Child's Play

Child's Play

The Right vs. The Left
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During the primary season Bernie Sanders was asked during a Democratic Town Hall on MSNBC how big he wanted to make the government. The answer he gave was something to the extent of “I want to mix in socialist values in with our current capitalist economy” (I’m paraphrasing, of course), which looking back is a pretty decent answer. The issue I have with his answer is that it doesn’t really address the myth that is currently going around when people talk about politics. It is often believed that Republicans believe in a small government while Democrats believe in a large government. But is that really true? The answer is obviously ‘no’. To the completely honest, both political parties believe in about the same size of government. Where they differ is what department they want to increase and/or decrease.

On the right side of the spectrum, it is often believed that Republicans are for the little man and they typically don’t believe in “sticking their noses in other people’s lives”…except, of course, for people of the LGBTQ community, people of different races, people of different religions, and women. They don’t believe in getting involved in the lives of others unless you want to have an abortion. They don’t want to get involved in your life, yet seem to have an unhealthy obsession what you do in the bedroom of your own home. They don’t want to get involved in your life unless you have a different belief as them. Then they think it is okay to violate the fourth amendment rights and spy on you (but if you dare stand up for gun regulation you are “un-American”). The truth is, Republicans do believe in a massive government. They like being able to control the lives of others who don’t believe the same way they do. They are very concerned about what you do in your own bedroom. They think that our military is not bloated and they advocate for us in intervene in many different countries. If they were truly pro-small government they would not feel the need to interfere in the lives of others and would probably advocate for a smaller military.

On the left side of the spectrum, Democrats are believed to want a large booming government. They advocate for assistance for poor families who cannot afford it. They tend to stand up for Muslim Americans and African Americans alike. While those are not at all bad things, the flaws in the thinking of so many regressive Democrats should not be overshadowed. A lot of mainstream Democrats support Black Lives Matter and will rage towards anyone (such as myself) who says “all lives matter”. While I understand that some people say “all lives matter” just to oppose Black Lives Matter, I am not one of those. I do believe that black lives matter, but at the same time, I am not blinded by my position. For example, advocates for Black Lives Matter are currently tearing Charlotte to pieces because an armed black guy moved towards a police officer in a threatening manner and got shot.

Whether they actually believe that the Black Lives Matter activists in Charlotte actually have a case or not or if they just fear being called racist I’m not entirely sure of. But there seems to be a lot of that going around when it comes to the left. If you oppose Black Lives Matter but actually do believe that all lives matter, you are racist by default. If you are an atheist and call out the religion of Islam because you think it is ridiculous child’s play and that it is not a religion of peace, you are racist (even though Islam isn’t a race). You are refuse to call yourself a feminist because third wave feminism has given the movement a bad name, but you identify yourself as an egalitarian, you are still sexist.

My point here is that each side has their own agenda and while Democrats are better than Republicans overall, they are still shitty yes-men who want nothing more than to push their agendas forward. We live in a savage world that is an “us vs. them” mentality and if you don’t fully agree with one side or the other, you tossed aside like a wild dog as both packs of wolves devour you from both sides. Republicans, Democrats, they’re just two sides of the same coin, which is why I left the party and now identify myself as a Liberal independent. I’ve had enough of the child’s play bullshit. When you (Democrats and Republicans) are ready to join me at the “big kid’s table” and stop fighting about pointless shit that doesn’t really matter, I will be waiting. Come join me. Regain your common sense.

Cover Image Credit: The Huffington Post

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.

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This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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