“Educate yourself and make your voice heard.” Those were words spoken to me by the former President of the Cincinnati Tea Party when I interviewed him back when I was in high school. That was a big moment for me. It was the moment when I started forming a passion for the political process, the moment I started becoming a more informed citizen and the moment where I realized how important peaceful protest is to our country.

Yes, the Tea Party was a big turning point in my life. Now, we are faced with a very similar situation in our country right now.

President Donald Trump

Hey! Guess what! Donald Trump is officially the 45th President of the United States. His speech left much to be desired. Personally, I felt the speech was written late night after a campaign stop in late October and Bannon and Miller were kind of drunk and just spewing campaign rhetoric and ‘patriotic verbiage’ left and right and formed all of that into an Inaugural Address.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.
This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
Yes, when you look at what is being said, it is admirable. Poverty is a huge issue in our country. Manufacturing jobs are struggling and crime in certain areas continues to be a problem. However, you see no attempt at saying “hey, I’m going to fix these problems.” You don’t see any glimmer of hope. All you see and take away from this is “American carnage.” Those words have never been spoken in an Inaugural Address… ever. Remember “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”? Remember “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Trump’s speech was leaps and bounds behind those speeches yesterday.
That’s all I will focus on in regard to the actual speech. It sucked. I hope Trump succeeds as President because I don’t want to see him, and as a result our country, fail.

Battle of the Numbers

I am very happy I took time and wrote this on Saturday instead of Friday. Saturday arguably had a lot more to talk about. Let’s start off by talking about the blatant Day 1 lie by the Trump Administration.

A big talking point across various media outlets is how Trump’s Inauguration (right) compared to Obama’s first Inauguration (left.) It doesn’t take a rocket scientist… or a U.S. Press Secretary to tell you that Obama clearly had more people attend his Inauguration than Trump. That is a clear fact. No one can refute that.

Right?

Right?

You see where I’m going with this?

President Trump (admittedly, calling him President Trump will be hard to get used to) spoke in front of the CIA on Saturday and said the ‘dishonest media’ was spreading false reports about how his Inauguration was not well-attended. This was later enforced by a press conference called by Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer tried to explain that there were many factors at play that prove Trump’s Inauguration was the MOST WATCHED INAUGURATION EVER. PERIOD. Yes, he did add the period at the end. No better way to end the argument than what Spicer did there.

This folks, is the first lie of the new Trump Administration. It’s Day 1. Where do we possibly go from here? Something that is so easily fact-checked is being questioned by the highest office in the land.

So if they are willing to lie about this… what else are they willing to lie about to the American people? In the grand scheme of things, this story is nothing. The attendance of the Inauguration means nothing. What matters is the President lying to America about this non-story. What is he now going to say about health care? What is he going to say about education? About terrorism? About his wall? The precedent has been set.

Numbers that could matter

The other big story to come out of Saturday was the Women’s March that took place in cities across the country. Objectively, these turnouts were incredible. Some cities had hundreds of thousands flood the streets to protest the new administration. They want the administration to hear their concerns about matters of women’s reproductive rights, immigration rights… basically against all of the thing Trump said during his campaign.

gettyimages-632287522_slide-dd0cdc47115cc7c17152c8d4bffd893dfc7f7260-s900-c85

Yes… it appears more people attended the rally in DC today than the Inauguration yesterday. I know you were probably dying to know the answer to that question.

These protests, by all the reports I’ve read, were peaceful. No arrests have been reported at the time of this writing. These were peaceful protests. This got me thinking earlier today when I was watching coverage of these protests:

When Obama was elected in 2008, many on the right were upset and took action. Those actions led to the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party movement swayed the balance of power in Congress. Hell, the Tea Party movement gave us Donald Trump. Despite what you may think of the movement, they accomplished something big. They took action and those actions had outcomes.

Is this the start of something similar with these women marches that we say on Saturday? Time will tell but from what I was reading on Twitter, people want this type of thing to keep up and turn into their own movement and sway the balance of power in their favor. That will be the big thing to see over the coming months.

Of course, many will argue about the validity and real purpose of these marches… but that’s the way these things always go.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into Occupy again. I don’t think I can deal with that crap again.

Common ground

It is important to have open dialogue in our country. It is important to hear from people who have different opinions than that of your own. The echo chamber that many keep themselves in does not do this country any good. Ad hominem attacks against the other side do not do anything. In order to have progress, we need to have compromise. We cannot have compromise without discussion. Stop posting the crappy (and often unfunny) anti-Trump memes on Facebook. Stop calling everyone who disagrees with Trump a ‘snowflake’ who needs to grow up and accept what happened. Talk to each other! Find common ground.

Educate yourself and make your voice heard. Those are the words that I have lived by since I’ve heard them over 5 years ago. Education comes when you challenge your own ideals and thoughts. Education comes from reading what qualified journalists are writing about in regard to the Presidency and surrounding events in Washington. I’m not perfect when it comes to this stuff and maybe I’m just thinking too ideally. I believe that this country has always been great because of the people. It’s time to learn from one another.

Trump is now our President. Now is not the time to say “he is not my President.” He is. Let’s hope he helps this country succeed.

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