Monday, December 18, 2017

Dear Millennials

Dear Millennials

I'm sorry, I know we kinda screwed you.

You are 1/2 as likely to own a home as someone your age in 1975.  1 out of 5 of you are living in poverty.  I know you've taken on at least 300% more student debt than your parents and that most of your salary is consumed with rent.  You are likely to be the first generation that will be poorer than the generation before you.  And to make matters worse you have to listen to the very people who screwed you lecture you about entitlement and hard work.  I know it must be galling at best.

But here is the thing about America.  Whatever it may be, it is something we collectively create through our votes and so you have the power to make a difference in what happen--

Oh, what a minute.  No, not really I guess.  Because half you DIDN'T VOTE!

 Yeah, that's right.  Half of all millennials eligible to vote couldn't be bothered.  So while you're complaining that the previous generation screwed your future with participation trophies and a massive national debt you might want to take a look in the mirror.

I personally know millennials who refused to vote in the last election.  Refused.  Didn't want to choose the "lesser of two evils".  You know what?  Grow up.  You don't always get to choose between kittens and rainbows.  Sometimes you have to make hard choices.  Your inability to do that proves the point of people who call you spoiled and lazy.

I know the choice you had in the last presidential election was like a game of "would you rather" gone really really bad.  Having to choose between an incompetent nincompoop and a murderous shrill was a difficult call to make.  Some advise:  under such circumstances, it might benefit you to consider which of those two evils is more likely to protect the environment you are going to have to live in, or who is most likely to add to an already growing mountain of national debt, or what platform seemed most interested in making sure you'd have insurance when and if you ever move out of your parents basement.

You don't like the way the future looks in this country? You don't like not having insurance?  You don't like the way the economy seems to favor the already privileged?  You don't like paying into a social security system that will be bankrupt long before you can withdraw a penny?  You don't like toxins being released into the air you have to breathe?

You do have a voice.  It's called a vote.  It was purchased for you by the very generation you blame for our current problems.  That 19-year old boy who was shot in the chest as soon as he stepped off the boat onto Normandy Beach -- he bought it for you with his blood that gushed all over the sand.  So you know what, put on your big girl/boy panties and go VOTE.

And guess what, you don't have to wait every 4 years for the big presidential election.  You can vote every year for senators, congressmen, state representatives, or governors.  There are all kinds of ways you can vote.

I know that it isn't as easy for some of you.  I know that barriers have been put in place to make it difficult.  But as hard as it may be, it's not impossible.  So take a day off, take the 3 buses, or whatever it takes, to go to your local DMV.  Do a little research ahead of time so you know what to bring with you.  Yeah, you may have may have to make a phone call or two to track down a copy of your birth certificate  You may have to remember to hang onto a copy of your electric bill for a few weeks.  It's a giant pain in the ass, I know.  Even still, gather up everything you need and go get yourself an ID, and register to vote.  While these things are inconvenient,  it seems like a small price to pay to gain a voice in the future of this nation.

No one has been a greater advocate for you than me.  I see your hard work, your integrity, your kindness and I think it's unfair that you are so maligned.  But there is only so much I can do for you.  It PISSES me off that you won't go vote.  People who don't vote, don't get to complain.  So either get your asses out to the polls or shut up and get ready to go down in flames with this country.

Now to the half of you who did vote, thank you.  Clearly, this is not directed at you.  But before you start to whine about how screwed you are,  consider that energy might be better spent getting your buddies out the voting booth than trying to convince the people who screwed you to begin with to stop screwing you now.

If you think your one vote is too insignificant to make a difference I beg you to reconsider.  Millennials now rival baby boomers as a political force.  You are over 1/3 of the overall electorate.   Yet you have the lowest voter turnout of any other age group -- and you have more at stake in this game than anyone else.  You have the power to change the outcome of elections, especially in the pivotal swing states.  Rather than showing up to protest Trump's election, you could have shown up at the polls and made a difference in the actual election itself.  Think about it and then choose.  Stand for something.  Because in spite of what you may think, not voting isn't standing for anything.

Now, I'm sure you can probably guess which way I'm hoping you'll vote.  Most of you do have a tendency. like me, to lean left.  But even if that's not the case.  Even if your collective choice would be to put someone like Donald Trump in the White House it will be YOUR choice, your future, your fate to embrace or try to change.

The problem with that, of course, is that it means you'll have to take responsibility for what happens. You won't be able to blame us anymore for your unfortunate future.  It means instead of crying about how screwed you are you'll have to take the time to study out the issues and decide which is going to be the least awful.  Not ideal, I know.  Welcome to adulthood.  No one is going to figure it all out for you, but on the upside, you get to spend the night with someone whenever you want, so there's that.

I've lost sympathy for you.  And you know why?  Because right now I have a young daughter who can't vote and your whinny ass entitled apathy is affecting her.  She is going to inherit the word YOU create.  How's that for a change.  You are responsible for the next generation.  Try to do better for her than we did for you.

Effing VOTE!  You'll be doing yourself, and my daughter,  a tremendous favor.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Why I Hope Trump Fails

Yeah,  you read that right.  I hope Trump fails.

I know it's pretty petty sounding, especially when the likes of Tom Hanks, Barak Obama and even Hillary Clinton herself have come out and said they hope for America that he's successful.  I've tried to get my head around that and I can't, I just can't.

The man sickens me, people.  And it isn't because of the biased media, it's because of the things he says and does and tweets.  He sickened me when he called Hillary Clinton a "nasty woman" on national television and led chants of "lock her up".  It sickens me that he lives in the lap of ostentatious excess after using bankruptcy laws to bilk honest contractors out of thousands, even millions of dollars.  It sickens me that his twitter comments more closely resemble that of a petulant adolecent child rather than a grown man elected to lead the free world.

Most of all it sickens me that he's a bully - and he won.

And if this foul mouthed, lying cheat of bully is successful, God help us all.  Because if he is successful everything I've ever been taught about kindness, honesty and graciousness has been grossly inaccurate. If that's the case, if that's really the case where does that leave us?  Teaching our children that you can lie, blatantly lie, if you repeat it enough, that you can slither out of obligations, marriages, business contracts, if you are clever enough, that you can expect the whole word to bow to your ego if your rich and powerful enough.  I don't want to live in that world and I don't want to leave that world behind for my children.

I was taught my whole life that things like kindness, and honesty and decency make the world a better place. Crudeness, taking advantage of the weak, stealing something that wasn't ours might have their momentary reward, but ultimately they dirtied the world that you had to live in.  I was taught it was worth sacrificing immediate gratification, the Freudian ID, for a greater good. And I bought it. I believed it - the whole thing.  I believed that living the golden rule would make our society better for everyone, including me.

I realize as I write that how ridiculous it is.  After all, we live in a real word.  Nice guys finish last.  You can't expect to prosper by playing fair.  Business is war.  Take what you can get and never look back. Look out for #1.  Things like courtesy, integrity, and intelligence are just casualties we need to leave by the wayside.   I guess living by the rules of decency is for chumps.

If you want to get ahead, you've got to think like Donald Trump.  You can't argue with his results -- he's been elected President of the United States of America.  If he is successful as a president we can expect that philosophy to be copied and magnified for generations.

I'm not completely naive.  I know how the world is.  I just had hope that we could eventually make it a better place.

And if Donald Trump is successful -- that hope is gone.