Category Archives: Poltics

Send a message to Speaker Ryan

paul-ryanAre you disheartened by the election results from earlier this month? If so, here is a way for you and your friends (because you should share this if you really are upset) to express your dissatisfaction and help send a message to Paul Ryan.

My friend and neighbor, David, who is far more diligent than me and whom I trust completely, shared that Speaker Ryan’s office is conducting a survey, hoping they can show there is a people’s mandate for repealing the Affordable Care Act – a.k.a. Obamacare.

You and your friends can help send Speaker Ryan quite a different message and it will take you less than 30-seconds of your time.

  1. Call (202) 225-0600
  2. Wait through a loooong silence until it rings
  3. Press “2” to respond to the survey
  4. Listen to a message
  5. Press “1” to register your support for Obamacare
  6. When you are done, copy and paste these instructions into a new status on Facebook to share with your friends.

Rally at State House from 11AM-12PM to speak out against hate

Boston, MassAs a response to a disturbing number of hate crimes that have been reported around the country since the results of the Presidential election, our community is coming together today from 11AM – 12PM to speak out against hate. The event will feature Attorney General Maura Healey, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim

The purpose of the event is to send a message that irrespective of politics or who you supported in the election this kind of behavior is not acceptable and does not represent who we are as a city, state, or country.  massachusetts-rallyI realize this may be difficult for you to attend, but for more information you can contact Norman Abbott at nabbott@adl.org or (617) 406-6382.

Why Sergio and I are wearing a safety pin

UnityHave you noticed photos of friends on social media wearing safety pins starting to crop up over the past week? With several news outlets reporting a sudden rise in hate crimes some  have started to wear safety pins. Wearing the safety pins sends a message that those individuals are “safe” allies, willing to step forward and accompany anyone feeling targeted or marginalized.

According to multiple news outlets, there has been a rise in hate crimes over the past week. A USA Today article was one of several written. I found their headline unsettling, Post-election spate of hate crimes worse than post-9/11, experts say, but what bothered me the most about the article was how little it surprised me. This quote shared on Facebook by my friend Don Hamel nicely articulates why I’m not surprised and why I’m so disappointed.

Not all Trump voters are racist, but all of them decided that racism (or homophobia, etc) isn’t a dealbreaker. And to me that is racism. It is easier to be racist to a large group of people you can’t see, don’t know, etc, as opposed to your neighbor or family member, but to me it’s racism just the same.

As Van Jones put it, Trump was willing to “throw some of us away to appeal more deeply to others”, and voting for him signifies that you were willing to throw some people away to get your agenda (which honestly may not even happen…what are the chances of Trump really helping the middle class or fixing healthcare).

I know some people commenting here who voted for Trump are loving and wonderful people but it’s just really really hard to get past the fact that racism, sexism, homophobia, etc was not a dealbreaker for people…

Grit and determination: The next four years

Michelle ObamaPrior to Tuesday, November 8th there was a lot of people questioning what Donald Trump and his supporters would do after the election. Strangely, celebrating was never seriously considered and now it is the supporters of Hillary Clinton who are talking about not accepting the results of the election so I want to remind everyone of Michelle Obama’s inspiring quote.

Acknowledging is not Accepting
A lot of very prolific people have shared their thoughts about the election and after reading several articles I’ve come to my own conclusions. First, acknowledging isn’t accepting, but if we want others to respect democracy we have to acknowledge results even when we find them upsetting. One of my biggest issues with many people over the past 8 years was their inability to acknowledge Obama as a legitimate President (I lump Trump in that group).

Love and Hope > Hate and Anger
Another lesson I am reminding myself is that while I am seething with resentment: resentment with roughly half my fellow Americans; resentment with the Electoral System; resentment towards Trump for raising up and empowering hate groups; and… the list goes on and on. I must remember that I do believe in the power of love and hope and it is these emotions I want to have consume and motivate me – not anger and hate. I look to men like the non-violent, civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. for this inspiration.MLK quote hope smaller

I have a voice and I’ll be damned if I’m going keep quiet
While I may feel more marginalized today and wonder what is going to happen next, I tell myself that this election has served as a wake up call. I had hoped that after November 8th I could stop talking about politics. That will not happen now. On the campaign trail Bernie Sanders’ calls for a revolution (a peaceful revolution BTW) resonated. Calls for social justice from the Black Lives Matters movement inspired. And of course the LGBTQ movement and Pride now takes on added significance.  The people who support these movements are still here and they need your help. So while I am troubled by certain groups who feel emboldened by a Trump victory, I am also looking to the Sanders movement, Black Lives Matters, LGBTQ community and others to come together, because to borrow a phrase I really do believe, “Together, we are stronger“.

Trump’s victory has upset me to my core, and for the moment changed how I view my country even calling into question what I think it means to be an American. I will not let that disappointment mutate into hate or despair, and I hope you will not let that happen either.

Some great articles worth reading:
Here’s Why We Grieve
Dear Queer America: Here is what we must do now that Trump will be President
Trump Victory Alarms Gay and Transgender Groups

Four more states vote to legalize marijuana

legalize potWhile the political commentators rehash the election, I have no stomach for it and am sickened by the thought of a Trump presidency so I thought I would point out what an historic night it was at the ballot box for a less obvious reason.

After Tuesday’s results, the number of states that agreed to legalize marijuana for recreational has doubled from four to eight with California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada voters approving state ballot initiatives. Only in Arizona where voting remains too close to call appears to have bucked a national trend and said, “No”. For residents of Massachusetts this means that as of December 15th it will be legal to possess small amounts of marijuana and for residents to grow pot in their homes. Retail sales will not begin until Jan. 2018.

Americans living in states where marijuana is / will be legal for recreational use now includes:

Alaska
California
Colorado
Maine
Massachusetts
Nevada
Oregon
Washington
Washington D.C.

Later tonight remember Michelle Obama’s motto

Michelle ObamaWords to remember for later tonight and in the days that follow, which I predict will get quite ugly considering Trump’s behavior throughout the Presidential primary and general election.

Our country asks so little of us and gives us so much – the least we can do is vote

vote, president, presidential electionWith approximately 50% of the eligible electorate not voting in U.S. Presidential elections, I suppose it should not be surprising that politics has become more divisive with more extreme / fringe candidates succeeding in recent elections.

All the nastiness that describes the incredibly long 2016 Presidential primary and general campaign only further disenfranchises and drives down voter turnout. So what’s the answer? Asking for people to be more civil doesn’t seem to be getting us anywhere. Even the Democratic Primary which paled by comparison to the fiasco otherwise known as the Republican Primary was abhorrent. Blatant favoritism and attempts to undermine the Bernie Sanders campaign by the former DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Shultz and others poisoned the civil campaign that had been (for the most part) focused on policy. By the spring of 2016 both Sanders and Clinton (and their supporters) had dropped all pretenses of civility.

I’m not an exceptionally patriotic person. I don’t believe that America is a greater country by comparing ourselves to others and pointing out where other nations are left wanting, but I do love the freedom my country has come to symbolize. For that to continue I truly believe we need to have citizens engaged (not turned off by) democracy. So despite all the name calling, blatant lies and misinformation, I hope Americans take time to read through the issues that matter most to them, think seriously about candidates from the top to the bottom of their ballots and vote on Tuesday, November 8th.