New Essay added! Jan-2-2021

Just My Opinion...

 It seems clear to me that America needs a cleansing dose of reality. Reality is an oddly elusive thing these days and yet it stares all of us square in the face every day.  

 We might wake up hoping for a sunny day, but there is a good chance we might get a grey and rainy day. Wanting a clear blue sky is not going to change what is happening. Mother Nature and science do not care what you want. You get what you get. And that’s just one obvious example of reality.  

 When it comes to politics we have way too many people who have been brainwashed to think everything they believe is how the world should be. And dammit if the news does not fit my wishes it must be fake news and wrong.
But again, there is a whole world of things that do not give a damn what you believe. And yet these things exist and persist despite someone’s belief. And over the years there has become a structure around this sort of thinking that might rival the efforts of some religions and cults. 
Most people know the difference between opinion and reality. Most. But there is a startling amount of people… you might be one of them… who have been brainwashed to feel comfortable with their opinion somehow becoming a truth even when there are compelling facts available for them to at least consider that their opinion might be wrong. 

 I used the words “brainwashed” because this has been a very purposeful, very intentional, long plan to create a generation of people who think choosing their information about the world around themselves based on how they think things should be rather than how things are, has taken its toll on American Democracy. 

 There is a reason American’s founding fathers wrote freedom of the press right into the heart of our constitution. It wasn’t because our early statesmen were so fond of the media. If you look at some of the earliest newspapers dating back to Colonial times, you would see how brutally harsh the press was on our elected officials right from the beginning. But the founding fathers knew that having the brutally honest press in America was the best way to keep elected officials accountable to the people they were supposed to represent.  So how do you begin to dismantle a democracy? Remove the role of the press in America. Declare news you do not like as fake. And do it again and again until it gains traction.  

 But then a couple of hundred years later Conservative radio and Conservative television came onto the scene. It began with a meeting between Roger Ailes and Nixon back in the 70s. Ailes wrote a memo to Nixon proposing a News alternative that would allow constant Conservative messaging in America. The network news organizations were pretty tough on countering the messaging of the administration during Vietnam. Politicians liked the idea of a water-carrying news outlet that might make their jobs a little easier. Ailes began the groundwork to create FOX News after that. In 1996, the conservative FOX News organization launched. With Republicans in power in 2003, more access was famously granted to FOX News during the second gulf war in Iraq. This boosted their viewership by leaps and bounds. And made them a contender to the viewership of well-established network news broadcasts. 

 Back then FOX was a fairly even mix of real news and conservative opinion punditry. But bit by bit. Year by year. FOX dedicated more and more time to opinions and less and less time to reporting hard news. Yet FOX promoted themselves as a “fair and balanced” news outlet even though real news reporting is now hard to find on the FOX News schedule.  
Thus began a few decades of people, perhaps unwittingly, choosing information designed to be more appealing to Conservatives than just being cold hard news.  

 Remember when reporting “who, what, where, when, why, and how” was the simple rule in which news was gathered. That was it. That was all you got. And those simple six words of guidance was a good way to provide the world with the simple truth. With reality. As soon as someone adds opinions they think something happened, it instantly becomes opinionated. And what happened gets clouded. 

 So let's jump ahead to today. 
The debate is important. The debate is what our country is founded on. The founding fathers knew no one side held all the right answers so they developed a governing system that forced healthy debate. That’s why the preamble to the Constitution says “In order to make a more perfect union.” Not a perfect union. It says “to make a more perfect union”. It says that very specifically to indicate we should always be pushing to be better and we might not ever get there. But we should always keep trying.  

 So now that we can acknowledge good patriotic Americans from any party were never supposed to have all the answers. The idea was to create a governing body that keeps working on it. The founding fathers also intended the rules to work only if people followed them in good faith. As soon as someone defies traditions, breaks from the Constitution, and is willing to lie and cheat to achieve power the system breaks. And that’s where we are today. 

 First off, we need to get back to accepting reality. The fact that many Trump supporters fail to understand how Biden could soundly beat their guy is such an easy argument to have if they can take a deep breath and accept that opinion is a different thing than reality. 

 Yes, Trump won a lot of votes. He had big turnouts to rallies and his brash, blustering approach to politics is refreshing to some people. But the facts reflect that Trump’s brand of politics sheered off a lot of traditional conservatives from the Republican Party. Enough that there was a very popular Republican-led movement called the Lincoln Project that urged millions of Republicans to vote Democrat this one time to remove Trump. Let's also not forget that by the time of the election, the pandemic Trump had called a hoax and just something we all needed to live with, had killed 250,000 Americans. That's more than half the Americans who died during all six years of World War II. Let's assume all those people had families and friends. Do you think those people were going to be inclined to vote for the guy trying to convince people there was nothing to worry about when their loved ones have perished a horrible suffocating death in most cases alone in a quarantined hospital bed? That sure did not win Trump any votes. And I have not even brought up the millions of people offended by Trump's immigration policies and how he often made racial tensions worse over the summer before the election. Yeh Joe Biden did not hold big political rallies but that was because of a global pandemic and not because of a lack of support. You know all the people conservatives criticized for being mask-wearing sheep? They probably all voted too. 

Republicans love to tout mostly red maps that show how widespread support for Trump was across this country. But as soon as the stats are applied to actual populations, the map becomes distinctly blue. The reason? People vote. Land does not. And nearly every major metropolitan area where most Americans live was soundly Democrat.  

 Most of us laugh whenever we see somebody in the news or social media whining about the result saying “It doesn’t make sense that Trump could get 74 million votes and still lose the election!” Not taking the next elementary step that 74 million people are a lot less than 81 million voters who did not vote for Trump. As if somehow only the Trump votes matter. You might like Trump more than Biden, but that’s an opinion. More people like Biden and perhaps, more importantly, dislike Trump to sway the election easily by 7 million or so votes. That is a fact.
We know it's a fact because all 50 states have certified the results of the election and the electoral college. The President’s own Attorney General and Justice Department, the guy the President himself hired away from Microsoft to make sure it was a fair election free from cyber interference, All major media outlets including FOX News and NewsMax have blessed this election fair and fraud-free.  

 Every case the Republicans have been brought before judges were virtually laughed out of court. In public Trump's cronies and lawyers proclaimed there was run-away fraud across the entire country yet when they finally got their time in court they all had to admit they had no evidence. Even the famously stacked Conservative Supreme Court refused to hear any of the cases as they had no merit. Why? Because in public you can lie and state your opinions. But in court there are harsh career-ending, prison time acquiring results when people lie. Here's a great example; both FOX News, OAN and NewsMax had to back down and declare a fraud-free election when the company that makes the voting machines slapped a multimillion-dollar lawsuit on them for lying about the performance of their voting machines.  

See for yourself here. 

 Oh, there was one proven case of voter fraud…. 

 And at this writing, there has only been this one proven fraud case. It was an elderly Republican man who used his deceased wife’s ballot as a way to add a vote for Trump. Yup, the one proven case of fraud was a fraudulent vote for Trump, and the fact that that one single case was uncovered tells you how good the system was at counting the votes accurately. 

If you cannot understand how there could be more voters against Trump than there could be for Trump. You’re not considering much beyond your own opinions. The reality around you would paint a pretty clear picture of why things turned out the way they did, with a Biden win. 

 A comparison needs to be made. There are Q-anon Trumpsters who easily swallow a narrative like a dead Kennedy (a known staunch Progressive by the way) is going to rise from the grave to expose a mass conspiracy involving the entire Democrat Party, Antifa (you do know that stands for anti-Fascism, right? Are Republicans for Fascism then?), and Hollywood celebrities which have been hiding a sex trafficking vampire-like cult that cannibalizes children, but they cannot see how Trump's womanizing, race bating, job losing, science-denying blundering of the pandemic disenchanted enough people to vote against him and for Biden.  

 Now putting your feelings aside, knowing that there is a difference between opinions and reality, which is the more believable story?