Tag Archives: Presidential politics

No Politics Please…

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
-Groucho Marx

“The more you observe politics, the more you’ve got to admit that each party is worse than the other.”
-Will Rogers

Although I prefer to hike alone most of the time, I have been known to hike with others. And along with hiking with others comes a certain amount of social activity that is pretty much expected from every member of the group, no matter how big or small the group is.  You have to talk to someone at some point. Unless of course, you don’t mind being branded a psycho.

So what is it that hikers talk about? If we have families, kids are always the topic of conversation. Our spouses, significant others and jobs all play a part in what we discuss as we head down the trail. Recent news is on the list, the latest disaster and of course the odds and ends of everyday life. These seem to be pretty safe topics.

But then what happens after the first five minutes and you’ve made it through that list and you still have 7 miles to go? What in the world do you talk about? What might be a conversation starter?

Well if you will indulge me for just a second I will tell you what not talk about. Under no circumstance, even under the threat of death, should politics ever be discussed. The only caveat to this might be is if you know that you and your fellow hikers all think along the same line. If I am in your group, you might as well forget it.

I know my political trajectory is far off and away than most hikers I know and that’s ok. I know my thinking is not everyone’s cup of tea. But then again, if we all thought the same then what would we have to fight with each other about?

I have been hiking with a dear friend for over twenty years now. He was there last summer and saved my ass when I fractured my ankle and was in renal failure. Believe it or not, we are on the total ends of the political spectrum. He leans a lot to the left and I am more in the Libertarian camp. So even when it is just the two of us hiking, I have to make the announcement. NO POLITICS. Because what ends up happening is either he or I will say something that will piss the other one off and then everything will go off the rails.

I learned a long time ago that a friendship is not worth getting all hot and bothered about some stupid politician. Am I right? Now I do know people who make it their mission to say the vilest things just to get me angry. I just don’t hike with them anymore.

It’s as simple as that.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

 

“We Hate Everyone On The Right!!!!”

screaming

Someone in the “resistance” screaming at the sky. Oh my…

A quick question for my friends on the left. What is the purpose of harassing Republicans and members of the Trump administration in public? Do you not see how childish you look? How infantile? Since election day it has been a temper tantrum thrown on a daily basis because Trump was elected.

So what exactly are you hoping to accomplish by not allowing public figures to live their lives in peace like everyone else?

Do you honestly believe that screaming and accosting people in public is going to help your cause? I know that when I was growing up, yelling, screaming and stamping my feet like a petulant two-year old never succeeded in getting me anything. At some point I realized that and grew up.

Does it soothe your ego to verbally accost people who have been put in place by a duly elected President? (Sorry, we don’t elect the President by popular vote)  Does it make you feel good?

The behavior shown by those on the left since election day has truly been disgusting, and I think that is an understatement. The crying, screaming and ridiculous histrionics have done nothing but further alienate the two parties and quite frankly, made the left look like the unhinged loonies they profess the right to be.

Any rational answers out there for such moronic behavior? 

And that, dear friends, will end my rant for the day.

As always, if any of this offends you, I don’t care.

Can’t We All Just Get Along???

In just a few short weeks a new president of the United States will be elected. The one and only guarantee of this election is that approximately one half of the population will not be happy with the results. It won’t matter who is elected, the internet will be filled with cries of the end of the world and that as a nation we won’t be able to survive four years of  a Clinton or Trump presidency.

Decisions will be made that you won’t agree with. Things will be said by the new president that you won’t agree with. Both sides of the aisle will continue the insidious name calling that has sadly become the mainstream of U.S. politics.

Here’s the one good thing. You don’t have to be a part of the nonsense. It doesn’t matter who you support, in the end it is your choice on how you decide to respond. You can be part of the name calling and blaming, or you can decide not to be.

I am making a choice to do the following (regardless of who wins):

  1. Each of us have a system of values that we have either received from our families or developed on our own. I will continue to impart these values to my children and I will associate with those who hold those same beliefs.
  2. I understand that not everyone shares my beliefs but I will not resort to demeaning those who are opposed to what I believe.
  3. With that said, I will not tolerate those who oppose me in a manner which is detrimental to both parties. I will actively defend my beliefs in an appropriate manner.

As Americans, we have the first amendment right to speech. In these troubled times we need to exercise that right, but to do so in a manner that does not resort to what has become the norm in our society. Nothing is going to change in our society (and many others) if we can’t learn to disagree with each other without resorting to lowering ourselves to calling names and playing to the stereotypes that got us to where we are in the first place.

Way to much mental energy is wasted on hating those who disagree with us. Instead of continuing to beat each down through words and actions, someone has to stand up to those on both sides who do not want to participate in a meaningful discussion. Will that person be a politician? An everyday person? Who??

Please let  me know what you think. Am I crazy to expect a reasonable amount of civil discourse, no matter who wins?

 

 

 

Shut up and act, sing, dance…

The best thing about having a blog on word press is the incredible diversity associated with  the content, people and places that they are from. I have learned so much from so many different blogs over the course of the last year, and I find that amazing. If you are reading this then you know that my blog, “The Zen Hiker,” deals primarily with hiking in the Hudson Valley of New York State.

As you know, this is an election year here in the US. Whether you (especially those of you outside of the US) have been entertained, disgusted, amazed, confused or whatever, it is a long process that wears everyone down, no matter what side of the aisle you are on. I have tried very hard to not post any blogs about politics, because what I think about a certain candidate, positive or negative, really means nothing.Now, with all of that said, my question to all of you is this-Why do we place so much value in what entertainers have to say about politics? What is about being an entertainer that makes what they say gospel? Does this also happen in other countries? Please, those of you in countries outside of the US, tell me this isn’t the case.

I am specifically referring to the growing list of celebrities who are threatening to leave the US if a certain presidential candidate is elected.  Where is the correlation that if you are famous because you can sing, act, throw a ball, hit a ball or bounce a ball that you are uniquely qualified to then weigh in on politics.? Here in the United States we do have the constitutional right to free speech and I am certainly not advocating anything else. But….why is it a lead story on the news when an entertainer has vile things to say about any candidate, left or right? Who cares?? If these people didn’t have press people, most of them wouldn’t be able to tie their own shoes without help.

I wish, that just for once, they would act in a responsible manner and just say, “Everyone needs to get out and vote for the candidate of your choice” and maybe, “Just make sure that you get out and vote.” That would make more sense to me than listening to the nonsense about leaving the US. Why???

Because they never do it. They never ever leave, ever. Do these celebrities and sports stars understand that based on political demographics, approximately 50% of their fans probably do not agree with their political leanings?

My point then is this:

If you are famous for acting, singing, throwing, hitting or bouncing a ball, then just shut up and act, sing, throw, hit or bounce your ball. If you are threatening to leave if your candidate is not elected, then follow through and do it, silently. Even though we all know you won’t…

 

 

 

Can’t we all just get along? (at least until November)

“I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you.”

-Anthony Bourdain

“A lot of lip service gets paid to being honest, but no one really wants to hear it unless what’s being said is the party line.”

― Colin Quinn

Disagreement is something normal.

-Dalai Lama

I vowed that when I started this blog that I would not discuss politics. By virtue of the fact that this is an election year, the discussions about who will be the next president have already begun. With the start of the silly season comes much discussion, debate and arguing. Unfortunately but predictably, the discourse has already turned ugly on both sides and it promises to only get worse as each side regurgitates its own set of talking points.

It is also unfortunate that I am not just talking about the candidates, I am talking about the everyday person. Yes, you and I. Your family, friends, co-workers and strangers are already robustly letting each other know what they think about each of the candidates on both the left and the right and it isn’t pretty.   

Why then am I writing about politics? I am writing about it because I want to make a plea to everyone out there today. If you are on the far left, the far right, a moderate, progressive or whatever you choose to call yourself, please read the following and join me in an attempt to make it through November without losing family or friends based on the ugly and often untrue statements or comments that are made during “friendly conversations.” Ok. With all of that said, here we go…

One of the greatest gifts we have is being able to live in a democracy and having the ability to speak our minds about where we stand on the political spectrum. In the years that we elect a new president, it seems that many more people seem to care about politics than in the off years. As spring turns to summer and summer into fall, the attempt to have our positions heard rises to disturbing levels.

With that discussion, of course, comes disagreement. Now don’t get me wrong, disagreement is a good thing as long as it is reasonable and intellectually honest. As noted above, the Dalai Lama says that “disagreement is something normal.” Let me give you some examples.

As you may or may not know, I tend to lean to the right when it comes to fiscal and military issues and to the left in regards to social issues. I like to think that I am more independent than anything else. Each and every time, however,  that I express dissatisfaction with something that President Obama has said or done, it is always insinuated that I am a racist. If I don’t support Hillary, I am then sexist. Could it be possible that I just don’t agree with you?

Sorry folks. Making fun of people (candidates and those you are debating with) and calling them a racist, sexist, homophobe, islamophobe etc. does not make you right, it instead shows your ignorance. You need to support your arguments with facts and not the usual race to blame everything on, well, race or sex. Falling prey to the name calling and the labeling makes you intellectually dishonest, thereby taking you out of the discussion.  

I am making a plea today for everyone reading this not to take the easy way out during this election cycle. Assume that you know and will meet people that have opinions that differ from yours. Let that other person be the one that makes the leap immediately to the negative. When you choose to share the lies and negative nasty comments  that you find on social media about any of the candidates, you make the choice to be part of the problem, and not the solution. You also show that your ability to to engage in a rational and productive political discussion is non existent.

Since this blog is shared on facebook, I am hoping that those of you who are reading this take what I have written to heart and join me in keeping this political cycle a decent and productive one. Electing a president of the United States is, in my opinion, is one of the most important things we can do as a citizen. Let’s not turn into savages as we do it, whichever side you are on.