Thoughts on July 4, 2017


It is an interesting time to reflect on America’s legacy. We are the most powerful country in the world. We have the largest accumulation of wealth. We are looked to as a leader in the world specifically in regards to diversity and humanity…
… and we also are bitterly divided. Our national identity is torn asunder with hostile divisions between different groups. Rich versus poor. White versus… well, everyone. Conservative versus progressive. Our image to the world is divided between those who consider us allies and those who consider us enemies. Though, now many of our allies are concerned with us.

So what are we celebrating?

This is not a proud moment to be an American… or is it?

I try to explain to people who come on my tour that we have to educate ourselves about our past. We need to stop exalting me, Jefferson, Washington, etc. as demi-gods. We were men. We made mistakes. Our constitution was not perfect. It’s quite ambiguous, actually. We left a lot of the administration of government up to those chosen by the people run it. It was not written in stone. I had a hope that our government would evolve as our society evolved (evolve = progress). 

Our history is littered with examples of the conflicts and issues stemming from this societal evolution. And forgive me if “conflicts” feels like a light term. Too often, our “conflicts” mean horrible atrocities between peoples. Unfortunately, that is the nature of “people”. Not all, but enough.

In an effort to catch myself up on 240 years of American history, I am reading a biography of Abraham Lincoln (#good_dude). For his first 4th of July, he was trying to hold onto a collection of states who were trying to leave the Union while also dealing with those who already turned away from us. Several years later, on the same day, he’s still learning about the number of casualties mounting up at the Battle of Gettsyburg. HE saw just how divided we could become over slavery, in itself one of the most atrocious institutions in human history.

THAT was a bad time. While that example shouldn’t change your emotions, it should provide you some context to compare to our current state of disunity. We need to learn about and analyze our context. If we learn from past mistakes, we can ensure that the same issues do NOT repeat… because history doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme.

So why can we still be proud? Because our country, despite its many problems, was founded with the hopes that society will continue to improve and build off of our past conflicts and problems. It was founded on an IDEA. 

We haven’t reached the goal of a society that treats all of its people equally and fairly. Not yet.

But it is that ideal that I will continue to work and strive for. That is the banner that I raise when I look at the flag and celebrate our country’s birth. It’s not a celebration of accomplishment.

It’s a celebration of HOPE.


Ben Franklin

The day my president liked my tweet without realizing I was making fun of him… [update] until I realized it wasn’t his twitter account


Happy St Patty’s Day! Let’s get right to it.

I’ve been trying to establish a social media presence for my “Ben Franklin for President” campaign for a while. I didn’t know how to just start tweeting about any and everything because I still have an aversion to assuming people care about my opinions (#facebookstatus).

Since I had no idea on what to tweet about, I decided to do the obvious: troll and reply.

Brietbart News and Donald Trump were perfect targets since I disagree with them.

Donald Trump sent a generic tweet today to celebrate his Irish brethren:

Noting the irony, I then tweeted in response:

Not noticing the irony, his twitter feed, @realDonaldTrump, liked the tweet. (I guess that he really wants people to remember the rough times he’s gone through as a billionaire Irishmen born with a silver spoon up his ass.)

I then received a message from whoever his communication director is for the account:

To which I responded:

Of course at this point his twitter account has probably blocked me. But another example of his narcissism and defiance has shown through. I expect this level of frustrating defiance to come from my teenagers at school when they fall into the petty squabbles that are typical of school. But this man is our President.

Frankly, I doubt anyone will read this because we are all exhausted. This is not a new revelation. This is the new fucked up normal. And we can’t seem to do anything about it because of the lack of conviction from members of his own party and the total conviction of his jaded-to-the-media support base.

So I’m going to continue trolling him until I figure out how to truly help effectively change our situation…

Oh, by the way, that free gift that I was given for supporting him?

What. An. Asshole.

[Update] welp turns out I was wrong about the account. I overlooked the fact that the account was actually @realDonaldTjump, subtly replacing an “r” with a “j”…. meaning that there is a crazy idiot pretending to be a famous American and making political statements based on their own account (see: @franklin4prez). 

This sucks for two reasons. 

1) it means that I had the most successful blog post I’ve ever written based off of a misread.

2) it just showed me how easy it is to create fake news. The temptation to stay quiet on the revelation once I made it was so strong that I initially said nothing. But considering I’m a huge opponent of all types of fake news and manipulation, I had to say something.

So in the end, we thought we had another example of the ignorance of our leader but instead we end with a lesson on how easy it is to deceive the masses.

No wonder ignorance is bliss…