety of modern threats? Doesn’t this idea of his sound a bit…authoritarian? Will they have a cool set of initials too like the SS or KGB? In fact, I can only give das führer one cause for applause in that he wants to combat human trafficking. It does need to be stopped. But why do I get the feeling that policy endeavor will come with some caveats? I mean, it’s not like anything from the hand of orange can be purely altruistic? Can it? It would be great but doubtful.

     And now the nuclear powers around the world are starting to flex their muscles in a bid to take advantage of a perceived vacuum on the global stage. What’s General Hairpiece up to? Golfing. After ridiculing the idea while campaigning. Nice.

     Now about those reasons.

     First up, the accusation of racism. Agent Orange didn’t do himself any favors by labeling Mexicans “rapists”, inferring the police are the only victims in a system badly in need of reform, called for a ban on all Muslims (yet, and I must be clear, was fine with Christians from those nations coming in-so less racist than a religious test yet still bigoted in its approach), and encouraged his supporters to punch and hit “those” people (though he likely just meant protesters YET had to have known how white nationalist his crowds were getting, right? RIGHT?!) And though Captain Planet claimed he didn’t know who David Duke was, it has been shown that he IS aware of him as he once called him a racist and denounced him several times for it. Therefore, at some level, there has to be a recognition by him of this fact and may even be using it to further his career.

     However, though we can see there is a racist component in the candidacy and possibly in the administration itself too, we can’t conclusively say racism is what got him elected.

     What about xenophobia? It can’t be argued that our subject of interest wants to bring a halt to a majority of immigration for the time being. But can we call it xenophobia? Certainly there are elements in the support base who’ve taken it upon themselves to show those nasty foreigners what’s what and definitely the xenophobic urge is present in his base. What was once the Muslim ban became the Travel ban and the wall to keep out those pesky Mexicans is going up. (Though there doesn’t seem to be a concern about Canada and potential terrorist cells there. Perhaps tackling THAT border would be too monumental of a task.) There does seem to be a legitimate concern from this supposed president over terrorists entering the country illegally. He wants stronger vetting measures afterall. But his arguments get undermined when terrorist cells have entered LEGALLY and are often homegrown. But sure let’s pick on the Syrians and then undermine our own arguments by saying it’s alright to let in the Christian ones. Because a Christian has never committed a terrorist act. Oh wait…

     Sure there’s fear about the unknown but given the massive protests over the Travel Ban (even by some former supporters) it’s likely this wasn’t the sole contributor to victory either.

     Let’s consider sexism. Because you can’t be a 70 year old man talking about grabbing women by the pussy and disparaging their appearances on national television without you NOT being labelled sexist. Yet there were an alarmingly large group of women who didn’t seem bothered by this. In fact, a lot seemed to view it as an indicator of honesty. Especially given the deep distrust of Hillary. But what’s really remarkable are those women who’ve I’ve personally talked to who voted against Hillary because they truly didn’t believe a woman should be running the nation. (An issue that will have to be addressed by any future women running by either party if they hope to win.) In fact, the general consensus among those individuals is that a woman is too emotionally unstable to concentrate on such weighty issues as national security, or domestic policy. (Total bunk, mind you, as the world has already had numerous female leaders who were more than up to the task and are still there. But there’s also the bunk idea that a man can’t be ‘emotionally unstable’. Hell, we’re living through proof right now.)

     Hillary didn’t do herself any favors by bringing on board the most boring and whitest white guy who ever whited Tim Kaine. A man so forgettable that one can easily forget he was even the VP pick. And then there was the whole email controversy which further convinced the anti-women women that women couldn’t handle the responsibilities of higher office. (And an issue that seems to be moot now given that the entire administration has, up until recently, had their own private servers. The claim now though is that those accounts have been deleted. We shall see. Regardless, Commander Hairpiece STILL won’t get off the unsecure Twitter account!)

     But despite these issues, the perception of Hillary being the elite example of Washington may have more to do with the vitriol. Making even this idea of sexism, sexist statements aside, another unlikely sole component to get him elected.

     And the destroying Washington claims and claims like them? I can’t take these that seriously. Though the thought among most was to shake up Washington, the majority (vast majority) still want a federal government. They just want the representatives to do their jobs and stop the infighting. It’s the extremist fringe that holds up true reformation in Washington. Even so, I can’t imagine that many people just want to do away with it all.

     That sets the stage for anarchy and there has never been a large presence of anarchists in the US making this the most unlikely component of the Orangutan’s ascension.

     Therefore, the only conclusion to draw here, in my personal estimation, is that it was all a part of the process yet none of it clearly drove the outcome. In the end, it just seems like a way to grab Washington by the shoulders and shake it till it listens. Which I’m doubtful about. Afterall, Washington is so entrenched with itself that not even an orange grenade will do much more than make it flinch. Personally, I think congress is just waiting for him to tire himself out and likely won’t move on anything vital until he’s willing to follow their lead. Well, asides from the Affordable Healthcare Act that they’ve been chomping at the bit to tear apart for a while now. (Oh and apparently go nuts on some ideological issues that they’ve been hungry for for a long time leading to some really horrifying results. I’ll probably get into that in a later blog.)

     We got here by policies that ignored too many people for too long a time. And by the implementation of a political agency (the electoral college) that no longer seems relevant in this day and age.

     We got here because the nation wants Washington to listen, but Washington doesn’t seem to care.

     We got here because our choices in an election seem to really come down to a turd and a giant douche so this time they went with the absurd.

     We got here because there’s a mentality in the country bent on dividing the nation into extremist elements that can easily be labelled Retardicon or Libtard with no consideration for a centrist viewpoint.

     We got here because talking points are more important than facts and faux media is at war with journalism. (And the parties right now seem more concerned about just holding office and just don’t care WHO represents them in the office. Just so long as they have power and THIS is a dangerous goal to hold.)

     And we got here because half the country is in an ideological war with itself while the other half has stopped caring altogether.

     This is an untenable situation and if we’re not careful the next election cycle is going to give us something even more outrageous. This time from the extremist left. Let’s turn back to moderate and centralized ideals where diplomacy and compromise are no longer dirty words but the most useful tools in our social contract. Let’s get back to recognizing that America is great and it’s great BECAUSE of our values of compassion, diversity, sense of unity, and for being the beacon of hope that recognized all peoples for who they are.

     I mean, isn’t that why we’re having an immigration problem to begin with? Shouldn’t we be proud that so many people WANT to come here? Do we need to drive away the world to make ourselves feel better? If we continue down this path we won’t be a Great America, we’ll be an America that was once great.

     Oh, and as for that one post I kept? It’s this picture below and I think it says it all.

 

 

 

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Why Are Women In Games Still Marginalized?

So I was watching the AngryJoeShow on Twitch.TV and seeing what the new Dead Rising 3 game was like. As always, it seems like just another slasher game with generic interactions and a somewhat clever interface with the creation of new weaponry able to slaughter hordes of zombies with little to no effort. Your typical action hack n slash game. If you’re into that, no big deal. Hey, someone has to play them. I myself am into heavy story oriented games, which seem to be on the decline in recent years. What with so many people looking only for the gratuitous fix in beating something up. The American way nowadays it would seem. Well, the game Dead Rising 3 serves up plenty of onslaught and destruction to give a perfect fix to those who don’t like to do a whole lot of thinking in their gaming. And then DR3 gets to the sequence where the woman, Rhonda, is abruptly abducted by a motorcycle gangand taken inside a small room where, presumably, she will be raped to the pleasure of the macho mad thugs riding in to destroy the day. Meanwhile, our hetero male hero must fight off the horde of motorcycling devils to swoop in and save our damsel in distress.

And that got me to thinking about all the recent garbage I’ve been reading on comment boards over the last few months. About how there are not any good games with female leads. Mostly they’re not good, according to the male populace playing them, because they have females in the lead. Because, obviously, a woman can’t carry a game. She’s automatically considered weaker and must by nature take on the role of the damsel in distress or cower down to the ‘might’ of the grunting male who is quite possibly more able to carry the title than she. And I began to wonder, why? Why is this mentality so prevalent in gaming? Why do so many men believe that women are automatically weaker? Is it a symptom of the western world? Have we been brought up to ‘keep women in their place’? Why are women portrayed in this fashion?

Particularly since we have such great games as the new Tomb Raider reboot and the cult classic Mirror’s Edge. Hell, Jade in Beyond Good and Evil carried herself with a bravado that male protagonists would be the envy of. Yet still women are looked down upon. Has history not taught us ANYTHING about the strength of women? What is a woman exactly? What is the difference between a man and a woman? Why, I do believe, it is one lowly chromosome. The Y chromosome. And it makes me ask WHY all the time.

As a culture, America seems to ignore all the historical figures that have demonstrated quite convincingly that women are not at all weaker than men and, in fact, are often stronger. Joan of Arc, Boudica, Cleopatra, Tawakul Karman, Hatshepsut, Mulan, Elizabeth the I, Tomoe Gozen, and even Gladiatrixes in ancient Rome. And the list goes on. As many men are reknowned through history there are the same in the woman variety and yet women are looked down upon still. I had a debate on youtube with a guy who believed that women shouldn’t be in games because men represented what players most wanted to be: badasses. Yet when I posted my retort with a list of badass women, he was unimpressed. Likely because he was a troll. But also likely because the mentality in this country still exists that women need to be protected. Which is nonsense. Sure there are women who are abused and taken advantaged of. The same is true of an equal number of men. But men, out of some distorted sense of honor and wounded pride, are far less likely to report these abuses. But in gaming, companies are more than happy to keep the stereotype going.

While on the ubisoft forums, I stated I wanted to see more female assassins represented in the lore. And I got flack for that! Guys saying that that ‘isn’t realistic’ and that ‘women weren’t active in those conflicts in those time periods’, which completely ignores the fact that women have fought in every major combat throughout history. Women disguised themselves as men during the civil war and no one was the wiser until long after the war! Women fought in all the major World Wars, built advanced weaponry in World War II, and still today serve in active duty rosters throughout the world! Yet somehow they are still considered ‘weaker’! How is it that history can show us so much about the strength of individuals in humanity, yet we’re so shallow as a people that sex is the only defining factor!?

It annoys the piss out of me and I’m tired of it! I want my games to reflect the truth. That women share in the burden all people carry throughout the world and throughout history. We all struggle to survive and take care of our families. Whether or not you have a certain body part does not change the desire of the individual to make a difference! Games may be an escape from reality, but every game trying to capitulate to the desire of ubermales is a great disservice to gamers everywhere and a disgrace! If women were so much weaker than men, a goddess wouldn’t be the major threat in Assassin’s Creed, the term ‘Amazonian’ wouldn’t exist, Jade and Faith wouldn’t be able to change the dynamics of the worlds they inhabit, and Queens wouldn’t be knealt before in high fantasies!

It’s far past time that this debate was changed and such insolence to diversity and understanding nipped in the bud! I want my badass woman protagonist already, and I want her to be taken seriously!