DONALD TRUMP RACIST? STILL NOT THE PROBLEM

I wrote this piece eight months ago, well before the events of yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia.  I did update the post and believe my words rang true eight months ago and ring true today.

Countless people are pointing a finger, no not that finger…ok, maybe that finger…. Starting over, countless people are pointing out the racism seemingly enabled by President Donald Trump. Over a thousand documented examples of hate crimes have occurred since his election. Some people seem to believe somehow, this one man is responsible for it all. I also heard a similar argument regarding our previous executive, President Obama. “We are more racist now than ever” resounded through my social media accounts. Remember the old quote, “When you point your finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you?” I’m sure you do.

I believe both arguments are misplaced. I don’t know when the concepts of racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry, or any other -ism or -phobia de jure came into being. They may well have been around since a Neanderthal looked at a Cro-Magnon and said, “Hey man you are different.” Yes, Neanderthals had a language and could have said such although I’m sure we would have needed a translator.

I believe our bigotry, anti-Semitism, etc., etc., etc., were just covered up in the same way that a person might add a layer of fresh kitty litter to a soiled cat box. Everything appears well, might even smell well…until your favorite feline steps in and begins to cover up its leavings. The more it tries to cover, the more the unsavory stuff gets uncovered. When Felix gives up, nobody is happy including the cat.

Our racism, bigotry, etc., etc., etc. simply got uncovered. It had been just under the surface waiting to be exposed to the light of day. No amount of legislation or executive action can actually bury it until those three fingers point in some other direction. We must want to change and some of us have tried. The problem is, when the litter box gets uncovered, even those of us who are not overtly racist, anti-Semitic, etc., etc. etc., suddenly feel the need to defend ourselves with statements like “Some of my best friends are (fill in the blank)” or “People just need to let go of (fill in the blank)”

Just because we have a few (fill in the blank) friends doesn’t mean we are not part of the problem, so just quit trying to deflect from the problem and quit pointing fingers at Donald Trump. He is just the enabler.  The Alt-Right was there all along, they have simply embraced President Trump.  The League of the South or people like them have been there all along and they too have embraced him. Fear bred hatred of people not like us, has been there all along, President Trump’s campaign message just allowed it to uncover the litter box.

Our country has been anti-whatever since before we were a country. Until we actually believe, deep in our hearts, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men (women and those unsure) are created equal” it really doesn’t matter who is in the White House. We should worry about the cleanliness of our own litter boxes (hearts) before we point out another needs cleaning.

Blog Picture from ABC News, http://abcnews.go.com/US/unite-rally-virginia-sparks-counterprotests-state-emergency/story?id=49176243

More of Don Miller’s misplaced rantings may be accessed at http://goo.gl/lomuQf

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Shared from Sally Edelstein, Envisioning The American Dream Immigration- RAISE Act or Race Act…You Decide — Envisioning The American Dream

Only In TrumpLand does Lady Liberty lament : “Give me your xenophobes, your angry, your middle masses yearning to be free of those damn foreigners….” Donald Trump has been busy recently taking up the case of oppressed white people first going after affirmative action and now keeping out those darn foreigners by supporting the RAISE […]

via Immigration- RAISE Act or Race Act…You Decide — Envisioning The American Dream

TRANSITION OF POWER

This is the day that power is transferred from one President to another, something which has taken place since George Washington turned the keys to the office over to John Adams in 1797. Interestingly, inaugurations were held on March 4 during those days rather than January 20…well maybe not that interestingly. I pray that despite all the indications to the contrary, this too will be a peaceful transition of power.

The first election and inauguration I remember was in 1956 and I remember it well because of my grandmother’s interest and concern. My grandmother was a Republican and seemed to be quite worried that a mid-western Democrat might somehow steal the election from the incumbent Republican. With 2017 twenty-twenty hindsight, I wonder why she was a republican, living in the South in 1956. At the time, I didn’t understand what it meant to be a member of the party of Lincoln in the South, or on this day sixty-one years ago, the party of Eisenhower. With 2017 hindsight, I doubt Lincoln, Eisenhower or my grandmother would even recognize the Republican Party of today.

She had great regard for Dwight Eisenhower, a well-deserved regard I would guess. Most of the people had high regard for Eisenhower because he defeated Adlai Stevenson quite handily…twice, after having defeating the Nazis, once, during old WW II. The anomaly of course was a South that normally voted Democrat during those days and this year it did again. The only break in rank was Texas and Louisiana. South Carolina’s eight electoral votes went to Stevenson who captured seventy-three total electoral votes, most from the deep South. Eisenhower garnered four hundred and fifty-seven. That Mr. Trump is a landslide.

I have snatches of memories from those early years, one IS the Election of 1956. During those days, my little brother and I stayed with my grandparents at night because of my parent’s shift work at Springs. My grandmother’s bed in one corner of the bedroom, mine in the other and my little brother’s crib in between. On the opposite side of the room from our beds was a woodstove, allowed to die during the winter night and then resurrected in the morning. This night the old RCA radio had been added, pushed in next to my grandmother’s bed. This so my grandmother could keep up with the election results during the pre-computer days of hand counted ballots and a media that didn’t include internet or satellites.

The election process and its “the peaceful transition of power” were a big deal for my grandmother. She had participated in the very first election that allowed women to vote in 1922 and would continue to exercise her hard won right until she died in 1999.

I can’t help but wonder what she would think of “the peaceful transfer” in 2017. I have an idea she would be stoic…suffering in silence as she did when a Yankee, Roman Catholic, Democrat won in 1960. She was always big on being stoic…”it is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you a fool than to open it and remove all doubt” unless my brother or I screwed up, then she wasn’t too stoic and we would find ourselves doing the suffering, not her. My guess is she would have said “this too shall pass” which is the philosophy I shall take. I’m just not sure about keeping my mouth shut.

For more of Don Miller’s unique (odd? bizarre?) views of life, humor and Southern stories of a bygone time, try http://goo.gl/lomuQf

CHANGE IS GOOD….

I so want this election and its aftermath to go away. I want to start 2017 refreshed and renewed…less depressed. I want to set goals and resolutions that I can break within the first month of 2017. I keep telling myself “change is good.” Give the guy a chance…maybe he will be the breath of fresh air. Then I realize change is only good if the change is good.

There is nothing I’ve seen or heard…in my narrow frame of reference… to make me believe “America will be great again” and yet I am willing to give the guy a chance. As much as I hate it, HE IS MY PRESIDENT. The problem is, I vizualize us circling the toilet, an orange man with bad hair peering into the bowl until he lowers the lid upon us, closing out what little bit of light is left. Honestly, I don’t blame him I blame “We the People.”

As a coach and teacher, as well as in the normal world, I heard repeatedly “Practice makes perfect.” Well that only works if the practice is perfect. Bad practice creates imperfection. The same can be said about change. Change is only good if it is needed, and if it is for the good. I don’t deny we need change but what I am seeing and hearing tells me “this change can’t be good” and it feels like “just a different kind of” poop. Unless you are growing tomatoes, dog shit and chicken shit are still shit or “shit by any other name is still….”

Our new president appears to be a serial liar and a thief…even more so than the run of the mill politician. My dad always said, “There are two types of people I cannot abide by, liars and thieves.” I agree but what bothers me is “we are allowing him to get away with it.” Critics are met with a Twitter “shit” storm or a belief the “media is out to get me.” Paranoia? Sorry, I believe all of us are biased, including the media, but the truth is still the truth, wherever it might come from. This goes beyond not liking the President-elect’s choices for high level positions, building walls, draining swamps, grabbing people by their privates or even being vindictive, another of the President-elect’s charming character traits. A vindictive thief and liar…and not very charming one. Can you at least kiss me while you “screw” the life out of me or should I just “lie back and enjoy it?”

Please don’t assume I want the election results thrown out. No, he won the electoral college “fair and square” but please admit a nearly three million deficit in the popular vote is not a huge mandate to lead…and no I don’t believe there is wide spread voter fraud…at least not three million votes worth. Admit the Russians played a role in this victory and that it was evident the election was being manipulated as early as October Seventh…as the evidence supports. Unless you are comfortable speaking Russian or writing in Cyrillic, admit we have a problem we must address. Not democrats, not republicans, all of us.

I grew up during the height of the Cold War. Cuban Missile Crisis, Viet Nam, “In case of nuclear attack…”, shoe pounding “We will bury you”, wait…did that not happen? I did not trust the Soviets then and I still don’t trust former Soviet, KGB officers who just happens to be the President of Russia and who appears to be as vindictive as… the orange guy with the bad hair.

I am just saying, for change to be good, we must ask questions and we can’t ignore the answers just because the answers don’t fit what we want to believe. Call me cynical but I quit believing in the “White Hatted” America during Viet Nam and Watergate. Nothing about 2016 has restored my belief “in truth, justice and the American way.” Where is Superman when we need him?

For more of Don Miller visit his author’s page at http://goo.gl/lomuQf

GEORGE H. W. BUSH AND THE MEN IN BLACK

Being left in the dark can be somewhat dangerous. Then Vice-President George H. W. Bush once paid a visit to South Carolina in the mid-Eighties. I am sure he was on the mid-term campaign trail and for reasons which escape me, he stopped off in Greenville. I was aware of the upcoming elections but was not a very politically savvy person during those days, much more concerned with running an athletic program than concerned about who was attempting to run our country. Yes, I now understand my mistake. Somehow while I wasn’t paying attention we ended up with a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

During this political stop, my principal failed to inform me “George the runner” and his staff of Secret Service minions would be looking at Sirrine Stadium, home of the Greenville High Red Raiders, as a possible running site. My principal knew but failed to tell me or decided it was a good way to get rid of me. Considering our contentious relationship, and with 20/20 hindsight, I realize it was probably the latter.

During the summer our primary focus was on fields, growing grass; fertilizing it, watering it and then cutting it…repeatedly. On a Friday in mid-July in the mid-Eighties, I drove the school tractor to Sirrine to mow the field as we did three times a week in the summer. As I dismounted the old Ford, I dropped the keys to the gate and bent to pick them up. Straightening I discovered two young gentlemen standing in front of the gate who had not been there milliseconds before. Both were dressed in dark suits, ties, very polished shoes and dark wraparound sunglasses. (Think of the movie Men in Black but better looking than Tommy Lee Jones and much blonder than Will Smith) Considering the time of year, mid-July, the only part of their wardrobe that fit the time of day or the temperature was their sunglasses.

Taken by surprise I stammered “Can I help you?” Both were tall, blond, young and filled out their dark suits quite well. I also found it interesting that they were not sweating in the July sun. They were two fine specimens of the species known as the adult male and I wanted to be nice until the burly blond guy on the right replied to my question with a question, “Who are you?” A question answering a question equals a smart-ass response: “I asked first,” I reminded them. The blond, burly guy on the left smiled broadly and responded, “Our badges trump your question.” Mr. Burly opened his jacket and retrieved his Secret Service credentials flashing them for me to see. I also had a glimpse of a service automatic on his belt and a small automatic weapon hanging from his shoulder. Even with Mel Brooks’ “badges” quote from “Blazing Saddles” running through my head I decided that being a smart ass would not be “prudent” and quickly explained who I was and what I was doing. Burly blond guy on the right explained I would be doing something else until the next day, while burly blond guy on the left nodded his head before speaking into his sleeve and said, “Stand down, he is not a threat.”

With hair standing up on the back of my neck, I quickly left and after parking the tractor, drove to the Corner Pocket for a beer and a hot dog. That seemed like a good something else to do. “Barkeep! Hit me again!” I do wish I had asked if they could have gotten me George’s autograph.

For more of Don Miller’s unique views of life, humor and Southern stories of a bygone time, try http://goo.gl/lomuQf

GRUMPY OLD WHITE MEN

It’s four, IN THE FREAKING AM, and I have been awake for an hour, cursed with a racking cough caused by my fall allergies, dry-crisp air, along with the smoke from the twenty wildfires raging, ALL keeping me from being able to “dream a little dream of” you. I have coughed so much my ribs hurt and I guess I am a grumpy old man…but not for the reasons I have been thinking about and, since I have this time on my hands, the thoughts I am going to write about.

Lord have mercy! Dear God, can you please put a bridle on my thoughts? My “unbridled” pondering transported me to another time and place…another lifetime. Maybe it was a “semi” dream, standing in front of a sociology class fully clothed, attempting to explain what it meant to be a minority. Like a lot of kids, my students believed minority meant numbers, which is or WAS a factor. I was attempting to explain, “it is more about power and control.”

My example was me, the older male WASP in the room. At this time, maybe thirty years ago, we were the most hated group in America. “What do you mean Coach Miller?” Well, that would be the most powerful group in the United States, grumpy old white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant men, fighting to maintain control over anyone not white, not of Western European ancestry, not Christian Protestant or, and of course, not male. One of my “little Johnnies” asked, “Shouldn’t you add teacher to that group?” Yes, Little Johnny, yes.

I would say, if recent developments are to be believed, this situation has not changed very much except the covert battle to keep our world like the television program “Mad Men”, if not “Leave it to Beaver”, may now be raging overtly, much like the wildfires around my home, ever expanding, destroying everything in its path. Grumpy old white men, destroying “the weeds” in our path…just to hold on to the power we somehow believe we deserve. Before my brother points out that I am painting all white men with a broad stroke…well…yes I am so I will add the word some. Better bro? Remember it is a system we have always been a part of and therefore we probably don’t even notice.

I continue to see “some” Grumpy Old White Men railing against all the social ills in the United States. Notice I said social ills. I don’t deny ISIS, the economy, taxes,the job market and more all suck. Socially, however, we Grumpy Old White Men seem to have all the answers while pointing our fingers at “them.” Unfortunately, there are those sneaky three fingers pointing back at us. I believe Grumpy Old White Men have created much of our social ills by going to war against everything that is not us. Women who don’t believe we are their saviors, other races, religions, and sexual orientations, even “globalization”, anything to maintain the status quo for the grumpy old white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant men, and the traditions WE have created. After all, if we created them, they must be righteous.

For more of Don Miller’s unique views of life, humor and Southern stories of a bygone time, try http://goo.gl/lomuQf

AN ELECTION FROM HELL

I’ve never been political. I’ve always voted, voted in every election since 1971 when I gained the right by turning twenty-one. I have voted for the person rather than involving myself in party platforms and politics during my entire voting history. I’ve never found party platforms to suit my own opinions on what I BELIEVE to be right or what I BELIEVE is wrong. You see, I lean left on some issues, right on the others. Part of my problem is I am a “feeling” person per Meyers-Briggs, rather than a “logical” one. Because I am a “feeling” person I find this election to be painful at best and conversations about it to be impossible.

A week from casting my vote, I have made a decision. I am going to vote for a woman…I just don’t know which one…and probably won’t know until I am standing in the voting booth. To throw my vote away by voting for third-party candidate, Jill Stein, or make my vote possibly count for what I consider to be the lesser of bad choices in Hillary Clinton? Decisions, decisions.

Along with the normal issues of taxes, Social Security, military spending, etc., I have other concerns.

I care about our little “blue ball” and what we are doing to it. I don’t believe we have been very good stewards of our environment and am concerned what the future may hold for my daughter and her family…my grandchildren. I also don’t know if casting my vote for Ms. Stein will make one bit of difference since so many of our legislators, most of them old men in suits, seem to refuse to believe anything we do to our world matters as long as their pockets are lined with green. In other words, politics of money as usual.

Another issue is not so much about presidential candidates as it is the Supreme Court. I abhor abortion and am dead against it, but I also abhor how some of our elected officials and their minions seem to care more for fetuses than for the now born. I also don’t believe I should be deciding what is right for a woman or a couple that is not me or my couple. I also don’t believe nine judges should decide if, again, old men in suits get to decide what is lawful for a woman or a couple.

Civil Rights are an issue and I see a certain a candidate moving us farther right than I want to go. I believe people of all colors, religions and sexual proclivities or tendencies are all covered under the Constitution of these United States. Giving rights to one should not be construed as loss of rights for someone else regardless of what might or might not be translated correctly in any work of literature, whether it came from the mouth of God, Allah or Pedro Cerrano’s Joboo. Yes, if you want to rub your baseball bat with chicken bones, I believe you should have that right. For those of you who are unsure, that would be a religious right from the movie MAJOR LEAGUES and not a sexual proclivity or tendency.

I believe we need borders but I stop short of believing we need to build a wall, whomever builds it. I am also not sure we will be able to move eleven million “illegals” and I wonder what effect it might have on food prices. I read recently as many as seventy percent of the agricultural workforce in Texas is “illegal.” Seems like the wrong people are being threatened with prosecution and will our own workforce flock to fill jobs involving long hours and low pay in the hot Texas, Florida or California sun. Will the forty-hour work week and minimum wage be utilized? Questions from a man whose first job was working in agriculture for two dollars a day for early thirty to dark thirty days.

Finally, I find I can’t vote for a certain candidate because, among other reasons, he has shown a tendency to objectify women, something that, despite my upbringing, I am also guilty of. I still like to look at women, and yes I sin in my mind and in my youth in other places too. Since having a girl child and girl grandchild, my thinking has changed the same way my thoughts about race changed. As I became more mature, my attitudes changed…and my actions, which is something I truly believe has not occurred with one of our other candidates.

So, these are SOME of my issues and will be my issues in a week when I step into my polling place to exercise my freedom to vote…if I don’t go crazier before hand. While nothing I just wrote will change anyone’s mind I do hope you exercise your right to vote…for whomever is your choice.

LIBERAL LEANINGS IN MY CONSERVATIVE WORLD

I consider myself a moderate simply because I will except some change in my life. You know, change in underwear type things. No, I try not to be held hostage to any party politics but it is hard. By saying that I am a moderate locates me so far left from many of my friends that many of them think that I might as well be standing next to Karl Marx. I on the other hand believe they are standing to the right of Adolf Hitler. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any southern liberals. It just means they have a tendency to be African-American or, if white, they tend to hide their liberalness and admit to it privately only to a voting machine. Please be aware that I am speaking of Southerners born and bred, not damn Yankees. If a Southern liberal’s friends or family were to find out that they voted for a Democrat, this revelation would likely be accompanied by looks that you would expect your Baptist minister to give you if he caught you coming out of a liquor store or “Hooters.” Never mind asking why he was there because we are also big on “Do as I say. Do not as I do.”

I should point out that our “set in our way-ness,” while a Southern white attribute, is not a trait limited to one race. My friend Butch, who is African-American, is as conservative as they come and it has rubbed off on other members of his family. Of my generation, his loooonnnng pontifications would make a Kentucky colonel or a politician proud! It surprises me how much our world view is comparable despite our differences in race. I attribute this to our rural upbringing that included chopping cotton and corn and working in textiles along with parents and grandparents who would “switch deem legs.” Despite this similar history, I imagine he has voted Democrat since 1964. Why? “You dummy, didn’t you hear me? I told you my family has voted Democrat since 1968!”

I don’t understand why people in other parts of the world consider us to be uneducated and backward just because we are conservative and as inflexible to change as a piece of rebar. I just thought that “tongue in cheek.” Despite improvements, our school systems still rank lower while obesity, poverty and numbers of unwed mothers still rank higher than the rest of the nation. The world view is of a fat, tobacco chewing redneck (THEIR WORDS) who is a high school dropout sporting “shit-caked” work boots and wearing a “South will rise again!” belt buckle. Usually this redneck could stand a bit of dental work on his four teeth and is much more concerned about the Second Amendment than any other aspect of “gubment.” His mate is barefooted and wearing a dress she made herself from a feed sack. “Sugah Pie” is pregnant and showing to be quite far along despite having a babe in arms and another, a year older, in a dirty diaper and tugging at the hem of her dress. They will not have to worry about having three in high school at the same time much less college. In front of their single-wide is a rusting pickup truck on blocks whose engine is leaking vital fluids as it sits on a sagging picnic table next to it. Yes, there is a redbone hound asleep under the truck. Is this an accurate portrayal? HELL NO…and, unfortunately, hell yeah! The climate is changing but for those of us who are not “sot in our ways” the change is slow. Oh God, I may be a liberal! Please don’t tell anyone! I will try to do better.

I now live in an area of South Carolina that has become known as the “Dark Corner.” Once I thought it got its name because of our location in regard to the mountains to our west that block the sun as it slips beyond the horizon. To “sorta” quote Yogi Berra, it does “get darker here quicker” but that has nothing to do with the name. Oh no. One local historian suggested that the Dark Corner somehow got its name because Unionist and Confederate deserters invaded the area “here abouts” to defend themselves against a “gubment” that wanted them to uphold slavery that the deserters had decided was a “rich man’s” war to maintain the “status quo” or in the case of Unionists, a “gubment” that wanted them to rebel against the Union. In and around 1864 they decided to unite and began to fortify the nearby mountains and dare the Confederate Army or local constabulary to show up. By that time the CSA had its hands full elsewhere and there was no confrontation. I find it interesting that since the Flag issue in my state landed like a wet cow patty dropped from a B-52, there now seem to be more Confederate Battle Flags around THAN YOU CAN SHAKE A STICK AT. I wonder if any of my tradition-laden friends realize the “checkered heritage” of where they live. “Nope, cause hit don’t matter ‘cept that the sumbitch ‘gubment is trin‘to take my flag!” Damn Right!

Another example of old traditions dying hard is the production of “tax-free” distilled spirits. Through the depression and into modern times, the Dark Corner was known for its production of moonshine. Not just any moonshine but what has been described as a particularly “fine moonshine.” That is not an oxymoron. The smoothness supposedly came from the water. In the late Seventies it was also known for producing a particularly high grade of “killer weed” known as “Glassy Mountain Gold.” Weed did not replace moonshining because moonshining was the traditional drug of choice and “them good old boys ain’t about to change.” During the depression poor families resorted to illegally distilling spirits to pay their taxes and to make a living that the “gubment” was attempting to take away, according to their “way ah thinking.” Well, this is 2015 and it is still being made. One morning in the late 2000’s, I stepped out to begin my morning run and was assaulted by the sharp smell of sour mash cookin’. Several years later I found a broken down still on a stream located on my land. They could have, at least, offered me a taste!

Most of the people I know, in addition to being conservative, don’t make shine and have more of their own teeth than I do. A few wave the flag and chew tobacco. Many of us own rusty old pickups. One even has the engine out of his. It’s in his double-bay garage, the one he built to work on his cars that includes a hydraulic lift rack and engine hoist. There is nothing but food on his picnic table and with it a German Shepard to guard it all. Despite his lack of a college degree, his home, garage and farm are a lot nicer than mine. Uneducated? Not where it counts, it would seem, because they don’t award degrees for common sense and work ethic. He doesn’t chew, dip or drink his spirits out of a Mason jar and is more likely to be in flip-flops than in “shit kickers.” I think of Jimmy Buffett meets Mr. Greenjeans. He also doesn’t wave the Battle Flag but he is as Southern as the day is long and, I think, more of what the New, New South is about, despite being set in his conservative ways. Yes, he does still vote Republican. “You dummy, didn’t you hear me? I told you my family has voted Republican since 1964!”

For more of Don Miller’s unique views of life and humor try http://goo.gl/lomuQf

I CHOOSE CIVILITY

“formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech:
synonyms: courtesy · courteousness · politeness · good manners ·
graciousness · consideration · respect · comity”

I defined civility simply because I am unsure how many of my “social media” friends actually know what it means or if they do, they have decided that using it is just too “PC”. Two threads I started, (with what I thought was a simple comment about violent crime rates and another about the protests taking place during the National Anthem), crumbled into something else entirely. We raged far afield from the original posts and disintegrated into a playground melee stopping just short of someone yelling “yo’ momma!” Another former teaching friend lamented being verbally attacked over a position he took on one of his own treads. That would be former teacher not former friend. The word of the day, week or year seems to be ‘ATTACK’ which is why I am trying to choose civility instead of trying to shout someone down. Yes, kill them with kindness…ha…ha…ha.

I continue to hear people state “We are too PC” so I have also looked up a definition and provided it: “to criticize language, actions, or policies seen as being excessively calculated to not offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society.” There was a time when I was taught that “NOT OFFENDING” was a good thing and why would you want to disadvantage anyone…ohhhhhh, you mean a perceived enemy, I get it now. ITS OKAY TO OFFEND OUR ENEMIES! The people we or you are fighting with. People we are at war with. You know, people that are trying to shoot us, blow us up, are of a different religion than us, people with a different sexual preference who might want to get married, people with different ideas about race, people who decide to protest against things we hold near and dear, or people who think that beer “TASTES GREAT!” rather than is “LESS FILLING!” FUCK…THEM…ALL! JUST LEAVE IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT I AM SPOUTING! WE DON’T WANT YOU HERE! YOU ARE NOT OUR KIND…Oh I forgot to include the guy down the road that has decorated his road front with Trump-Pence campaign signs! JUST LEAVE THE COUNTRY WE DON’T WANT YOU! Actually I just said the last one because my wall is so conservative, I mean I live in South Carolina. What do you expect, I just wanted to put a burr under my conservative friends’ BVDs and all. You know all in good fun, don’t want to offend you…come on smile a little.

You see, I believe “not being too PC” is simply an invitation to cross the line and be a bully. It’s an easy thing to be a bully hiding behind the keys of a computer after all. The keys are not likely to rise up and punch you in the eye. When a friend or my brother takes me to task on my liberal social leanings I try to pay attention because they normally provide insight and logical reasons…or at the least reasons. When an asshole provides, “I wish all liberals would die!” well, I GET PISSED and that is almost where my tread went. Also I realize somewhere there is a liberal asshole writing “I wish all conservatives would die!” I just don’t see a lot of those because my wall is so…right…I mean so conservative.

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a damn lie invented by a gray-haired grandmother to take the pain away caused by the sting of the spoken or printed word. “But I was just speaking my mind” in many cases crosses the line between speaking your mind and verbally slapping someone across the chops. That is why I am choosing civility…that and my normal peace keeping tendencies. I will weigh my words carefully. Why use a nuclear bomb when a ruler across the palm of the hand is enough? Oh wait, you don’t believe in corporal punishment…Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.

For more of Don Miller’s unique views of life and humor try http://goo.gl/lomuQf

EVERYONE SUCKS 2016

My brother put a campaign poster in his front yard, EVERYBODY SUCKS 2016. According to him, and I believe him, a Trump supporter left a letter suggesting that since he was so disgruntled he might consider “moving to Uganda.” I am unsure of why Uganda? If life gets so bad in these United States I am probably not going to pick a corrupt, violent and land locked country in Africa. I would just take my chances and stay put in my little piece of heaven that is landlocked in the corrupt and violent nation of the United States or move to a country with a lot of coastline, sea breezes, dark rum AND scantily clad beach bunnies.

I find my brother interesting. More than I would ever admit to him personally so don’t dare let him know I said such a thing. He tends to be irreverent, infuriating and refuses to admit that he is probably as much a SOCIAL liberal as his older brother. Well, nearly. I am probably closer to some of his conservative ideas than I would EVER admit to. Despite this fact, there is STILL plenty for us to disagree upon. This is not one of THOSE disagreements however…yet. It may become one.

“If you are unhappy with the US just leave” seems to be the patriotic “cover all” when someone uses their First Amendment rights to suggest that there might be a “fly in the soup” that is the United States. I’ve seen it directed toward Colin Kaepernick and any other athlete who dared to kneel during the National Anthem, toward BLM protesters in general, Muslims citizens or refugees, gay and lesbians, transgender, anyone who mentions gun control, even entertainers, etc. AND NOW MY BROTHER. It is beginning to look like a very crowded pool…and I don’t mean gene pool.

For some reason “If you are unhappy with the US just leave” reminded me of another “patriotic” quote I heard a lot during my childhood and teen years in the Fifties and Sixties. “My Country Right or Wrong.” Anyone of my age remember that? I have an idea I learned of it during a civics class or as I like to think of it “Cold War Propaganda 101.” It became the mantra of our jingoism or extreme patriotism and is originally attributed to Steven Decater of USS Philadelphia fame during the First Barbary War. Carl Schurz (a German revolutionary, American statesman and reformer, U.S. Minister to Spain, Union Army General in the American Civil War, Secretary of the Interior, accomplished journalist, newspaper editor and orator, who in 1869 became the first German-born American elected to the United States Senate) is responsible for another similar quote that I am much more comfortable with. “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”

I would guess my brother’s anonymous letter leaver probably prefers the Steven Decater version. I find saying that My Country, right or wrong,” is somewhat like saying “My Mother, drunk or sober” and I just can’t see my mother drunk. I would think a sober country would be in all our best interest, setting wrongs right rather than suggesting dissenting folk just leave. What would happen if our potential Albert Einsteins, Enrico Fermis or Joseph Conrads decided to take us up on our suggestion, much like the real ones did when faced with the Nazi takeover of Germany. Do we want some of our best just to leave? Remember the only difference between our nuclear program and the Soviet nuclear program were our German scientist. (By the way, you should not take that as a reference to Godwin’s Law)

When I viewed my country during my youth I saw us “wearing white hats,” the cavalry coming to the rescue in the nick of time. As I have gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I have found that not to be true. I still love my country and believe it has done great things despite some bad intentions. I still hold out hope we can unite to do GREATER things for the BEST of intentions…yet.

For more subtle humor by Don Miller visit his author’s page at http://goo.gl/lomuQf