Miss Independent (aka: Politics, People, and Parties)

WeThePeopleFirst off, I am not nor have I ever been a member of the Democratic Party.

Now, if you haven’t died if shock or rage-quit reading this blog post, then we can continue discussing the dreaded P word. That’s right. People.

What, you thought we were going to discuss politics? Okay fine, we’ll do that a little, too. But when you really think about it, to discuss politics really means to discuss people. Because thanks to Alexander Hamilton and George Washington and those other guys whose faces ended up as 3D graffiti on a perfectly good piece of rock, our government is one of the People, by the People, and for the People.

There are a lot of People in this country. Something like 300 million of us, to be exact. We all look very different, represent different subcultures, and have ancestors from every corner of the sphere. Many of us don’t believe in God, while many more of us believe in God in some form. Some of us live in poverty while a few of us are super rich (about 1% we say). Most of us fall somewhere in between. With so much diversity, it’s really no wonder that We the People can’t agree on how this nation should be governed.

“The government should give us all free health care, a college education, high-paying fast food jobs, and FEMA trailers that don’t suck,” says one group.

“The government should not regulate our businesses, our guns, or our churches, but it should totally regulate who we love and  what we do with our bodies,” says another group.

“The government should go back to England where it came from and let us do whatever the heck we want to do,” says another.

1776 PartyAnd so, we have these things called parties. No, not the cool kind of parties, with balloons and dancing and cake and stuff. Instead, we have the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party, and a bunch of other smaller parties that are like the hopeless nerdy kid who runs for class president, and you feel sorry for him, because he’ll try very hard and maybe get like, eleven votes. And instead of having fun, these parties are all about electing the presidential candidate whose ideals you hate the least.

This is an election year. Which means that your Facebook feed is filled with people expressing all of their political dislikes.

“I can’t stand Hillary Clinton, because she’ll let in all the immigrants, and take away all the guns, and teach people that it’s okay to send work email from our home computers.”

“I can’t stand Donald Trump, because he’ll keep out all of the immigrants and let the gun-lovers shoot everyone with their guns, and turn comb-overs into popular hairstyles.”

When you ask people to express what they do like about their political candidate, they suddenly have less to say. “Uh…I like that he stands for all the things my party stands for.” Whatever that means.

Independent party

Over the years, I have learned to rarely share my political opinions. One, because they may change without warning. Crazy, right? One day, I may be breezing along, believing that the President of the United States should make English the official national language (English English, not American English. Get it straight). Then bam! Someone comes along and says some intelligent thing that shifts my world view. Whoa! After that happened enough times, I finally quit the Republican party and joined the Independents. It’s true. I am one of those free-thinking, game-changing, unpredictable Independent voters. Republicans and Democrats alike are nervous in our presence, as they don’t know whether we are enemies or allies. Are we for or against hybrid cars? Batman or Superman? Carnivore or herbivore? Auuugghh! What are we?

Truth: We Independents like to stand on the sidelines, munching our popcorn and watching the big dogs slug it out for our amusement and consideration. Then, when things get down to the wire, we like to rush in and sway the vote in favor of the strongest candidate.

Deez Nuts 2016

(Prediction: This war will be fought between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Clinton will win. You’ll see. 😉 )

The cool thing, though, is that when all is said and done, the gloves come off, and the dust settles, we will no longer be a nation divided between Group A and Group B. We will stop focusing so much on being Democrats or Republicans, and return to being Americans, one nation united under God (mostly). At least until the next election.

George Washington Independence Quote

Goliath Sucks (Or Does He?)

slingshot weaponOkay, two things. First of all, this theme was not exactly my idea. I was inspired by reading the blog post of this really funny…er, I mean, bitter blogger. But I thought it was worth stealing…er, borrowing. Second of all, this is definitely not a post about sheep. Although sheep are kind of a part of this blog post, I generally don’t pay much attention to them, because sheep are not very bright, follow the crowd waaaay too much, and make me feel kinda bored and sleepy after a while.

This is a story about a shepherd. And a giant.

Veggie Tales Dave and the Giant Pickle

Veggie Tales – Dave and the Giant Pickle

What’s that? You already know the story of David and Goliath? It was already drilled into your head via Bible-memorization-games-for-candy and Veggie Tales and Sunday School songs that get stuck in your head? (…and one little stone went into the sling and the sling went round and round. And round and round and round and round and round and round and round…). Well good, then I don’t need to fill you in.

The whole David and Goliath theme is kind of overdone. With good reason, of course. Perhaps it is within our human nature to desire to see the bully taken down by the underdog. To see good triumph over evil. To see the Israelites defeat the Big Bad Philistines. And so the theme appears again and again in literature, in cinema, in art. The weak, powerless kids defeat the Fratellis and score a pirate ship full of gold treasure. The newb wizard defeats He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named again and again. The abused little girl uses her wits to bring down her mean principal and turn her school into a safe and happy place. Hooray for the Davids! Boo to the Goliaths! Goliath sucks.

Not only do we like to apply the David and Goliath theme to the world of fantasy, but to our real lives, as well. We support the Davids who fight against cruel dictators, against tyranny and injustice. The braver among us aim to be Davids, too (although hopefully not in the way he abandoned his responsibilities, aka sheep, in his determination to go to battle). We gather our stones and swing around our slingshots, eager to bring down the Goliaths in our lives. Because the Goliaths must die, so that good and right may triumph, right?

David vs. Big Bad GoliathBut wait. Who was Goliath, anyway? Why was he there with the Philistine army? What did he do that made our hero, David, want to bring him down with a stone? Clearly, he must have been on the bad side. The wrong side. The side of evil. Okay, well here’s the deal: The Israelites (Team David) were at war with the Philistines (Team Goliath). Why? Because apparently, God told the Israelites that they were destined to own the land where the Philistines lived. Therefore, the Israelites had to go to war and forcibly remove the Philistines (including Goliath) from their land.

Manifest Destiny, anyone?

Basically, Goliath was like the Native American warrior hero of his time, fighting to keep the European settlers from killing his people and taking his land. Team Goliath was on the defense, fighting to save what they believed to be theirs. But they lost it. All because of a boy named David and his rocks. Yay, David.

So anyway, our hero, David killed the Big Bad Giant and won a bunch of money and a woman, and eventually went on to be a pretty cool king. And the Philistines? Well, I don’t think the Bible mentioned what happened to them. Who knows? Maybe they went on to open a bunch of casinos.

Battle of Little Big Horn Manifest Destiny