12 Hamilton Gifs To Explain The Emotional Rollercoaster Of The Election

12 Hamilton Gifs To Explain The Emotional Rollercoaster Of The Election

Much like Alexander Hamilton, this election is non-stop.
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Over the past year, two things have remained constant. Two things have come up again and again as significant events in history, and two things have challenged the American people to think differently than they ever have before: the Broadway hit "Hamilton" and the presidential election. With Clinton and Trump officially being the major party nominees, and several original cast members leaving Hamilton—including the playwright and composer Lin-Manuel—there have been significant changes made to both over the course of the year.

"Hamilton" takes place during the American Revolution and our nation's founding, up to the year 1804. With a war, three presidents, and plenty of drama, "Hamilton" can truly express many of our thoughts throughout the course of this election.

1. Other countries watching this election

Most of us feel the same way, but least they get to walk away.

2. Deciding which candidate to support

Angelica or Eliza? A pretty difficult decision. But when you had to choose between O'Malley, Sanders and Clinton, or Rubio, Cruz, Trump, Carson and a score of others, it was significantly more complicated.

3. When your candidate won a state


Was there any better feeling than when you knew you and your fellow party members were on the same page?

4. When your candidate lost a state

Much like Eliza, we also felt like we were watching it all burn.

5. When your candidate dropped out of the race

It stings, and it's even worse when you realize you need to choose someone else—one that you likely badmouthed because you were so sure of your candidate. It causes so much pain.

6. Watching the debates and listening to candidates' repetitive speeches

Heed Burr's advice and save yourself some more embarrassment and breath, politicians.

7. When you haven't read the news for a day (or several)

It's easy to get excited when you forget that the election is absolute chaos.

8. But then you actually turn on the news

So much happens in just one day, it's nearly impossible to keep up with it all.

9. How it feels knowing that either Clinton or Trump will be president

One way or another, we're in for a wild ride. Let's wait as long as we can.

10. All the while, you have this reminder in the back of your head

It's difficult to make an informed decision with history staring at you the whole time.

11. With so much going on, you kind of wish you could vote for one of the Schuyler sisters

As informed, passionate and outspoken women, Angelica, Eliza and Peggy would all be some pretty solid options.

12. Or a man who has been dead for 212 years

Considering dead people because we're just that Hamildone with this election.

Cover Image Credit: Hamilton

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Islam Is Not A Religion Of Peace, But Neither Is Christianity

Let's have in honest converation about the relgious doctrine of Islam

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Islam is not a religion of peace.

Christianity is also not a religion of peace.

But, most people in both religions are generally peaceful.

More specifically, bringing up the doctrine of Christianity is a terrible rebuttal to justify the doctrine of Islam.

That is like saying, "Fascism is not a good political ideology. Well, Communism isn't any good either. So, Fascism is not that bad after all."

One evil does not justify another evil. Christianity's sins do not justify Islam's.

The reason why this article is focused on Islam and not Christianity is the modern prevalence of religious violence in the Islamic world. Christianity is not without its evil but there is far less international terrorist attacks and mass killing perpetrated by Christians today than by those of Islam.

First, let's define "religious killings," which is much more specific than a practicer of a religion committing a murder.

A religious killings are directly correlated with the doctrines of the faith. That is different a human acting on some type of natural impulse killing someone.

For example, an Islamic father honor killing his daughter who was raped is a religious killing. But an Islamic man who catches his wife cheating and kills her on the spot is a murder, not a religious killing. The second man may be Islamic but the doctrine of Islam cannot be rationally held at fault for that killing. Many men with many different religions or experience would make the same heinous mistake of taking a life.

Second, criticizing a doctrine or a religion is not a criticism of everyone that practices the religion.

It is not even a criticism of everyone who make mistake while inspired by the religions. Human are willing to do heinous things when governed by a bad cause. Not every World War 2 Nazis was a homicidal maniac but human nature tells them to act this way in order to survive in their environment. It is hard to fault a person from traits that comes from evolutionary biology and natural selection.

However, commenting on a philosophy, ideology or a religion is not off limits. Every doctrine that inspires human action should be open for review. The religion may be part of a person's identity and it holds a special place in its heart but that does not mean it should be immune to criticism.

Finally, before going into a deconstruction of the myth that Islam is a religion of peace, there needs to be a note about the silencing of talking about Islam.

There is a notion in Western Society that if a person criticizes Islam, then that person hates all Muslims and the person suffers from Islamophobia. That is not the case, a person to criticize religion without becoming Donald Trump. In Western Society criticizing fundamental Christians is never seen as an attack on all Christians because there is a lot of bad ideas in the Bible that Christians act on. Therefore, criticizing Islam should have the same benefit of the doubt because the Quran has many bad ideas in it.

The Quran advocates for war on unbelievers a multitude of times. No these verses are not a misreading or bad interpretation the text. Here are two explicit verses from the Quran that directly tell Followers to engage in violence:

Quran 2: 191-193:

"And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah (disbelief or unrest) is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists and wrong-doers)"

Quran 2: 216:

"Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."

There is no rational way to interrupt these passages in a peaceful way. The whole premise of both passages is to inspire followers that war against the unbeliever is justified.

The first verse advocates for genocide against non-believers for the mere transgression that a society worships a different god or worships another god along with Allah.

The second passage is arguable more dangerous because the first passage just advocate that fighting may be a necessity, while the second passage encourages it. The second passage claims that war on the unbeliever is a good thing under the eyes of Allah.

The reason why these passages are dangerous is because they directly incite religious violence. For most followers of Allah, these passages are ignored or they convince themselves the passages means something they do not. However, for a large numbers of followers that view the text of the Quran as the unedited words of Allah, these texts become extremely dangerous. These passages become all the rational they need to wage war on non-believers.

This is dangerous because there are millions of followers of Islam worldwide that believe every statement in the Quran is true.

Therefore, the Quran becomes a direct motivation and cause for its followers to attack non-followers. Rationally one can understand where the Islam follower comes from, if a person truly believes that Allah or God himself wrote these words then why would you not comply.

Especially when there is verses in the Quran that says the Follower who does not fight the infidel is not as worthy of a Follower that does wage war against the non-believer (Quran 4:95). Finally, when male Followers are told that their martyrdom fighting for the faith will be rewarded with an eternity in paradise with 72 virgins for personal pleasure. If a Follower truly believes all of this is the spoken word of Allah then there is more rational why a person would commit these atrocities then why they would not.

Men and women are radicalized by these passages on a daily basis.

No, it is not just the poor kid in Iraq that lost his family to an American bombing run that indiscriminately kills civilians but also the middle classed Saudi Arabian child or some Western white kid that finds the Quran appealing. If radicalization were just poor people, then society would not have much to be worried about. However, Heads of States, college educated people and wealthy Islamic Followers are all being radicalized and the common dominator is the doctrine of Islam.

Osama Bin Laden, one of the most infamous terrorist in history, was not a poor lad that was screwed by the United States military industrial complex. Bin Laden was the son of a billionaire, that received an education through college from great schools. There is no other just cause for Bin Laden to orchestrate such grievous attacks on humanity besides religious inspirations. A person can rationally tie Islam Followers gravitation towards terrorism to a specific verse. Quran 3: 51 tells readers,

"Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers."

Any rational person can tie Islamic passages like this directly to terrorism. It is not a complicated correlation to like Nazism and Jewish persecution to Christianity. The Holy Book of Islam directly encourages the Followers of Islam to inflict terrorism unto the non-believer.

So why do some many people deny these obvious truths about Islam and violence?

Political Correctness and the want to not be viewed as a bigot. The correlations here are as direct as the terrors of the Spanish Inquisitions and Catholicism and no one is afraid to retrospect and say, "Yes Christianity caused the direct murder of thousands of people". A person would not even be controversial if one stated that both World Wars has significant religious undertones. However if anyone states that terrorism and violence has a direct link with Islam then there is an outcry.

Even President Obama refused to use the terms Islam and Muslim when publicly talking about the War on Terrorism. I am a hypocrite also because I used the term Islamic Follower instead of Muslim in an attempt to sound more political correct.

That is a problem when society refuse to use terms that are correct in an attempt to not offend anyone. Imagine if scientist could not report their findings because the underlying politics. Society needs to be able to have open dialogue about this problem or else it will never heal. Society needs to throw away the worrisome about being politically correct and focus on identifying the problems and solving them.

The world of Islam needs to open themselves up to this criticism.

There can no longer be a closing of dialogue where the West cannot speak on the doctrines of Islam because they are not partakers (That applies to all organized religion too, especially the Catholic Church). People who draw Muhammed must no longer be threatened with attacks on their life.

When Islamic women and men speak up about the sins of Islam, they must stop being silenced. If humanity is going to take steps into the future with better technology and more dangerous weaponry, then we need to solve this problem with Islam and gradually to organized religion at all.

If not it will doom us way before we get there…

Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this article follow my podcast on Twitter @MccrayMassMedia for more likewise discussions.

Cover Image Credit:

https://unsplash.com/photos/JFirQekVo3U

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Democrats Should Be Optimistic, Just Not *Too* Optimistic

In the 2018 midterms, Democrats have a lot of work to do before victory is within reach.

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To be a Democrat in the summer and fall of 2016 was to feel like the world was made.

Hillary Clinton was going to be president. Her opponent, Donald Trump, was uniquely unqualified and hated nearly universally after calling immigrants criminal rapists and bragging about sexually assaulting women. Congress was going to flip Democratic, and policies crafted during Barack Obama's administration would be preserved or expanded. If Merrick Garland was not going to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, it was only because President Clinton had withdrawn his nomination and replaced him with a more liberal judge. Several journalists had begun writing obituaries for the Grand Old Party.

Obviously, none of that happened.

In one of the biggest upsets in American history, Trump won the election (though not the most votes) and Congress remained under Republican control. The Affordable Care Act that Obama had championed was nearly repealed and has been under regulatory attack. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an executive order issued by Obama that gave quasi-legal status to unaccompanied minors who enter the country illegally, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that alleviated sanctions on Iran in exchange for the scaling-back of its nuclear program have both been punted to Congress, which has simply been too busy doing nothing to act on either.

Two years later, what have Democrats learned from the last election?

President Trump is still unpopular, like he was as a candidate, and Americans dislike policies that were on the agenda last year.

The ACA repeal was deeply and comprehensively unpopular, with as many as 61% of Americans opposed to repeal. The tax overhaul that Republicans in Congress thought would prove their concern for the little guy was derided as a handout to the rich. The Trump administration's disastrous zero-tolerance immigration means that, in practice, children are separated from their parents when they enter the country illegally; human rights abuses against children do not play well on TV.

As a result of Trump's unpopularity, the Democratic party is exactly where it was in 2016: over-optimistic, over-confident and woefully under-resourced.

The Democratic National Committee has about $100 million less than its Republican counterpart, not to mention $5 million in debt (its Senate campaign arm has an additional $4 million). Nevertheless, journalists have fired up their GOP obituaries, again.

Democrats consistently out-poll Republicans on the generic ballot, a measure of voting intention by party only. But their numbers are only in the high single digits, and the generic ballot is a weak measure of electoral chances. The Economist has a robust model for predicting the results of the midterm elections that predicts Democrats have a 70% chance of winning a majority in the House of Representatives. But Clinton had as much of an 89% chance of becoming president, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Still, Democratic campaigns across the country have reason to be hopeful. The halfway mark for primaries is Tuesday, and Democratic voters appear to be choosing moderate, winning candidates over more radical opponents. They seem to have learned from the 2010 Tea Party wave, in which Republicans nominated deeply conservative candidates who failed to appeal to moderates. The Democratic candidate for Senate in Nevada, Jackie Rosen, a former synagogue president who touts her support for "smart and tough foreign policy" and "working to cut red tape and increase accountability" at the Department of Veterans' Affairs on her campaign website, along with promoting equal pay for equal work for women. In 2010, Republicans nominated Sharron Angle, whose campaign had a code phrase, "it's time to water the plants," for when a media representative entered the office, to run against then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Midterms are always seen as a referendum on a president's job, the 2018 elections especially so.

In 2010, Republicans responded to President Barack Obama's moderate reformism with radical reactionaries who largely objected to the recently-passed ACA (and, some have speculated, to the nation's first black president). This year, Democrats are rising to meet President Trump's protectionist instincts with free traders, his illiberalism with candidates committed to democratic institutions and his derogation for women with, notably, women. 2018 has been the year of the female candidate, with women of both parties running for and winning nominations for Congress and governor.

Still, all these factors are matters of enthusiasm, not results.

Having a candidate to rally around is important, but equally or more important is resources. To win the House of Representatives and, with luck, the Senate, Democratic candidates have to encourage voters to call voters and knock on doors, the old-fashioned way to campaign before everything went digital. Elections are not won on TV and Twitter; voters need to hear about candidates in their homes, in person and over the phone. Direct campaigning is the most effective way to win.

Democrats will need to remember this come November.

Cover Image Credit:

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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