I Wouldn’t Be Surprised

Yesterday, I took a day off from running and went North to spend some time with Dad. It was a great visit and we talked about a lot of things. Yeah, including politics, usually one of those third rail subjects for both of us. You see he is a lifelong Democrat and I for most of my life was a pretty moderate Republican.

Now things are sort of reversed he was for a long time a die-hard Trump supporter in an area where there is a LOT of support for the Republican platform. Me, I would be called a liberal leaning Republican with damned Independent ideas, who is registered to vote in the Green Party (talk about mixed up) in a more Liberal leaning area. So we tend to not discuss politics on a regular basis in order to keep the peace between us.

Yesterday that sort of changed. As we danced around talking about the political crap going on from all the major parties. We were amazed to find that many of our thoughts were the same although we are coming to our conclusions from different directions.

1. President Trump is part of the problem and most likely not part of the solution. Although Vice-President Pence brings his own set of issues, not the least of which is how much would he bring his religion to the White House. However, Trump’s continuous grandstanding and petty meanness towards anyone who dares to disagree with him is only making the Country more divided along the ideology and purity of party lines. We both agreed that his Twitter account needs to be deleted, never to be seen again. Trump probably is not the only President who was/is/will be an arsehole, but with that Twitter account, everyone gets to see how much of one he actually is.

2. Neither of us bother to watch much news from anywhere other than the local channels anymore. He was a big watcher of Fox and I tended to veer towards CNN. We both agreed that ESPN and NESN are more enjoyable and probably more reliable in their reporting.

3. That Judge Kavanaugh with his most recent testimony before the Senate panel, did not show the restraint, humility or honesty that either of us would expect from someone that was going to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh came across as an angry kid, who had a temper tantrum because he isn’t getting what he wants.

Whether Kavanaugh is guilty of the crime of attempted rape or not, or if it was a political hit for his past work with the Starr grand jury, we the public will never know. We agreed that we disagreed on who to believe on this.

We did agree that while he will probably be confirmed by the Senate this week, despite his performance and the number of “white lies” that he extolled to everyone that he was a choir boy who never did anything wrong. However, we both believe that he will not set aside what has happened during his nomination process when it comes to his judicial responsibilities and it will shape his judicial temperament and decision making biases even more than they were before this all started. The Democrats have made a very public enemy who in all likelihood will be sitting soon on the Supreme Court.

4. We talked about too many people are attempting to re-write history to meet the standards we live by in today’s world and not look at them in the context of the time that they lived. We agreed that for the most part people of different eras in history made choices, decisions and lived their lives the best they could, based on what they knew at that time.

They did not have the luxury of our 20/20 hindsight. Ideas of right, wrong and why have changed quite fluidly over the years, sometimes we forget that. The idea of common human decency, well that is a something that is decided culturally, during that era and is probably different from our present expectations. We did agree that it is difficult to judge people from different eras based on the today’s standards.

We talked about that there will come a day when the world we live in today will be judged as ignorant and lacking by the generations to come and they will not understand the decisions that individuals made during what we think of as this so-called enlightened time in history. It would be interesting to see who are seen as the heroes and villains from the vantage point of 100 years in the future. I think that there will be a few surprises just like when we look back in history to those who we now think of as being heroes and villains.

5. That we both agree that the churches need to stay out of politics. The separation between Church and State needs to be kept strong and that the Church gaining more power is not in the best interest of anyone but the churches or those who want to use the power of the churches.

6. Politics is all about power and control and that those who have the power and money, want to keep it that way. Not that this has really ever changed, but with the power of the Internet and social media the normal power players have new competition and that is part of the battle we are all seeing, versus seeing just what they want us to see. The nastiness of local, state and national politics is on view immediately 24/7 versus in the past when news was 1/2 to an hour at night from “trusted” commentators or a day or more old by the time the newspaper or town crier got it.

One more observation

On thing that I did notice on my way home and it was something that was eerily similar to 2016, enough so that it really made me stop and think about it. All the polls and big newspapers seem to be predicting a huge democratic victory in November. Now I am not the sharpest tool in the shed or anything like that, but the number of lawns that had Republican supported signs vastly out-numbered any other political party.

I noticed the same thing back in 2016 and like many others was shocked by the election results. Based on what I am seeing driving around the backroads and listening to conversations going on around me and yes, even on Facebook. This time I will not be as surprised, if against all the polls, editorials and television projections/predictions that the Republicans retain control of both the House and Senate. There is more Republican support out there than people are being led to believe.

So I expect more than a few “surprises” this November. Not all of them will be what I want, but it will be what the voters decide.

The reality is that

My Father and I had some pretty good conversations about a lot of things that we usually do not talk about and realized that we have more in common than not. Which is something that I have a feeling that if more people actually talked, listened and took time to look beyond their screens or perfected for media personalities and attitudes, that would be the case.

Talking about politics, religion or anything else that is controversial comes with risks, but if we are unwilling to do so and we will continue to elect politicians who espouse simple solutions and grotesquely negative characterizations of those who do not agree with their vision of the world, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Yeah, I do wonder who will be seen as the heroes and villains a hundred years from now. It might not be the people we think, then again it might just be that some of us see things from a different perspective.