Yes, We Need Strong Men!

In light of recent events with Gillette’s anti-traditional man commercial, people are speaking out and speaking up for the traditional man! I wanted to cover this topic before, but now seems like the prime time to do so. See, the idea of the traditional man, like the traditional woman, is under attack. The gender neutral movement of radical feminism is not truly about making things fair for women, but an attempt to eliminate any natural differences between men and women in society! They say gender is a social construct, which implies it is theirs to manipulate, and engineer in whatever Leftist direction they choose.

This has created a monster: One where little boys are now forbidden to play soldier, roughhouse, or pursue a mate later in life. All gender roles are now un PC, and boys must be taught to play with dolls, wear pink, and mothers encourage their sons to “let out their feelings” and be “vulnerable”. A boy’s natural energy is pathologized in schools as a special ed issue or a video game a gateway to being the next shooter. A little boy hugging a teacher is an assault, or pursing a playground crush if she says “eew!”. Boys creating harmless mischief and antics, or a no girls allowed tree house or club is not “sexist”. A man who wants his wife to raise his children, and vows to protect her, or puts women first in his life is now “patronizing”. A father who guards his daughter’s heart is accused of treating her like a slave. A military that wants strong men, not weaker women is now “discriminatory”… And so on and so on.

Now, the Left says gender roles are too restrictive, and enforce a “patriarchy”, but did they ever think why those roles were there in the first place? Like it or not, men are women are different. Different physically, and yes, in aptitude and emotionally as well. Humans are a sexually dimorphic species after all, if you just look down below 😉 Our traditional evolved roles suited our unique traits, thus, men being the protector and provider and doing more physical labor, while women doing the child rearing, and keeping the home, foraging, making materials needed back at camp, while the men went out to hunt and such. Many un-industrialized cultures still do this. However, as the Left points out, we’re in the 21st century, not the stone age! Our roles can become more fluid than man hunt, woman gather! And to an extent, I agree. Women and men can overlap more in today’s society in roles such as work and childcare. However, some things have not changed…

We still need our men to protect and provide for society. The cold hard truth is, women are weaker physically than men. Think of why it’s so appalling for a man to hit a woman. It’s appalling to be violent towards anyone, but the key here, as many would agree, is the woman is at an unfair disadvantage, just like it would be unfair to pair wrestlers of vastly different weight classes together for a match! Women are still more vulnerable to violence and assault, due to their weaker physicality. Men have more ways to fight back than women. Why are more women raped than men? Assaulted? It’s not the “patriarchy”, as men are also raped, but at a far less number. Now, one could argue male temperaments towards sexual aggression are higher, but doesn’t that, Lefties, imply that men and women are innately different??? Part of it, a large part I think is women simply are often too weak to fight a man pinning them down versus another guy. Try that on a guy, and take your life in your hands! Point is, women still need protection.

So does society at large. Think of who made up soldiers and armies throughout history. Only recently were women allowed in combat roles! Another sad state of affairs in gender neutral lunacy… Who defended the campsite from the rival tribe, or the predator? Who is there to defend the country in times of war? Who is strong enough to fight hand to hand with an enemy, or kick in a door or take down a thief? Who will defend a woman’s or a child’s life in times of need? Who was it helping women get out during mass shootings across the country? Who shielded their girlfriends in the movie theater and sacrificed their lives for the women they loved? Do we want all that to go away in the name of gender neutrality? Is this what toxic masculinity is about? Why do you think the marines’ tests of endurance wind the majority of women, and even men?! Do you honestly think that women in intense combat roles is just as good for our defense as the strongest men?

What’s so wrong with men being the leader and provider either? The feminists say women can look after themselves, and have the same providing role as men, but then who’s looking after the next generation? Just as men for eons have been the protectors and providers, women have been the child rearers and nurturers in the home. There is something about a mother’s love and care a father cannot replicate. Nor vice versa. “Mr. mom” will never replace REAL mom as much as the radical feminists wish to delude themselves. Mommy’s work is not more important than being there for the children, who need her at home the most, no matter what is deemed “empowering” to women at the expense of the next generation. Nor will a single mom replace the guidance and leadership a father can give his sons as future men, or his daughter in matters of the heart. As told before, the war on fatherhood is real, with dads being told to step down in their role as their children’s leader, especially in the lives of daughters. Now, it’s “toxic” to screen a daughter’s boyfriends, or tell her to wait and be chaste until the time is right. A man can’t show his daughter the men he chooses to trust her with without accusations of treating her like chattel! A woman can’t entrust her heart to her father anymore, or be given away at the altar without the Left whining about it! A man who is the rock of his family, the leader and provider is not outdated, just deemed “toxic” by the Left.

Toxic masculinity is NOT about saying “boys will be boys”, letting boys roughhouse, young men talking crudely in a private locker room, or a young man pursuing a date. It’s not the husband who will be the rock of his family, provide, honor and protect his wife. It’s not the man who feels women should be treated like ladies, let in first, given a seat, holding a door for them, paying for their date night. Nor is it the father who guards his daughter’s heart until marriage, or encourages her to know her worth and makes sure any suitor knows it too 😉 Or the brother who protects his sister’s honor when the bully called her a slut. Or the good Samaritan who stood up for a woman in need. Or the man who answers the call to defend his country or his community as a solider or policeman.

Boys talking crudely is NOT about justifying raping women! A man who provides for his wife is not controlling her finances. A father who guards the heart of his daughter is not treating her like his personal property, but his personal responsibility. A young man in pursuit of a girl is not forcing himself on her, nor forcing her to date him. A man who believes “women and children first” or that violence against women is a special type of evil is not being patronizing, but honoring the fact his strength was meant to serve the weaker and more vulnerable among us. No! REAL toxic masculinity is the wife beater. The abuser. The drunkard who won’t provide. The cheating husband. The rapist. The pedophile. The criminal. The enemy. The terrorist. The harasser that won’t stop. The bully who calls your sister that vile name.

I’m so grateful I was raised by a strong man. A man who can be sentimental, but never carried away in emotion and hysteria! A man who is the rock in his family, whom his wife and children are his priority. Who always wants to provide and jumps at every opportunity to do so. Who guards my heart until I find the right man to take his place one day once he is gone. Who shows me what a real man is, what he does and what he expects of a lady in return. Who would lay down his life for my mother and I. Who believes that every woman deserves to be protected and honored by men in society. Who can laugh with the guys over a lewd joke or “locker room talk” yet views a real rapist or assaulter of women as more vile than a murderer! And can be tough without being a bully. Who can like guy things like monster trucks, sports cars, guns, etc… yet also appreciate the beauty of art and color, or music. Who can appreciate a good looking woman, without ever one thought of being unfaithful to his wife.

He believes in gender equality, and always treated the women in his life accordingly, yet also recognized that equal does not have to mean identical and that women have strengths where men don’t and men have strengths where women don’t. Nor in guarding my heart, views me as his personal property that he is entitled to do as he sees fit. In fact, he often tells me “It’s your decision” 😉 He wants me to have my own mind, my own path in life, my own career, but also, to open my heart to a man like himself. A protector and provider who will honor, protect, cherish, and lead me. He has real feelings, but is not weak. Is tough but not a bully. Appreciates a good looking woman, but not a slime bag. Can banter with the boys but never once mistreated a woman. Knows the worth of women in his life, but is not afraid to assert his own worth as a traditional masculine man!

Toxic masculinity is NOT the idea of the traditional man as provider, protector and leader of his family and his community! The man who can put up a good wresting match, or holds his emotions back to be there when his family needs him in times of crisis. The man who likes monster trucks and guns instead of soap operas, and knitting sweaters! The man who would rather avoid pink in his wardrobe. The man who tells his wife “I’ll provide for you and our children” or his daughter “he’s not good for you”. The man who answers the call of duty here and abroad. And it’s certainly not men who are man enough to have to shave each morning 😉

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“War of The Words”

I apologize if this post sounds too technical or is too lengthy, but I hope it’s worth the patience to read! I highly recommend clicking some of the links as they provide more background info, or are really fascinating reads! I love scholarly works and hope my post reflects this 🙂

How powerful are the words we use? Do they control us, or do we have more control over words than we think? These are questions that social scientists such as anthropologists, linguists, and more pertinent to us, politicians (Think how to best convince us to vote for them!) want to answer. As many of my more frequent readers may know, I’m big into science and history! And my passion extends its influence into my thoughts, opinions and reasoning on the issues I address often in A Lady of Reason. Recently, I read some articles on the power of words and how language shapes our perceptions of the world around us from an anthropological and linguistic point of view. While some were great and insightful reads for all, others were disappointingly partisan and a jab at conservatives. I wanted to explore some ideas I thought of in light of reading some of these articles, but first, a key premise:

In linguistic studies and anthropology, a revolutionary theory was proposed by several scholars, most famously Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf. Well known in the scholarly community as “Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis” (That being a misnomer as they never actually collaborated together on such an idea), it is basically the idea that the structure and words of a language have a profound influence on how you perceive the world and how you think. See, ideas, concepts and ways of looking at the world you think are just a part of reality, such as color perceptions, how we categorize things, numbers, and even the concept of time, can vary culture to culture! How do we know they don’t think like we might? The evidence is in the grammar and vocabulary of their languages. Now, critics have said that perhaps Whorf especially went a bit too far in his theory and edged into a sort of linguistic determinism, that is, language dictates what we are capable of thinking, but a more moderate interpretation still holds sway. After all, who can deny that words have great power over our minds?

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This shows an example of how a different culture can think differently about the same thing than we may think of it…  From the article “Science and Linguistics”, originally published in the MIT Technology Review, 1940. (Wikipedia)

And every propagandist knows that! Every great orator, politician, journalist and others know that words matter a great deal in how we perceive what they want to get across. “Actions speak louder than words”, but so does tone, as the other saying goes, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it” 😉 How is all this relevant to us one might ask? The short answer: Political correctness and the idea of “hate speech” as an exception to the 1st amendment.

Controlling and regulating our language is not a new thing. Every tyrannical regime has censored what people could say, and by extension, dare to think. Hitler did it, Communist Russia did it, Mao did it, and every dictator in between since antiquity! Orwell’s 1984 called it out in his concept of “news speak” in the dystopian novel where certain words were forbidden or more flattering euphemisms to steer your mind to different perceptions of the concepts encoded replaced other words. While we’re not in such a stark dystopia, there’s no doubt that certain words are, ahem, “undesirable”…

You must not say “illegal”, now it’s “undocumented”.

You must not say “retarded”, now it’s “intellectual disability”

You must not say “Muslim terrorist”, it’s now “extremist” or “terrorist” alone…

These are only some of many other examples I welcome you to share with us in the comments! The reasons behind these prohibitions are that the words are argued to be pejorative, or inaccurate. However, they do reflect the truth, or a valid usage of the word. “Illegal” refers to one’s illegal status in the country and is accurate, but is decried as dehumanizing, when in reality, it’s not about one’s humanity, but one’s immigration status! Saying “undocumented” has connotations and implies that the person is justifiably in the country, but is merely not officially recorded as a legitimate member. The political implications are profound for immigration debates.

The word “retarded”, not the insult, but the term used in medicine, was a legitimate usage of the word and was not pejorative. Nor were the terms idiot, imbecile and moron respectively until they too became out of fashion and “retarded” the new enlightened word! One can argue it is outdated and has taken on and pejorative meaning, but aren’t we just on a big euphemism treadmill, just replacing one term after another in a never ending cycle? No, saying someone is less intelligent or “not all there in the head” is not a nice thing, but the truth hurts sometimes… When do we stop trying to replace word after word after word for it?

In my last example, related to my first, if one refers to terrorists who are Muslim and did it out of religious (or Islamic, to put it frankly) extremism, then isn’t “Muslim” a pertinent modifier? Of course, the omission has more to do with politics than accuracy again… Charged terms in other debates too, such as “pro-choice” and “pro life” as opposed to pro- or anti- abortion, can bring on more of a squabble about terminology than the ideas themselves being debated. Words in summary, do greatly affect how we are swayed in these issues, more than we admit to think.

Another issue too in the Left’s “war of the words” revolves around more benign terminology, such as names for groups of people not meant to be pejorative, but were deemed so by the PC police! “Indian” is now “Native American”. You cant say “tribe” anymore to describe a more simple society of people then a nation or civilization. “Oriental” is also now un PC… Also common phrases and sayings, such as:

“Boys will be boys”

“America is a land of opportunity”

“That’s retarded”

“Like a girl”

“That’s so gay”

Among many others! Now deemed pejorative, sexist, racist, ablest, homophobic etc… they were once not thought of as any of those things, and used by all in society. Only after the Left deemed them un PC were they whined about and given much more negative meanings. Yes, language does change, and evolves, but the natural evolution of a language versus a social agenda are two very different things, and the Left by actively prohibiting such words seems to be doing the latter!

Words also hold great sway when they truly are meant to be pejorative, too! These words, the Left says, are soul crushing and demoralizing agents that oppress minorities, women, gays and many others! However, why is this? Apparently it’s now deemed false and un PC to say “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt you…”, but I still think there is truth to this.

Going back to linguistics, there is solid evidence words have power over how we perceive our world and things within it, but they also point out that words are merely sounds; morphemes, phonemes, syllables, strung together to make sense of our world. Those gibberish noises coming from our vocal cords are only given any meaning whatsoever by us humans who speak such sounds! To put it bluntly: Words are what we say they mean, including their connotations good or bad. It’s a key rule in fighting those school bullies, you let their insults get to you, they win as you give them power!

YOU decide how hurtful a word is to you. So does your community. If you let a slur, which is basically just another silly insult hurled by bullies, just bigger ones, crush your soul and intimidate and demoralize you, they win! The Left’s idea that a slur can hurt you like a knife or a bullet, is merely another control tactic to make one identify as a passive victim, rather than a victor. Take the linguists’ view to heart: Words are merely sounds assigned to concepts to talk about our world. That includes slurs. Something is only powerful when others give it power! Words only mean what we let them! Why let the bullies win, on the playground, or in the wider world?

Overall, this presents sort of a linguistic contradiction: Words shape our perception of the world greatly, yet we are in complete control of what they mean. Seems illogical, but I argue they are not mutually exclusive. Not when you think of it in terms that by determining what we let words mean, we control how we will then think! Your language does color your perception of the world, but unlike linguistic determinism, we are not the passive recipients of such control, but can be active choosers in what we will think by controlling the language that controls us! 🙂 In essence, we control how we look at the issues pressing to us, through the terms we use, what we value in society, the worldview we want to create for our society and so on.

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It’s like its own feedback loop…

In the right minds with the right words, shaping language is an amazing tool for progress, while in the wrong minds, leads to dictatorships, tyranny and disarray. The Left is in a battle to control what we can say, and by extension think. Using words as weapons, are working to socially engineer our minds and those after us! Now, both sides of course, can do it to each other, but the key is to let both sides use the words they feel are needed and not censor one side as this then smites that view of the world.

The Left wants to do just that, smite our view of the world. To make sure our side is presented in harsh terms while theirs is glossed over by flowery euphemisms hiding unpleasant truths, or an agenda is pushed by omitting a phrase they deem against it to be racist, sexist etc….  Just like how a lost language is also a lost culture, an entire worldview lost to oblivion, so will be our view if censored through terminology and language. More to the point, as some cultures deemed other languages and cultures not worthy of being part of the richness of humanity, and wiped out, isn’t it the same when our language, terminology, and ideas by extension, are also deemed not worthy of being spoken and thought of?

Never underestimate the power of your voice fellow patriots, and how you can through your words, help shape your world! 

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“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!

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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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