It's Time To Stand Up For Our Country

It's Time To Stand Up For Our Country

What Colin Kaepernick showed us about our own government.
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Colin Kaepernick went from an up-and-coming hot shot NFL Quarterback to a hated, wannabe NFL star in the span of only a few years. After putting his team, the San Francisco 49ers, though a Superbowl loss, Kaepernick's popularity and ability has since been on the decline. Besides being one of San Fran's top QB's at the time of the team's Super Bowl appearance, Kapernick has taken on a new hobby; protesting. During the National Anthem at the beginning of one of the 49ers preseason games, Kaepernick refused to stand up and show respect. Sure enough, Kaepernick's lack of action flooded the Internet and many people had strong opinions on it, mostly angry. Kaepernick claimed he was trying to protest the horrible things that go on in our country, specifically, racial oppression.

Many people had strong opinions on this. Many felt like his alleged protest during the National Anthem was uncalled for no matter what the cause.

But do they care?

Why does everyone care about Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand during the National Anthem but not their own governments'?

More often than not, our own American government officials lack respect for this country and refuse to show respect and support for our flag and anthem.

So why aren't they on the news? Why aren't the people angry about that?


Why aren't people angry about this?

We need to take a look at our own government before we point fingers at an NFL player. Yes, NFL is one of the most viewed, popular things in the country, but our government is the one that matters in the end. Maybe Kaepernick's action or lack of action will effect our country in the future, but right now, our own government affects it, our government and governing officials affect it directly. Why aren't we calling out these people?

That is what appalls me the most. There is not outburst when our own government and government officials refuse to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. Why doesn't that make everyone mad? I man, that's our own president, our own government. There is no outburst when your state senator and your president refuses to put their hand over their heart or stand up. This has been going on for longer than Kaepernick's protest, this has been going on since before the 49ers went to the Super Bowl, this has been going on since before Kepernick was a football player, and this has probably been going on since before Kaepernick was even born. That's how deep this goes.

But we have the power to change it. We have the power to vote these officials out. We have the power to shape our country into what we want. We have the power to provide our country with the support it deserves.

If you want to get mad at someone for not standing for our country and not standing for our flag an option, look at the people supposedly above it all, the people supposedly representing it day to day.

So thank you Colin Kaepernick for showing the country that there are so many people who don't care. Thank you for bringing to our attention all the other people who disrespect our country and our flag just like you did.

Cover Image Credit: Snopes.com

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Stop Saying 'Love Is Love' And Then Shame Me For Dating A Republican

"How can you date a Republican?!" Quite easily, actually.

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"And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love." Other theater geeks like me probably also remember this quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony acceptance speech in 2016. Now, thanks to Lin-Manuel and his talent for catchy phrases, every time someone says "love is love," all I can think of is Lin-Manuel's emphatic cry for equality.

This cry is one that I support wholeheartedly. I think that you should be allowed to love whomever you choose and that you should do so without fear of hatred or scrutiny. If you are a guy who loves guys, great. If you are a girl who loves girls, great. If you are a girl who loves guys and girls, great. You are born a certain way with certain sexual preferences, and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, if you believe that people should be free to love anyone they choose, then, honey, you better start looking past gender.

Let me tell you a little story.

Recently, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about my boyfriend of almost 11 months. Somehow (and I'm shocked that this hadn't come up before), my boyfriend's political preferences became the topic of conversation.

The conversation went something like this:

"Wait, so is Tom a Democrat or Republican?"

"He's a Republican."

"WHAT?! Are you serious?"

"Yep."

"How can you date a Republican?"

After that, I basically went on a five-minute rant about how at the end of the day, his political preferences only make up a small fraction of who he is as a person and that I am not so shallow that I would be deterred by something this trivial.

At our cores, Tom and I value the exact same things: compassion, knowledge, kindness, dedication, honesty, respect, and above all else, love. Tom loves me unconditionally and I give him that same love in return; honestly, what else could I ask for?

Tom and I do get in some political arguments from time to time, but we also agree on those issues that are most important to me: female reproductive rights, marriage equality, and support for survivors of sexual assault. All of those things are non-negotiables for me, and Tom understands that and possesses his own list of non-negotiables.

Before you ask, yep, he voted for Trump. Did that take me back at first? Yes. Did I struggle to understand what would compel a person to vote for him? Absolutely. Did that thought kind of terrify me at first? Hell yes.

But you know what? After I just sat and listened to Tom's reasoning as to why he voted for him and watched him delve deep into Trump's policies, I could understand why some would vote for him. And to tell the truth, once I fell in love with Tom, none of that mattered anymore. And what is sad is that people so often fall so deep into their own echo chambers nowadays, that they wouldn't even give someone with different beliefs their ear. Well, I'm damn glad I did because Tom is the most amazing person I've ever met and I fall more in love with him every day.

So to tie this all together with a pretty little bow, if you're going to go around and preach that love is love and that everyone should be free to love whom they choose, then that shouldn't change for me. Maybe you're a Democrat that would never date a Republican or maybe you're a Republican who would never date a Democrat; that's your choice. But we don't get to choose who we fall in love with (much to the dismay of my liberal family and friends). Just keep an open mind and who knows? Maybe you could find some absolutely epic happiness.

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I'm Not Voting, And Guess What, That Is OK

To all of the recent political endorsements by celebrities and Facebook posts telling me I should register to vote, I'm not voting.

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I am not the type of person to normally ever write a Facebook post related to politics, yet here I am dedicating a whole article to it. Or rather about voting itself, not my political affiliation. For the most part, I like to keep my political outlooks to myself instead of broadcasting them to all of my friends, family, coworkers, and that handful of people I do not actually know but I accepted their friend request anyway. Instead, I grace this group of people with animal videos because it doesn't cause any friction, the videos are always light-hearted, and there are already so many other people posting about the next election.

But tonight that changed. I saw a post about how people who do not vote should be fined. I do not know why this ignited something in me, but it did. I have no problem ignoring every other person telling me to register to vote or vote a hundred times on my feed, but charging me a fine for exercising my right crossed a line.

Quite frankly, I do not identify as a liberal democrat or conservative republican so I should not be subjected to vote for either. I choose not to vote because I do not support either side of the political spectrum and I do not think any of the candidates are true to what I want in the future of my country. There are some ideas I like from Democrats as well as some ideas I like from Republicans, but because of the political climate in recent years, the political parties are becoming more polarized than ever with their ideas, and instead of seeking a moderate stance, are becoming more extreme. I understand that voting is seen as a civic responsibility that comes with being a U.S. citizen, but I have the right to vote not the obligation to vote, and people should respect that decision.

Can you imagine amending the constitution to include penalties for not voting? Where is the democracy in forcing citizens to the ballots via scare tactics? I just do not want to be forced into voting or supporting something that I do not believe in. I will vote when there is a candidate that earns my vote and that I support instead of voting just to vote.

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