Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Brief thoughts on the Donald

In the great words of the Foo Fighters, “I have another confession to make!” (I had to put the exclamation mark, because that’s how I always hear this lyric)

As it turns out, I’ve been totally corrupting your kids.

For those of you who are not aware, my side gig (or main job, I’m not sure how that works) is as a school bus driver, something I’ve done now for somewhere around 4 years I believe?! The years sure fly by!

In this time as a school bus driver I’ve gotten to know some pretty awesome kids and families. When I started I wanted to do something extra for these kids, as a bus driver I know that other than their parents I’m one of the first people they see every morning, and how someone starts their morning has a major impact on how their day goes. It goes without saying that I try and be as positive as possible when they come on my bus, trying to call them all by name and tell them a very emphatic “Good Morning!” (There’s that exclamation point again!)

But after a little while driving I wanted to add even more to their morning and daily routine. I started putting up little inspirational quotes and life lessons every day and that first year I had the kids bringing me them whenever they found something that they thought constituted a life lesson or just a great quote about living life to the fullest, loving who you are, and just overall words of kindness. I was even able to get some of the kids to do little homework assignments throughout the year where they really got a chance to show me their creativity, and surprisingly, most of the kids did them!

But the life lessons are the things that I guess I’m apologizing for at this point. Throughout these four years I’ve tried to stress the importance of loving yourself, no matter what anyone else tells you. To stick up for yourself. To treat others like you’d want to be treated. To not judge a book by it’s cover, and to recognize the beauty that is all around you. Overall, I just want them to recognize the positive things that surround us every day and to know that they are better than good enough to do anything. I also try to express to them how important empathy is, and to try and know other people’s stories before you judge them, as well as the treacherous idea of lumping groups of people together based on any small part of them that makes up a wholly unique individual.

I apologize for this because there is an individual who is currently running for our highest political office in America who seems to have gotten there by shitting all over these ideals that I have been trying to convey to this next (great) generation.

I recently shared a post from the Daily Show with a statement saying that if someone’s daughter, niece, friend, or whatever brought home a guy who said something like Donny here said, you’d be much more likely to greet him with a shotgun rather than voting for him for President. And the sad thing is, this is just the most recent of hate filled speech that he has spewed. He has alienated the disabled, Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Women, and pretty much every group out there (Warren Buffet doesn’t appear to be a huge fan either), and he’s done so in multiple ways, multiple times.

I know people aren’t too keen on voting for either Trump or Hillary in this upcoming election, but the sad truth is that no matter how hard a third party tries to dethrone the Republicans or Democrats, the individuals running there (most notably Johnson and Stine) aren’t really that impressive either. So we will end up with either a Trump of Hillary President and I guess when I watch these debates and I think to myself, which of these two candidates do I feel are going to be more diplomatic? Which one do I think could be the best President? I watch as Hillary lets Trump talk and talk and talk (mostly repeat, repeat, hate, repeat) and then when she speaks, he constantly interrupts her and shows absolutely no respect, I wonder to myself how he’ll do as our symbol of leadership not only to our American people, but also to the citizens of the world. Trump is the stereotypical arrogant American that has spurred other countries to hate us worldwide, and the idea that he even has a shot at this election makes me question our countries moral compass as well.

The good thing that this election may spur is the idea that the two party system isn’t working anymore. If, out of all the people who could have ran, these are the two best our major political parties could come up with, then maybe it’s time to dig deeper, remember that our founding fathers never wanted a simple two party system, and find someone who steers this country in the direction most of us want it to go in. A direction that once again puts us as a beacon of hope for other countries, not the laughing stock this election season has brought forth world wide.

Until I hear from parents of kids who ride my bus telling me to stop spreading love with daily life lessons and quotes, I’m going to assume that you’d like your kid to not turn out like Donald Trump…and I guess I have to assume that means you don’t want a person filled with so much hate, to run our country.

Here are two quick things I’ve been thinking about with this election and the case for Hillary as well:

1.       When I was born the president in office was Ronald Reagan (Saint Reagan to some). By most accounts people thought he was a pretty good president, although everyone has had their flaws as well. Just a couple days ago a great friend had his first child, a daughter. I can’t help but think how cool it would be for her to have only spent a little time on this earth before knowing that not only can women do absolutely anything in this world, but also that she lives in a country where people support that idea.

2.       The less popular of these two thoughts, HRC was tried for her “crimes” and nothing came of it. Last I checked we live in a country where you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Not that they always get it right, but it is what it is.

Bottom line is this: I love the kids I get to drive every day. I love that they’re interested in not only the little quotes I put up daily but that they see situations in their own lives that these quotes relate to, and come and talk to me about them. I love that they are interested in who will be our next leader of America and like talking to me about such things. I like that they have great heads on their shoulders and parents that care enough about them that they let them join the conversation. I just hope that my talks with them maybe show them that there is good and bad in this world and that often we can’t do much about the bad, other than try to be the good.  To quote one of last week’s life lessons,

“I’m looking for a world where love will no longer be extraordinary.”

                                                                           -         Patch Adams

Maybe you still totally want to vote for a bigoted asshole, and thanks to this great county we live (it is still an amazing country despite what you may have heard) you can certainly do that but just make sure you get educated. Watch the debates, read some unbiased media, check which candidate your views most align with here, and get yourself registered to vote here!

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