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bog's blog Updated 2-20-18
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An open letter to my Republican friends and family.


Its time for you to wake up and fight for your parties future. And that might mean abandoning the current batch of representatives you have in office and maybe even thinking about starting from scratch. New name. New people. New everything. Because the folks who currently represent you do not really represent you.


If you look at that paragraph and say, “F—- you, Joe! You’re just a godless, baby-killing liberal trying to tell me how I should live.”  You need to take a moment and think about what you just said. I am not your enemy. I never have been. I am not godless. And that whole abortion thing. You do realize Republicans have held the majority in the house and the senate on multiple occasions over the last few decades and never once pushed to close that no-win debate, right? Its more important for them to have that emotionally packed voting wedge than it is to save real children. We know this more than ever now as we look at debating gun control and most Republicans remain silent when all we are asking is for them to do something for the sake of our kids. And before you judge me on this issue, I am a gun owner too. And I don’t have a single problem with background checks, the elimination of automatic weapons from civilian hands, mental illness filters, and mandatory cool-off waiting periods.  And if you have a problem with any one of those things, you probably need all of those things between you and getting a gun.


Worse yet, if you think you need an automatic weapon to protect you from our own government, where the hell do you live?  You definitely need those speed bumps between you and getting yourself a firearm. This is not Colonial days with the British Army just a farm field away.  This is not the wild west where you’re going to have to shoot things out with some passing outlaw.  And If the government does come for you, you probably deserved it and confronting them with a hail of bullets is not exactly going to make things better for you in a court of law.  Everyone of these scenarios would likely end in innocent by-standers being shot.  This is not Hollywood, folks.


I once hit my Dad with a ricochet to the wrist standing right next to me in an open field. No one else around for miles in the safest of situations and I still managed to injure my own father with a bullet. There is no such thing as safe gun use.


I still want hunters to hunt. I still want skeet shooters to skeet. I want target marksmen to be able to shoot targets. Do all of these things forever. But if you need to rattle off dozens of rounds in a second to do any of these things, you are not a skilled hunter or marksman. You should probably get new glasses too.


Hey I’m even ok with you getting a gun that looks like an automatic weapon. But if it can fire more than one bullet at a time, it has to go.


But I am not here to talk about the gun thing.  Not entirely anyway. Its just one of the things that has been hi-jacked to divide us and make us feel like we are supposed to be enemies. I am going to say it again. I am a Democrat. I am NOT your enemy.


I do not entirely blame you for feeling the strange things you have adopted as fact these days. You have had decades of hearing nonsense being delivered to you as news. Yes I do blame FOX News for some of this. They have packaged opinion as news for decades. Just think for a moment how much actual news reporting is given time on the FOX News channel.  The vast majority of air time is dedicated to political opinions. Just go to the FOX News site and count the number of actual news shows, not opinion shows, during their broadcast day. I count three shows out of 12 hours of programming. And having watched these “news shows”, they too come with a heaping helping of opinions. Because of FOX News, the conservative talk radio station set in your car, and because of algorithms designed to pair you up with like-minded individuals on your favorite social media outlet, you have been exposed to very little to challenge your beliefs.  And your beliefs have been shaped over the years to lean in some very specific ways.


Yes, in effect, I am saying you have been brain washed.


Once again, I fully expect you to say, “F— you, Joe! You’re the one who has been brain washed!”


Really?  Let me challenge that. My core beliefs have remained virtually the same over the last few decades.  How about yours?…


Let me wind the clock back just a few years and see if you can remember how you felt back then.  Not too long ago, Democrats and Republican elected officials debated things calmly and intelligently.  And after it was quitting time at the government building, both sides could go out for a friendly drink, or play a round of golf together.  Heck, take a look at the current relationship between George W. Bush and Barrack Obama. They have become best of friends.  They could not have been more opposed during their terms in office, but they get it. Politics do not necessarily define a person. Not completely. And its our differences that make us a stronger country. It always has. But that’s liberal thinking and you’re probably telling me to F—- off again. Even though you must know that is a provable truth.


Hey we all know politics can change.  Republicans love to point out they are the party of Lincoln. But they neglect to point out that the Republican Party was a radically liberal organization back during the Civil War. You cannot claim to be the party of Lincoln but then back the confederate flag today… the flag that literally opposed what Lincoln stood for during the Civil War. You cannot have it both ways.


Remember when Conservatives were the protectors of public lands and wetlands. How responsible hunters and fishermen used to band together to regulate wildlife and wild areas so our kids could enjoy there beautiful places for generations? Now somehow these folks seem ok with public lands being sold off for mining and commercial use. Remember when the NRA was focused on teaching young people gun safety and was not lobbying for the promotion of assault weapon sales. What the hell happened?


Think about this. Put yourself in your own shoes just a few years ago. Did you ever once think you would be voting for a pompous, womanizing, foul-mouthed reality TV host to represent your Conservative views in the White House?  If you are a Christian, would you have forgiven anyone in office for multiple divorces let alone multiple affairs while your candidate’s current wife was pregnant?  In a million years would you be believing the integrity of the Russians over the integrity of our own top law enforcement and information gathering agencies (who’s top people were all seated by Republicans.. some even by the current Republican who is potentially being investigated)?


Don’t you find it the slightest bit weird that all those values are thrown out the window here in the present day?  I thought Conservatives stood for some things. But apparently not. Apparently everything gets set aside for the sake of holding power even if that power doesn’t really represent your own beliefs from just a few years ago.


You guys seem to love conspiracy theories.  But only when they apply positively to your side. Don’t you find that just a little odd?  You had no problem thinking Barack Obama was born in Africa and was a closeted Muslim, You have no problem thinking Hillary is guilty of some high crime because she had a personal email server. You think she was somehow responsible for some terrible event in Benghazi. But I bet somehow you missed the fact that all of these things were investigated and neither incident were found to be incriminating. Unfortunate perhaps, but not incriminating. As urgent those issues seemed to be, you are completely forgiving of Trump’s hiding of financial records, Trump keeps his emails on private servers too. Trump tweets from an un-secure smart phone. And Trump has had several disastrous military operations go wrong in the first year in power. Where are the investigations into these failed operations where American soldiers lost their lives?


Oh and now you guys are in love with something called “The Deep State”; Some covert group of individuals that have infiltrated the government to influence things in the Democrat’s favor.  If there was such a thing you’d think they would be making the Democrats more successful than they have been lately.


But with all this well accepted within Conservative circles, there is some pompous belief that Republicans are above any of these things happening to them… Yet the current Russian investigation basically proves that these things are indeed infesting and corrupting the Republican Party.


The Russian thing is a hoax?  Literally dozens of Trump campaign officials have already been indicted and now charges have been leveled against Russian nationals for election tampering not just online through social media, but now we know some Russian nationals actually went to pivotal communities to stage election rallies right here on US grounds.  They were not there to prop up the Democrats.  Across the board they were there to undercut support for Hillary and prop up support for Trump. This is documented fact. Confirmed. You can somehow believe the mysterious Deep State could weave such a story to taint the Republicans, but its somehow an implausible hoax when the evidence points to the Republicans actually being corrupt.


There is proof to show that their subterfuge was designed to widen the divid between Americans on all levels.  Everything from whether or not athletes should or should not kneel during the National Anthem. The firing up of hate groups. The clashes over the confederate flag. The Democratic Convention favoring Hillary or Sanders, etc, etc… The fact that all these things (and more) have been successfully amped up well beyond the attention they deserved tells me the Russian manipulation of social media has been stunningly successful. The sooner we acknowledge this and cut off all current and future attempts for any foreign power to divide us the better off we will be.


But Trump remains oddly silent on this. America and Americans have essentially been part of a massive psychological warfare attack by an enemy nation. And yet Trump seems oddly supportive of Putin and Russians.


Here is a conspiracy theory for you.  What if the Russians worked so hard to get Donald Trump elected because they knew they had plenty of leverage on this particular candidate.


Trump’s own son has admitted that the family wealth comes disproportionately from Russian investments.  Trump admitted lecherous behavior in a radio interview inspecting young women backstage at the Miss Universe Pageant (held in Russia). Now he is fairly well established as a cheater finding himself elbow to elbow with porn stars.  Is it outside of the realm of belief that the Russians have something…probably a lot… of embarrassing things held over Donald?  What better reason to make sure he won the Presidency?  A US President with everything to lose if secrets are exposed. What else would make a US President do everything in favor of Russian political interest in the world even when more and more facts show the Russians have been acting hostile to us? And that is exactly what Trump has been doing.


Hey, you’re the folks who love conspiracy theories.  Only difference is, this one is actually being backed up more and more every day with facts exposed by our own intelligence agencies and our best news reporters.


Too bad you guys think most news is fake and that the Russians are more believable than our own FBI CIA and NSA. Sigh…


I am urging you to abandon your current party because the writing is on the wall. There is going to be a big revelation soon. Many of your elected officials are going to be shown to be complicit. I am not saying come join the Democrats. We Democrats are probably flawed beyond repair too. But I think you might want to find something else… something new…to hang your hat on. Something more representative of the good patriotic conservative people you really are. What options do you really have? Are you going to stand and fight for people who might have lied to you for so long? Are you going to continue to associate with people who might well have acted treasonously against the country we all love?  The Republican party today is a burning ship with a major leak heading right for an iceberg. Are you willing to continue to think of your friends, family and neighbors as your potential enemy just because you differ in a few ways in how you want to live your life?  Or is it time to define yourself more moderately? There are good things in the core of Conservatism. But those things are no longer part of the current Republican party.


E Pluribus Unum. Its right there on our money. From many, one. Our founding fathers knew it from the beginning. It is diversity that makes us stronger.  It is precisely because we are many different cultures, colors and religions joined together united by freedom to live and think as we choose that makes us so hard to defeat.


It is precisely this strength that the Russians have been targeting.  And its time we took a step back, regrouped and showed the world that we are not so simple to divide.  But its going to mean we have to let go of the things that divide us.


I am not your enemy.  I am probably more like you than not. We might not agree on some things but maybe we both love football, or fishing or movies.  There are probably tons more things we have in common than the few things that divide us.


I want there to be two political parties. Heck I would not mind more. Positive things can come from more diverse ideas being shared in a productive way. I believe we can get back to this.


I don’t want you to agree with me on everything. Where would the fun in that be?  But this is America. One way or another we, or our ancestors, came here because of the opportunity that comes from being a little different.


E Pluribus Unum.