Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fear vs Hope; what influences you to action?

We are tired. We are poor.

We are now huddled masses yearning to breathe free. 

And we have come to a crossroads in American political history. In world history, really, if you listen to the rest of the globe as they watch with personal interest while holding bated breathe. 

What will America do? How will America vote? 

Consider, for a moment, the etched bronze plague on the Statue Of Liberty. The words so heavy and true in 2016 just as they were penned in 1883 by American poet Emma Lazarus (1849-1887).
Here is the original sonnet titled, "The New Colossus."

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Who is the brazen giant? What is the Mother of Exiles? Who is the tired, the poor? 
What does America need now most; to be protected or to be a safe place? Can one element really exist without the other? 

These questions are soul-searching, painful and dangerous to address, but we need to. As a group, we are tired of the current scene and even more weary of personal politics, agenda setting and ego fighting as a strategy for the leader of the free world. We are ethics-poor and humanity-starved. The rest of the world is watching as we huddle together to determine what to do, where to go and who to follow home. It's easy to see that America needs a servant leader now more than ever. A leader who will lead by example, with truth and compassion, but with strength both of character and virtue. We need to be able to trust our leadership, trust each other and trust ourselves. We do not need to be scared. We already are fearful of even ourselves. A servant leader is what we need most. 

The one question every voting American needs to ask themselves as they head to the ballot is this:
"Am I voting out of fear or am I voting with hope in my heart?" 

Godspeed America. Please make yourself well again. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

It's All In A Word. Vote.

Have you been watching what's happening in America lately? 

If you are alive and exposed to virtually or literally any form of media, no doubt you've come across a few stories on Donald Trump and his bid for the leader of the free world.

No doubt you've seen some of his performances, where he engages in a back and forth sort of conversation/shouting match (previously referred to as a political debate) in front of a crowd of cheering & leering fans/protesters.  

No doubt you are familiar with the American business tycoon known as "The Donald," and all the good, bad and ugly tales that would make for an absolutely unwatchable biography should it be narrated by Donald himself. 

Here's why: he acts like a kindergartner.

I know this because I own one myself. I've been through three of them and I am here to tell you that I adore kindergartners. Their mannerisms, their stories, their colorful way of embracing and sharing all that life has to offer; their boundless energy, unnerving passion for the most idiotic things (for example; I LOVE CUT UP CHEESE x 500/daily) and most of all, the way they can talk for hours uninterrupted about absolutely nothing but immediately complain of being too tired for words when the sight word homework book hits the kitchen table. 

It's a kind of frustration reserved for the 9th circle of hell, but it's also the magic ingredient that makes angels fly. 

So when I say Donald Trump acts like a kindergartner, for now, I mostly am referring to the words he chooses because I don't want to insult any kindergartners. 

It's his choice of words, how he uses them, how he does (or doesn't in most cases) make sense and how he eventually ends up avoiding the original question entirely. Does that make him a kindergartner? No. It makes him a salesman. 

A really good smarmy salesman. A very successful salesman. Potentially a salesman that will say anything to close the deal.

Don't take my word for it. 

Another gem. It's a parody, but it's all REAL THINGS TRUMP SAID, in his voice, in your head, almost like Comedy Central's Drunk History except a lot more terrifying. 

This one, while only an image, is pretty special, too. 

And Trump is not the only one being analyzed for his words, but he certainly is the most entertaining, as is nearly every kindergartner I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

But is 'entertaining' dangerous when it comes to policy-making? Is rudimentary commentary really something we should worry about or something we should embrace? As informed American voters, is political commentary something we should know more about? The author of this piece on phrases most often used by each GOP published in Nate Silver's* suggests so and I think it's right on.

And I'm not alone. This is much bigger than us. The whole world is watching and wondering what the hell is going on. 

I'm also not in America, so I get to witness firsthand what others think of US right now. And it ain't pretty. 

Of course, that's not to say that "It's (Only) All In A Word," because sometimes there are no words. 

Sometimes body language carries more weight than even the loudest loud mouth. 

*Need more proof? Be sure to check out the facts found at GitHub site. "The debates are exhaustively transcribed and annotated by The Washington Post. The version used in this analysis, combined and edited slightly for syntax, can be found on GitHub. "