Category Archives: Politics

You did this. You fix it.

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I am sure in the last couple of days I’ve offended people. I don’t doubt that some of my friends think less of my opinion now. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that I’ve been unfollowed or even “unfriended” on Facebook (I haven’t bothered to look).
 
I’m really trying not to care.
 
Like many libertarians, I sit in an uncomfortable middle ground. Many of my friends voted for Trump after an agonizing decision making process. Many of my friends skipped to the polls to vote for Clinton. I understand both votes, but personally chose neither.
 
The longer I sit with this, the angrier and more heartbroken I find myself. While I do understand (sort of) people’s votes, I do not understand why the establishment engineered this.
 
I do not understand why the RNC did not do more to stop Trump from the get go. I do not understand why the media ignored or minimized Trump’s ugly sexual history. I do not understand why they did not censure him when he said awful things about Megyn Kelly. I don’t understand why the Republicans fought out a battle of ego while Trump took the trophy.
 
I also do not understand why the DNC guaranteed Clinton was the nominee. I don’t understand why they intentionally worked against Sanders and his supporters. I don’t understand why they alienated a large portion of their potential voters for a candidate who has a controversial past and questionable judgement.
 
I also do not understand the reactions from the left or the right. Trump is awful. He is the scum of the earth. It is hard for me to fathom him as president.
 
However, my friends on the left, you need to understand: violently protesting in the streets, shutting down traffic and slowing PD and EMS response, attacking Melania Trump, blaming the right as sexist, racist, and bigoted only serves to divide us further. Claiming that Trump voters do not understand what it means to be afraid of the government is naive. Why do you think they bought all those guns you mocked them for? Unfriending people on Facebook puts you in an isolation chamber that makes you less able to understand the right. It is that kind of language and behavior that got us here in the first place.
 
The left’s utter refusal to relate to the right is as responsible for this as anything else.
 
Meanwhile, the right’s response is equally upsetting to me. Dismissing people’s fears, uninviting your liberal family from Christmas, ignoring the fact that Trump is a sexual predator because you hope his policies are good, voting for change for the sake of change (come on, this is what you criticized the left for with Obama), only serves to fracture us more. Happily supporting fascist policies scares those of us who know better. Right now, today, this minute, you need to reach out to people who are frightened and assure them that you voted for Trump in spite of his planet-sized flaws and you do not hold his bigoted views.
 
The right’s complete dismissal of Trump’s character as concerning and his policies as dangerous is as responsible for this as anything else.
 
The only people who benefit are the power players of the oligarchy. Your refusal to listen and understand and take responsibility for how we got here means that we will continue on this path which leads to more pain and more political upheaval and more of the same.
 
So pick. I made my choice. I will not keep perpetuating the cycle. I’m going to continue to sit in the painful middle and continue to reject the system. If you will not join me, I’m afraid that you are helping perpetuate the cycle. You, my friends, you did this. Now you need to fix it.
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The most important thing I can teach my children

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Over the next few years, Monkey’s education will be very organic. Eventually, we will likely be doing some sort of more formal education as I don’t believe in complete unschooling. There will be some structure in our home schooling.

We will teach phonics and then how to read, letters and then how to write and then the rules of English and then when and how to break those rules. We will teach numbers and then counting and then basic arithmetic and then more complex mathematics. And on and on. Some of it will be more organic and some of it will be more structured.

However, these lessons, as important as they are, are not the most important things I want to teach Monkey and her siblings that will come along.

I’ve been accused of being dramatic. I tend to have strong opinions and think everything I have an opinion on is important. EVERYTHING is important. And there is some truth in that. God gives us a thousand different things to do and says “They’re all important”. The trick is to work with Him to figure out which ones to do now and which ones to do later.

For example, do I pay off debt faster to meet the priority of getting out of debt or do I put that money towards storage to get my two years of food and emergency supplies together or do I put that money towards a savings account or do I do a little bit of all three all at once? Do I do none of those and instead use that money to avoid the “evils of the dole” and not take federal financial aid for my husband’s education? I could go on.

I believe God gives us multiple priorities to allow us to learn a more important lesson, and it is one of the two most important things I can teach my children.

By giving us multiple priorities, Heavenly Father appears to set us up to fail. However, what he is really doing is giving us an opportunity to develop a relationship with Him. He does not say “Do everything right now.”

Rather he says:

“And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order” (Mosiah 4:27).

This is an invitation to come unto Him, to trust Him and rely on Him. This is an invitation to learn who He is, to test Him and prove that He is who He says he is. It is also an invitation to learn about who we are and to especially understand who we are in relation to Him.

This is the very most important thing I can teach my children. Although I am not perfect, I have an opportunity to help them understand what it means to have a parent who is loving, accessible, kind, patient, powerful, protective, trusting, faithful and responsive.

Our understanding of our Heavenly Parents is made easier or harder depending on the kind of parents that we have growing up. That doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect parents, since this is both impossible and the Atonement will not only cover our sins when we repent, but the effects our errors have on our children.

A child who understands who they are in relationship to God and who has been taught of the unfailingness of Heavenly Father and their utter dependence on Jesus Christ will be grow into the kind adult who will heal the world. They will not stray far from the loving embrace of Heavenly Parents because they will be grounded in God’s love and will recognize the power that having the Holy Ghost in their lives gives them. If they know who they are in relationship to God they will not be free from trials but they will always walk with Him, despite the trials.

I know that none of my children will understand this perfectly, just as I do not. However, the better they understand this, the closer they will be to the people Heavenly Father knows they can be. The more closely their lives will align with their potential and the happier they will be.

If I can only accomplish this one goal, I will consider myself a successful parent. If only it was as easy as it sounds.

Why we still think we are free

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Wednesday morning I watched a Tea Party Patriots rally at Capitol Hill in D.C. While I could not be there in person, the internet allowed me to be part of it.

As I watched this purely American gathering, free from violence and censure, my heart swelled with love for my country. However, this sense was short lived.

While I watched, the distinct thought came into my mind that “Frankly, none of this really matters. We can speak and fight all we want, but things will not change. We’ll all go home feeling better, like we made a difference, but tomorrow things will still be the same. It does not matter how hard we fight, things will not change.” And then this thought: “We actually think we are free.”

How depressing.

However, it is sadly true. We are not free anymore, at least not like we think we are or were founded to be.

In ways big and small, our freedoms have been slowly stripped away. A little here, a little there. This regulation, that tax, a new law to keep us safe, an executive order to provide something we “need”.

It is not hard to see how government grows and how our freedoms get encroached upon.

However, a lot of the ideas of what make us free. For example, I can, technically, still buy a gun. I can still meet with a bunch of people and express my frustration with my government. I can still start a business. I can still write this blog.

The sad thing is that although the average, ordinary citizen is relatively free, it’s just that: relative.

When my children have to get a permit to hold a lemonade stand, that is a sad commentary on America. When a gathering of moms gets told they are a business and the organizer has to pay the volunteers as employees, that is a sad commentary on America. When we pay nearly 30% of our income in taxes and some people still want to raise taxes, that is a sad commentary on America. When it is revealed the IRS targeted groups for political persecution, the NSA tracks all our phone calls, and the President of the United States tells college students they “should reject these voices” “that incessantly warn of government…or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner“, that is a sad commentary on America and on our freedoms.

We think we are free because we think we can still do the things that make us free. But it’s a sham of freedom, a weak imitation of ruling ourselves.

Worst of all, since we don’t actually understand freedom, we don’t recognize that it’s been reduced and taken away. We have slowly been educated to accept that what we have is actual, genuine freedom.

There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon that reads:

“And other will he [the Devil] pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well – and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and he leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” (2 Nephi 28:21)

We have been lulled into security and the devil has lead us carefully away from freedom.

God’s plan is that men rule themselves. It is His plan that we become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;“. We can’t do that if we are not “free to act for [ourselves].

We think we are free because we still have the trappings of freedom. Pull back the curtains though, and we find that the core is gone.

It will only be when we start educating ourselves and our neighbors and rejecting the taxes and regulations that enslave us that we will begin again to find the self-evident truths our nation was founded upon. Only then will we being again to be free.