Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My Daughter-in-Law to be, a liberal, asked me why I voted for Trump. Herein lies the explanation. I am not looking for arguments. If you want to  criticize, the election is over; don't bother. 

When Trump first appeared on the stage as a candidate for the Republican nomination, I thought ‘he’s just there for something to do - to put another notch on his belt and be able to say he was president.’ I never believed he could win. I thought he was could even screw everything up; that with the mood the country was in almost any Republican could win against Hillary, if he would just get out of the way.  Over time I changed my mind. I came to the conclusion he was sincere in his desire to “save” our country. I also believed our country needed saving.  I thought, maybe… just maybe…  But what really got me to vote for him was that the alternative was Hillary Clinton.
To start with, let me just state that I unapologetically align myself with the Republican party.  I voted for Jimmy Carter in the 70s, but went with Reagan in 1980 and have voted Republican ever since. That does not mean that I would not consider flipping if the reasons were there.
When Obama ran in 2008, I voted for McCain without much enthusiasm. After Obama won, it was my sincere hope that he would do well and that I could vote for him in 2012. It didn’t turn out that way. I had numerous concerns about the direction our country was headed. Here are the main ones:

I hoped that Obama care would work, although I doubted that it would, because I recognized that healthcare was in a downward spiral.  Insurance companies charged more and more and covered less and less, and people with chronic conditions could not get insurance.  I thought about it so much that I wrote a five-page paper documenting my thought process over the situation – what was wrong with the present system, but also what I thought would happen if the government took it over. Here is a link to the paper in my blog:  http://falkspot.blogspot.com/2009/08/thoughts-on-healthcare.html

Since writing this, I lost my healthcare, despite Obama’s assurances that I would not.
My school said it could not afford the rising costs of insurance, even though I was paying half, and I would have to go find my own (private school with under 30 full time employees). I went to a company the school recommended to get help finding insurance. I sat down across from a man who told me that our best bet was Blue Cross Blue Shield, and that our premiums would be $1,250 a month. Seriously.  And that was with a $5000 deductible.  I cried. But it would pay for a yearly physical exam and mammograms, he said.  Big deal.

After crying for a while, I bucked up and began praying. A friend told me to look into a health share group, so I did.  Tim and I ended up with Samaritan Ministries. Much better deal, even though it doesn’t pay for yearly checkups, blood tests, mammograms, or prescriptions. Still way under $1,250 a month.

Since then other people I know, people who couldn’t afford health insurance and signed up with Obamacare, were, at first, happy with it. Then their premiums went up. Then they went up again. Their premiums doubled and tripled.
Obama just talks about how everyone is signing up for his wonderful healthcare. He either doesn't realize it's not affordable for most people, or he just doesn't care. Probably doesn't know what to do about it. 

Another concern I had was the lack of border control. Members of terrorist groups hostile to our country have stated that they would be coming in and establishing sleeper cells in the U.S.  I take the threats seriously. All you have to do is look at what is going on in Europe as a result of unvetted immigrants and refugees.  I am not concerned for myself, but for our country as a whole. We aren’t perfect, but this is still a wonderful place to live and I want it to stay that way.  I know most of the refugees are not a threat and can actually contribute to our country, but I also believe that potential terrorists are coming in with them, or maybe just people who do not accept our laws and wish to promote Sharia law. It doesn’t matter that little has happened so far; when it happens, it will happen all at once. We need to be proactive, not reactive. We need a president who will protect Americans, and at the same time help those refugees we can. If our country becomes a place of fear and suspicion, if our economy doesn’t remain strong, we won’t be in a position to help anybody.  I’m not nearly as concerned about Mexicans and South Americans coming over the border. We can absorb them.

Another thing that bothers me was the huge increase in taxes and regulations placed on businesses. Big and small businesses are the golden goose of our society.  Democrats, like Bernie Sanders who go around crying about the 1% or 2% or whatever, say the goose is evil, and they want to strangle the goose and get all the gold eggs right now. Republicans want to feed the goose so she lays more gold eggs and will continue to lay eggs.  Most of the money collected in taxes from our government comes from people with jobs. It’s called income tax. People get jobs when they go to work for companies. Healthy, growing companies hire more people.  The government takes in more taxes. (I know it’s more complicated than that, but this is not a book.)
It is tremendously important for our country to stay strong economically – for the sake of a strong military, for the ability to help the poor, even for the ability to protect the environment. All you have to do is travel to a third world country and see that poor people cannot afford to be careful with the environment because those people are just trying to survive day to day: air pollution from burning trash heaps rises in the air; children play in piles of trash that get blown about by the wind because the villages cannot afford to pay for a dump truck to haul it away; poor sewage systems overflow, and rivers stink… well, you get the idea.  If you want a clean environment, you won’t get it by impoverishing the population.

I hate abortion. I can’t imagine that it’s not murdering a human being.  But I don’t believe that at this point it will be criminalized. It’s possible that it could be restricted, so that full-term babies are not killed, pulled apart, and sucked out of their mother’s wombs. But since pro-choice people insist that that almost never happens, that shouldn’t bother them too much.

The infrastructure! Experts have been warning us for years that the infrastructure is getting old and we need to start modernizing it now, not wait for it to collapse. By infrastructure, I mean the sewage and water systems and the electricity grid, as well as the roads.
So this is what Obama did: He tried. He proposed a bill. The GOP blocked it, they said, because of the way Obama proposed to get the money. They said it would not be enough and was not sustainable. Eventually a huge expensive bill got passed, but it’s very wobbly and still doesn’t have a good outlook for a long life. Parties can’t agree on whom to soak for the money.

What about supporting Israel? Obama seemed to despise the country. His parting shot was to have our UN rep abstain from blocking the UN vote that would allow Israel to be declared an illegal occupier of the West Bank. He also sent millions of dollars to the Palestinians, no doubt to be used for peaceful activities. Trump says he will support Israel. 

Supreme Court Judges. We need ones that will support the constitution, not legislate from the bench. A liberal Supreme court could make changes and laws that we will have to live with for the next twenty years or more. That's scary. 

Another thing that bothered me was how people who had real religious convictions against gay marriage were being sued and persecuted at the whim of gay couples that decided to use them to make a statement.  People who have worked hard to build their businesses were losing them and even threatened with prison because they refused to go against their convictions. If doesn’t matter what a person believes, one ought to be free to run a business without going against your faith. Gay people are free to marry and they can go elsewhere to get their flowers and their wedding cake. No one is stopping them from getting married. They don’t have to force their beliefs on others. And NO this is not the same as racism. And it’s definitely not the same as abortion, so don’t even bring it up.

What I saw was that the president and the Democrat party did not see things as I saw them. They thought (and Hillary actually said this in a speech) that the border was under control, the National Affordable Healthcare plan was working just fine, and Christians needed to change their beliefs; the economy is growing [President Barack Obama may become the first president since Herbert Hoover not to serve during a year in which the growth in real GDP was at least 3 percent.” (http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/terence-p-jeffrey/obama-may-be-first-president-hoover-not-see-3-gdp-growth]; Planned Parenthood was a victim of an evil video entrapment scheme, no one was selling baby parts, no one should be arrested... except the guys who made the video. 
 They did not even acknowledge that there was a problem. 

I was really angered by Democrats and even Obama himself accusing people who disagreed with him on policy as – gee-whiz, they must be racist. I am not a racist and I despise racism, but I’m not going to go along with something I think is wrong just because I’m afraid of being called a racist. And the Democrats seem to pull out that word and fling it around every time they want to cow their enemies, along with every other smear tactic they can think of.  Example: When McCain chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, she should have been the freaking poster child for feminism, but because she was Republican, she was mocked, implied racist, called stupid, her family was attacked, and every word that came out of her mouth was twisted into something it wasn’t.  She couldn’t take it.  I don’t blame her.  (Yes, I know Republicans do it, too, but I don’t think to such an extent.)
So when Hillary said about half the people supporting Donald Trump: “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it.” I thought – there she is. The soul of the (wo)man showed itself for a moment like an evil face in the window of a reputable house.” (O Henry, “The Roads We Take”)
That’s what she thinks of me and hundreds of thousands of other Americans like me. Is it likely she will care about what I think or about things that concern me?

The natural question that follows the above is, “Well what about the disgusting, horrible things Trump says? What about his attitude towards women? What about his verbal attacks on people?”
Indeed. I do not take them lightly. 
On to Trump.
 Trump has shown himself to have the potential to be obnoxious and offensive. He is hot-tempered and quick to lash out. (But frankly, so is Hillary, she’s just better at hiding it.) I don't blame anyone for having his/her doubts.
There is reason to doubt the stories of some of the women who accuse Trump of sexual abuse. Some of them have questionable history, the stories of others have been contradicted by witnesses, and one in particular is connected to Hillary’s organization and is motivated to lie. I also know that if you want to destroy a man’s reputation, all you have to do is accuse him of rape, or even just sexual impropriety.  If there were only the two of you involved, you can’t prove he did it, but he can’t prove he didn’t. Even an innocent man will have his reputation destroyed and suspicion will follow him around for years. Would Hilary arrange this to damage her opponent?  I think she would. BUT, having said that, I think there is obviously no doubt that he has acted inappropriately towards women. When you listen to the tape, he says, “They’ll let you do anything.” This implies that they were allowing his touch, but still it is inexcusable.
But I also think that he has learned a few lessons in the past 10 years. People are all a mixture of good and bad. If you really want to know who the man is, look at the entire picture. He has also done much good. He hired a woman to oversee the construction of a major project - the first time anyone did that in New York. He hired a woman to be his campaign manager. Who else has done that? Women who have worked closely with him have stated that he was always respectful of them.  
He has apologized for his words and actions. He says he has changed.  But if it turns out that we do have another "sexual predator" in the White House - well - we survived the last one.

There is also the old worn-out accusation of Trump being a racist. Democrats call everyone a racist to the point it has become laughable and easy to dismiss, but we must address it, because if he is, then that could be a deal-breaker.  I see no evidence of this.  People say he is against immigrants. He has never said anything against immigrants - his statements about many of the persons who come over the border being criminals pertained to "illegal immigrants." Black people and Mexicans who have worked with him say he is not a racist.

I don’t fear Trump’s “finger on the button” because that’s just hysterics. It takes a lot more than one decision from one man to launch a nuclear missile.

They both lie, but here I see, again, a difference in the type of lie. Hillary’s lies are deliberate, skillful, manipulative, and dangerous. They are also lies of convenience. Trump’s lies are lies of convenience, hyperbole, miscalculation, and brain farts.  If he’s lying about the women’s stories, which he claims never happened, then I have to add “personal.” 

So what we have here is two "flawed" candidates. 

I don’t particularly have confidence in either of their moral characters. I perceive a difference in the category of flaws each has. Hillary’s flaws could lead our country to disastrous consequences. Trump’s flaws are more of a personal nature, like Bill Clinton’s debacles.

I am not voting for best Christian, and I can’t vote on the basis of morality. I don’t have that option, nor would a highly moral man or woman necessarily make the best president. It takes guts, self-confidence, and a certain amount of arrogance to think you can run the country. They both have that.

So what is left?  Platforms.  Which candidate’s policies most closely align with mine? Who sees things the most like I do?


The end.

Looking back at what I have written, I can hear the objections, the counter arguments, the ways I would respond, but it's unlikely many will read this anyway, and it's past time to go to bed. 

Let me add a quick link to an article that I think explains my position almost perfectly: 

Wayne Gruden: If You Don't Like Either Candidate, Then Vote for Trump's Policies  http://townhall.com/columnists/waynegrudem/2016/10/19/if-you-dont-like-either-candidate-then-vote-for-trumps-policies-n2234187

Saturday, January 16, 2016

My son and his girlfriend have had a child

I am the grandmother again. This baby has no name yet, other than Falk. So precious!

Friday, December 18, 2015

It was 1978, I think. In the summer I was a counselor in a camp in Canada - Camp Pioneer on Lake Clearwater. Counselors got one day off every two weeks, and on this day one of the counsellors from the guy's side of the lake had asked me if I wanted to go see that new StarWars movie with him. So there we were in this grand old theater in Port Mary, a huge, wide screen in front of me. We had our choice of seats, because the movie had been out for a while, and most nerds had already seen it.
The curtain in front of the screen opened and the now iconic wording rolled away into the vastness of space. Then the tip of a triangle-shaped spaceship appeared overhead. It grew and grew and kept growing as it gradually took over the screen, giving you the sense of how enormous it was and also the feeling of power and its inexorable advance. Then I was taken to another world....

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Babysitting a Toddler

Being a grandmother - It's a lot of work, but it's a chance to have little children in the family again, and that's worth anything.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Anything worth having

That which is worth having in this life requires no less than blood, sweat, and mosquito bites. 
This is what I muse about while picking blackberries amid sharp thorns and swarming mosquitoes. 

Blackberries might be my favorite fruit. There is nothing better on ice cream. Nothing. But trying to obtain them is a challenge. So after helping my husband build our long-anticipated chicken coop, I hoed the garden, then covered myself with a second coat of OFF with deet and braved the edge of the woods. 

First of all, and worst, are the mosquitoes. I believe the exchange rate is one bite per two berries. They literally swarm you, trying to find any little patch that is not protected by toxic chemicals that we willingly spray on our skin because anything is better than not being unable to sleep because of itching mosquito bites. They will bite through your shirt if it is not sprayed. The only spot on me that was without OFF was the tip of my nose, so one mosquito made that her target. I sprayed more OFF (I took the can out there with me) on a paper towel and applied it to my nose tip. So then, realizing that this might be her one and only chance to propagate, she went for my eyeballs. Not kidding. 

After you pick all the ones you can easily reach, there are still those that require a pound or so of flesh to pick because they are in the back. Perhaps blackberries also require blood, because - think about it: First they put their seeds in delicious little fruits, so animals will eat them and spread the seeds around. Then they grow deadly sharp thorns like barbed wire around the treasure, and for what reason? Obviously, blood is somehow needed. 

Finally, blackberries ripen in July, hottest month of the year. Wearing long pants and sleeves might be helpful if it weren't for the fact that it's 86 F. 

So there you have it. Picking blackberries is miserable, and yet I still do it. The taste is amazing. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sixteen years ago our 8-year-old son began a campaign that started with the words, "Can I have a dog?" That spring all my reasons why having a dog would not be a good idea fell by the wayside. Why? Because of my love of photography and William Wegman, that's why. We purchased a Weimaraner puppy and named her Lucy.
Nine years later Sam moved out and left us with the dog.
Lucy has been a good companion and a naughty doggy.
She mothered an abandoned 3-week-old kitten we took in in 2009.
She loved swimming in the river and hunting muskrats.
She used her claws to leaved deep scratches in the wood frames of the doors.
She would suddenly break out into a deep, heart-stopping bark if something was outside the house, or even more commonly, when nothing was outside the house.
She made the chair next to my computer her place. She kept me from sitting for too long by barking to go outside, and a few minutes later, barking to come back in again.
She ate half a pizza carelessly left on the kitchen counter.
She played fetch with frisbees and sticks.
And she gradually got older and older.
Yesterday she died.
And the dog that I did not want left a hole in my heart.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

After a long break....

Not that I am a regular writer, but since flickr.com no longer has an easy link to my blog, it doesn't occur to me to add to my collection.
HOWEVER, some very important developments have taken place since the fall of 2013.
I am now a grandmother.  My daughter gave birth to a baby boy in July.  Pretty significant, I'd say.
I long for the day they move back to Michigan and I can see and hold my baby boy more often. But they are 18 hours away.