Trump. The problem. For me the biggest problem. Since last November 9 I have lost a lot of my attention span. I don’t sleep well. I drink more. There are more people that I just don’t want to talk to and sure as hell don’t want to listen to. I am not alone. But I feel more lonely in this crazy world since 45 took office. I don’t interact with new people for fear of learning that they support the policies of the current administration. I just don’t want to know anymore of those. Even so they are still around. I overhear them in restaurants loudly proclaiming how 45 is going to show those liberals a thing or two. Why is it that these guys always make sure the whole room hears what they are talking about? I learned at an early age to keep the volume down on private conversations in public places by my mother leaning in close to my ear and softly but clearly stating “do not talk loud in public, it is trashy and an ugly way to behave.” Made a believer out of me.
It seems to me that freedom of speech being the first amendment is significant. It is first and foremost what a free nation must be about. Any and all of the citizens of the USA may say whatever they wish as long as there is no threat to others. Of course, we hope that speaking freely would involve speaking the truth or at least believing to be speaking the truth. Then there are protests. A lot of people would rather there be no protests because they interfere with the delusion that there is peace. There are those who believe when people gather to protest they should be ignored and will therefore go away. I believe that it is important to stand up and speak out for what we believe to be right and against what we believe to be wrong.
Under the laws of this nation peaceable protests are allowed for every point of view, even the most repugnant. Peaceable being the most important element. What we saw this weekend was not and was never intended to be a peaceable protest. The bigots waving Nazi and confederate flags came looking for trouble and when met with opposition made sure to escalate it to fever pitch. Driving a car into a crowd of protesters is terrorism. I feel pride for those who showed up and stood up for what they see as right and just and shame for those who shouted racist slurs and blatant threats to others who had an equal right to be there. Trying to shout down any opposing speech and threatening fellow citizens makes them cowardly bullies. In my own opinion it also makes them assholes.
Speaking of assholes, there was a school teacher on public radio a couple of days ago talking about sex education. I was listening to this in my car and had to pull into a parking lot to keep from losing my temper behind the wheel. This woman actually said that she teaches the girls in her class that the only way to be safe is not to engage in sexual intercourse, which is offensive enough. She went on to say that while she is not allowed to mention god or religion she carefully lets them know that sexual intercourse leaves them damaged and that while they may not know it now they will regret the sex for the rest of their lives. This is a person who is shaping young girls self image. She will cause some of them to feel shame. She will cause some of them to doubt their own competence. Her influence could be the last straw for a child contemplating suicide. This is disgraceful. I have let members of the school board (yes this woman is local) know my feelings. I expect nothing to come of that.
Girls and boys, young men and women, please learn about your own bodies and make decisions about what you do and do not do with them based on fact. Get your information from your parents, from doctors, from adults who care about you and want what’s best for you not from anyone promoting their own agenda.