A President Trump Is, And Always Has Been, About Y-O-U.

I got up at the crack of dawn and got my coffee, but it’s entirely too cold for the paint to stick. So I’m kind of stuck. Since painting has caused me to entirely neglect my blogging, I thought I’d take a minute a write more my thoughts over this crazy election. I’m from the old political school like the Clintons, in that Donald Trump is now our preident-elect and it is the obligation of all Americans to work with him. It’s why both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama came out and said as much. That’s politics. And the office of the presidency will have my respect even if the man does not. Because that’s the way politics works and if you knew anything about  them, you would agree instead of having spent the last 8 years calling Barack Obama “not your president” and every name you could think of and verbally assaulting his wife for everything from dancing to her wardrobe choices. But for those same folks — who spent eight years creating the “Thanks, Obama!” meme — to suddenly expect people to respect Donald Trump, a man who is not worthy of anybody’s respect, just because he’s the president is about as self-righteous as it gets. Barack Obama was worthy of respect in every sense of the word and you couldn’t issue it, so it’s a bit hypocritical and condescending to suddenly turn around and say we’re supposed to respect a man who claims he can get away with grabbing women by the privates because he’s rich.

Look at it like this — while I hope your children are “perfect” and healthy, let’s say they’re not.  Let’s say they are born with a cleft palate or a heart defect or they have seizures or they suffer cancer. Now imagine Hillary Clinton stood on a presidential campaign stage and mocked that —  then tell me how you would feel if she was suddenly elected president of the United States and the same people that struggled with the very definition for 8 years, sudenly said — “Hey, you gotta respect her, she’s the president!”

No, as an American it’s my duty to respect the office of the presidency even if the GOP has spent the last eight years not doing the same thing. It’s not my duty to have respect for him as a man and I never will.

This is not normal election and Donald Trump is not a normal person or a normal president elect. And I want you Trump supporters to stop pretending that this is a victory for America. This is a victory for you.

This is a victory for you, Mr. I drink Margaritas at the Camino weekly, who wants to build a wall around Mexico (which is never going to happen for many reasons — but mostly, geography and international treaties that restricts such).  This is  victory for you, Mr White Man who can only feel superior about yourself when you’re believing that, no matter how low, at least you’re better than brown man. This is a victory for you, Mr So-called Christian, who hates gay people and don’t think that they should be constitutionally given the same rights that you are even though the Supreme Court has ruled otherwise. This is for you Mr.  Likes to Grab Women by the p*ssy and get away with it.  This is for you Mr. Country Guy that used to run from the law when the blue lights showed up at a keg party but say every time an unarmed man is gunned down 16 times by law enforcement and he happens to be black that “he shouldn’t have ran, though.”  Don’t,  for even a second, go on pretending in your delusion that this is a victory for America. This is about how Donald Trump  made you feel while the rest of the world is looking on in horror and shame and fear.

That’s why nothing he did mattered. So many times things that he did would be catastrophic and disastrous for a candidate in an election year. It’s why so many things Donald Trump did were unprecedented for somebody running for president — yet they didn’t matter. From not releasing his tax returns to not turning over coherent medical records. It didn’t matter, repeatedly, as it baffled pundits, scholars, and the media. As the world watched on — part in horror and part in amusement. It didn’t matter because this election wasn’t about thinking; it wasn’t about sanity, common sense, or rational behavior. It was about emotions.  It was about how he made you feel.  You who are angry that we had a black president  — who created economic turnaround from the mess the white guy from Texas left us — for 8 years. You who were angry that gay people can get married.  You who are angry that you can’t kill an unnamed black man and nobody asks questions any longer in America. This isn’t about the country,  this is and always has been, about you.

America is stable;  she is steady. As we go, the world goes. We’re not supposed to fall apart or elect a man so stupid that he can’t even identify the Constitutional Amendments, or even correctly.answer the number of them.  The good thing is that Donald Trump doesn’t have much power as president. The bad part is that one of the powers he does have is the ability to negotiate and enter into treaties.

NATO is a treaty, Trump supporters.  Donald Trump has already stated he wants to pull us out of NATO — which is exactly what Putin wants. Why do you think Moscow was cheering the results of the American election while the rest of the world was mourning?  The only thing that  coaxes Vladimir Putin to pull back on his aspirations of taking over larger parts of the world is the fear of the American presence in NATO.

We already know that Donald Trump gets resources from Russia because he can’t get them from US lenders because of his financial track record. We just don’t know how much because he wouldn’t release his tax returns. We also know that if  there’s no America in NATO, there’s nothing to stop Russia from invading all the nations Putin sets his sights on surrounding Russia. You don’t wake up one day at 72 years old with Donald Trump’s money and resources and say that you suddenly want to be a force of good in the world and start by running for president. If someone with Donald Trump’s money wanted to start doing something good for America, it would begin with writing a check. Someone as gluttonous and self-indulgent and narcissistic as Donald Trump doesn’t want the stress of being president of the United States of America because he cares about you — it’s a job that ages you about 15 years in 4.  Donald Trump doesn’t need to be president for an ego boost — he gives himself one of those daily. No,  it’s got to be something more sinister than that. But for half of the campaign, I couldn’t figure out what it was.

And then there’s Russia. 

We know that they hacked emails to help elect Donald Trump. Why? Why would Russia want Donald Trump to be president? What would Donald Trump want out of Russia?

Because if there’s a Trump presidency and a president’s responsibilities include  negotiating treaties, and a president Trump can pull out of NATO, Putin can invade all the places like Crimea all he wants. What would Trump want out of Russia? Money. The same thing Donald Trump always wants — money.

Eastern Europe is looking on in horror and the rest of the world is terrified. Black people, gay people, transgender people, immigrants are frightened by the promise of a Trump Administration. Unlike your bogus Barack Obama fear  peddled for 8 years — “it was the end of the world;  he’s Satan or the Antichrist; he’s coming for your guns”  unlike that horseshit (we know what that’s all about, he was black), this fear is real. The hate, the rhetoric, the violence that Donald Trump has incited during this campaign is scary and it’s real — because we’ve seen that before in America. We’ve seen it in George Wallace; we’ve seen it with the KKK;  we’ve seen it for decades in America because that is our history as a people. So the fear that people have is very real. The fear that the rest of the world has knowing that an incompetent person who thinks he knows more than the generals is now in charge of the most powerful fighting force in the history of mankind, is very real. So do not, for one second,  come to me on my Facebook barring that Donald Trump “is a victory for America” bullshit.

Donald Trump is a victory for you, Mr. Angry White Man, that  probably makes under $55k a year — if I’m going to be honest .

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Of Course God Is Not Dead — Neither Is Goodness and Democracy

I was just talking to a lady on the sale pages on Facebook, and she commented that she was having a really hard time right now and she just kept hoping that her family would see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I commented and told her that I always remind myself that Tyler Perry was down to living in his car before anybody was willing to take a chance on his writing.  And that it always helps to keep in mind the old adage that
the way in which you view the world is the way in which you will meet it.  And that it’s just been my experience that if you constantly expect the world to be understanding and generous and good, they usually are.

No, that doesn’t mean that people can’t be assholes, and that selfish people who are miserable won’t attempt to use you or abuse you to get a rise for themselves because they are personally powerless and they know it — because they’re everywhere, and in abundance.  But it means that when you put out good energy, you generally get it back.

I remember a lady posted one day on the local concerned citizen page that she had lost a wallet at Kroger and she was so surprised that somebody turned it in. There were like 50 comments of people that followed saying how shocking that was. My response was something along the lines.of acknowledging that I know I’m an eternal optimist who can find the rainbow of sunshine in the middle of a tsunami shitstorm and who can eternally spot the unseen blessing  in anything — for example, I always feel like I’m one doctor visit away from a colon cancer diagnosis, and then I think, well maybe I would be qualify for Make-A-Wish Foundation and I might actually get to see a Broadway production before I die (although it won’t be Hamilton)  — but as that eternal optimist, it didn’t surprise me that people found a wallet in Dickson County, Tennessee, and turned it in.  Because that’s exactly what I would do!

The title of that movie “God Isn’t Dead” always bugged me, because my immediate response was,  “Whoever said that he was!?”

God is alive and present every day. But so is goodness.

A conversation I had with a friend once (who I missed dearly) always bounces around my brain in a moment like this. We had found some money on the ground and I immediately went on a mission to find out who the $10 belonged to. I told her that that was my granddaddy and my Uncle Chunky’s doings. My grandfather was so honest that he accidentally left the gas station with a candy bar one day that he hadn’t paid for a while getting gas, and he wouldn’t even eat it until he went back the next day and set it right. And that my Uncle would say that God was watching to see what I did with that $10.

Well, my dear friend Ms Sherry was raised by her aunt and uncle, and although she was old enough to be my mother and then some, we had so much in common, which meant her Aunt and Uncle were depression-era just like my great aunt and uncle. So they had a way of teaching life lessons that would stand the test of time. She told me a story about finding $20 when with her uncle, who she called her dad, and she queried her dad “what if God is just checking to see if we do the right thing,” and he responded: “Maybe, and what if it’s God’s way of buying our lunch?” 

We laughed for days at that, but I also told her — “And that’s why when I lose my purse, somebody turns it in, and  why when you lose yours, they use your credit card, because it’s “God’s way” of sending them some quick cash.”

We had such fun with that — God rest her soul, I think about her everyday — but it’s a lesson that sticks with you. One that goes back to what I truly believe. Of course bad things happen and honest people get taken for a ride, but I truly believe that if you expect goodness and honesty, and you put out goodness and honesty, it’s what you will find.

It’s why I could never understand the mentality of a man like Donald Trump.

I want to win the lottery just to give it all away. I keep lowering the prices on every piece I paint because I don’t feel right charging somebody for more time than it took me to make it. (And, also, I know how cheap I am. So, in turn, I expect a fair price for them.)  Because while I do believe that people are still good, I’m not sure that I believe that all business is good. The corporate greed that is taking over America is one of our downfall.  A nation that built our greatness and our success on hard work and labor unions, we’ve attempted to kill them for the sale of money in the pockets of rich men while teaching and persuading the working man that  it’s for “his best interest” — and we’ve used moral issues, like Jesus Christ, abortion, and guns to do so. So as to distract him from noticing that he’s getting stiffed. 

It’s sad. It’s sickening. It’s wrong.

Which is why it was hard for me not to tell tell that sweet lady to remember to vote on November 8th — and to remember to vote democratically. Because if we ensure four more years of the democratic platform, your family might actually begin to see the benefits of an economic turnaround spearheaded by the Democratic Party, and one that benefits the middle class.  But I try not to be political in every area of my life, but it’s hard — because I can’t separate who I  am from myself.  And I am someone who wholeheartedly believes in the government of the United States’ responsibility, and the obligation of those of us who’ve been given the right to live in the greatest nation on Earth to remember the government’s ability to better the lives of people. It’s not “everybody for themselves” as the allegedly ‘Christian’ party has been brainwashing us to believe. And it’s also a little bit troubling.

No man is an island. And while nobody gets sick by themselves, nobody gets well alone either. And if one baby in this nation goes to bed without milk in her stomach, it doesn’t matter to me if they suffer because their mama was lazy and could actually get a job, or if they suffer because their family couldn’t afford it, all that matters to me, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, is that a baby went to bed hungry.

And that’s all I need to know.

The national deficit isn’t increased because of food stamps. It’s increased because of billionaires like Donald Trump who don’t pay taxes. They took a third of everything my uncle worked his entire life for before they let me see a cent.  And do you think for one second I tried to find a way to get out of that?! No, I tried to see if I could roll it into an IRA, but my Uncle Chunky believed that that was the responsibility that came with living in such a blessed Nation.  (Now, I take mad issue with Dickson County’s mismanagement of property taxes and the way they are sticking it to us for a lawsuit they’re playing a game of semantics and lying about it — and the day they get honest about that is day I might care about paying my property taxes on time), but as a nation, my uncle believed in the Bible when it said “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”

And so we did.

That’s the difference in the Democratic Party —  and in one where we use our power for good to actually change lives.

Is government the solution to every problem?  No, but if it’s not the beginning — who the hell is? If government isn’t here to better our country for everybody, to ensure stability and goodness and growth — what the hell is it here for? For men like Donald Trump to make insane amounts of money by evading federal taxes while that woman at McDonald’s works 50 hours a week and still can’t pay the rent — while paying our troops and our officers and our schools every cent that she owes?

Much like my beloved  Uncle, Joe Biden’s father always said it best: “Joey, this is the price we pay for living in the greatest nation on Earth.”

If you believe in goodness and kindness and opportunity, please remember November 8th.

And if you believe our better days are in front of us instead of behind us, please remember to vote blue consistently.

Proud to be a ‘Nasty Woman’. And I’m not alone.

I’ve got a few minutes before I have to make my macaroni and cheese, get ready and paint signs, and watch Jason Heyward star in a World Series. (Scatch that, he’s benched. Whaaat!?) So let me take a minute to talk about politics, because I’ve been abandoning my Twitter followers and my bloggers because all I do anymore is paint, sell stuff online. Paint, sell stuff online. So here goes.

I don’t go to Walmart. I’ve made it up to six months before I stepped foot in a  Walmart.  But I needed cheap spray paint and there’s no longer a Kmart or a craft section at Big Lots and
Lowe’s spray paint — and paint in general — sucks, so I had no choice.

I ran in early Sunday morning through the garden section, and the very first thing I saw was a man wearing a “Hillary for prison” shirt. I went last night at 1:30 in the morning and the only other customer in there was wearing a “Trump 2016” one. Which was strange because when I got out of the car, I thought of another reason why I hate Donald Trump. Like many children from a small town, we were not raised to lock stuff. I mean, I don’t know many kids who used a house key after school. Most of us just left the doors unlocked. But as a product of the 90s, I  always locked my car door. I still lock my car door at Walmart at 1:30 in the morning even though there’s nothing in it worth stealing and it’s got a hundred eighty-six thousand miles and peeling paint on the hood. But I still lock my car door — even though I washed my keyless when I forgot it was in my pants.  So when I come out and I have to fiddle for my keys,  which I haven’t done since 1995 because I’ve always had keyless entry, I still lock my door. Because we were told that if a man wants to assault you, the first thing he’ll do is climb in your back seat and wait for you. We were told to always keep our dome  light on so we can see anyone if they were hiding in the back seat. We were taught to always have our keys ready and how to use them as a weapon if we were attacked on the way to our car.  Yet, I don’t remember anyone teaching boys how not to assault girls. 

Oh, that’s common sense, you say.

You would think.

But obviously not.

Oh, we teach people though shalt not kill yet people still murder, you say.

Well, yes, but murder usually happens for a reason. That’s why the first thing they look for is motive and who stood to profit from the death. What’s the motive behind sexual assault, what is there to profit from attacking a woman?

Power.  It makes the man feel powerful. And we can’t say that this isn’t specific by gender, dominated by gender, and aimed at gender because you don’t see larger men assaulting smaller man on the regular for the thrill of a dominance. You don’t see larger women violating smaller women to be powerful. But men, throughout history,  assault women for the thrill, the dominance, the adrenaline that they feel from doing so. It is a cultural thing.  Men feel entitled to take what they want from a woman.

There’s not a woman out there who hasn’t encountered  a man who thought “no” meant try harder.

And there’s no better example of that than the words we heard from Donald Trump. All his privilege, billions of dollars,  beautiful wives,  bragging about being able to grab women by the private parts and get away with it because he was.  So when I saw that guy wearing a Trump 2016 shirt last night it took all I could not to go over to him and explain why I had to lock my door and why men like Donald Trump are the reason for it.

Now,  that’s said: I’m both thrilled and amazed at the number of Hillary Clinton signs and Hillary Clinton stickers that I’ve been seeing in Dickson County. Now any day of the week I can go to Davidson County and see Obama stickers.  That’s because, like Austin, Texas,  Nashville is the blue dot of sanity in a deeply Red State. As are all of our metropolitan areas and areas where colleges and universities reside. But in a place like this, it’s rare. But there are Hillary Clinton signs all over Dickson and not a day goes by that when I’m getting my coffee I don’t get behind another car with a Hillary Clinton sticker. Here in rural red dot County!  And it only reaffirmed what the national media and political pundits have been saying all along, women — even Republican women — have had it with men like Donald Trump.

So listen up, Captain Tangerine.  I’m proud to be a “nasty woman.”  And there are a whole lot more  out there just like me. And they are coming over from your side of the house.  You know what they say, boys: “Bitches get shit done!”

And if Hillary Clinton is nasty, I’m freaking filthy.

The Mango Mussolini is about to find that out November 8th.

These United States

This morning I was setting in the car at Dunkin Donuts, drinking my coffee, and thinking about how I need to be at home finishing my projects to sell before winter comes and it’s time to turn the gas on. But I needed to write for a minute. Because of the feeling I had when  I looked around at this blessed life we call America.

Everytime I see or have an interaction with somebody who has Down Syndrome, I just feel this calling on my heart to adopt a child that’s been given away because someone either couldn’t care for them or didn’t want to care for them because they were born with Downs. I mean, there is no joy in life quite like what can be experienced through having any interaction with someone with Down Syndrome. The joy in their hearts and spirit is just almost indescribable. And I set there with tears in my eyes watching this champion of life come out with his mom and his car keys, and I always go back to Donald Trump mocking the New York Times reporter on that stage. And it fills me with anger. Because bullies always pick on the weakest person. What Donald Trump failed to realize is how much stronger those with disabilities are than he will ever be.

That conversation last night was so infuriating, I seriously almost threw my cup of coffee at this lady.
To watch someone who claims to have a family member who is disabled defend the actions of Donald Trump — it’s just sickening.  Because there’s no excuse other than it’s rooted in race. If you sit there and say you have a sister who is physically disabled and then you make excuses for a presidential candidate that mocks people like your sister — simply because Donald Trump was outwitted by a man who walked a little different than he  did — there’s no other description for that, no other excuse for that, other than you are a racist white girl who likes what Trump has to say about Mexicans and black people so much that you’re willing to overlook his very clear and deliberate mimicking of someone with a handicap. You don’t have to like Hillary Clinton, but to go so far as to casually dismiss Donald Trump’s actions is unthinkable.

As I’m sitting there a little man walking in the coffee shop hollers at me, and he looks like my Pop except he’s carrying a book like my Uncle Chunky. And I recognize him.  He comes there everyday to drink coffee and read.  He hollered at me and said, “I like that Hillary sticker on the back of your car.  Did you see mine?”

And I just felt my heart smile.

“Yes, sir!” I called. “I saw your Hillary and your Obama one too. You’re my kind of people!”

The fact that he drives a Ford doesn’t hurt.

My heart was simply overjoyed. Seeing that young man with Down Syndrome with his mom, driving. Knowing it took every bit of nurturing that she gave him and every bit of belief and faith that she had in him when some people would have said you can’t, you never will.  And then seeing my Democratic buddy. I was happy, but sad. I just don’t know happened to our country. What happened to politics in this country. Why the division and  the rhetoric that you hear coming out of the anger in this most divisive of American elections is so fear-laden. When it couldn’t be further from the truth. We are in a better position than any other nation on Earth right now. The idea that we’re about to fold, or that nobody is afraid of or in awe of our military or country is just a scare tactic.

As I watched that young man get in his little Ford Ranger with his Mom and put it in drive, I looked through the window at my elderly friend drinking his coffee and reading a little bit of his political book, and I saw generations of Americans.  Young, old.  Black, white. Rich, poor.  Disabled or “normal”  — whatever the hell that is. And that’s the America I know. That’s the America I believe in.  The America public servants like Hillary Clinton dedicate their life to believing in. I can’t imagine, cannot fathom, the idea of getting behind the political prescription alleging to cure the diagnosis of America being a rapidly sinking shithole.

Do we have problems? Of course. Are we a dumpster fire where you’ll get raped by Mexicans, black people have no jobs or education and can’t walk down the street without getting shot —  because, you know, like there aren’t black people who live in the country and farm — and where we are vastly spinning into an oblivion of nothingness and despair and the only man that can save us is the great Donald J Trump alone?

Give me a break! 

The America Tump talks about is not the country I know.  Because the spirit of the American people is there everyday and it is tireless, even in the midst of the most divisive and ugly presidential campaign in American history. 

I see you, America.  I see your spirit.  I see your heart.  I see men like my granddaddy who worked at a Ford plant for decades so his granddaughter could fear S-words on the land he plowed, turn her nose up at the creek, lecture him about the cholesterol and dangers of eating the red meat of the cattle he sold and then gave us the cash, and sit back and read books.

The factory workers in Michigan, the coal miners in West Virginia, the bean farmers in Iowa, and the investment bankers in Charlotte. Everybody across America contributes to the fabric of who we are and it doesn’t stop with being white. I like cornbread and Yankee goulash as much as I like fried catfish and Mexican food. It’s the diversity of America that makes us so special. And it’s the goodness of who we are that makes us a superpower. If we lose that, what have we got?

Trump’s “America First” slogan was specifically derived from the same slogan used in World War II by the Americans who didn’t believe we should interfere with the Holocaust. Their descendants are likely the same ones who don’t believe that we should help Syrian refugees now. If America loses her way, if America loses her soul, if America loses her backbone,  if America loses her dignity, we won’t just be NOT great, we will be lost. Hopelessly.

Hopelessly. And that’s something America has never been. From the time Alexander Hamilton argued with John Adams, we have always known who and what we are and it’s very clear in those documents that our founding fathers sat down for us to govern and guide this great nation.

Some of us long for a time where politics resembled Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan. And a time when friendships were formed by men like the irreplaceable HW Bush and the man who defeated him,  Bill Clinton. Poppy Bush oozes goodness into everything he touches. It is possible to get back there again. To a time when we have more hugs between people like Michelle Obama and George W Bush. A time when you didn’t have to hate somebody just to disagree with them. But it starts with telling somebody like Donald Trump that his voice — his meanness, his cowardice, his gutter gab  — does not represent the majority of us.

And it never will. Not in these United States.

First Presidential Debate 2016

I just feel this incredibly profound sense of loss and sadness. I expected to giggle a little bit.  You would think that would be your reaction when someone says something so ridiculous like Hillary Clinton has spent her entire adult life fighting ISIS — when ISIS, roughly,  is the same age as Chipper. (Now, to be fair, it is a derivative of al-Qaeda and they’re a little older than my cat, obviously. But 50? Ha!) You would think I would enjoy that. But I just sat there with my hands over my face in humiliation.  And in embarrassment for the United States of America.  It was like Sarah Palin on steroids.

I’m sure you’ve read the words of Trump supporters that he really “gave it to her on trade.” When he did he talk about trade, it was with no plausible solution.  His policy on trade is like that man that sets down next to you at the bar and says, “Hey baby, I can make your life better. Why don’t you let me try?”

And you come back with something along the lines of: “I own my own home, my own car, got money in the bank, and I know how to use a power tool. How are you going to make my life better?”

The answer was usually something raunchy, nonsensical, and nothing you hadn’t heard before. That’s Trump on trade. As usual his diagnosis is not only minus a solution, it’s not even backed up by study or fact.

Correlation is not cause. Trump can spout shit and point fingers with regard to NAFTA,  but the general consensus is NAFTA had less of a negative impact on industrial production and manufacturing within the United States than did innovation, slave labor wages, and our lack of investment in trends and technology — which all had more to do with jobs going overseas than trade agreements.

Not only that, NAFTA — North American Free Trade Agreement –only deals with North America, Donald. That’s Canada and Mexico. Which has nothing to do with places like China and Philippines — where manufacturers (like Donald Trump and his clothing line) actually makes this stuff on the cheap and ship it in.

You know who is the number one exporter of goods we make here in the United States, Trump?
Mexico. And that’s in North America, twat.  That falls under NAFTA. Which means the top number of goods that we make here in the United States — which translates to production jobs — are sold to Mexico.

There are political nerds and policy wonks like me that’s been waiting four years for last night. And the GOP owes us an apology. There wasn’t any legit points that I could pick out about what Trump spewed on stage.  Unlike McCain and Romney,  it wasn’t a rigorous discussion on the political procedures, proposals, and processes inside of the greatest country on Earth. It was a shitstorm.  It was Donald Trump verbally abusing America, inner cities, and our nation’s livelihood and vitality. It was mind-numbing, it was embarrassing, and it was insane. The most hurtful part was that half of the country saw that and still believes that man is worthy of being president, or that he did a good job.

I didn’t know that many of us were so stupid or soul sick.

And when a billionaire stands on a presidential debate stage and brags that not paying federal taxes makes him smart, while simultaneously claiming to support the troops that he doesn’t even like funding, it’s a gut wrenching day for America.

9/11 Fifteen Years Later

Fear. Paralyzing fear. That’s what I remember about 9/11.  I was talking to my grandmother about September 11th — which her generation saw Pearl Harbor, JFK’s assassination, the Cuban Missile Crisis — and what I remembered most about 9/11 is the fear.

When the first plane hit, like everyone of you, I was sitting there thinking how could this happen?  It’s an accident, of course, but how could an accident like that happen? But nowhere in you did you believe it was intentional.

Then,  the second plane hit and it was a moment of universal fear and terror in the heart of every American. As everyone in the United States began to understand that this was not an accident. The horror in the eyes of our fellow countrymen will haunt us all for the rest of our lives. Watching the flames, the debris, the smoke. Losing so many of our brothers and sisters. It’s a shared experience that my generation and everyone old enough to remember 9/11 has to the war-ravaged America’s Greatest Generation and all of the generations gone before. I hope our children never have first hand knowledge of what that feels like.

But what I remember in the days that followed, besides the ensuing, consuming sadness and depression, was the unity and camaraderie of our nation. It is my hope that our children will  come to know that feeling — minus the national tragedy it took to invoke it.

Our better angels were summoned in the aftermath. May we remember them always. When those towers fell, we found truth inside of that terror. Triumph inside of tragedy. Strength wrapped inside of that smoke. The flames that burned ignited a spark that transcended into a national fire of raging goodness that burned brighter, hotter, higher than the smoke of terrorism ever could.

That’s what I CHOOSE to remember about that time in our nation’s history. That love is stronger than hate and that truth always wins.

No presidential candidate or political rhetoric could ever steal from us that lesson we paid such a price to learn.

#VeteransForKaepernick

I mentioned last week that Donald Trump running around telling everybody that this nation was a shithole with a weak military was way more insulting to those of us who know exactly what this nation stands for than Colin Kaepernick  exercising his right to protest ever could be.  This illustrates that perfectly:

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I set on Twitter the other night and just boo-hooed at the amazing opportunity that is America and the outstanding men and women that not only defend our freedom, but understand it in a way that some can’t.  When I realized that not everyone got to enjoy the beautiful display of patriotism that was the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick because not everybody does Twitter. So I pulled the best ones for you.

If this — Veterans who would give their lives to rescue this flag from enemy territory defending the right of one man who refuses to temporarily salute it in protest — doesn’t make you have pride in your nation and make you be greatful to be an American,  you’re probably a Trump voter.

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(This one is so profound if it doesn’t hit you in the heart, you don’t have one.)

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A great reminder ^^ of how young the men and women who defend our freedom actually are.  They certainly aren’t “boots on the ground.”

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Wow.

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Thank You! to all who serve.

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I love my country.

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The BEST nation on Earth.

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We are so blessed.

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Donald Trump, if you still doubt the power, ability, and awe that is the United States Military, maybe YOU should leave.

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Let freedom ring…

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From sea to shining sea…

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For black and white and every color in between…

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Let freedom ring.

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THANK YOU American Military.

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Thank you for your service, sacrifice, bravery. May God bless you and keep you safe always.

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I love you all.

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God bless America.

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