“You Deserve a Break Today…at the White House”

Ordinarily, I don’t make two blog posts on the same day but…today is different.  I feel a-callin’!  Some folks have gotten on the wrong side of this old coach.

I’m a Clemson fan.  I hold a master’s degree from Clemson and no I didn’t drive by campus with the window open and have a diploma thrown through it as some from folks in the middle of the state might think.  I also hold a master’s plus thirty, primarily bestowed from USC East, but I’m still a Clemson fan.

I’m not a fan of the present resident of our White House nor am I a fan of McDonald’s.  I’m a Burger King guy if I feel the need to up my cholesterol count with fast food.  I tend to limit the number of Whoppers I consume to “once in a blue moon”…sorta like Gamecock victories over the Tigers.

Last night the Clemson National Championship Football Team was hosted to a fast food feast at the White House.  Big Macs, Wendy’s Hot and Juicy’s, Whoppers and pizza of an unknown brand were served on White House porcelain.  People have gone crazy over it.  Your craziness is misplaced!

Going to the White House to be recognized for athletic excellence has never been about what President happens to reside there at the time…unless you are a professional.  It is about the recognition of student-athletes…and reward…even if it involves “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion on a sesame bun” served on official White House China.  I don’t like the sauce or the President but that is not the point.

I’ve lived in South Carolina for my entire life and find it tedious to explain why we rank low in areas we shouldn’t rank low in, or rank high in areas we shouldn’t rank high in.  It’s not tedious because I can’t explain it.  Those are other battles. I find it refreshing to have something to be radiant “orange” over.

Last night was a joy for me…and the team, coaches and support staff.  It was a joy for people wearing orange from all over the United States.  It was not about the President, what I disagree with him about, or what he decided to serve as a meal.

Last night was a moment to recognize young men who have worked hard to attain a goal and for a state to feel pride vicariously through them.  Give it a break!  There are young men who would never travel outside of a fifty-mile radius of the home they were born into were it not for Clemson…or U of SC football…or other athletic teams.  They would never in their wildest dreams expect to shake the hand of a United States’ President or sit at a table of honor in the White House.

Call me a hypocrite.  If I were in their shoes, I’d be right in line to get my handshake…I would use a hand sanitizer before I picked up my double meat Whopper, but I’d shake the President’s hand and consider it a lifetime moment.  This should have nothing to do with politics or what food was served…or if the President was using it as a positive “press” opportunity.  As quarterback Trevor Lawrence said, “It was awesome.”  I agree.

Image of Tiger players loading up from Sports Illustrated at https://www.si.com/college-football/2019/01/14/clemson-tigers-white-house-visit-mcdonalds-wendys-fast-food

For further musings, https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM

 

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Our Hypocrisy

I am laughing to keep from crying.  People arguing why one side is less or more hypocritical than another side.  A strange Bud Light commercial with old white men in business suits yelling “Taste Great! Less Filling!”

To my unsophisticated taste buds, the reduction in calories is not worth the shitty taste light beer leaves in my mouth.  I feel the same way about arguments involving hypocrisy between those of the left and those of the right.  It’s not worth the shitty taste I get…but yet, here I am biting down on a turd.

The bad taste is about John McCain.  In death, a man of the right who is suddenly embraced by the left because he stood up to Donald Trump and now, maligned by the certain members of the right for the same reason.

Let me first admit to my own hypocrisy.  Anyone in politics standing up to Donald Trump gets my vote…well, like Doc Holiday, ‘My hypocrisy only goes so far’, I have no respect for Omarosa.

McCain?  I thought very little about McCain until he ran for the countries highest position…with Sara Palin.  Despite what I considered to be a poor choice in running mate, he intrigued me. Part of the intrigue was his service record during the Viet Nam War.  If not a hero, as some on the right are NOW trying to convince me, a heroic man at the very least.  I almost voted for him despite his running mate.

A heroic man in one respect and just a man in the other.  Heroic to have survived almost six years as a prisoner of war and yet somewhat prone to bad mistakes or at least bad luck.  He did survive five crashed airplanes in his career.

He was a war hawk from a military family and supported many military ‘excursions’ that I now deem misguided.  Again, my hypocrisy is showing.  At the time, I might have supported such excursions but now am blessed with perfect twenty-twenty hindsight.  As I have moved into the Autumn of my time, I am more prone to supporting peace over action.

As soon as McCain passed, maybe sooner, articles surfaced maligning McCain’s service record, both in the military and in Congress.  Rumors of Songbird, Presidential pardons, and causing a fire that cost one hundred and thirty-three lives were paraded over social media.  Many were shared by ardent Trump supporters, others by people I considered the middle of the roaders.  Regardless, they were rumors I’ve found no truth in.

Not so long ago, these were rumors supported and pushed by the left when McCain ran for Presidency and defended as “nothing but poppycock” by the right.  Fast forward.  These same rumors are NOW supported and pushed by certain members of the right and NOW defended as “nothing but poppycock” by the left.  Our hypocrisy has come full circle it would seem, but there is still little if any credibility to many allegations being circulated.

Even after saying, “I like people who weren’t captured,” our President made a tactical withdrawal by saying, “I respect his service to the country.”  I’m not sure this qualifies as hypocrisy but Mr. Trump first questioned Mr. McCain’s heroism publicly in 1999 despite having never having served himself…just like me, although I never sought or paid for deferments.  Is it hypocritical of me to say that?  If it is, I will wear it.

Our heroes don’t walk on water.  Some are heroes due to extreme bravery at the moment, others because of a lifetime of service.  They are all mere mortals prone to making mistakes in judgment, morality or ethics…just like me and I’m not the least bit heroic.  Just like you, just like anyone regardless of political affiliation.  Should we focus on heroic efforts without ignoring faults and missteps or should we just tell the truth?  Should we ignore our own hypocrisy while focusing on the hypocrisy of others?

I’m a retired history teacher and while I’ve allowed myself to be fooled, I do have a love affair with the truth…as long as it is the truth about someone else.  “My hypocrisy knows no bounds” I guess.  Maybe I’m choosing to believe the good about, or in, John McCain.  I believe there was a great deal of good to be found.

For more of Don Miller’s “stuff” that bothers him so… https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM