No, Actually, The World Doesn’t Owe You…

It’s a common issue for the Left: Whom to give reparations to? Or welfare, or affirmative action etc.. etc… Many groups clamor for their chance at getting their “due justice” from “histories of oppression”, marginalization and even violence! Even on a smaller less dramatic scale, we see this idea of those that have more, are obligated in some fashion to give to those who have less. Now, this all sounds well and good. After all, isn’t it just to give back what was wrongfully stolen, or to give to those more in need than yourself? The simple answer would be yes, of course it is and we should! However, like anything in this world, the answer is not so black and white…

These cases can be broadly broken up into a few basic scenarios. One, is the case of the marginalized group, mostly a minority ethnic or racial group claiming reparations for past historic injustices such as discrimination, conquest, even violence. Closely related is the affirmative action debate as historic discrimination happened in schools and the workplace for some groups, but also branches out to include other categories such as gender/sex and sexual orientation. Another case is the people who are at a socio-economic disadvantage and claim that those with more ought to give some of it to them so the balance is more even and the gap between rich and poor must be shrunken as far as possible. Also, on a much bigger scale, international claims to rights or moral obligations that the United States must or should honor in giving people asylum or citizenship to flee persecution, poverty or other events worldwide.

My stance on this? The world doesn’t owe you, we don’t owe you… Now, how on Earth could anyone think so callously or without empathy? Am I not aware that I could have been in their shoes too just as easily had fate turned out different? Of course I am! I get it, and do in fact, have a sense of altruism like the rest of us. In a perfect world, or close to perfect as it can be while still containing the same issues, the simple answer would be of course, I have more, so there’s enough to give to you, too! Problem is, it’s not a black and white cut and dried world, with easy solutions that work. Nor is everything on the surface the whole truth for the claimants to our help… Let’s break down the examples with a few:

Let’s start with the first scenario: The historically conquered then marginalized group. They say that since we took their lands long ago, subjected them to most inhumane brutalities, stamped out their culture and claim we continue to marginalize them, we owe them big time! On its face it seems a fair claim. After all, there’s no way around the truth that horrible things were done through out history to them. The group I’m thinking of is the many tribes of Native Americans. We have done many inhumane, horrible things that should be addressed in some form or another, mainly, to never do it again! Trouble is, the magnitude of their demands.

Many want their original lands repatriated back to them lost through our conquests of their people. However, this is not so easy to fulfill, for one thing, countless Americans now live on those lands, major cities built, neighborhoods grew… We’re not talking about the vast open wilderness of the 15th to 19th centuries here! And what about the generations of new inhabitants who never hurt one single Indian nor have even their grandparents? It was wrong early settlers took land through genocide and violence, but the current inhabitants of said land are as innocent as the natives who lived on it two centuries earlier! Which brings up another point in this not so clear cut moral dilemma…

They did it, too! Yes the Native Americans were not some “noble savage” stereotype of a peaceful nature-loving hippie! They were human just as much as anyone else and had the bad side of humanity just as much as we did. They burned, plundered, conquered and killed other fellow tribes in their areas. They may have not had the “guns, germs and steel”, but as far as morality goes, which we’re judging here, was just as barbaric as any European.

Had they an edge over another tribe, they would use it in a heartbeat and would have loved to have wiped out their enemies. So the question is then, what do they owe those people? I’m cool with giving over the land we took from them, as soon as they give back every little thing they ever took since they crossed the Bering Strait into North America from their enemies they marginalized, conquered, subjugated and oppressed…  In this case, maybe they could make a solid case we owe them something of some sort, but they can’t hide from the fact by their own logic then, they also owe someone the same things, too! Of course, they are not the only group that falls under similar situations, but this is one major example.

Another major example is more generic and socioeconomic in nature. The Left claims that people with more wealth and social status owe people who have less and they only got it through oppressing the people who have less. For example, if you live in a fancy neighborhood and send your kids to the finest schools, you are also obligated to help lift a kid from the ghetto out of poverty by placing them with your child, or your tax dollars have to go to a welfare system. Or you owe them a job at your company because they were “marginalized”. Or a school has to create scholarships for certain special interest groups. The moral issue here lies in the concept of “privilege” and who has it. The argument is that some people are more privileged and need to combat their privilege and the onus is on them to help fight the inequality of those without it. However things are not so cut and dried here either!

Trouble here is well, how did they get said privilege? Yes, they live in a good neighborhood, have a well paying job and are able to easily provide for their family. But how did they get into such good luck? Yes, some could have had it handed to them, or cheated their way up, but for many, it was hard work like everyone else, through the sweat and tears of their family who aspired for the next generation to have more. Point is, that “privilege” was earned. The rich CEO whose grandpa fled Nazi Germany and built the company from nothing, the high powered mom who worked her way into a middle class life out of a broken home by her work and hers alone and now is giving her kids a chance at a new life to give their kids and so on.

A (white) man like my dad whose grandparents fled the Armenian genocide, and lived a borderline poverty blue collar childhood yet is labeled privileged and the onus put on him to solve racial injustice. Why do these people owe someone with less, but can work their way up, too? And what about those simply born into “privilege” the same way someone else was born into disadvantage? We don’t blame the victim of uncontrolled circumstance, such as a marginalized minority for simply being born a minority! Why is it okay then to put the onus of change on the person born white, or male, and in a middle class family, things he couldn’t control either!

My last but certainly not least example is the “right” to asylum in the US and immigration. I’ve written about it in much detail before, so I’ll get straight to the point: We don’t owe anyone citizenship in this country, or asylum morally that is, simply because we have more resources. We’re not the world’s crash pad, nor babysitter. Nor do we want people who are ungrateful and bring their 3rd world injustices into this country, and demand welfare and resources that we do have the legal and moral obligation to give to our own citizens first! If the roles were reversed, the Left would argue that they don’t have to prioritize us over their people… Also, on an important side note, the asylum law says the first safe country, not the cushiest! 😉

Point is overall, there will always be people with more than you. There will always be those with less than you. Why is it automatically assumed that you owe someone who had less simply because you have more through your own hard work, or your lucky circumstance? The onus for change is not on someone simply because they have more fortunate circumstances. The onus is on YOU to work hard to change your life! You to study harder. Work harder. Grasp at more opportunities instead of waiting for them to be given to you, because for many who made it to the top: it wasn’t either. Conquest and historic injustices did happen, racism and sexism and other prejudices did have effects on the world. However, why is one group more responsible for reparations when the group claiming it also has skeletons in their closet? Or the REAL perpetrators have died generations ago? Or you claim asylum yet continue to perpetuate your injustices here?

Is this to say we should never reach out and lend a helping hand or try to make inequalities go away? Not at all! That’s not my point! Giving out of the kindness of one’s heart, altruism, empathy, charity, all have a place in this world. The problem starts when people think the generosity and giving has to be compulsory and others are entitled to it simply because we have more… We should all have generous hearts, which are open to give to those worthy of it. To lift a promising student out of poverty with a scholarship. To have charities to help the needy and break the cycle and give them the change to work their way to the top. To advocate to make sure minorities are not still marginalized or discriminated against for real. To help internationally without draining our resources we need for our own people. My family opens its doors to less fortunate friends. My dad is big on donating to charities as that’s how he was raised to give and serve others.

The key difference is that is true altruism. Given freely as a choice from the heart. What the Left demands is not altruism or goodwill towards fellow man, but forced social engineering! That Robin Hood socialist mentality that is forced and guilt tripped rather than given freely out of altruism and empathy from within. So in conclusion, no, the world doesn’t owe you anything simply for being disadvantaged in some way, because aren’t we all? No one is obligated to have the onus placed on them for your problems if they weren’t the direct cause of them. No one has everything they need or want. We just make do with what we have and work for what we don’t. Why can’t you?

Serving others does not mean enslaving yourself!



“Baby, It’s Triggering Outside”…

A new holiday tradition around the Christmas season is the Left getting triggered over the most benign things! From “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” being offensive for sending messages of people only accepting differences for what they can get out of you, to even getting in a huff over making fun winter holiday themed activities in school, even candy canes, the Left has become the Christmas, or more broadly, the Holiday Grinch!

Look, I’ve written before that I take a more moderate, reserved view about the whole “war on Christmas” business, even from a conservative view. As a secular person, I honestly don’t mind “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas” and understand why businesses and employers want to use the broader term to not alienate potential customers or employees, or why government and municipal buildings/public spaces would not allude specifically to one holiday, or one religion in a country of religious freedom. In the grand scheme of culture wars, this particular one is one that takes a backseat in my opinion to far more negatively impactful issues, such as 3rd world values creeping in for instance. Saying “Happy holidays” is not the gateway to Sharia law or the persecution of those who do celebrate Christmas, including myself! That being said upfront, there IS a middle ground between “Christian theocracy”and PC “no-mention of any holiday allowed” dictatorship in its own right!

Having candy canes, red and green decorations, a Christmas tree generically decorated (which I’ll note is NOT a Christian symbol but comes from older Pagan traditions), wreaths, and non-religious songs playing do not cross the line into “Christians only” territory! It is possible to have generic winter themes stuff, and holiday things that don’t exclude anyone, even if they are traditionally associated with Christmas. Having an allergic, knee jerk reaction to an innocent wreath, candy canes, or even the colors red and green in the name of religious pluralism is outlandish, as you’re really stretching the scope of  “religious symbolism” into imaginary extremes! A “holiday party” at work is not the same as a church service! “Jingle Bells” is not the same as “Silent Night” in terms of specific religious content in a school holiday program for instance!

I also want to make it very clear, private businesses, property, citizens and such have just as much right to choose a specific holiday, and openly display overtly religious symbols of their choosing! I will fight for anyone’s right to say “Merry Christmas”, display nativity scenes, choose to openly celebrate Christmas as a religious holy day as these rights come with being a country that has freedom of religion. I support a private business emphasizing Christmas over a generic holiday season if they so choose to. Everyone has the right to display all the nativity scenes they want on their own property! Every citizen has the right to worship in the way they choose, just the government can’t favor or impose one on everyone which is why this opinion does not extend into the government/municipal sphere… Unfortunately, the Left can’t understand this nuance, and out of a knee jerk fear of offending or excluding, seek to ban anything even remotely related to the holidays for everyone…

To the Left nothing is safe, not even fun holiday/winter themed songs! “Baby it’s Cold Outside” is now anathema to the #MeToo hysterics who say it supports rape culture and the woman is being unethically coerced. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, a classic since 1964 is now told to have detrimental messages such as people only accepting differences if they can use you! A principal banished any Christmas or holiday activities whatsoever, even going so far as to ban candy canes on an urban legend it stands for “J” for Jesus and the red is Christ’s blood that would be proven false with a bit of research on her part! Even winter/holiday themed Starbucks cups that have winter/holiday designs and red and green, but no religious symbols whatsoever are making triggered snowflakes get in a tizzy over them excluding people!

If you follow and read my blog closely, many of these instances of utter hysteria are reminiscent of my earlier Halloween post where the Left also makes the innocent and innocuous into something perverted or offensive! I mean, come on! “Baby it’s cold outside” is nothing more than a fun song about a man and woman flirting playfully together. Its clear she is in no distress whatsoever nor is upset to be with the guy! She wants to stay and is coyly telling him to persuade her to over practical reasons why she should go home. Its more of “I really should go back, but I’m enjoying it so much, I need an excuse to stay”, NOT “I feel coerced and he’s trying to exert power over me to force me to stay with him”… Not to mention the glaringly obvious: What about all the vulgar rap songs and pop music our youth listens to that objectify and degrade women, and have lyrics that if #MeToo were applied fairly, would counts as rape and sexual assault/harassment! Women are called vile names, Sl—t, B—Ch, H—es, etc… etc.. and lyrics speak of smacking their booties, oogling their breasts, speaking of strippers and having unbridled sex and overall treating women as nothing more than a “score” for a player, yet a song like “Baby it’s Cold Outside” with zero of the above is labeled as promoting rape culture??? The hypocrisy is maddening!

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is just what it was always interpreted as: Someone who is different who was discriminated against, proves everyone wrong by having his special talent, and being an asset to everyone else, not a detriment! That should be a very Left leaning SJW message, as they argue that many groups who are discriminated against do have that “special talent” to add to the country, or community. Rudolph’s red nose saved the day and proved his worth to everyone who thought he was useless. To argue that it’s a bad message in that it means people only care abut what they can get out of you in a selfish manner is highly pessimistic and the worst possible interpretation! That was not the case in the story, they genuinely accepted him for who he was in the end, his nose became secondary after they were all proven wrong! Our special talents make us assets to our communities, our friends and families. To be able to give something great to the people we care about is a blessing not a curse that can be taken advantage of and leeched off of by others! Rudolph had his special talent, the message to the viewer is then, what is your gift to the world? Telling isn’t it, how the Left just loves to make everyone into an oppressed victim!

People, candy canes are just candy canes. Red and green does not scream “Christian theocracy”. Holiday music is not setting the tune of “If you’re not a Christian, you’re not included”. “Baby it’s Cold Outside” is NOT about coercing a woman to rape her, nor does “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” have anything to do with race! Generic (historically pagan) Christmas trees, wreathes, and mistletoe are not shoving Jesus down everyone’s throat. Coffee cups that have holly, green, red, and snowy scenes on them are not denominational whatsoever. A school holiday musical is cute, not discriminatory. Making ornaments, wreathes, snowmen in school are fun memories to look back on, not painful ones to retell in therapy. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is about acceptance, not exploitation. The holiday season is a magical time that everyone can make fun and lasting memories of, no matter what you celebrate! The “reason for the season” is yours to decide what is most meaningful to you, religious or otherwise! For me, it’s about the warmth of family and friends, and making more great memories with the ones I love and cherish! Whatever your personal reasons are though, being triggered by every innocent and innocuous thing is NOT a good reason for the season! 😉

(Oh, wait, I said “family”, I hope you’re not too triggered as this is the era of the broken home and divorce 😉 Oh well, Happy whatever-you-celebrate!…)

Even Santa Can’t Escape PC Tyranny: A Guest Post by Time Foolery

The PC tyranny has reached its zenith with all out outlandish fancies! Of course, this extends to the holidays season, where anything remotely “Christmas” is banned and stifled! Even Santa can’t escape these grinches, as Time Foolery writes in to A Lady of Reason:

Recently a New Jersey substitute teacher took it upon herself to inform the children in her classroom that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and other fancies such as the Tooth Fairy, weren’t real. Now, take yourself back in time to when you were seven years old, in the First Grade. It’s almost Christmas, and the decorations are going up and the stockings are hung. Naturally, your first thoughts are, “What is Santa going to bring me!?” I know this because I usually had dog-eared the heck out of our Sears catalog and written my Santa letter well before Halloween! Most kids I knew did. It was the highlight of our year!! Now, think to being a parent, coming up with other fun things like Advent Calendars and Elf on a Shelf to get your young’uns excited about the holiday.

Now think about someone swooping in and deciding for you that your child, or even you at that age, needed to know that something you’re so excited about, is all a BIG, FAT LIE perpetrated by you and your parents before you! If you are like me, you’d be incredibly upset from both vantage points!! To have your childhood so unceremoniously, and without cause or reason, crushed by someone barely qualified to teach!! And to have the right of when you let your children in on the secret so rudely ripped out of your hands – well, it’s no wonder this sub has lost their job. But I don’t want to harp on all the obvious issues that abound with this happening. I don’t think the majority from any party affiliation would disagree that this person seriously overstepped their bounds or crushed the dreams of little children. That’s an obvious.

No, it is the spirit of this season I wish to look at instead. This year I turned the ripe, old age of 52 and I proudly proclaim, I still believe in Santa Claus! St. Nicholas of Myra was an early Christian bishop who became the Patron Saint of Children. It is through his legendary habit of secret gift-giving that we find the traditional model for Santa Claus aka Good Saint Nick. It is this tradition that parents like to emulate and carry on traditionally with their children, and hopefully their children will grow up to do the same for theirs. But there’s many more reasons I still believe in Santa Claus.

Whenever I, or someone else, help someone out of sheer humanity, there is Santa Claus. Anytime someone donates their time to a charity, there is Santa Claus. Even just holding a door open for someone for no reason except to help, that is Santa Claus. But right now, I think Santa Claus is actor James Woods, who just recently played unofficial Twitter coordinator for helping fire victims find their families in California. A week later, he helped police find a homeless vet who was going to end it all because he thought no one cared. He got so many people involved with both situations who shared their love, concern and help for all. That is truly, truly Santa Claus. Indeed, we need look no further than our fellow man to see that the spirit of giving is what St. Nicholas stood for, and doing things like he would makes us all Santa Claus, and I certainly hope we all believe in ourselves!!!

I agree Time Foolery! While as I am non-religious but still celebrate Christmas, I too have experienced the magic of Santa Claus and I guess he’s been generous, as he still leaves a special gift from time to time under my tree 😉 You make the excellent point that when we stop believing in Santa, we become Santa for others!!! The magic doesn’t stop once childhood ends, it only continues through acts of kindness during the holiday season and all year round! Why ruin the magic though while it lasts??? The world is bleak as it is, and childhood is one of the only times we will ever see the world as mainly good and warm and fuzzy… I always advocate for forewarning and forearming our children of the dangers of the world frankly and openly, not shielding them in naivete to its many dangers, but that doesn’t mean some harmless fun and a little magic shouldn’t be experienced, and no longer believing a milestone in growing up… The magic of Santa Claus is something everyone can cherish even when all grown up!

Image result for ben garrison christmas

Agreeing to Disagree: A Lost Art Part II

In the second half, I propose some ideas and strategies to help facilitate a more peaceful way to debate, and to get along over the holidays, and honestly, any time of the year 😉

Really Listen to What The Other Person is Saying

As said in the part I, really make the effort to see why they hold the views they doIt’s not because they want to sound like an ignoramus and don’t care if their idea is immoral or foolish! People often have heartfelt reasons, aside from the virtue signalers, for their opinions and beliefs. Maybe they had a bad (or good) experience related to the issue (ex. “My brother was mistaken for a criminal….”, “I’ve known many awesome Syrian refugees through my charity work…”). This doesn’t mean their views are correct, but one can appreciate better where they’re coming from and why they hold them.

Criticize the Ideas, Not The Person Holding Them

Ad-hominem attacks get you nowhere! They prove nothing, and only create more tension, division, and a resolve to not listen to your points! Screaming “Well, you’re a racist bigot!” will not convince Uncle Steve to change his mind about welfare policies… Supplying statistics to the contrary, or citing sources for your side of the argument however, will get you much farther. You can pummel an idea into the ground all you want, but the person holding them still deserves common courtesy and respect.

Consider Their Points, Don’t Just React

A knee jerk reaction does nothing for you either! Letting emotion cloud your rational mind weakens you tenfold in any debate! Don’t virtue signal some superficial slogan, actually consider what they’re really saying, not just your automatic straw-man of what they’re saying… 😉 (Ex. Shouting “No one is illegal!!!” When the person meant one’s immigration status, NOT one’s humanity!)….

Never Cross The Line Into Insults or Threats!

This one is a must! Ad hominem attacks, again, get you no where and will only get you an enemy! In addition however, actually threatening people crosses so many lines! People should not be afraid to voice their opinion due to fears of violence, ostracism, lost jobs, etc..etc… People don’t deserve to have their families terrified, their reputations smeared, or vile insults hurled at them or again, their families due to disagreements! And yes, even their children attacked! How would YOU feel if it were you and your family??? If you don’t stand up for others being attacked, then who will stand up for you when your opinions are targeted?…

Pick Your Battles

Sometimes, it’s okay to agree to disagree… Not every issue is worth getting into a deep debate about and drain your energy! Not every comment at dinner you want to refute has to be 😉 Save the debate for issues that really matter to you, comments that really get to you, not just irk you a little. Don’t be a snowflake offended perpetually and having to start a fight to “correct” those who “trigger” you with their “microaggressions”! Save the righteous indignation for a better time, a better occasion than Grandma’s dinner, or your friends’ hangout, hold your tongue at the work New Year’s party etc…etc… Just let the loonies rant away, while you remain classy and diplomatic!

Don’t Bring It Up!!!

There’s a time and place for politics and religion! A mixed gathering often isn’t the time! The debate team, a blog, activism, in the classroom on the subject, around like minded people, and such can be 🙂 Work, that party, the holidays and other family events… not so much! No matter what sides we’re on ideologically, I hope it’s a non partisan thing to say we should try to find common ground with people and learn to get along and allow many viewpoints! The real “diversity” we need to advocate for, is diversity of thought!

I hope this list helps, and please, add your own ideas, experiences etc… in the comments! 🙂

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(Finding common ground is a pro tip!!!)

Agreeing to Disagree: A Lost Art Part I

Around this time of the year, more friends and families are getting together to celebrate the holiday season, and with it of course, bring a myriad of different viewpoints! Most families, (unless everyone is of one hive mind…) have members with all different perspectives, experiences, and yes, opinions! Inevitably, not all opinions are let’s just say….compatible with each other! You know the rest of the story: The drama! The fighting! The heated “discussions” of the finer points on why you’re completely, totally and undeniably “wrong!” This year, and probably last year as well, our country’s political polarization didn’t help at all 😉 Nowadays, it’s Left vs. Right, white vs. black, gay vs. straight, women vs. men, believer vs. non-believer, etc…etc… This wedge in society, not helped at all by very highly contentious issues being brought out in a frank manner for the first time with Trump saying what he feels as well and the Leftist backlash, can get people shall I say too involved, and absorbed in them! This divide within our nation festers, but must go somewhere, and too often, at the family dinner table!

Now, the opponent is not only factually wrong, but morally wrong! People have literally unfriended friends off social media, alienated family, even shunned and ostracized their close friends over political disagreements cast as incompatible moral faults! And it seems to have only gotten worse! Thing is, most of this unfortunately seems to be mostly one sided… Think for a moment: When was the last time a conservative person shunned you, ostracized you, even shouted in your face if you held a moderately liberal position? Did they try to engage, maybe even vigorously debate with you, or actually get angry with you as a person, not just your ideas?!

However now, think again to many liberals… How many have you seen, experienced personally, and now in the news, screaming at, even threatening and crossing the line to violence over an opposing viewpoint! Just look at the attacks on Carlson’s family and his daughter! Look around at the Antifa riots, all the conservatives afraid to be open about their opinions due to shunning, ostracism, violence, fear of getting fired or held back in a job, losing friends and family over politics etc… etc… Now honestly ask yourself, if liberal, have you felt that way? Really??? Have you felt fear of losing your job, your friends and family, even fearing for your physical safety over holding a liberal view? Because if you are, you’re the exception in a society where every public school, college, employer, official institutions, the mainstream media, TV shows, movies, etc… openly espouse liberal views! I have personally known and spoken with many conservatives in real life, and online, and about all of them felt like they were “taboo” in society even if brave enough to be openly conservative.

What could possibly make people feel such uncontrolled vitriol, riots, threats, violence, vile language and such is justified towards those one disagrees with??? I think we know the answer: Seeing your opponent as in essence an “opponent”, someone who is your literal enemy, who must be “defeated”! Seeing a person as being immoral for having an opinion, not just illogical or uninformed. Trouble is, the Left seems to be the majority on this one! Writing people off their list for having Conservative view points. Labeling their own family or (former) friends as being “racist” “sexist” “homophobic”, “trans-phobic” etc… etc… rather than listening to their actual arguments, not letting one’s children get to know their own relatives because they have different viewpoints than you want to raise your children to have! Even, and I’m not kidding, making sweatshirts with crude slogans, just to make a more derisive atmosphere during the holidays!

Thing is, when did it get this bad? When did we decide it’s okay to demonize, and shun the people closest to you, who you should cherish, over a disagreement? There used to be a thing called “agreeing to disagree”! When did everything become a moral not just political issue and it’s “your side or the bad side…”??? Just because Aunt Susie doesn’t want more Syrian refugees coming into the country doesn’t mean she hates “brown people” and Muslims! Just because Grandma prefers young women remain virgins until marriage and doesn’t believe in divorce doesn’t mean she has “internalized misogyny” or that she’s a judgmental bigot who will shun you from the family dinner if you didn’t/did either of those things respectively! Just because Uncle Joe is in the NRA doesn’t mean he’s for unregulated use/sales of guns to unqualified people who can’t handle them properly, nor is he a “baby killer” who only cares about the sale of guns, and not their potential to take lives!

I will add one last thing for my fellow conservatives: Same goes for you too! Despite much of the loony left, do consider why some of your Liberal family members and friends hold the opinions they do! Your niece who’s in college and went to public schools k-12 honestly may not have been exposed to your viewpoint, except as the narrow minded wrong one! Your sister may feel that refugees genuinely aren’t bringing danger in with them and being altruistic in her own life, even to a fault, just has that opinion as an extension of her goodwill. Maybe your friend has seen true racism, and now is extra-sensitive to it, growing up in an environment of real bigotry. Maybe your friend grew up in a family who shunned him for being gay, so now feels it is his mission to be a staunch LGBT advocate, even to extremes sometimes! Point is, while I don’t give their ideologies a free pass, it helps to understand where a person could be coming from when they hold a view you don’t understand why they hold. Yes, folks: Not all Liberals are complete militant loonies who hold views just to virtue signal ( although plenty as we know, do!). Some do have heartfelt reasons for their positions, and the best way to persuade them to see our side, and understand us, is to model that courtesy in return. Sincerity deserves sincerity in return, the will to listen to their side too. Maybe if some realize we’re willing to listen to them, they may be willing to listen to us. The best way to get consideration is to model it, and even if you don’t get through, others around you will know who had more elegance, and class I know many, probably more liberals than conservatives from where I’m from, and many of them are my friends and loved family! The difference between them and the loonies we see on the news and in protests, is they can agree to disagree and consider my point of view without demonizing me, and I them 🙂

Does agreeing to disagree mean you can’t stand by your own convictions? No! Certainly not! I certainly will stand by mine, and defend them! However, “defending your convictions” does not include virulent ad-hominem attacks, overt rudeness, provocations to start a heated “debate”, creating awkwardness in mixed company and bringing up derisive topics intentionally when you know that it will upset people! Sometimes, it is best to save the debates for another time… The family holiday or friend’s party is NOT always the best time to be controversial! The holidays are about unity, not division! Peace, not war! Let’s have that Christmas (Oops! Is that too derisive 😉 ) Umm… “Holiday” truce of goodwill, and a restrained tongue! Agree to disagree… Until the holidays are over 😉

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(I love science, so I found this picture hilarious!!!)

Picking Your Battles…

I’m sure many fellow conservatives feel the same way, but often times, it can feel like you against the world! The constant drum-roll of Leftist lunacy, from all different issues, can feel quite overwhelming! So much lunacy, so much denial, so many lies, ad hominem attacks, intimidation, ostracism, it can get to be insane! Indeed, I’ve noticed many fellow conservatives are getting intensely fed up with the insanity, and are going half out of their minds themselves… From the media, public schools, about every news source, TV show, movie, magazine, celebrity, companies, even family and friends, it’s easy to feel surrounded deep behind enemy lines! There are so many fronts, it’s impossible to fight them all at once, but there is a glimmer of hope for reason and common sense to prevail: Picking your battles…

Every parent knows what I mean! Your children will push your buttons, test your patience, surround you on all sides with needs, wants, demands etc… You’re only human, so you have to let some things go! The key is to prioritize; What is important and what isn’t and can be compromised on. That mismatching outfit? Won’t matter in the long run. Running into the street? Yeah, kind of an issue… Dyeing a streak of hair pink? Not so bad… Planning to get wasted at that party? More of a pressing concern… See what I mean? Now, apply the same idea to the Left’s frankly childish demands fit for a toddler! The snowflakes out of touch with reality and how their decisions affect others around them are basically like a small immature child’s, and there are many! Therefore, my motto is “pick your battles” 😉

We can’t always put 200% into fighting every single issue. We can’t always have exactly our way, no one can. We do need to bend, and be flexible on some stuff, but firm on others. Bending does NOT mean giving into every ludicrous demand, but prioritizing what we need to stand our ground, versus what isn’t as pressing an issue for the country. Every conservative will have their own issues they feel they should hold their ground, and those they’re less involved in. This doesn’t mean some issues will be neglected, because there will be others to fight for that issue. We don’t need to overtax ourselves trying to be the advocate for literally every controversy there is! Pick a few important ones to you, and put your energy into those! Let me share with you some of where I bend and stand my ground:

  • Open borders, unvetted immigration and letting in refugees from countries which sympathize with anti-Western religious extremism and terrorism? Nope! Allowing hardworking immigrants who come through legal channels who embrace America while also keeping the harmless parts of their heritage, such as food, clothes, music, traditions that don’t impede on others’ freedoms? Sure! 
  • Allowing consenting adults to marry who they choose even if it’s the same sex? Fine by me… Never being allowed to critique anything whatsoever lest you be labeled “homophobic”? No!
  • Turning a blind eye to broken homes, divorce “just because” and society making excuse after excuse to disregard the children’s emotional trauma, and promoting “any family is a real family” single mothers are just as good as two parent families, children don’t need a father figure, etc..etc…? Heck no! Divorce between childless couples who are adults and aren’t shattering anyone’s foundation for development? Sad, but their call… 
  • Empowering women to help hold coercers in positions of power accountable for unethical coercion? Good idea… Turing that into a political weapon to wield against an opponent, smear every boy and man as  “guilty until proven innocent” on an unsubstantiated word or rumor, casting women as damsels in distress vs. the “predator man”, and ignoring women who allege victimization if not on your side of the aisle? #NotMe!!! 😉
  • Accepting cultural differences in food, music, clothes, different holidays, traditions, etc… that don’t infringe on others? Not an issue… Allowing another culture to overrun our own, denigrating ours while reaping its benefits, setting a double standard where they are immune from criticism, get to create their own laws, treat other minorities, women, children and such as 3rd class citizens, and are romanticized while our own culture, who hosts theirs, is demeaned and cast as the bad guy??? Not in my country!
  • Letting others have the personal freedom to dress and act like the opposite sex? Odd, but okay…. Letting them redefine biological science, teaching children that a man dressed as a woman is a woman merely because he said so, letting biological men go into women’s restrooms and changing areas also allowing perverts to take advantage, ostracizing, persecuting, even making it illegal if someone questions the validity of them being considered an actual man or woman or uses the wrong pronoun, labeling kindergarten age children as transgender because they try on mommy’s lipstick or daddy’s tie one day, and rewriting the rules in sports, the military and in science, and disregarding the experiences of REAL men and women that can only be experienced through that gender??? Not until I gain a Y chromosome!!!
  • Acknowledging the privileges we all have been lucky to have been given in this life, even ones we haven’t earned and realizing some are less fortunate? Not a bad thought… Being guilt tripped into believing it’s YOUR fault others don’t have your same privileges and having the onus put on you to remedy their problems via welfare, reparations, affirmative action etc…etc… simply because you were born with something they don’t have, socially, economically, racially, sexually, gender-wise and while disregarding everything you DID earn…? No! No more fair than blaming them for what they were born with!
  • Having an honest dialogue where all parties can voice their concerns and be taken seriously even if those views seem silly to you? Absolutely! Having one side stereotype the other in vile, condescending, demeaning caricatures and using ad hominem insults to shut them up, deny them jobs, ostracize them from social groups, even family, vilify them in the media and TV, make straw men out of their positions then mock them? Nope! 

And in the spirit of the holiday season…

  • Having “Happy holidays” over “Merry Christmas” on public municipal buildings, or businesses wanting to get as many customers as possible as opposed to just Christian ones, having more generic decorations for winter versus explicitly Judaeo-Christian ones in the public square and in businesses, the work “holiday” party instead of the Christmas party, etc… etc…? Fine by me, I prefer it in a country of separation of church and state, and understand why a business would want to keep its advertising open to everyone or a workplace not making assumptions about the religions of their employees… Freaking out like a triggered snowflake if someone says “Merry Christmas”, trying to push “inclusivity” on private citizens and businesses who do choose to say “Merry Christmas”, throwing a hissy fit over red and green decorations and diving into complete over the top paranoia where any decorations now must be forbidden in the name of separation of church and state and “inclusivity”??? NO!!! There is a healthy middle ground between “Christian theocracy” and “Anti-Holiday PC dictatorship”! 😉

Those are some, but certainly not all of my examples of where I bend and stand firm! What are yours?

Also, an important tip, don’t try to expend all your energy at once into one thing!  Sometimes, letting some things go, can give you the strength to go all out when you really feel you should speak up! Yes, we have had losses, but don’t let the losses make you forget the wins! See, the Left wants us to feel we’re beat, wants us to feel like we’re exhausted and should just give in, but we shouldn’t and aren’t! There is a silent majority out there. They may not blog about it, tweet, post on Facebook, or even talk politics openly with friends or even family. But they spoke loud and proud at the polls in 2016 😉 The “silent majority” however, must no longer be silent, and we must encourage fellow conservatives to come out of the shadows and be heard! Now that IS something worth fighting for 😉

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The “Elephant” in The Room: Being a Conservative in a Family of Liberals

The table is set, the dinner filling the kitchen with a sweet aroma, the finest silverware and china is laid out, the memories of years past fill the room…

For most of us, we automatically envision the sentimental Hallmark image of a family gathering around the holidays, with generations all in harmony. Remembrances of the past, of the “good old days”, and looking toward a future of more fun memories yet to come. The whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins, in laws, all together plucked from their busy schedules to remind everyone of the value of family. Uncle Joe started his new business. Cousin Mary is settling into college. Aunt Lisa got some new clippings for her garden. Grandpa and Grandma came back from their bucket list luxury cruise. Seems like everyone’s got something new to share this year! However, reality can be quite the rude awakening from the idyllic scene you’re daydreaming…

There goes Aunt Susie again on how Trump will start the next nuclear holocaust! Cousin so and so is talking incessantly over the latest anti-Trump (insert cause here) rally and joined the Social Justice League on campus, and your in-laws are decrying all the “microagressions” they were “triggered” by this past week! Uncle Steve who’s a Black Lives Matter fan keeps accusing his brother, who’s a cop of being a racist, since “all cops are racist”, and everyone is angry it’s Thanksgiving, since it celebrates the genocide of the Native Americans, and is a “colonialist atrocity” that’s triggering! Not to mention, Mr. and Mrs. Snow(flake) have been invited over from next door, but feel uncomfortable at the lack of diversity amongst the gathering…

This may sound far fetched, but for many families, this is the reality! More and more conservatives feel “in the closet” as our society becomes more rampantly liberal. The 2016 election has divided many people in America, and almost like a second civil war, it can be brother against brother! So, what’s a conservative to do at a gathering that is majority liberal? The easiest path would be the wise advice to stay away from sensitive topics in mixed company, such as politics, however, not all circumstances are so easy to judge! What about that conversation about how all conservatives are backwards bigots who hate any social progress? Or the one where blatant propagandized lies that are obviously false are sworn as holy truth? One may be able to hold their tongue to keep the peace, but there’s only so far people can go, so many years of the same diatribes, before the urge to say at least something will spring forth! Better not to wait until you’re ready to explode! There should be nothing wrong with being allowed to put in an articulate view, or rebuttal now and then.

You see, the issue is not in itself, about how to one up your relatives in a family gathering political debate, but the double standard that often exists in such gatherings that the liberals are allowed to openly speak an opinion, yet it is often the conservatives that get told to hold their tongues and shut up! Why doesn’t the “no politics at dinner” rule apply equally to ALL parties? I can see, that in a majority liberal family, you are indeed the “outlier” or the “radical”, but if politics and social issues are “on the table” so to speak, why must conservatives be shut up simply becuase we hold the opposing view? It’s just another example of radical liberal double standards and hypocrisy! Is it fair that Uncle Joe can spew all the vitriol he wants about Trump and accuse you of “white fragility” while you are expected to shut up and take it to keep the peace? Is it fair that the family friend gets to grill you about “racial solidarity” or “internalized misogyny” because you’re a conservative of color or a woman?

It may be understandable, if one is super-humanly gallant, to stay out of the liberals sounding off in their intellectual echo chamber on their own, in fact, may be the most peaceful course of action, but direct insults to you personally should not be tolerated. That for me, is where the line is crossed. You can spew all you want about Trump causing nuclear war, you can whine about how “triggered” you are, or how you’re going to kneel for the anthem after dinner at the Thanksgiving football game, you can say any brainwashed hooey you want amongst your liberal comrades, but call ME a name? It’s on! I wouldn’t advise returning rudeness with rudeness and lowering yourself to vitriol yourself, but having an articulate comeback ready can outwit the most vitriolic of snowflakes, and even if it doesn’t, and they keep spewing hooey, you know you were the one who made the most sense! And it shows your class and intelligence to all who witness, even if they don’t say it.

If complete silence is not realistic for you otherwise, an articulate, intelligent, well researched rebuttal would be in order. Got the statistics wrong? The story isn’t straight? Tell them politely and professionally. The aim of the game is not always to convert and convince. That’s way too unrealistic considering the radical liberals! The aim is to present an intellectual challenge, a new unconsidered point, and to show others present opposition is not always hostile, or heated, but can be intellectual. You can’t ultimately control what others think or say, so don’t agonize over it. However, you do have control over how you present yourself in a debate, and show how articulate you can be.

When have we come to the point where we cast others out into the darkness simply because we disagree on politics? Why is everything about character and morality, and anyone with a different view is a bad person, not just a bad debater? Poor character is a whole other ballpark than poor logic! If we demonize our opponents, we close our minds to all the nuances, and facts of their view. Just because someone’s view is unpopular, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any merit, even if it’s not strong enough to sway you. I’m going to admit something: I have liberal friends too. I’m a social conservative, and am socially at odds with many of my liberal peers, acquaintances and friends. However, I can still be friends, and ground our friendship on mutually shared opinions, interests, and values. I’ll admit that while radical snowflakes are not friends of mine, moderate liberals who will listen to my points certainly can be 🙂 The thing is, the labels of “liberal” and “conservative” do not define us as a whole multidimensional person. I have some views that are more traditionally liberal (albeit a few with nuances). I like topics many liberals like too outside politics. If I alienated everyone who didn’t think as I do, I’d be one lonely person!  I’ll reach out and be allies with religious conservatives even though I’m not religious. I’ll connect with the secular community even though many are liberal. I just find our common ground, and leave the rest. Liberals, conservative friends open your minds to new ideas, and can be like any friend that you can hang with and have common interests. A spirited debate is not an argument if both sides can shake hands in the end. The same rules go for family, only the stakes are higher! You only have one family, and family ought to be cherished and the bonds nurtured, as no one will be there for you like family. A family divided is common now, but a sad, sad thing 😦

Overall, try to keep politics a forbidden topic at the table, but if it comes up, you have just as much right as anyone else present to speak your mind. A last but hopefully encouraging point is, experiments have shown such as the Asch experiment, that if even one person speaks up in the minority view, others will feel far more comfortable, and often have the courage to do so as well. Speaking out has another benefit other than for your views or yourself: it can give others the courage to “come out” and speak out too 🙂

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Share some of your stories of liberal lunacy over the holidays! What were some of the craziest things to happen at a family gathering in your family ? 🙂 Comment below…