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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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!

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Who is a Conservative?

Stereotypes: Everyone’s got them, and conservatives are no different! What do you imagine when you picture the standard conservative? For me, it’s a white, straight, middle class, Christian man who lives somewhere down south or in the middle of the country on some rural farmland or a small town with not much diversity. Guided by his deep faith, he wants America to become more traditional again, like in the days of his grandparents or his boyhood. He’s a blue collar salt of the Earth guy who works with his hands and provides for his wife and children. He may not be college educated, but has a wisdom that goes far beyond any formal “education”, lessons shaped by living life and wisdom only gained through years of experience. He doesn’t have much material wise, not many comforts, but his family is rich in love and devotion and his faith fulfills him….

Now, I’ll say right off the bat, despite this image being mostly positive, it can also come off as patronizing and condescending for some, casting the conservative into some sort of romanticized version of some ignorant hillbilly! To put this in less flattering terms, as the Left believes we are:

He is utterly ignorant, barely passing high school and if he were college educated, would be on the Left. His rural settings have not exposed him to other sorts of people, causing his bigotry and xenophobia, or his southern heritage made him come from generations of racists. His religion preaches hatred towards gays and anyone who isn’t white and just like him. His family are oppressed by his patriarchal attitude and his wife nothing more than good breeding stock, like his cattle. His children mere property, especially daughters, with which he does as he sees fit. His only “wisdom” is how to be a complete ignoramus and fear all differences. He votes with his emotion, not his mind at the polls. He’s have a better job, but shuns education as elitist and prefers to make barely above minimum wage. He idolizes and venerates his poverty in mind and material as a virtue…

If you’re not steaming out of both ears by now, kudos to you 😉 This is not in fact, a wild exaggeration of a conservative stereotype, but true, insinuated by much of the radical Left! The Left has indeed openly mocked the faith of many conservatives, mocked many for their blue collar background and yes, implied that they are utterly ignorant and embrace an anti-intellectual stance! To the Left, we are mainly some Bible Thumping fundies who seek to impose our faith on the universe through guilt trips and hell fire, or some deep south hillbilly, or some high school drop out who with more education, would vote Left! We’re little more than knee jerk bigots who recoil at anyone who’s different than ourselves. We hate gays, minorities, oppress our women, and refuse to listen to science! Our blue collar backgrounds are derided and mocked from their ivory towers. In essence, to the Left, we’re the party of ignorance and embrace it!

However, like any stereotype, some fit the mold, others don’t… See, being a conservative myself, I can attest that I fall out of several of their stereotypical categories! For one, I’m an atheist! I don’t look to any god to tell me what my morals are or what society should be like. I have non-religious reasons for condemning things like promiscuity, broken homes, immodest dress, and such that often are criticized by religious groups. Many of my values line up with conservative Christians, and several have made amazing allies and fellow conservative friends and comprise of many of my loyal followers. They, in fact, unlike the bigoted “hell fire and brimstone” stereotype of them, are amazingly open minded and accept me as a fellow ally too despite knowing I’m non-religious. It’s funny when Lefties online try to attack me from a religious angle and are thrown in for a loop when I tell them I’m an not religious! (No, I don’t care about what a 1st century Jewish rabbi from Roman Palestine might have thought about immigration in 21st century America! 😉 )

Another thing, I’m a woman (hence a “Lady” of Reason 😉 ). Indeed, not all women subscribe to the pulls of radical feminism! I don’t respect those who screech profanities, wear vulgar vagina hats and hold signs with toilet jokes! I prefer the lady of generations past over the “Nasty Woman” of today. I don’t agree that men are in a world wide mass conspiracy to oppress the other half of humanity, or that they succeeded as much as the Left think they did. Men and women are equal in dignity as human beings, but not identical in their aptitudes, natures, and abilities. Men are not “sexist” for voicing an opinion contrary to radical feminism, nor are women like me “gender traitors” for voting Republican or for Trump! Women like me and many others who are conservative think their chromosomes don’t determine what they must think, their brains do 🙂

In addition, there are plenty of other things too that make me and others exceptions to the rule: Many conservatives do live on the East Coast or out in California. We just don’t voice it as openly in a sea of rabid liberals. Many conservatives are in white collar jobs, and we know this by how many got forced out by the Left once exposed! Many have gone to college and graduate school, and make up our scientists, teachers, scholars, etc… Indeed, some even created their own journal to publish controversial ideas the Left won’t let them publish in mainstream Left-leaning journals! I myself treasure education, and have always had a life long passion for science and history. Many conservatives are not straight. I know several gay conservatives, and they are well known on social media platforms such as Twitter. Many of us embrace them as we share similar values, and don’t just write them off because they’re gay! Speaking of gay conservatives, they don’t use their sexuality as a political platform or victimhood status…

Many conservatives are also minorities too. Conservatives such as Michelle Malkin, Candace Owens, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, etc..etc… They don’t let their race define their opinions, and decry the hypocrisy of white Leftists condescending their race as victims in need of saving! And, not all conservatives are Christian. I know several who are loyal allies and followers on my blog who are Jewish, despite claims that conservatives embrace or condone antisemitism. There even is a Muslim conservative (despite being very rare since the Left aligns with the Muslim community heavily, even radical Muslims) I know about on Twitter who runs The Washington Pundit! Then of course, there’s me having no religion 😉

However, even if a conservative fits the stereotypical mold, it that necessarily negative or bad? It’s true that many who aren’t college educated have more wisdom than 20 college kids put together! People who are down to Earth, and work with their hands are some of the most honest, hardworking people with integrity to a fault! Being blue collar or middle class should not be a sin… Living in the South or in the Midwest does not mean you’re a caveman, and is demeaning and condescending to those who live there and in rural areas to cast them as ignorant hicks! CA and New England aren’t the only places in the country worth noting… A person who is conservative as part of their deep and sincere faith deserves no more mockery, disrespect and derision than you do for your deep heartfelt beliefs. Nor should be forced to violate their deep moral tenets in the name of “inclusion”. People who are poor in possessions aren’t necessarily poor in morals and the love of their family and the fulfillment of their faith or other life philosophy, nor does it mean they should be targets for patronizing scorn for not being as materialistic or as fortunate as you! Plenty of conservative men, such as my father would never oppress a woman or think to treat his wife and daughters as property! Nor turn to white supremacy. Being a white male and conservative is not an indicator of racism and bigotry.

So who is a conservative? A conservative is like anybody else! We’re your neighbors, friends, and family. We’re the ones you invite to the barbecue, over for the holidays, the ones you comfort during the hard times, and laugh with during the fun ones. The ones who you feel you can confide your deepest fears, joys, aspirations, secrets. You may not even have a clue what our politics are, but you do know that when we’re with you, we light up the room and embrace you wholeheartedly with no regards to your skin color, gender, sexuality etc… We’re your coworker. Your colleague. The ones you see in church, or synagogue, or even in your mosque perhaps! Your cashier, waiter, bank teller, realtor, mechanic, lawyer, doctor, teacher, and a multitude of people you will see every day.  And yes, I can’t help but also mention, your president! 😉

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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!!!)

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…