Monday, November 21, 2016

Who Said It First. Donald Trump or SJWs?

I wrote this originally as a Facebook status. Then I put it on AllThink. Now, I'm re-RE-posting it here...

You've heard the story no doubt about Donald Trump being upset that Mike Pence went to see "Hamilton", was booed and then at the end called out by the cast. Trump tweeted that the theatre should be a safe space and the cast should apologize to Pence. Here was my Facebook status response. "Donald Trump says that theatres should be safe spaces. HAHAHAHAHA! NO! No. They are places where ideas should be challenged. They are places for ideas to be expressed. The Arts is a place for the mind to take a million different paths, some comfortable and many that aren't. NOW, if we can just get the ban, censor, dox happy, no platforming, safe space demanding left to realize this, we would be getting somewhere. Whether it is a concert venue, a play, a comedy club, an art gallery, or a book store, the space is not safe. There will be something there to offend at least one person, whether it be the name of a band, lyrics, writing from a dark place, uncomfortable paintings or sculptures, performance pieces, or a comedy routine that uses off colour and disturbing ideas, we must stop demanding a complete cleansing of these environments. No, a homophobic and scary VP is not immune to being criticized at the theatre. And no, a left wing social justice frontliner is not immune to being offended in artistic settings.

But, furthermore, this should be the case not only in artistic settings, but also colleges and universities, places where ideas should be openly discussed, challenged and hashed out. You are most likely aware of the situation that exists on some campuses, and how free speech and the free flow of ideas is being heavily curtailed. It isn't right wing Trump supporters who are doing this. Not in the slightest. It is the left, or at least some on the left, who are doing this. So, before anyone on the left gets too high and mighty and starts to mock Trump for a very mockable statement, you should look and apply the same mocking to the idea some on the left have that they, as well, should exist in a massive safe space free from challenge.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Protesting Trump Is The Right Thing To Do

When a man threatens to punish women for having abortions, demonizes huge swathes of the population, surrounds himself with the scariest of far right politicians like Mike Pence who has done everything in his power to block any laws protecting the rights of LGBT people, openly brags about sexual assault and treats women like pieces of meat, condones and encourages violence, declares war on the media, has made it a top priority to take away health insurance from millions of Americans, makes enemies of neighboring countries, mocks disabled folks and refuses to pay taxes, ya, you bet people are going to take to the streets. It's not a matter of being sore losers. It's now a matter of fighting to protect rights and dignity. It's now a fight against promises of increased oppression. It's now a fight against a list of ideas that can only be described as fascist. That said, don't destroy shit. 

And, when protesting, do keep in mind that if Trump supporters protested, it would probably be mocked and derided in the same way that anti-Trump protesters are being treated. So, don't get too pissed off at them. Understand that if everything was reversed, Trump supporters would be upset as well. They wanted change. They were unhappy as well. This whole campaign was SO polarized and the differences between the two sides so stark that there is no way that this was going to end on election night. No matter who won, someone was going to be taking to the streets and it wasn't going to be a pretty scene.

So, protest. Everyone has that right. But, destroying property and violence can't be seen as acceptable. Go forth, speak your mind, scream, yell...and as said above, don't break shit.

Originally posted at Allthink

Monday, November 7, 2016

Yes, It Is Perfectly Fine To NOT Vote

As we get closer to the election, the "YOU MUST VOTE!!!" rhetoric is ratcheting up. The message is that if you don't vote, you are being an idiot who is passing up on your right and that is WRONG. Ugh.

Look, yes, countries like Canada and the US are democracies. You have the right to vote for who you want to lead the country. BUT, you also have the right NOT to vote if you wish. It is your choice. Don't feel guilted into voting. If you don't see anyone on the ballot you wish to vote for and you decide to not vote, that isn't a bad thing. You have not done anything wrong by doing that. Yes, elections are important, but democracy doesn't end at the ballot box. You still have a say on issues between elections and there are still ways to make your views known. If on election day, you decide not to vote, there really is nothing wrong with it and anyone that says otherwise is being stupid.

For example, right now, I am on twitter and I am looking at a tweet that reads, "If you don't vote you have no right to complain." Yes, you do. You still have a right to complain. You have a right to complain about a lot of things. You have a right to complain that there aren't any options you wish to vote for or even feel good about voting for. You can complain because, as I said above, democracy doesn't end at the ballot box. Just because you aren't part of election day doesn't mean your voice is gone. It just means you chose not to be part of that particular exercise. All of your rights are still intact and don't disappear if you decide NOT to vote.

 Also, you know what, if you decide to vote, you should not feel guilty about who you decide to vote for. What I mean in this case is that if you decide that you want to vote for a third party candidate, do it. Vote as you see fit. It is your voice after all. Ya, there is a lot of rhetoric about how a vote for a third party is a vote for Trump or it means you are throwing away your vote. No. You are voting for who you feel you want to vote for. You have that right and no one has the right to take that away from you and you should not feel guilty. And I say that hoping that each and every American doesn't vote for Trump and puts their votes towards making Hillary president (because as a Canadian, she is the one that would be best for MY country in the long run). But, even though I feel that, it is ultimately YOUR choice to make and you should make it free of guilt.

 So, let's recap. You are not a bad person if you decide not to vote. You are not a bad person if you decide to vote third party. It is totally up to you. It isn't up to anyone else. It is up to YOU. It's YOUR decision and you deserve to have full control over that decision.

(Originally posted at Allthink)