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Archive for August, 2016

Lately, there have been lots of words written and spoken about being an American. What makes you an American, what your responsibility is as an American, how to act like an American.  You’ve heard the remarks; you’ve seen the headlines.

Not putting your hand over your heart when the star spangled banner is played, not standing and facing the American flag when said song is played, and folks getting all upset because these people aren’t acting like the “real” Americans want them to act.  These “real” Americans write all sorts of vile comments telling the non-flag wavers, non-star spangled banner singers to leave the Country. Like they have any right to tell them anything.

The thing is – being an American is having the freedom to do all of those things.  Just as these “real” patriots have the right to spew their beliefs, those folks not standing or singing or taking off their hats or putting their hand over their heart – they have the freedom to do so – it’s their right under the Constitution. You may not like it, but this is what America is.

Being an American isn’t just about waving a flag and singing a song.  Being an American is about respecting everyone’s right to not wave the flag or not sing a song.  It doesn’t make them any less of an American, it just means they aren’t what you expect an American to be. And therein lies the rub.

It’s not about who they are – it’s about who you are. We love to tote the Freedoms:  Religion, Speech, Expression, Guns. And we love to love to speak of our rights: to vote, to protest, to own homes and watch whatever we choose on television, to wear whatever clothes make us comfortable, to listen to whatever music soothes our souls, and on and on and on.

But, as soon as someone does something we would never think of doing – then they aren’t an American, and they need to leave the United States.  Do you not see how ridiculous that is? Everyone born in the United States of America has the same right and freedoms, everyone.  Sadly, not everyone has the same opportunities, but they do have their Creator-given, unalienable rights. (Read the preamble to the Declaration of Independence)

Let’s stop worrying about the things that don’t matter.  Just because someone might not wave a flag doesn’t mean they don’t love their country. And just because they don’t sing a song doesn’t mean they aren’t a patriot.  It may simply mean that they aren’t happy with the way things are in their country at this point in time.  It may simply mean that we are all supposed to have the same rights under that flag, and it’s obvious that to them we all don’t, and this not standing or singing or whatever – is their form of protest. It’s not about you – the world does not revolve around you and your beliefs. The United States of America is filled with all genders, all religions, all political parties, all matter of people from sea to shining sea. The one thing we all share is our individual freedom.  It’s the most important thing – this freedom.

Not waving a flag or singing a song is the least of the problems we face as Americans at this point in time. Donald Trump has unleashed the – build the wall – lock her up – ship them out – hatred that we now must deal with.  These gun-toting, flag waving, hate-mongering fools who want to “Make American Great Again” who have forgotten that America is not just about the white men-folk.

As is their right to voice their “make America great again” opinion, it is my right, No, it is my duty, to voice my “America is already pretty great” opinion in opposition to their nationalistic point of view.  America is an inclusive nation, not a nation of wall builders. Do things need to be changed and tweaked and started anew?  Of course, but ostracizing millions of people is most certainly not the answer.

It all starts with me and with you. I may not like someone turning their back on the flag, but I stop myself and think that I don’t know their story. I don’t know from where they came and why they feel so apart from everyone. Perhaps if I knew, I’d understand – so I don’t judge, and I certainly don’t tell them to leave.

I’m a white woman raised in a small rural town in the 1950’s that didn’t allow blacks into town after a certain hour – How can I possibly understand the life’s journey of a black woman born and raised outside of those town limits?  I can’t – so I don’t even pretend that I do. It’s not for me to judge, it’s for me to understand that her version of freedom may be different than mine, and to understand that she may not have the same affection or respect for our nation’s history as I might.

I’m also a lesbian, so I do know a little of how it feels to be judged and set apart from the rest of society. I’ve not been served in restaurants, I’ve been ostracized from family, I’ve been called every derogatory name one can think of; And still, I believe in the goodness of America.

It’s about respect and understanding. It’s about inclusion not exclusion. It’s about freedom – for everyone.  It’s about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and ALL its Amendments representing every single American citizen. You can’t pick and choose who gets what – every citizen is entitled to every single right, every single amendment, every single Freedom.

Waving the flag doesn’t make you an American – respecting the right of someone to not wave the flag – now that – that makes you an American.

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I’ve tried not to write this blog a million times. I’ve started and then hit delete and started and then hit delete more times than I can remember. I’ve pondered the purpose and results of writing it, and then pondered the purpose and results of not writing it every day for a number of weeks now.

I’ve decided to just follow my heart and write.  All I ask is that you read the entire piece with an open mind.  At the end, you can unfollow me, you can unfriend me, you can do whatever it is you feel you must do.

I find I can no longer tolerate those who are planning on ticking the box for Donald Trump in November.  I can usually debate with those with whom I have differing political opinions.  I mean, that’s the whole point of a democracy – opposing views working together making the Country stronger and more fair for everyone.  But in this election, there is no debating with Donald Trump people.

See, Donald Trump doesn’t have any plans that don’t include racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia and discrimination on every level you can think of. That’s his plan – discrimination, hate and divisiveness.   Build a wall on the border of Mexico to stop those evil Mexicans who rape and pillage Americans. Stop Muslims from entering the US for they are the cause of all evil in America. Defund Planned Parenthood and overturn Roe v Wade to keep women subservient and in their place. Overturn marriage equality and make LGBT discrimination the law of the land   He doesn’t believe in a $15.00 minimum wage, he doesn’t want the immigrants, but that’s who he brings in to do his work. His clothing line in not made in the USA, nor are any of this other lines of goodies, but that doesn’t seem to matter to him or those who support him.

My thinking is this: If you are voting for Donald Trump, then you believe in, and support all of the things I have mentioned in the above paragraph. You are a racist, a homophobe, a misogynist, and you believe in the whole discrimination, hate and divisiveness thing. You believe women don’t deserve equal pay, you don’t believe woman should have access to birth control, and you believe LGBT people have absolutely no purpose on this earth. You believe that white men should rule, and women should be seen and not heard. You believe that Christianity should be the only religion, and you believe that people of color – any color other than white – are the cause of all your troubles, and if you could just control them – or deport them –  your life would be great again.

There is no other reason to vote for him. He has no economic plan, he has no foreign policies, he has no plan whatsoever to “Make America Great Again” other than making it white, Christian, straight and male oriented.  Period.

If you thinking of voting a third party – then you can put yourself right in with the Donald Trump people.  You know there is no way your third party will win, and yet you are willing to throw your vote away to make some stupid point that matters to absolutely no one, so just go stand with the Trump people.  I understand you need to make a point, but are you really willing to throw any form of decency and respect for your fellow Americans to make this point?  You understand that you will also have to live in a country that cares very little for what you care about, what you’re fighting for, what your revolution is all about? You get that, right?

This election is about so much more than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It’s about Supreme Court Justices, and Federal Judges, and School Board Members and laws that protect all of America’s citizens. Not just the citizens Donald Trump deems acceptable, but each and every one of our citizens. It’s about saving the Constitution and saving the soul of America.

And those of you thinking of not voting at all – Well, shame on you. You can go stand with the Trump people also. Do you care so little for yourself and your rights that you would piss them away by not voting?  Shame on you.

Is Hillary Clinton perfect?  Heavens, no. Who among us is?  However, in this election, she is the only choice to keep the Republic going. She’s smart and savvy.  She’s for women’s rights and gay rights and human rights. She’s for people of every race, every religion, every gender. She’s for the middle class, she’s for tuition free college, she’ll keep Medicare and Social Security.  She knows politics, she knows foreign policy, and mostly she actually has a plan for our future.

A vote for anyone other than Hillary is a vote for Donald Trump.  That’s just the way it is.  If you’re with him, I will fight you every step of the way. I will fight for women’s rights, for gays rights, for Human rights.

Because it you’re with him, then you’re against me.  I’m a woman, I’m gay, I’m human; and my life matters.  All lives matters.

And that’s why I’m With Her…

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