Category Archives: Political

An American, an Englishman, a Canadian and an Irishman Walked into a Bar

I have developed a habit of pointing out similarities between American liberals and conservatives. I keep observing these behavioral patterns and it angers me that each side thinks they’re better than the other. The conflict between our liberals and conservatives is disturbing. It’s alarming how polarized our country has become.

Recently, I wondered how it is in other countries. They seem to have more peace in their political arenas than we do. I started a topic in which I asked those from other countries to weigh in and tell us how it’s different in their countries, how is it that their liberals and conservatives seem to get along better than ours do?

The topic wasn’t limited to Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom, but I named those three because they were the ones that came to mind as I wrote the initial piece. It didn’t generate as much discussion as I had hoped, but I got a response from a true-bred of each of the countries I named.

The four of us appreciate beer, so I liken this sharing of thoughts to us sitting down in a bar and discussing our political systems.

Malcolm is probably as British as you can get. He’s no Londoner either. He hails from Manchester.

Malcolm feels that Americans are more open about politics. I can agree with that. In America, politics are everywhere. Politics are discussed in restaurants, bars, stores, on the streets. Anywhere you can think of, someone’s apt to start up on some political issue. Every election year, we see signs on front lawns in support of one candidate or another.

Malcolm can’t remember the last time he had a political discussion at the pub. He says Brits tend to hold their cards closer to their chests and political posters and placards in front yards are rare. Even during elections.

Imagine that. If people keep quiet about politics, then there’s no one to lash out at. I think it would be beneficial if more Americans took up that practice.

Malcolm admitted that, like in America, political parties in the United Kingdom hold rallies and, just like in America, if someone at these rallies utters a word against any of the speakers, that person is beaten up and thrown out. However, unlike in America, UK political parties hold one rally annually.

He says the United Kingdom is actually a three party system. and that there are a few smaller parties after the three main parties. The three main parties are the Conservatives, the Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The smaller parties are Brexit, Green and Indepedence.

That doesn’t sound too much different from America. America is a two-party system. The main parties are Republicans and Democrats, but we have a number of smaller parties in addition to the two main parties.

I completely agree with Malcolm that a three-party system makes the people less polarized. It’s especially helpful having a third main party that works for the people who are not entirely happy with the left leaning party or the right leaning and need a party that’s more in the middle of the road.  This is why I’m so supportive of the Libertarian party. The Libertarian party seems the most in the middle of the road that I’m going to get in America.

But currently, there are only two main parties in America. Republicans and Democrats. Libertarians or any other party are a joke to the majority. So, America keeps the two-party system, becomes more and more polarized, and then, eventually, America will pop.

Marty is the Canadian I was telling you about. He likes hockey, as a fan and a player. He’s also a musician and seems especially fond of the bass guitar.

So, we had another round of beers brought to our table and Marty opened up on Canada’s political system.

According to Marty, Canada is a three-party system like the UK. Canada also has other, smaller parties. But Marty feels that Canada’s politics are becoming more like US politics. Polarized left and right, and more political ads are attacking other parties instead of explaining their platforms.

That makes me think Canadians ought to stop paying so much attention to American politics. We are a bad influence when it comes to political parties. I know several Canadians and I rarely hear them talking about political issues in their own country. They’re always talking about our politics. What’s up with that?

I believe there’s hope for Canada, though. They have a three-party system and I think that should keep the people from becoming too polarized. Just don’t let one of those parties merge with another. That would suck.

Frodi is an Irishman. He’s from Ireland. Not Northern Ireland. Ireland. According to Frodi, Ireland’s two biggest political parties are essentially the same, but split by the politics of the Irish Civil War. I think that means these two political parties have the same goals, the same policies, the same ideas, but because of something that occurred during the Civil War, they remain separated.

Frodi admitted, though, that the two largest parties are unable to get fifty percent of the votes between them. That implies that there are other parties at work in Ireland and they are doing fairly well. Frodi goes on to say that all the parties stay on reasonably civil terms, because no single party commands the majority and they all have to work together.

I think that’s brilliant.

Is it just America? (Copied from a discussion forum I’m on)

I’m not sure if this counts as a political thread, but I’m putting it here to be safe..

In the thread about fact checking, I said: “I try not to waste my time with that stuff, but sometimes I can’t stop myself. Often when I fact check and then point it out to them. they’re like ‘Ha! Snopes! Snopes is always wrong!’

When you snope on liberals, they claim Snopes caters to conservatives. When you snope on conservatives, they claim Snopes caters to liberals.

I did manage to convince a cousin that Heineken was not sponsoring the dog fight and we can drink Heineken without feeling guilty.”

Marty responded with: “And there is the core of what’s most wrong with America today. Liberals blame conservatives and vice-versa. As a result very little good can actually get done. If Donald wanted to really MAGA he’d try and stop the constant blame game. But I think it is all he knows and while he is President it will only get more partisan.”

As you know, Marty is a Canadian, but he’s talking about the United States, which implies that Marty doesn’t feel these issues exist in Canada, or at least not on the same level as they do in the United States.

Now, I’m not arguing with Marty about that, because it has been my understanding that Canada doesn’t have an ongoing clash between liberals and conservatives the way we do, neither does the United Kingdom, Ireland or several other countries.

But I wonder, how is it different? Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom have right wingers and left wingers. A cousin of mine who relocated to England a few years ago when she married a Brit told me that in politics over there, most people take one side or the other, that it’s pretty much a two-party system just as it is over here. I believe Canada is about the same. I’m not too sure about Ireland, though.

Do your conservatives and liberals just mingle better than ours do? Are your disagreements not as strong as ours are? Are you better at compromising?

Or is it really not that much different?

More Darkness

Democrats see Republicans as bullies, but don’t acknowledge that Democrats are bullies too. Republicans see Democrats as crybabies, but don’t acknowledge that Republicans are crybabies too.

Both parties have pros and cons. Neither is better than the other. If things keep going the way they’ve been, both parties will shoulder the blame for the death of America.

The Darkness

These are dark days. Everyday, I see how the darkness is spreading and becoming more firm, solidifying. Yet, I’ve been mostly silent about it.

It’s not that I don’t care and it’s not that I’m ignoring it. It’s just that I don’t know what I can say that hasn’t already been said a million times, that hasn’t already been heard by everyone a million times.

There’s nothing I can say that’s going to change anyone’s mind. If you agree with me on an issue, it’s because you were always in agreement with me. If you disagree with me on an issue, you’ll never agree with me.

I could participate in the constant sharing of memes and articles on social media and insert messages like “See! See! Look stupids! Proof that you’re wrong!” But what good does that do when the only people who take your post seriously are the people who are already on your side.

To stop the darkness, you need to take real action. The word wars on social media will accomplish nothing.

George H. W. Bush

George H. W. Bush. I was twelve when he became President. I remember sending him a letter about my desire to join the military when I turned eighteen and asking if he could do something to change the rules that prevent deaf and hard of hearing people from serving.

I received a reply sometime later with an autographed picture of George Bush and Dan Quayle. The reply said something about congress needing to vote on it and all that, and there were a few words of encouragement, though it was really just a form letter put together by someone on the White House staff. I don’t know if Bush ever actually saw my letter.

I believe he was a good man.

Politics

Discussing politics is dangerous. There’s two different ideas that I’m struggling with. One is “If you keep quiet about political issues, then you’re part of the problem.” The other is, “Don’t talk politics if you don’t want your friends to feel alienated.”

There are a number of political arguments that I wish I hadn’t had. They got very heated and bridges were burned. I don’t like losing friends, no matter how different our politics are.

Sometimes I think the smartest friends I have are the ones who race cars. They say nothing about politics. I’m sure they have political leanings, but I don’t know what they are. All they talk about is their race cars.

About the meme I keep seeing on Facebook

Given how many unarmed people are killed by police, I can’t believe you would say “Kaepernick is crying wolf.”  I’m not saying the police are all bad, but they’re human like the rest of us and they have fuck ups. Colin Kaepernick wants something done about it. Why in the hell is that so offensive to people?

Glen Coffee and Colin Kaepernick are two completely different circumstances and there is no comparison here. It’s ridiculous comparing Kaepernick to veterans.

I wonder how Coffee feels about people using him to discredit Kaepernick. We don’t know which side of this controversy he’s on, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in agreement with Kaepernick, as many, many veterans are.

Armed citizen saves lives

I’ve been saying it for a long time. Armed citizens can make a difference in these situations. Last time I got into a discussion on the subject, someone said she doesn’t think more people should be armed. It didn’t cross my mind at the time, but I want to say that I’m not calling for more people to be armed in public. I just want the people who are already licensed to carry to be allowed to carry.

The story.

On This Day, I Write….

I wrote this a couple days ago and posted it, but then took it down. Haven’t felt very confident in the last week. Well, here it is again, with some edits:

I was born in March 1977. That makes me an 80’s kid. I wasn’t officially a teenager until 1990. I could be wrong, but it’s my belief that most children of the 80’s grew up hearing about the Vietnam War. It wasn’t something that was taught in school. We heard about the war because our parents talked about it, often among themselves or with friends and relatives while the kids were playing in the background.

Uncle Gary served with the Navy in Vietnam. He was in the Army too, before his Naval career, but I don’t think the Army sent him to Vietnam.. While in the Navy, he was stationed in  Da Nang–I think it was Da Nang, anyway– where he built bridges. I always saw Gary as a sort of legend, probably because he was my mom’s brother and I heard a lot about him. I didn’t hear about any action that he might have seen, but I remember Mom talking about the letters he’d sent home.

There’s this story that I haven’t forgotten. When my mom was a kid, she was sitting on the porch outside the house her family was living in. A man in uniform showed up. Mom thought he was a police officer and told him her parents were in the house. The man went in and everyone started hugging him..

That was Gary, home after his tour in Vietnam.

The last time I saw Gary alive was when he was moving out of the building where we each had an apartment. He saluted me, I returned the salute. I think he knew how much of a military-wannabe I was and how much I looked up to him.. He died shortly after he left. I think it was a stroke. 2001 or 2002..

Gary had PTSD. I heard that he only talked about the war when he was drunk. In the last couple  years of his life, he’d had a serious case of what looked like Parkinson’s disease. He could barely talk and his hands were always shaking. When we were living in the same building, I visited him a lot. We’d drink beer and watch TV.

Memorial Day isn’t so much about those who served. That’s what Veteran’s Day is for. Memorial Day is for those who died while serving the country. But I think on Memorial Day, we tend to think of everyone we know who served whether they died in war or not, perhaps because they were all willing to make the sacrifice. They all joined, knowing they could be sent to war.

I remember seeing a Memorial Day parade (It might have been a Veteran’s Day parade, but I feel more strongly that it was a Memorial Day parade.) that one of my dad’s cousins was marching in. Dale, like Uncle Gary, had been in the Navy and served in Vietnam. That was probably in the late-eighties when I saw that parade. At the time, I didn’t fully understand and was probably more fascinated by the fact that Dale was a Vietnam vet.

But now I think Dale and the guys he was marching with were marching to honor those like a cousin of my mom’s who died in Vietnam, a boyfriend of one of my aunt’s who died in Vietnam, and all those who gave their lives in Vietnam, Korea, World War II, World War I, the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and any other war, no matter how big or small, that America had fought.

No matter what your political leanings are, or if you agree or not with one conflict or another that America is or has been involved in, you should acknowledge that without people willing to join the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard our nation would not survive.