Tag Archives: Politics

Election 2016: I’m with . . .

My opinion doesn’t matter. You’ve already dug in your heels, put up your blinders, and decided that, no matter what, you will not be swayed –  not by facts, not by conjecture, not by emotion. So my opinion doesn’t matter. But my vote does.

My vote matters, and almost more importantly, I’m not voting against someone. I’m not between a rock and a hard place. I’m proudly and firmly voting for a candidate.

While it’s unlikely I’ll have children, I have plenty of bountifully fertile friends. I have a nephew on the way. And I want to be able to look at those children – those perfect little humans, untainted by the prejudices, fears, and judgments of adulthood – and tell them that I voted with my heart, for them.

By the time they’re old enough, I hope they’ll be voting in a third- or fourth-party system, with a Congress that acts to benefit society because each senator and representative, finally subject to term limits, craves a better world to which they’ll return once their service is complete.

But more than that, I want them to be in a world where there is objective accountability for our police force, where all lives finally do matter and those important distinctions no longer need to be made. Where people can be intimate and share their lives with whomever they please without judgment and belittlement. Where religion isn’t used to divide, but to bring together.

This new world is going to have a scary transition period. There are so many white men who are terrified of losing their place of power and privilege and will do literally anything they can to keep a fingerhold on the edge of superiority. But eventually, one by one, they’ll fall, and an era of gender and racial equality will arrive.  The rest of us will know that there was never anything to be scared of at all.

Your children deserve a world where each person is valued the same. Notice I didn’t say a country. A world. We’re humans. Citizens of Earth. Homo Sapiens. We live in a global society, and we should embrace the move to globalization as a species. The only downside will be those who cling to nationalism in lieu of depth, or a personality, and in the long run, they’ll be just fine.

In this world that I can almost see, squinting my eyes against the dark, terrible sides and focusing on the bright, beautiful potential, we won’t assign more rights to a piece of barely viable tissue than a black adult man or someone from a religion different than yours. We’ll use the scientific tools and massive advancements at our disposal to better our society as a whole, not profit off of the weak and needy, building a home for all of us, where science, discovery, exploration, and expanding knowledge trumps superstition, fear, and ignorance.

As your children grow older, they’ll strive for greatness, getting the quality education they deserve without the yoke of student loans beating them into an early grave. And when they get sick, your children and their children can see a doctor without having to prioritize their health over groceries.

This future will still have the right to bear arms, but with some long overdue reasonability and understanding. Just like our First Amendment right to free speech, limited by being in a private home or workplace, by being obscene, by yelling fire in a crowded theater, by creating a clear and present danger, the Second Amendment needs some perspective. Bear your arms, but with limits, if only to prevent the deaths of children at the expense of those who misguidedly grasp at liberty.

Your children will be in a world where those who make the most money and who have benefited the most from the benefits and strengths of capitalization also contribute the most in taxes and support for others. Where nobody is afraid to report a sexual assault, where punishment is representative of the crime, and where we’ve decriminalized the drugs that do less harm than the pharmaceutical industry. Where our veterans get the medical treatment they deserve, educators get paid as they should, and the people have the power, not the corporations and sinking captains of industry.

I will be able to look your children in the eyes and say that I voted with my conscience and my heart for the betterment of humanity, not with my wallet. Not with the shadow of fear and hatred that can be dispersed with knowledge and research. I voted with an eye to the future, not a desperate need to return to the rose-tinted memory of an awful past. I voted for equality, acceptance, love, and generations to come, not for posturing and fearmongering, pride in belittling others, and a lack of accountability.

I have already cast my vote, and I sleep soundly at night with the confidence that when my candidate wins, our era of progress and achievement will continue, not have its flow staunched by ignorance and unintelligence.

I’m with her. I hope you will be too.

Not for yourself. For your children. For everyone.

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I’m aware this may end up getting some controversial responses, but keep it civil. Any hateful speech will result in deletion and/or blocking, at my own discretion. Be the reasonable adult I know you can be.

 

 

The Pledge of Allegiance: A Few Footnotes

I1 pledge2 allegiance3 to the Flag4 of the United5 States6 of America7, and to the Republic8 for which it stands9, one Nation10 under God11, indivisible12, with liberty13 and justice14 for all15.

  1. I, and everyone who holds the same beliefs as me, except for the people on Facebook I told to unfriend me because I don’t want to expose myself to different opinions,
  2. Pledge, swear, promise, vow, and commit myself entirely, sometimes in psychotic and terrifyingly irrational ways,
  3. Allegiance, to the point of either deciding that means that anyone who doesn’t live here and subscribe to the same belief system must be crushed under our collective heel until they swear fealty, or taking the extreme opposite that allegiance is what Hitler would have wanted, without having the wherewithal to understand that allegiance to a country is a good thing,
  4. To the Flag, but also to other symbols that I would like to have allegiance to, like political parties, “symbols” of heritage, the dollar bill, and anything else that I decide is representative, no matter how wrong I am, unless I want to be controversial by burning it, in which case, I’m doing the exact opposite of pledging allegiance,
  5. United, but only in the sense that I would rather spit invective at people who pledge allegiance to the same flag if they live differently, believe differently, or support different political parties than I do, which I realize means it’s not really united at all but I somehow take pride in that,
  6. States, except of course for any state that I deem too liberal or conservative, based solely on my political preferences and whatever I’m mindlessly sucking down from my preferred biased teat of “information”, and I wish those states would just secede from my country and become their own country, because I am an idiot with no understanding of what actually makes our country great and powerful,
  7. America, which can mean anything from bald eagles and guns to fields of grain to a melting pot of ideologies, religions, and philosophies that is welcoming to everyone of every creed, and can even mean other countries in the same continent, but I like to pretend we’re the only one that matters, and that the only people who are truly American are those who want to do exactly what I say and believe,
  8. To the Republic, which is to say, our government elected and chosen by the people who live here, except if it’s someone I didn’t vote for, because even though that person may still be the President, I’d rather try to destroy my own country instead of remembering the allegiance I promised to it, because I’m incapable of seeing a big picture,
  9. For which it stands, except for which times it stands for something that I don’t like, even though tolerance and freedom to be different is exactly and precisely what it stands for, so I’m hypocritical in every sense of the word,
  10. One Nation, except for the Muslims and the blacks and the hispanics and the rednecks and the conservatives and the liberals and the hippies and the women and the children and the Jews and the Catholics and the Christians and all of the other groups into which I have decided I would like to splinter my fellow Americans,
  11. Under God, but only my god and not your god and god forbid if you don’t believe in god or don’t know what you believe, and ignoring the fact that this phrase was slowly incorporated into the pledge until it was amended officially by Congress barely sixty years ago, and never mind that even if you are someone who believes something different, if I was a good believer, I’d still love you as is,
  12. Indivisible, and you’d think that maybe I would understand by now how much our country depends on us being one voice made up of every different race, religion, gender, creed, affirmation, and identity, because that’s the only way we can be truly great, but divisiveness, directly contrary to the spirit of my country, is all that I can support,
  13. Liberty, which I like to take to mean that I’m free to speak my mind, but others who say something opposing need to leave, and even though liberty is freedom from restrictions imposed by authority on one’s life, behavior, or political views, I don’t want people to be free to do what they want unless they’re my people,
  14. Justice, but pretending that justice isn’t blind like it’s supposed to be, so I can fail to comprehend that not everything is cut and dry, and that saying black lives matter doesn’t mean that other lives don’t, but also not all cops are thugs, and sometimes the biggest criminals are the people behind the people to whom we’re pledging our fealty,
  15. For All, but not really, just for the few I’ve decided are good enough to be considered American, even if that means that the diversity of ideas, philosophies, religions, and experiences that made America great goes away and I’m just left with the people with whom I agree, because I’m too stupid to understand that when that becomes the case, we’ll just all find more reasons to split into smaller and smaller groups, constantly looking at our differences rather than the things that should bring us together.

American Flag

Why Adam Heath Avitable Will Never Be President #ElectionFail

“They took my posters down at school,” I looked at my parents across the dinner table, “All of them.”

“Why? Should we call someone?” My mother, as always, was ready to come to the rescue.

“The Principal said that he was afraid it would reflect badly on the school if anyone who didn’t have my ‘unique sense of humor’ visited Spruce Creek.”

“What? I’ll get in the cah raight now and drive ovah theah and tell him he’s wicked retahded!” Dad said in his somewhat intelligible Boston accent.

“Nah. I tried to convince him, but he wasn’t budging. I’m still on the ballot, so maybe that will be enough.” Getting my parents involved would be the worst idea possible. In International Baccalaureate, we already had the reputation of being the nerdy smart kids and the kiss-asses at Spruce Creek High School, so things would only get worse with Mom and Dad around.

I didn’t win, and that was probably the last time I was in a position to ever run for office of any type. Now, with so much information about me out there, most of it put into the world of my own volition, I couldn’t even be President of the Altamonte Springs Ke$ha Fan Club, and I’m the only member!

What’s that, you say? You want to see the posters that might have gotten me elected to office in high school? The posters that were SO clever that the principal couldn’t even wrap his brain around them? The campaign posters that are so awful that I’m almost embarrassed to show them to you (keyword: almost)?

Okay. Don’t say I didn’t warn you:

Adam Heath Avitable ran for Senior Vice President in high school

 

Let’s start with this one. First of all, I wasn’t running for Senior Class President? I was just going for Vice President? Was I just hoping for less responsibility? Was the President a foregone conclusion or a hot girl? Or both?

And secondly, RED SHARPIE? Oh yeah, teenage me, great idea. Let’s just use a red marker on plain white poster and put absolutely ZERO effort into writing something professional looking. Chicken scratch always wins elections.

Adam Heath Avitable in his failed bid for Senior Vice President in high schoolI’m pretty sure my grandfather drew this one, because I would have put a question mark at the “Why Don’t You!!” part. I like the concept, though, because clearly every high school student is going to do whatever they’re told to do by an old white guy with spiky blond hair and a bowtie.

Terrible campaign posters when Adam Heath Avitable ran for Senior VP in high schoolHopefully there wasn’t another Adam running for Senior VP, or I just helped him. I mean, adorable, available and marriageable? I can’t believe I misspelled marriageable either. Why would I choose “demanding” as an adjective? Is that a selling point? I should have gone with A Dumb Ass Motherfucker.

Adam Heath Avitable used Calvin and Hobbes to run for Senior VPDo you know who high school students love to listen to more than an old guy with a bowtie? Fictional characters from a comic strip!

Another campaign poster from Adam Heath Avitable's failed Senior VP campaignThis one is somewhat clever, though by declaring myself cool I was immediately making it very clear that I was as far from cool as anyone could be. Maybe with a little production value, not looking like it was made in thirty seconds, it would have been a little acceptable.

A puntastic campaign poster for Senior VP by Adam Heath AvitableWhy doesn’t anyone realize that those are velociraptor eggs and when they hatch, there will be blood and bad puns everywhere?!

Adam Heath Avitable ran unsuccessfully for office in high schoolWhat, me infringe copyright? It was shortly thereafter that I had my letter published in MAD Magazine, so maybe all was forgiven.

Adam Heath Avitable ran for Senior VP in high school and failed. These are the posters.Other than the color and handwriting, I can find no fault with this poster. I am, in fact, amilliantly brazing.

Adam Heath Avitable ran for Senior VP for Spruce Creek High School in 1993This was the poster that started it all. The one that the principal was worried would reflect badly on Spruce Creek High School if visitors came in who didn’t understand the humor. I underlined “Intelligent” in a way to show that it was clearly a sarcastic poster, but the subtle humor was beyond him.

What If Texas Succeeds And Secedes?

Using the mechanism created by the Obama administration to allow any US citizen to create a petition and have it heard by the US government, a resident of Arlington, Texas, created a petition to request the secession of Texas from the United States. Granted, even with the 70,000 signatures, many of which have no way of being verified as being legitimate or coming from Texas citizens, secession is not an option, but what if it was? I’d like to make some predictions as to the timeline if Texas actually seceded from the United States of America:

Pee Wee Herman at the sign for the Alamo

November 9, 2012: Micah H., from Arlington, starts a petition that receives enough signatures to warrant the federal government’s attention.

November 23, 2012: President Barack Obama grants Texas the right to secede, and preparations are made for the secession to become official on January 1, 2013.

December 31, 2012: The city of Austin is deserted, along with every other progressive intellectual center in Texas, with the former Texans all moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

January 1, 2013: El Paso secedes to Mexico.

January 4, 2013: Due to an unfortunate typographical error when creating the newly formed constitution, the new country is now called Texsa.

January 5, 2013: Texsa changes its slogan to “Everything’s the same size here.”

January 7, 2013: Everybody in the United States forgets the Alamo.

January 14, 2013: Plans are unveiled for the Great Wall of Texsa, which would encircle the former state and station armed forces every thirteen feet along the top of the wall. Additional plans for a moat are vetoed but only because Florida refuses to sell Texsa any alligators.

February 18, 2013: Attempts to launch the Texsa National Aeronautics Space System fail when it’s discovered that all of the Texsa textbooks neglected to teach science in lieu of religious doctrine.

March 7, 2013: The citizens of Texsa vote for their new leaders in districts drawn up by county. Many Texsans are shocked to discover that their new government is now run primarily by Latinos.

March 19, 2013: Texsa makes Spanish and English its dual official languages and requires all students to learn both languages in school, mandates bilingual signs and government documents, and grants amnesty to all illegal immigrants still in the country of Texsa.

March 25, 2013: The Texsa Department of Energy, having been forgotten by former governor Rick Perry, attempts a coup of the new Texsan government and fails.

May 22, 2013: The Texsa government makes an almost unanimous resolution and petitions the United States for permission to rejoin as a state. However, the United States rejects the petition, as it is perfectly happy with its newest (and larger) 50th state, Canada.

June 18, 2013: Texsa becomes part of Mexico. All non-Spanish speaking citizens of Texsa manage to find work dismantling the giant wall and working as ranch hands.

 

Now what?

The partisan politics are over for the time being. The incessant ads, the Facebook posts, the anger and hate and rhetoric – it’s on a break.

We have a President for the next four years. He’s your President and mine and it’s time to act like it.

He’s not a secret Muslim who is trying to destroy America. He’s not a socialist nigger. He is our President.

If you can’t give him the respect and consideration that the office of The Presidency deserves, leave. You’re not being an American. You are choosing the ideology of a flawed party (Hey, news flash! Every party is deeply flawed) over your own country.

At some point in the last ten years, we’ve lost sight of the fact that we as a people elect our President. You may not agree with all of his policies, but the posturing and hatred needs to stop.

Barack Hussein Obama is YOUR President. He’s mine. He represents and cares about the best interests of every single one of us. The next four years will show what a smart, motivated, visionary leader can do when he has a plan. And ten or twenty or a hundred years from now, he will be remembered as a President over one of the most divided periods in American history who managed to effect change and pave the way for a better world.

So, you can continue to listen to the hate filled fear-mongering of media personalities who make money from your ignorance, or you can have some faith in the process and the American way. You can have some hope in a person who has given you absolutely no legitimate reason to hate the way that you do.

It’s been said that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. I’d like to think that, similarly, it takes much more effort to hate that viciously and uselessly than it does to accept and try to be a reasonable human being.

So now what? Now we support our President and we show the world what it truly means to be an American. It’s not about party affiliation. It’s about pushing forward, supporting democracy, and believing in the future.

Congratulations, President Obama. It’s in your hands now.

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