Tag Archives: politics

Stop Telling Parents Not to Talk About Politics

“Stick to parenting.”
“I thought this was a parenting page, stop talking politics.”
“You make this look like a parenting page but it’s just the liberal agenda in disguise.”

I’ve gotten a lot of comments over the years far worse than the ones above, yet I’m less irritated with the threatening and hateful rhetoric than I am with the criticism that comes with running a parenting page that also talks politics.

First of all, this is free content. Facebook isn’t paying me to have a page or write things on it and I don’t host ads on my website so I’m not using that traffic to monetize my site. I do it because it’s fun (most of the time) and I gain some sense of satisfaction from it. If you were a paying customer then MAYBE you’d have some ground to stand on because you could argue you’re not getting your money’s worth, but seeing as this is free and Facebook is optional, stop your bitching.

Second, I’m not hiding anything nor am I out to trick anyone. Yes, this page is mostly about parenting. However, right there in the “About” section DIRECTLY ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE, here’s what it says:

Yup, that’s right. The same people bitching about the “liberal agenda” masquerading as a parenting page didn’t even bother to check the freaking “About” section, which would’ve told them, in no uncertain terms, I regularly write about politics.

Third, this is my page. I created it, I crafted it, and I and I alone decide what gets posted. That means the people whining about what’s on my free page that they’re under no obligation to visit, have essentially come to my virtual house where they decided to bitch about how I decorate and offer me unsolicited advice on how it can look better.

To which I say “Get bent. Screw you. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.”

You want to disagree with me? Fine. I love debate and I’ll gladly engage in it with you. But debate the issue. If you think Donald Trump is the best president we’ve ever had and all my criticisms are unfounded, then argue your point. Prove it. Back up the things you say with facts and supporting evidence. I promise, I’ll hear you out. I’ll disagree with you vehemently, but I’ll listen.

What I won’t listen to is you telling me what I should and shouldn’t be writing on the page I created and run all by myself.

I’ve been doing this a lot of years and 99% of the time it isn’t that people don’t want to talk politics — it’s that they don’t agree with MY politics. It’s so indicative of the ridiculously polarized environment in which we currently find ourselves. When people find their way to my page via a non-political article they enjoy but then scroll through my archives or social media and discover I’m a liberal, that’s it. After discovering they don’t share my political views, they can’t like one or two things about me — they have to dislike EVERYTHING about me. Because otherwise, they’re supporting liberals and liberals are BAD. It’s all or nothing, middle ground be damned. Even though they like the parenting and fatherhood stuff, they don’t want to hear me mix in my political views if they don’t jive with their own.

Sure, there are some people who genuinely don’t want to talk politics at all, and those people I direct to my good friends at Life of Dad. There’s something to be said for desiring a little escape from the overwhelming political mess and divisive atmosphere we’re in right now, and I’m glad there are sites out there that provide it.

But my page is not that. It was never meant to be that. It never will be that. And in fact, I feel a responsibility to talk about politics MORE, not less, as we get further into the failed experiment of the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

The thing that infuriates me the most is the belief that parenting discussions should be separate from politics, when in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

What’s happening under Trump is unprecedented and awful and must be discussed at length. And newsflash — it not only impacts you as a parent, it affects your children as well.

The  anti-immigrant sentiment has many children worried about losing their family members and having their lives uprooted when Trump deports them. There’s been a spike in hate crimes since Donald Trump won the election, as xenophobia and fervent nationalism has caused increase violence under the “America First” umbrella — especially in the classroom where some teachers report bullying is on the rise in the name of Trump.

And just last week, Trump began the process of pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement. The man who holds the highest office our nation offers doesn’t believe in basic science, and has us joining Syria and Nicaragua as the only two  nations who won’t do their part to combat climate change.

The main goal for every parent is to leave the world a little better for their kids than they found it, yet we’re living under a presidential regime that is pro-coal, anti-science, and anti-planet. If you can’t see the importance of politics as it relates to parenting in the context of “we need to take care of the freaking planet for our kids,” then something is fundamentally wrong with you.

Think about that — we can’t even agree on saving the planet. That ain’t right.

So no, I will not stop talking about politics on my parenting page. As comforting as it may seem to bury our heads in the sand and pretend everything is normal, that’s just not the case. So while all well-reasoned, intelligent, factually based arguments are welcome on my page, the one thing you aren’t allowed to do is tell me what I should and shouldn’t be writing about. Facebook is free, so if you want a parenting space without politics, start your own or scroll on by to one of the other millions of pages out there.

What’s happening in our world is worthy of discussion, especially among parents.

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It’s Not About Politics

trump mocks disabled reporter

The people devastated about President-elect Donald Trump are not whining about petty politics. Because this isn’t about politics – it never has been.

I know empathy is not a trait in large supply among the largely under-educated, white, angry Trump base, but humor me in this little exercise. Your guy already won so why not, right?

Imagine just for a moment you’re a gay, married person in America right now. You have spent years trying to convince everyone your love is just as valid as everyone else’s. You have fought tirelessly, not for special treatment, but simply to be seen as equal in the eyes of the law. You have been berated by bigots, called every slur in the book, and been told your legal marriage to someone of the same sex would erode society’s values and represent an abomination in God’s eyes. But finally, through all that, you won. Love won. And now you’re free to marry who you want and enjoy all the rights that come with that.

Then you wake up on November 9 and find all of those gains threatened.

Donald Trump is against gay marriage. But even more troubling, vice president-elect Mike Pence is REALLY against it. Trump has vowed to appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court, which means there is a very real possibility gay marriage could be reversed, and gay people relegated to second-class citizenship once again.

That’s not being upset about politics, that’s abject and very legitimate fear that someone is actively threatening your family.

Now imagine you’re someone with a preexisting medical condition. This isn’t hard for me, since my wife is in this category. You struggled for years because no one would insure you and you paid exorbitant prices for treatment and medication. Your health suffered immensely. Your quality of life was significantly impacted. You lived in constant pain and fear of being able to afford to live.

Then came the ACA (ObamaCare) and suddenly your prayers were answered. Health insurance companies could no longer deny you because of a preexisting condition, and suddenly millions like you had access to quality, more affordable care. Your health improved, your quality of life improved, and even your mental state improved because you weren’t constantly worried about going broke just to stay alive.

Then comes news of President Trump, and what’s his first order of business? Repealing ObamaCare. And suddenly all that fear, pain, and uncertainty comes flooding back. Yesterday, my wife frantically made phone calls to move up a surgery because as of January, there’s a very real possibility it will no longer be covered if she’s dropped by her provider. The woman on the other end of the phone said “You’re not alone, we’re flooded with calls today.”

That’s not being upset about politics, that’s legitimate fear of no longer being able to afford medical care. It is, quite literally for many people, a matter of life and death.

Now picture yourself as a woman who is pregnant. It doesn’t matter the circumstances – planned, accident, rape, incest – because for whatever reason, you don’t want the baby anymore. It’s more than a little ridiculous that women had to go to court to be able to control their own bodies, but Roe vs Wade has been the law of the land for 40+ years giving you the option of ending the pregnancy if you wish.

But suddenly the man who vowed to nominate Supreme Court justices specifically to overturn that landmark case is elected president. Now you’re afraid your own personal medical decisions will no longer be guided by you and your doctor, but white, religious male politicians who value the collection of cells inside of you more than the living, breathing person housing them.

That’s not sour grapes about politics, it’s the very real fear that the government will soon dictate your reproductive health decisions and potentially force you to give birth against your will.

What Trump supporters don’t understand is this particular election of this particular candidate is a direct attack on non-white, non-male, non-heterosexual people.

Trump was heard advocating sexual assault and “grabbing women by the pussy” just weeks before the election. But instead of his campaign faltering, he seemed to get the push he needed to cross the finish line. Think about that. A man was rewarded with the presidency after bragging about sexual assault. If you’re wondering what people mean by “rape culture,” look no further.

The message that sent to women everywhere is “this is OK.” In fact, it’s presidential.

Let’s also not forget people of color. Although Trump didn’t receive many newspaper endorsements, he did receive one notable one. The KKK’s newspaper endorsed him, and known racist David Duke campaigned hard for Trump. Trump also re-tweeted white supremacists on Twitter dozens of times over the campaign, and it’s no secret he holds Black Lives Matter in very little regard.

With a large segment of supporters wielding Confederate flags and Trump only mentioning black people in conjunction with inner cities (not to mention Trump’s history of being sued by the DOJ for not renting his property to black people), how are people of color supposed to take this other than a direct insult and threat?

I think the real reason people are heartbroken is because we woke up in America we don’t recognize. For well-intentioned people with privilege (myself included) who gave this country the benefit of the doubt and 100% believed reasonable people would plainly see the danger Trump represents, this is nothing short of shocking. And for many who aren’t minorities, it’s the first realization that hate, anger, and fear might be the majority opinion.

Don’t think for a second that liberals have any less love for America simply because we don’t deck out our vehicles in American flag decals and NRA stickers. We love America deeply and passionately, just like you do. But we truly believed our America was one where bullies lose in the end and love trumps hate.

That doesn’t appear to be the case, and that crushes us.

I can only hope Donald Trump the President does not remotely resemble Donald Trump the campaigner. As a deeply patriotic person, I have no choice but to hope he surrounds himself with competent people not on the fringe, and to remember he lost the popular vote, which means a majority of US citizens did not choose him to lead us.

But if he does continue on the path he blazed during the campaign, it’s up to all of us to fight it. To unequivocally support those who will undoubtedly be more vulnerable than ever under President Trump. To stay, fight, and advocate for what we know to be right.

We wake up today in a place that looks familiar, yet is now unrecognizable. We mourn the country we thought we knew but ultimately didn’t, and we come to grips with how to love that country despite its choice to embrace hate and divisiveness.

We don’t know exactly what’s next, but we know one thing – it’s not about politics.

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What Kind of Parent Attacks a Grieving Mother? Donald Trump

I have to believe losing a child is one of the most horrible things a human being can experience. It is something so fundamentally unspeakable as to be feared by all parents, and when it happens there is nothing but universal sympathy and empathy from anyone who has ever cared for a child as their own.

Except for Donald Trump, it seems.

Khizr Khan and his wife Ghazala spoke at the Democratic National Convention last week, criticizing Trump for his call to ban Muslims from entering the country. That’s because their son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, was killed in 2004 while serving in Iraq and protecting his fellow soldiers from a suicide bomber. They had some harsh words for Trump, and offered the Republican presidential nominee a copy of the U.S. Constitution for him to read.

But instead of ignoring them or offering his sympathies and reiterating the party line about how he’s still the best choice compared to Hillary Clinton, Trump went on the war path. He decided the best defense is an overly aggressive offense, so he put two grieving parents in his crosshairs and said this:

“She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me. But a plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet, and it looked like she had nothing to say. A lot of people have said that.”

The message is undeniably clear — Donald Trump believes Ghazala Khan was forced into a position of subservience because she and her husband are Muslim. So, while being criticized for being anti-Muslim, Trump decided his best course of action was doubling down and taking ANOTHER shot at Muslims by suggesting the grieving mother of a fallen U.S. war hero was being intimidated by her husband and not allowed to speak.

Nevermind the fact that she has spoken out in the past (and would do so again after the fact), there is something much more despicable and troubling at work here.

Donald Trump is a father of five children. He is no stranger to parenthood and all the trials and tribulations that come with it. Yet despite sharing that common bond with the Khans, Trump made the decision to berate and belittle two parents whose son sacrificed his life for his country. I repeat, Trump, a man who hopes to one day command soldiers, doesn’t have enough respect and consideration for Gold Star parents to stop himself from lashing out and attacking them.

There is something wrong with Donald Trump. There is something wrong with any parent who can’t conjure up enough sympathy and respect for parents who have had to bury a child.

Don’t tell me this isn’t about parenting and don’t tell me I shouldn’t discuss politics on a page largely devoted to parenting issues. This is the presidential election and EVERYTHING relates back to parenting. The person we vote for will shape the world in which we live for at least the next four years. He/She will likely nominate multiple U.S. Supreme Court Justices.

It is not acceptable to attack our Gold Star parents. Just like it’s ridiculous to attack POWs who endured a hell I can’t possibly imagine while being held captive. Yet that’s where we’re at with Donald Trump.

Politics has always been nasty, but Trump has navigated us to uncharted waters. He has no empathy or sense of compassion. He thinks only of himself and is so thin-skinned he feels the need to fire back at all of his detractors. Women who disagree with him are “fat pigs,” media outlets who criticize him using his own statements and verifiable facts are banned from covering his campaign, and now Gold Star parents are apparently in play for Trump. Sen. John McCain, Speaker Paul Ryan, and even the VFW have publicly stated how horrified they are by Trump’s actions, yet Trump is undeterred and totally willing to say anything about anyone at any time.

This isn’t fighting against political correctness. There’s nothing correct about what Trump is doing by removing the last vestiges of civility from politics. This is about a lack of humanity and an inability to empathize with anyone who has a dissenting opinion. It’s an indicator of how things will work if (deity of your choosing forbid) Trump becomes President Trump. It’s disgusting and dangerous and wrong.

And it’s beneath us as Americans.

Seriously, folks. What Trump is doing and saying isn’t worthy of this country or the office he’s trying so desperately to occupy. If you’re a parent and you’re OK with the way Donald Trump has acted toward the Khans, then seek help. Immediately. Because you are broken.

When the face of the Republican party can’t even find common ground with other parents who are mourning dead children, there’s a problem. We have a problem. Let’s make sure we don’t put the problem in the Oval Office.

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9 Ways Donald Trump Is Like a 2-Year-Old

trump child

I think, like most sane and reasonable people I know, my reaction to Donald Trump’s asinine antics went something like this:

  1. Amusement
  2. Concern
  3. Anger
  4. Incredulity
  5. Fear

That last one isn’t listed because I’m afraid to ever face down Donald Trump, it’s the deeply rooted fear of knowing at this moment in time, there is very little stopping him from becoming the Republican nominee. This man — this hyperbolic collection of jackassery and ignorance — is far too close to the presidency for my liking. And he’s backed by the uneducated, bigoted, racist fringe, which makes his rise to prominence all the more terrifying.

But when you take a good, hard look at Donald Trump, maybe you don’t have to be so afraid. Mainly because, well,  he’s a child.

Seriously, is there any doubt at this point? The tantrums, the insults, the obstinate nature that defies reason and logic — the man is like a 2-year-old. And while 2-year-olds can absolutely be frightening and awful, one thing they cannot be is President of the United States. Just like Donald Trump (at least I really fucking hope so).

So, in the name of everyone calming down a bit and having some fun, here are 9 ways Donald Trump is exactly like a 2-year-old child.

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9. He Doesn’t Follow Simple Instructions
You know how 2-year-olds can be little assholes for no particular reason, and love to make simple things like coming when you call them really difficult? Trump knows.

8. He Lies, Then Won’t Admit It
One day a few weeks ago, Sam got into some strawberries when we weren’t looking. We asked him if he took the strawberries and he said no. We asked him again, stressing the importance of telling the truth, at which point he got screaming mad and yelled “NO! NO TAKE STRAWBERRIES!!!!” It was pretty convincing, save for the huge red smear on his face and the red juice dripping from his lips. But despite pointing that out, he stuck to his guns and claimed total innocence.

Sound familiar? If you’d like to go down the rabbit hole of Donald Trump’s lies, give yourself a few hours and click here.

7. He Spills Shit on Purpose
We tell Sam not to throw things when he’s angry. He looks us straight in the eye and tosses whatever is in his hands like a maniac.

via GIPHY

6. He makes ANGRY FACES
I mean…c’mon. The man legitimately cannot control his emotions.

via GIPHY

5. He’s Intent on Dropping Bombs
At least Sam’s are contained to his diapers. Trump, on the other hand, is desperately trying to overcome his micropenis by promising to drop bombs on EVERYONE.

4. He Has Paper-thin Skin
When you admonish Sam, he crumbles. He roars and cries and sulks over to the corner for 10 minutes, refusing to interact with anyone and essentially taking his toys and going home. Donald Trump acted in much the same manner when he skipped a debate because Fox’s Megyn Kelly was a big meanie to him. Because people will TOTALLY believe you can handle delicate international negotiations when you can’t even handle a journalist asking you basic questions.

3. He Loves Things…Until He Hates Them
Last week Sam loved chicken. I mean LOVED it, and he’d wolf it down like it was the last food left on Earth. As of two days ago? Hates it. Without any warning, we saw a 180-degree about face and now he swears he’s always hated chicken. Kind of like Donald Trump. Abortion? He was totally pro-choice 15 years ago but is fervently pro-life now. Guns? In 2000 Trump was for the assault weapons ban and critical of NRA Republicans? Now he’s bragging he can shoot someone in NYC and not lose a vote. And when someone calls him on the discrepancies, refer to #8.

2. He Doesn’t Like to Share
On the one hand we have an immature and obnoxious character who doesn’t play well with others, wants to be the only one in his sandbox, and gets way too territorial about his personal space. And then there’s Donald Trump, who wants to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the country. Edge: 2-year-old.

1. He Turns Authority Figures Into Zombies
All parents of a 2-year-old have been there. You’ve fought valiantly but eventually you’re just worn out and worn down. The out of control antics, insults, and frustrations have become too much to bear, so you give up. You’ve lost your will to fight the good fight, and your soul is depleted. Empty. Technically you’re still alive, but the actual human being who once inhabited the now empty shell of your festering carcass is just waiting for Rick Grimes to put you out of your misery. You know, kind of like:

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How Are Parents Voting for Donald Trump?

trump

“I don’t like him. He’s STUPID!”

My oldest son, 7, was having some problems getting along with another kid at camp. Frustrated by the inability and unwillingness of the other boy to agree on the rules for a new game they had created, Will waited until camp was over and we were in the car to lash out and vent his anger which had been building all week.

My son is a good kid. A very good kid, actually. But he has very specific and strong opinions as to how things should work, and when someone opposes those beliefs he gets instantly frazzled. As soon as he called the other boy stupid in front of me, he knew he was a goner. And so was the beloved iPad, taken away for two days. Because in our house, frustration with someone does not give you the right to call them names and belittle them. There are better and more productive ways to deal with a problem than throwing a tantrum and calling everyone who disagrees with you stupid. Because manners are important, as is treating other people with respect.

This lesson, which most people begin learning as toddlers, has apparently escaped the current Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

Trump has surged ahead in polls recently despite a string of incendiary comments and verbal gaffes that would sink most candidates in a heartbeat. “They’re rapists,” is what he said about illegal immigrants from Mexico. “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured,” were the words he had for Sen. John McCain, who was held prisoner and tortured for five years during Vietnam. He also wants to do away with the 14th amendment of the US Constitution, which grants birthright citizenship to those born on US soil.

And when asked about his history of making misogynistic comments during a recent presidential debate, Trump joked that he only referred to actress Rosie O’Donnell in that manner. I repeat, the leading Republican candidate for this country’s highest elected office called a woman (who wasn’t at the debate or part of it in any way) a fat, disgusting, slob on national television. But that wasn’t even the most horrifying part of the night. Do you know what was?

The applause following his comment.

Trump called Rosie O’Donnell a fat, disgusting animal and hundreds of people in attendance began cheering for him. Cheering, hooting, and hollering for a man publicly making misogynistic comments and fat-shaming a woman who wasn’t even there to defend herself.

Surely some of those people celebrating Trump’s misogyny are parents themselves. Hell, I know Trump supporters in real life who are parents. I know for a fact they would NEVER let their kids get away with calling someone a “fat pig” in public, and there would be swift consequences if it were to happen.

And yet they’re voting for someone who does this kind of thing routinely. It’s fundamentally baffling.

My son made a disparaging comment about someone in the privacy of our car where no one else could hear, and he still got in trouble. Yet Donald Trump engages in despicable personal attacks on the grandest of stages, and gets a bump in the polls following each disgusting display? Something isn’t right.

I hear so many people talk about kids today and how they have no respect. No manners. No discipline. And sure, some don’t. But some of these same people are voting for Trump, who sees respect for others and decency in general as a weakness. They like him because he’s “un-PC” and “says what’s on his mind.” Except they’re forgetting a few things.

Saying everything that’s on your mind at any given time is not a sign of strength, it’s a sign you lack self-discipline, social awareness, diplomacy, and manners. And calling Rosie O’Donnell a fat pig or all illegal Mexican immigrants rapists isn’t a case of being courageously politically incorrect — it’s just being mean-spirited, cruel, and wrong.

If Donald Trump can’t be better than this, then we as Americans have to be better.  I understand people are fed up and scared and frustrated, but that’s no reason to condone a candidate who uses that fear and frustration to incite hate and bigotry. Who preys on the voters’ existing anger and seeks to make it OK to voice insults and engage in name-calling without forethought or remorse. Who inspires two brothers to beat a homeless man while he sleeps simply because “he looks like an illegal.” Who is supported by people like this:

“Hopefully, he’s going to sit there and say, ‘When I become elected president, what we’re going to do is we’re going to make the border a vacation spot, it’s going to cost you $25 for a permit, and then you get $50 for every confirmed kill,’” Jim Sherrota said. “That’d be one nice thing.”

Donald Trump is a walking, talking temper tantrum who screams first and thinks — well, seemingly never. If my kids acted like this they’d be living their lives in time out, which is precisely where we should put the Trump presidential candidacy. Presidential candidates don’t have to be perfect, but they should at least be civil and able to conduct themselves with basic human decency, especially if they’re going to be participating in tense, diplomatic negotiations.

Strength and unchecked aggression are two very different things, and strong leaders don’t have to resort to bullying tactics and name-calling to make their points and exert influence. Unfortunately, too many people are confusing the former with the latter.

That’s why I don’t understand parents voting for Trump. If we won’t put up with this behavior from our children, let’s not make it acceptable for presidential candidates either.

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