To The Progressives Who Didn't Vote And Gave Us Trump: I Hope You're Happy

To The Progressives Who Didn't Vote And Gave Us Trump: I Hope You're Happy

How many of you stayed home? How many of you voted for a third party candidate who didn’t have a chance in hell?
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Dear leftists. Dear progressives. Dear anarchists and ideologues of all stripes. Dear everyone who spent the last presidential election cycle loudly proclaiming that the Democratic presidential candidate wasn’t ideologically pure enough for you, I have one thing to say, and one thing only.

I hope you’re happy.

I hope you’re happy that the president your apathy helped to elected is working toward fulfilling every one of his terrible promises. I hope you’re happy that he’s exactly as bad as the rest of us said he was from the beginning. I tried to talk to you. I pushed back when you claimed that Trump would be a better foreign policy candidate than Clinton, when you acted like a reinstatement of the draft was an actual threat, when you pretended that the United States can afford isolationism at a time when the rest of the world has never been closer. I hope you’re enjoying watching Chechnya imprison and torture its gay men, because the president you helped to elect isn’t going to denounce it anytime soon. I hope you like the look of North Korean missile trails over northern Japan. A lot more of those will be coming.

And on the home front, I’m glad you think that whatever Hillary Clinton said in 1997 was more important than everything Trump’s saying now. I’m sure your ideological purity feels wonderful right about now, as the man you thought Clinton was “just as bad as” actively pardons and supports supports white supremacists. We’ll never know how a Clinton presidency would have turned out, but I’ll bet you everything I own that Clinton would never have answered the events in Charlottesville by trying to pin the blame on the victims. Clinton wouldn’t have been silent as white men marched and chanted about killing Jews and black people, and she wouldn’t have pardoned a sheriff who was convicted of criminal contempt for failing to treat Latinos in Arizona like human beings.

I hope you’re proud of staying home from the polls last November. I hope your temper tantrum over the majority of Democratic primary voters preferring Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders feels as righteous today as it did last summer. I hope getting your feelings hurt because a candidate didn’t agree with every single one of your increasingly specific viewpoints still feels like a good enough reason to sit this last election out. I really hope so, because by doing so, you’ve screwed the rest of us over pretty good.

Hillary Clinton lost Wisconsin by less than 30,000 votes. She lost Michigan by less than 12,000. How many of you stayed home? How many of you voted for a third party candidate who didn’t have a chance in hell? How many of you wrote in ‘deez nuts’ or ‘Harambe’? I don’t care what your specific form of apathy was, or your morally righteous reasoning behind it, because in the end, it all amounts to the same thing. The man in the White House thinks police officers should be rougher with people they’ve arrested. He thinks transgender troops should be thrown out of the military. He thinks that we should deregulate Wall Street and that we should send more troops into Afghanistan.

You did this. And to be honest, your apathy hurts more than the votes of 100,000 uninformed Trump supporters, because you were supposed to be on our side.

So dear leftists. Dear progressives. Dear anarchists and ideologues. I hope you find your perfect candidate, the one who does and says everything you want them to do and say.

I just hope the rest of us are still around to be happy for you.

Cover Image Credit: kgroovy / flickr

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Dear America, We Can Step Forward As A Country If We Stop Believing That Only One Belief Is Valid

It's time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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Dear America,

2018 was a year of political strife and conflict. The left and the right fought constantly. Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for the tiniest mistakes, and there were only a small number of successful bipartisan deals. Politicians and citizens alike seemed more concerned with sticking to party platforms, even ones they truly didn't believe in, rather than compromising with the other side to improve our society.Yet all this name-calling and hatred — what does it do in the end? What does it accomplish?

We've only seen an increased polarization of American politics and an expanded hostility towards "the other side." We don't consider the well-being of each and every person in America and the bettering of our society, or the building of a stronger world for our children and grandchildren.

We spend so much time insulting each other's political beliefs that we forget probably the most important fact that links us all together: We are all human. We all share the same basic needs, the same struggles, the same moments of happiness and sadness.

And yet we are willing to put our similarities aside and only focus on our differences. We are willing to thrust ourselves into the deep anger and loathing that comes in attacking those different from us. We are willing to parry insults behind the safety of a phone screen and forget all about what makes us alike. And we are willing to gloss over the fact that we have more similarities than differences.

SEE ALSO: Dear Trump, Thanks For Transforming Me Into A Responsible, Educated Citizen

Yes, political beliefs make a person. Political beliefs define the values, ideas and thoughts of a person. But sometimes, we have to reach over those beliefs, as hard as that may be, and focus on the bigger picture at hand. What will insulting someone because of those beliefs do? It definitely won't change their views or make them see things from your point of view.

It's sad and frustrating that this endless fighting doesn't even occur between two countries or two governments or two nation-states. Instead, we see arguments and strife between two family members, two neighbors or even two strangers, all living in the same community and under the same government, all sharing more similarities than differences.

We need to stop focusing so much on singular ideas. We need to stop believing in the close-minded idea that only one thought is the best thought. And instead of wasting energy trying to change other's opinions, we need to use that energy and time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities.

These past few years have truly divided America. Let's make 2019 a year of unity, because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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