Friday, January 27, 2017

My Views, II

I haven't been silent about my opposition to Betsy DeVos' confirmation. I do not believe she's a qualified candidate for the position of Education Secretary, and many of the people I know--Republican, Democrat, and Independent--agree with that statement. So when I shared a meme I found on Facebook the other day, I wasn't making a political statement: I simply found it funny. It said, "Ms. DeVos, We're here for the IEP meeting," and it showed four brown bears lumbering down the street. (I'm sure you can find the image out there somewhere.)

If you've kept up with the senate hearings and all the hullabaloo about how DeVos' hearing went, you'll know what the meme refers to. (If not, key in "bears betsy devos" and you'll at least get half the story. Better yet, watch the senate hearing and get the whole story.)

Of course, someone commented with the following: "Ok, so what is the problem with Betsy DeVos? She supports school of choice and is a strong Christian woman.....what's the issue?"

I didn't have the time that night to respond, but I went ahead the next morning and told him why I didn't support DeVos. I cited facts and also inserted opinion. The bottom line: she's under qualified to serve in that capacity.

This person who commented is the same guy who asked me about my experiences after having posted a defense of Planned Parenthood. Since he inquired, and did so politely, I thought I'd ask him a couple of questions, and I sent him this email:
Since it looks like we can have a civilized conversation, despite our differences, I do have a question for you. Or maybe more than one. Are you completely, 100%, behind what Trump is saying/doing and behind all his cabinet picks? Mattis seems like a good choice, but some of his other choices are under qualified. And the whole wall thing--that is a very complicated issue on so many levels. But do you really think he will get Mexico to pay us back? And if that doesn't happen, do you realize we will be paying for it? I will even go one step farther. If we have to pay for it, taxes have to go up. I will be frank--we are middle class, so my four kids and husband and I will see our taxes rise, all to pay for a wall. This is my opinion, but I'd rather see my taxes used on good schools, good military, good police force, etc. I'm truly asking because I want to understand the opposing viewpoint. No rush on an answer, and if you'd rather not answer, that is fine. 
Thankfully, he responded. And while I didn't want to argue with him, I could have. At least I think so, and remember, this is my blog and my views. I put my comments in red.
Of course we can have a civilized conversation!  Anything less would be uncivilized.  I will try to address each of your questions here: 
- as for being completely behind what Trump is saying/doing. Let me be clear that I did not vote for Trump in the primary as I didn't think he was the best candidate. I will also be the first to say that he is kind of a jack ass. My only goal with my vote and my money this past election was to do everything I could possibly do to prevent Hillary Clinton from winning. 
I've heard that from a lot of folks with respect to this election. No one WANTED the candidates who were on the ballot but they felt they needed to vote one way or the other so as to save themselves from the opposing candidate. How, then, did those candidates get there in the first place? Uh, I think we need a new system.
Now that Hillary is not president, I have disengaged slightly from politics and am embarrassed to say I have not been paying a lot of attention to all the cabinet picks. 
Typical of so many Americans. The party they want is in control and they sit back and obey. Doesn't anyone want to think for themselves? The follower mentality gets to me and he clearly says he's not paying attention. I wonder why. Oh wait...
I am ok with controversial picks and people who are deemed under qualified as it is likely they will bring a new or different perspective to their office. I can't name one cabinet pick that Obama made that really made a positive difference, so replacing them with 'any of the above' can't hurt in my opinion.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Would you want an under qualified heart surgeon to step into the OR for your open heart surgery? Would you want an under qualified dentist working on your teeth?  Would you want an under qualified architect to design your home? Would Trump hire someone who wasn't qualified for one of his business ventures? My guess is no. I'm all for different perspectives and viewpoints, but somehow I just can't agree with his statement. (And truthfully, I don't think he really knows how well qualified the 'any of the above' group is. I should also state that I didn't agree with all of Obama's cabinet picks, but I didn't have doubts as to their qualifications.)
- as for the wall. I have to laugh every time someone brings up Mexico paying for it. This is an example where you can't take Trump literally. I do believe that Mexico will pay for the wall, but they are not going to write us a check. They will pay more tarrifs and taxes on goods they import from the US when Trump re-negotiates trade deals. This is what he means by Mexico paying for the wall. 
What he says here might make sense, especially since Trump has since stated the same idea, but the concept of the wall, to me, is ludicrous. And, I heard an interview on NPR with border control guards. They said, "You build a wall of 18 feet and the next day, you'll have 19-foot ladders." Yep. What a waste.
- I highly doubt your taxes are going up under a Trump administration. Have you not seen your taxes and healthcare costs skyrocket over the last 8 yrs? I sure have, and I'm in the middle class too just like you!  
Actually, yes, I've seen healthcare go up, but we all know that insurance companies themselves are partly to blame. And based what I've read about Trump's plan and this calculator, our taxes will go up. I'm all for taxes, I don't even mind increases, but in this instance, my taxes won't be going to the services I think are useful because Trump is cutting back on many of those services.
-Personally, I think everyone needs to chill out and let's just see how this plays out. If Trump doesn't deliver on his commitments or really screws something up, than he will be out in 4 yrs and we can do it all over again. I am optimistic about the future and encouraged by Trumps first few days in office. 
Even Fox News has said that Trump has flat-out lied in these first few days. And if you can be encouraged by a man who is only concerned with winning and winning big and whether or not he's the best, then sir, I'm not sure what to say to you. 
The stock market is reacting positively too which is nice. I really thought that the world was going to end when Obama was elected and it didn't; it won't end because of Trump either. Let's all take a deep breath and have a little faith in the man upstairs, after all, he is in charge and always has been.
The world might not end, but the United States as we know it might. Already, Trump is trying to block freedom of speech. Is he not concerned about that right? And what about...oh hell, never mind. I'm not going to bother.

I went back and thanked him for his time and realized that while it would take only four hours to drive to his house, a divide exists between us that we will never, ever, bridge.

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