Donald Trump

Why ‘Make America Great Again’ was the worst political slogan ever created. Thanks, Reagan.

I wasn’t old enough to witness Reagan’s presidency, but my dad was. He said, and I quote, “He wasn’t that great.” But he was an actor, so there ya go.

It was the 80s. People didn’t give a shit about anything. Except for like, doing cocaine or whatever. And I think Reagan’s presidency, and stupid slogan, was about bringing back the 1950s era American Dream. I assume because that was when he was a popular actor, and also, because male dominance over women was much more widely accepted. And what misogynist wouldn’t want to go back to a time when women could be mothers or have careers, but not both. And couldn’t apply for their own credit cards without their husband’s or father’s permission. It’s nice to be needed.

Yes, I’m calling Reagan a misogynist. But I’d call anyone a misogynist, and a couple of other things, who thinks that our country was better for people in the past rather than in the present. I know it’s not perfect. It never will be, but the goal is to always get better, to give people more liberty, more freedom. So when you say you want to go back to a time when people had less of that, specifically women and people of color, that worries me. Because let’s face it, white men, America has always been great for you. It was created for you, by you and with your best interests in mind. There’s literally no denying that because it’s 100% true.

But I’m going to give Reagan, Trump and anyone who actually says this dumb thing, without being ironic, the benefit of the doubt. I think there are a lot of Americans out there who have felt their government hasn’t been doing anything for them over the last 8 years. Which is funny because every Republican I know goes on and on about how the government should stay out of their lives. Except when it comes to abortion. Government should totally be in women’s vaginas. But I digress.

People didn’t know it yet, but when Reagan was campaigning in 1980, they were yearning for a simpler time. After the Vietnam War, after disco died, after doing lines of coke while roller skating, they wanted to get back to their American Dream. They wanted to own houses and raise families and go on exotic bi-annual vacations to places like Disneyland and Cuba. I mean, no, not Cuba. Mexico! Maybe Europe when the kids got to college and could really appreciate it. Maybe all that culture would keep them off drugs. Cocaine in particular. You did it, and are fine, but your kids really shouldn’t. Reagan-era parents just hid their marijuana stash as best they could, and went out to mow the lawn or something. It was a new decade, and what better way to counter 10 years of rampant excessiveness than with a slogan that implies we had to go back in order to move forward.

Cut to 2016, the age of misinformation and millennials*. Trump, in his infinite wisdom, asks himself, “Who is a Republican president everyone loved, and what was his campaign slogan?” Answer: Ronald Reagan. Make American Great Again. “Kellyanne, can we rip off Reagan? Let’s do it anyway. People will love it. It’s gonna be ‘uge. I’m the greatest, and I have a very smart brain. Look at me go, Kellyanne!”

Have you ever heard that saying, ‘Good artist copy, great artists steal’? And it actually worked. It actually fucking worked. Amazing. It’s just too bad that we’ve come too far to go back this time.

Like, this American Dream bullshit. What the fuck is that? I don’t want to own a home. First of all, I can’t afford it. And if I borrow money from my parents, I just get shit about being an entitled millennial. Plus, when I was in college, the housing market crashed. It doesn’t really seem like a safe investment when you knew 25-year-olds who filed for bankruptcy and moved back in with their parents because they lost their jobs and could no longer afford the home they’d bought just a year prior. Anyway, the only people I know who buy houses these days are friends who are married, getting married, or accidentally got pregnant. And they move, almost exclusively, back to the neighborhoods where we grew up. Closer to family, perhaps? Maybe it’s what their parents recommended and could afford for them? Who knows. And why the hell would I want to have a baby? So it could inevitably become my parent’s responsibility? Because I can’t afford them either. And I really don’t want to start a cycle of poverty.

Is there anything else that we can tack on to this “dream” so that it even somewhat applies to me? So that ‘Make America Great Again’ doesn’t feel like some old cliché that’s as rung out as a dirty sponge living under your kitchen sink? Retaining my human rights. Being financially independent. Not having debt. Those are my dreams.

So I’m getting my IUD, and I’m writing, writing, writing, hoping that someone in the world notices me and says, “Hey, you can write for us. We can pay you half of what you’re asking for.” And I say, “Okay.” Because that’s usually how it goes. Then I empty my menstrual cup, go make dinner and think about where I thought I’d be at 29.  

*All information presented in this article is potentially incorrect. But who gives a shit about fact-checking? 

President Trump: The Bright Side

As half of America wipes the vomit from their lips, I’m in a state reflection. 

I took a walk last night with Terry. We went to the beach and watched what was left of the sunset, then to the local farmer’s market where we bought macaroons and some very expensive cheese. We had dinner at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, Ortega’s. I like the atmosphere more than anything. It’s cluttered with sugar skulls, paintings and sculptures, all things Hispanic. Then we headed home. It was a November night in San Diego, but warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt. We talked about the election the entire time.

The media is looking at each other with shrugged shoulders, and the rest of the world is scratching their heads wondering how. How did this happen?

I’ve heard many people say that the American people have spoken. But I actually think it’s because the electoral college is a convoluted system that gives more power to states with less people, and also, is actually just a bunch of random dudes voting for president who may or may not take the majority’s vote into consideration.

This happened in 2000 with Bush and Gore. Al won the popular vote and conceded because George W. won the electoral college. And didn’t that turn out swell. Elections like this, although rare, make you think, who should have won? 

Even before this election, I spoke with friends about the system and how impractical it seemed. I even started reading the constitution and looking up YouTube videos to figure out why we do things this way. And I'll tell ya, still seems overly complicated. I'm definitely not the only American who feels this way. Here’s a petition aiming to end the electoral college. And here's another petition trying to do the same thing. 

Regardless of what’s happened in the past, no matter how recent it was, I think what this says about our country is that we are incredibly divided. Almost completely evenly divided, in fact. And I don’t believe that that’s only because we disagree about hot button issues. We came at this election from two entirely different perspectives.

Half of us couldn’t fathom electing a man whose rhetoric was filled with misogyny and racism. The other half couldn’t fathom electing a woman who’s a crooked politician. Half of us feel we’ve been ignored and overlooked, and that we need a major change in the white house to shake things up. The other half now feel ignored and terrified that our rights will soon be stripped from us. Half of us think we’re moving forward. And half of us think we just got set back 50 years.

So what do we do? There was one thing that stood out to me in Trump's acceptance speech. Something that I actually appreciated. He talked about coming together. He reiterated, in his own way, Hillary’s Stronger Together sentiment and Obama’s “same team” language. He also spoke the truth in that statement, free of malice and judgement.

Unity is almost non-existent in politics. Which is sad, because as citizens of this country, it’s our obligation to work together to fix all our problems. And that requires listening more than talking, finding common ground, and having empathy for those who may not have the same rights and privileges as we do. We can yell and scream at each other about who has it harder, or we can realize that we’re all in the same boat and try to steer it together.

In a shockingly optimistic turn-around, and believe me, I spent most of yesterday reading Facebook posts and arguing my points with those random republican and conservative friends I have, part of me is (gulp) excited about Trump being the new president. If it were Hillary, I would have sat back for the next four years and let her do her thing. Now that it’s Trump, I’m watching him like a hawk.

It would have been a huge mistake for me to do anything less, no matter who was elected. And I think it’s a mistake a lot of us make. We defer responsibility to those who “know better”, those who choose to stay informed, all while checking our social media accounts to see only the opinions of those who think like us. It's no wonder we're all shocked and shaken about this outcome. We are lazy and dumb, just like the American stereotype suggests. And I’ve never been more embarrassed of my aloofness and yet so empowered to take part in the decisions that we make for ourselves.

I don’t see this as the end of the world. I see it as an opportunity. And please hear me clearly, Donald Trump is NOT going to save us, but he won't destroy us either. Our politicians, our leaders, they answer to us. That's their whole job, to just do what we tell them to do. That's why we call them public servants. The time for sitting back and deferring responsibility is over. And here’s what we need to do:

Pay attention. Vote. Don’t complain. Do something about it. 

Like it or not, come January, Donald Trump is your new president. So please please please please read about his plans. Do your own research. Talk to others who have different opinions. Figure out what you like and what you don’t like. And make sure your Senators and Representatives know your opinions on every issue. Then take notes on who listens to you and who doesn’t. Because there’s a midterm election in two years. Congress is important, too. 

Nasty Lady Problems

Today I have my period. I’ve had it all week. I’ve been physically uncomfortable, but this morning my cramps were out of control. So I did some restorative YouTube yoga with Adrienne, and I feel much better.

It also cleared my head from the disaster that was the third and final presidential debate. I’m sure most people who’ve been watching share my sentiment: Thank god this is almost over. But here are a few gems from last night to reflect on as this election comes to a close:

“Bad hombres.” (Sigh) I literally threw my hands over my eyes when he said this, as if to shield the rest of my senses from Donald’s casual racism.

“No, you’re a puppet.” This was hilarious.

“Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody.” Oh, shut up.

What’s most irritating about the debates, and Donald’s campaign in general, is that he’s treating it like he’s on a reality television show – keeping us “in suspense” about how he’ll handle defeat, talking over his opponent like a child in a tantrum, and throwing in one-liner jabs for cheap laughs and quick thrills, which his supporters grossly mistake for victory.

I’m sorry, but on what planet did Donald Trump win last night’s debate? Just because this is the best he can do, doesn’t mean he won. Almost every poll I’ve seen has stated that Hillary came out ahead, and by decent margins.

But it’s not just Donald’s personality that annoys me. It’s his politics.

  • I hate his ideas about the economy. I just don’t think larger tax cuts for the wealthy will trickle down like he says. 
  • It should not be easy to buy a gun in today’s society. I don’t care how you interpret a constitutional amendment that was written over 200 years ago. Guns are far more sophisticated than they used to be. The same rules don’t apply.
  • And women’s reproductive systems are their business. I think I can handle my own vagina, thanks.

That last one really got to me. Trump said that if elected, he would appoint pro-life, conservative justices to the supreme court who he assumes will overturn Roe v. Wade, among other horrible things, because he seems to think the constitution has no room for growth or flexibility, and should be taken as is. Yikes. But I digress.

After the debate, I took to Facebook.

Although I’m constantly discussing my political views with friends, family, and any of Terry’s buddies who I’m meeting for the first time, I almost never take it to social media. But I figure, what the hell. Everyone else is doing it.

Jokes aside, I need to be extra clear on this point. I cannot give my vote to someone who I don’t believe has my best interests in mind. Screwing with my reproductive rights is not in my best interests. My body is my business. And I don’t like the idea of other people telling me what I can and can’t do with it. And to anyone who tries, including and especially Mr. Trump, I will say this: Stay out of my vagina.

I understand that abortion is just one of many big issues that are on the table this election, and that it’s a particularly sensitive one that people come at from a range of perspectives and experiences. And I think that’s good. Different perspectives help us make well-thought-out decisions. But I also think it’s important to have empathy when we’re hearing each other. And with this issue specifically, maybe we should be most empathetic towards women who have had, or are having, or have the possibility of making tough choices about their reproductive health.

Maybe we should take a look at the other issues surrounding abortion as well, like proper sex ed in schools, free birth control in all forms, adequate parental leave for new parents, and equal pay for women. Because if we’re going to insist that women and families have children that they’re not prepared for, we should at least set them up for success instead of perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

I’m sure for my liberal audience, this is nothing new. And for my conservative friends, this rant will send me to a fiery hell. But I hope that if anyone reading was on the fence, maybe I got you to see this election through the eyes of a woman. Not all women. Just this one. And if I’ve achieved none of that, at least I got to talk about my vagina, my period and Donald Trump all in one post.