The government is no longer working for us…

If there is anything clear today, it’s that the United States government is not working for us. This is no accident. The policies in place today are the result of the wealthy and powerful taking full advantage of the middle class and the poor, engaging in the process of base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), contributing “dark money” to elections, lobbying,  and as in the case with ALEC, working behind closed doors to generate model legislation to be distributed widely among legislative bodies to drive policy agendas (Molly Jackman, The Brookings Institution). The May 2017 Expert Survey on American Democracy dismally warns us that, “The results [of their research] give us ample reason to be concerned about the future of American democracy.”

Corporate welfare, also known as “crony capitalism,” has gotten out of control with companies in all industries and job sectors milking at the teat of city, state, and federal government benefits. Agriculture, tech, military industrial complex, construction, and the like benefit in a multitude of ways. Even companies like Walmart benefit indirectly by keeping employee wages very low and hours minimal so that their employees have no other option but to collect government benefits to make up the difference.

Rather than recognizing their value, and fighting for a more fair and equitable share of the profits of the companies they’ve worked for, workers have only gotten caught up in the promise of work in antiquated industries that are polluting our atmosphere and our water, destroying the lives of children dependent on those poisoned water supplies, and increasing the rate of global warming to astronomical levels, which is leading to what James Hansen, communicating with Scientific American to say, “We’re setting up a situation that’s extremely dangerous,” jeopardizing not only the future of our children, but the future of the human race in the pursuit of further corporate profits.

Both the wealthy and the well-to-do have spread the unsupported propaganda of “trickle down economics,” something that has been increasingly shown to be anything but, “Since the early 1990s, poverty has grown by 50 percent, leading to a doubling of the number of poor folks in places previously associated with soccer fields and shiny malls” (Michelle Chen, Why Are America’s Suburbs Becoming poorer? The Nation). Rather than trickling down, inequalities have only increased to the point that of OECD countries, only Mexico and Chile have a more dismal disparity between the rich and the poor.

While we attempted Reagan’s great “trickle down economics” experiment, the rich have been using that money to line the pockets of politicians and expand their interests and off shore holdings in a capitalistic system that no longer fairly compensates its workers.

Young people are encouraged to go to college and earn expensive degrees, graduating to start off their adult lives with mountains of debt, benefiting only the financial industries, because even with quality degrees, they can no longer expect to have a long and fruitful career within a specific company, instead, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics “younger baby boomers held an average of 11.7 jobs from ages 18 to 48,” with this number only expected to grow among younger workers.

Medical costs have become astronomical, with over 25% of Americans citing medical costs as “a serious financial problem.” Contrary to the critics of Obama and the ACA, the blame for the increases do not come from the federal government. Companies have been shifting health costs to their employees steadily for well over a decade. So, while the average worker’s wages slowly increase, Kiplinger relays that “Companies are forecasting 3% increases,” their costs have become increasingly astronomical. This has occurred at the same time that American corporations have steadily increased the compensation to their officers, now paying in excess of 347 times their average workers.

As if these pressures on families weren’t enough, according to Fortune, in most states, child care for dependent children now exceeds the cost of sending a student through college or university, resulting in an average nationwide cost of $233,610, according to the US Department of Agriculture to raise a child to adulthood.

Both middle-aged men and women are seeing significantly increasing rates of suicide, and apparently there is no answer as to why, and yet, when you look at the results of the policies that have taken hold in this country in the last 30 years and how they’ve impacted families ability to achieve financial stability and wellness, it’s not hard to guess at some of the underlying issues.

Now that 60 million people elected someone whose values don’t align with the average Americans, much of the citizenry has had enough. From day one, millions of people nationwide, and even worldwide, have protested the new administration and the direction it is attempting to take the country. Rather than addressing the concerns of its citizens, we have politicians running, hiding, climbing onto rooftops, refusing to hold town meetings, failing to keep up with the vastly elevated number of calls and correspondence and making critical legislation behind closed doors, and trying to cram it through before people know what they are voting for, knowing that the reaction of the public will not be kind.

Even with all this energy on behalf of the populace, neither of our two major political parties have gotten the message, generally continuing to go about business as usual, confirming nominees in spite of community outrage to positions they are not qualified to hold, and, even worse, have a track record that says were selected for the specific purpose of destroying the very agencies they’ve been selected to run, and an attorney general whose track record tells us he is interested in anything other than justice on behalf of large segments of our population. With very little exception, the current opposition party has done an inadequate job of standing together against the interests of the majority party on behalf of the people and doesn’t seem to have a solid agenda for winning 2018. The purpose of this blog, then, is to address issues critical to the vitality and life satisfaction of ordinary Americans,  and offer solutions based on research and evidence to both politicians and citizen activists that can lead us to an effective transformation of our country and our every day lives.

Special Snowflake?

Terms like “special snowflake,” “cuck,” “SJW,” “sheep,” “libtards,” all have one thing in common—they are bullying terms aimed at a political rival, an effort to delegitimize a valid and important point by attempting to shame the messenger into feeling effeminate and cowardly.

For those who like to categorize arguments by logical fallacy, this is also known as an ad hominem attack, albeit one intended to be particularly baiting.

Among other recent political phenomena, this is not normal.

…unless you have the maturity of a 12 year-old child. Granted, we all probably have that inner child surface once in awhile, but the appropriate, mature, i.e., adult response is, “Oh, I’m so sorry. That just slipped out,” followed by an immediate return to rational discourse. This is not what has happened, or is happening, in America right now.

Instead, when I pointed out the inappropriateness of the word “snowflake,” in this case used to describe a developing child (granted, saying the child was NOT a snowflake, but STILL)…this man who was actually attempting to date me, dug in, and followed what was clearly a social misstep, with an additional acidic backwash of the tedious verbal vomit that sloshes out of the mouths of right-wingers on a minute-by-minute basis…hell, let’s be real here…second-by-second basis, nationwide, every day.

So, on December 26th at 12:54 pm, I posted on FB and Twitter regarding the stale and rancorous bullying language that has become so common among right-wingers, this language that has not-so-subtly crept into our nomenclature as if it has any kind of legitimacy, also pasting an image of it to Twitter, because…okay, I was triggered! But like an actual adult, I’m going to admit it, use my words, here, and make a legitimate point about the whole damned thing rather than hurl a volley of tired insults in this guy’s general direction.

Again, this is not normal!

People throwing around words like “snowflake,” “SJW,” and other bullying terms often seem to think themselves clever.

They aren’t.

There is absolutely nothing clever about repeating the same monotonous BS that they’ve heard other people say a million times over. Nearly all of these individuals are simply parroting other, often even more rancorous, people, and considering how many times most of us have heard these words, their edge has dulled, the sting they are attempting to deliver fails utterly, and the end result is it all just winds up looking juvenile and pathetic.

Clever people don’t need to bully other people to make a point, because people with solid critical thinking skills are capable of making points that are clear and rational, and often even quite respectfully, so that their ideas can be heard and processed by others and shed some new light on an issue or an idea, lending real insight to challenging topics.

They can be heard unless the din of rancor has reached the feverish pitch that we hear from right wingers every time they are triggered, and then, a more direct and pointed approach must be taken, but never a bullying approach. This, right here, today, is the more direct, pointed approach necessary to be heard above the din.

It’s really not very complicated, people. Clever adults know bullying tactics are completely unnecessary, totally disrespectful, and stick to the real basics of argumentation–avoiding logical fallacies in favor of pathos-, logos-, and ethos-based arguments.

Also see:

All the times Trump has called Hillary “crooked Hillary” on Twitter

Not to mention all of the times Trump has used the bully pulpit to attack the press

It’s time to let these people know that we see their behavior for what it is– just disrespectful bullying and that they sound more like 12 year olds than actual adults capable of civil discourse. We can actively invite them to discuss things like rational adults and we are willing to hear them out as long as they are capable of doing so, but their baiting tactics have no place in the civil discourse of public ideas and this norm is non-negotiable whether you are a student at a four year university, a college professor, a Senator, or even, *cringing* the President of the United States.

An Educator’s Take on Net Neutrality

So, I saw a thread about Net Neutrality this week, and came across the following tweet:

The majority of Americans realize the absurdity of this statement, even if it isn’t for the exact same reasons. For matters of employment and business, most people under the age of 40 know that’s absurd, which is why there is such strong support for net neutrality, overall. In the area of education, however, an awful lot of ignorance still abounds.

This is a common variation of the trope and poorly considered critique of kids that reflects more on the adults in their world than on they, themselves. “Kids these days” aren’t better or worse than any other generation. Rather, they are doing what kids always have—they are adapting to the world in which they live, something their elders are rarely recognizing, let alone appreciating to any serious extent.

It’s no secret that young people have more flexible brains, overall. They are literally designed to adapt faster, which has allowed homo sapiens to successfully overtake our planet to the point where we are now on a crash course for environmental destruction so great that it threatens the political and environmental stability of their adult lives, something no other species has ever done before. Even then, our young people are the ones recognizing this dire fact, and adapt.

In the meantime, many  adults remain suckers for the propaganda telling them to “Keep Calm” and “The planet is fine.”

If you want to think about who is the smarter generation, the older adults are the ones failing them, not adapting to these rapid changes and lacking a broad understanding of the world they live in. This is no less true than when it comes to the value of having access to technology and the internet in the classroom.

As I told this Twitter user, “…you can’t prepare kids for a technologically advanced & connected world by failing to give them the opportunities to learn how to navigate it productively.”

What this means is that students need access, and secondly, they need practice with technology and the internet, and a great deal of it.

The problem I see when I see people critiquing education is that they really have no idea what is going on in schools today. They assume that education hasn’t changed significantly, even when society has, and they are rooting their perceptions in their own schooling, while the concept of public education, itself, has evolved, even in many schools serving the most disadvantaged student populations.

Perhaps the fault for this error in public perception lies with the education establishment, ourselves. We’re failing on messaging. The public doesn’t have a very broad understanding about what we are doing in this essential institution of American life. Teachers also happen to be fairly opinionated, in a sense because they are professional know-it-alls. As a result, sometimes when teachers are complaining about the problems in their field, we do a poor job educating the public about what we are doing right. The reality is that we probably aren’t telling people enough about what we are doing with technology and so the public naturally underestimates its value in the classroom.

For example, it’s doubtful that most people realize when I teach a lesson that I often will pull out a web-based piece of technology, have the kids pull out their one-on-one devices, and play a quiz game, similar to the quiz games people have watched on television for fun, for years. These games can be quite motivating, so much so that when kids are tired and starting to fall off in their attention spans, it re-engages them and suddenly rather than “me” wanting them to remember something, they work hard to remember it, themselves.

The public often doesn’t realize that when kids use a source on the internet, their teachers are the ones telling them that they can’t just plagiarise,  and students are being taught how to recognize credible sources on the spot, something many adults are demonstrably not capable of. We’re the ones coaching young people to write arguments that are coherent and logical, something that not only helps them understand the content, it helps them understand some of the ins and outs of healthy civic engagement, a skill many grown adults fail at utterly.

Of course kids benefit from this environment. A sizable number of today’s adults could benefit from this kind of educational environment, as well.

In fact, the OP on this thread began because we have too many adults, who apparently don’t know what the internet is for, making decisions about it’s delivery based on their own rather limited understanding of how it’s used, rather than making decisions based on the breadth of knowledge that you only get from significant use.

Well, that’s perhaps a bit too naive. These politicians are without a doubt also benefiting somehow from these decisions. Still, we have to realize that a large part of the reason they are so vulnerable to any kind of persuasion is that they have such limited insight into why the public is angry about this matter to begin with. They are so completely out of touch with how people use the technology itself that they think they can write off the rage and ride it out, thinking it will go away and soon enough people will find themselves apathetic, yet again, about things that are beyond their control.

Had these men (and they are men, all of the men on the panel) used the internet while they were growing up and going to school, this would have been beyond the pale of their considerations and they would have immediately seen this as the Ludditical policy it is to begin with. It is their clear lack of comprehension due to lack of education that created this disconnect to begin with.

Most people under the age of 40 today know that even applying for a job requires the use of the internet. Even when you are 16 years old, applying for a job at McDonald’s, filling out a job application is done via the internet. Sending a resume is done via the internet. Even if you meet in person and are asked to bring a hard copy, most employers want these documents digitally, as well.

The idea that someone could even get a job in this day and age without an effective understanding of how to use basic web technology is absurd, let alone keeping a job without that knowledge. Employers aren’t looking to hire people who are awkward and confused around technology, because everyone needs to use it in one way or another to get their jobs done.

It would be downright irresponsible not to teach students how to understand and use the internet in today’s world.

In the education field, using technology and the internet has become a foundational expectation. People don’t graduate from any reputable school of education today without an understanding of basic Microsoft and Google products and how to navigate the web, locate credible sources, or being able to run some kind of networked classroom system. It’s unheard of. When kids have questions that are unusual and I haven’t planned for, I also demonstrate how to find the answers from a credible source, demonstrating a critical life skill, and that brings me to Mint’s next objection:

Just whoa! Did she really say this? Checking Siri and Wikipedia is what adults and kids will do outside of an educational setting. You think this is what we teach people to do at school? Do you think they really get away with any kind of irresponsible use of sources in the classroom of any self-respecting educator? Really?

This part of the debate is where the rage rather boiled over the top for me. See, we have, and use, educational standards to achieve these things.

In regards to critical thinking, we’ve adopted Common Core and NGSS, both of which put heavy emphasis on it.

Competency-based standards that require kids to learn important things like how to act with integrity, develop self-management skills, and cooperate with others, among other things, are currently being developed on the fringes of education, to be adopted as more data becomes available. Even though historically schools expected parents to teach values,  or schools individually and haphazardly did so, making certain values part of their stated their school culture, today’s educators are quite literally working on developing a system of standards right now, with some of us actually already implementing a formative version of these standards as we did in both my induction and in the school where I now teach.

There is no reason to discourage kids from asking Google or Siri questions if they are feeling insecure about asking them in class, feeling embarrassed that they might lack basic skills, don’t know a fact, need the definition of a word (how many of us were told to “look it up” when we asked an adult), or need some help trying to say a new word properly. The internet can be fantastic for those kinds of things. That being said, I am certainly not instructing them to do so this for even a significant portion of their learning in a classroom setting.

Instead, I’m using programs like to get kids practicing saying words and learning new ones at a rapid rate, in an enjoyable, collaborative fashion, and helping them identify programs to practice important skills like “Build an Atom” games to work on helping them build, and maintain over time, their understanding of the mass and net charge in an atom. You take these things away, and you hobble my students’ learning and understanding of critical words and concepts.

We really are at a bit of a crossroads here. You can’t claim that you have critical thinking skills that are better than that of the next generation while exhibiting this kind of stilted thinking yourself, expecting people to take you seriously, unless they really don’t understand what you are talking about, either.

And that’s where we are with the current regulations being pushed in the areas of science and technology. You have a sizable group of people who don’t know what they don’t know, exhibiting extreme cases of the Kruger-Dunning effect, running about, electing people who are just as bad, or worse, electing corrupt politicians delighted to take advantage of their ignorance, creating a regulatory system that allows them to make money off the poor and middle class, hand over fist.

Then these people, who don’t know what they don’t know, are now running about calling people who disagree with them “snowflakes,” “libtards,” and “cucks,” because they are too ignorant to see how they are being played by those in power, by people delighted to take basic protections and rights away from the American people, people who are lying about what it means to have freedom and liberty, all while they play to the ignorance of the masses in order to get an even bigger piece of the pie for themselves—people’s whose share is already extortionistically high to begin with.

We, the taxpayers, paid for the development of the internet and we have every right to equal and fair access to it as a result, just as we have free and easy access to nearly every street, road, and highway in America. Anyone else who says differently is lying. Want to talk toll roads? That’s the price you pay for accessing services on specific sites, or specific content on sites, to the owners of that site and nothing more.

The American people paid for the development of this utility, and the American people deserve better.

If these corrupt politicians are going to attack our basic rights and freedoms, I say fight back and demand more. Don’t just ask for net neutrality. Go on the offense. Make the internet a public right, wireless, and paid for in every city in America through a local sales tax. Visitors in town using the internet? They are paying for it when they purchase anything or stay in town. You live here? You pay for it as you go.

The internet would be cheaper that way, individually, for all, and could be more consistently delivered. A sales tax would guarantee that local usage was being paid for by those using it.  Don’t just fight this attack on information freedom defensively. Let’s go on the offense and ask for what everyone really wants, and then ask for a bit more.

I’m sick of the Luddites winning. It’s time for the average American to be on the winning side of politics.

What can men do to help women?

Like a lot of intelligent women, I spend a fair bit of time being impeded by men who think I don’t know what I am talking about, and having to prove to them that not only do I know what I am talking about, but I actually, in many cases, know far more than they do about the topic and have a sharper image of the big picture. They prefer to think I don’t know what I’m talking about rather than accepting that I very much do, and I disagree with them for very good reasons that THEY often haven’t even considered to begin with.

That being said, most people who know me have a pretty good sense about who I am, as do I, and I don’t have a lot of trouble with them—but when I bump up against people who don’t know me as well, that’s where the trouble starts.

This isn’t just happening to me. It happens to women all the time, in all spheres of their lives. Virginia Valian, professor of Psychology and Linguistics at Hunter College, New York says that in her research she found, “…culturally bound assumptions about men and women that are unconscious…One assumption is that women are first assumed incompetent until proven otherwise. It’s the opposite for men.”

Men have been asking “What can we do?” in response the “me too” wave that washed over social media recently.  I’ll tell you what women need from men.

What we need from men, right now, is for them to give women credit unless it’s clear they don’t deserve it—you know, like we do with men.

Martin R. Schneider, of whom you might know due to his story‘s Twitter popularity, thought of himself as more competent and more efficient with clients than his co-worker, Nicole Hallberg, until he accidentally began emailing clients on her behalf. If you don’t know the story, as her supervisor, he was supposed to be helping her improve her efficiency, and they were sharing an email account. Suddenly the responses to his messages were treated quite differently than he was used to, “…one day I’m emailing a client back-and-forth about his resume and he is just being IMPOSSIBLE. Rude, dismissive, ignoring my questions.” He was puzzled by the responses he was getting, as he was being treated as if he was incompetent and he was told that he, “…couldn’t understand the terms he used ([he] could).” It was a novel experience for him.

He corrected the mistake and went back to communicating with people as himself, and things immediately went back to his normal. At no point did he change his approach to others.

Well, curiosity got the best of both of them, and the two of them decided to communicate and sign on one another’s behalves for a week without their client’s knowledge to see what would happen.

The way Schneider‏ describes it is, “I was in hell. Everything I asked or suggested was questioned. Clients I could do in my sleep were condescending. One asked if I was single.” On the other hand, “Nicole had the most productive week of her career.”

In his own words, he “…realized the reason she took longer is [because] she had to convince clients to respect her.”

Think about that. Think deep and hard about that.

This means women are working a heck of a lot harder than men just to achieve some proximity to men they are probably more skilled and knowledgeable than…and then they are treated like they are incompetent until they prove otherwise.

Taking the time to research this article was a bit more challenging than I usually experience, because the things that kept coming up in search were either about men and women in intimate relationships, or about how women lack confidence.

Really? Women lack confidence? You don’t say? You mean to say if women are constantly facing a barrage of doubt regarding their knowledge and abilities that they lose confidence in themselves and it puts them at further disadvantage in every area of their lives? Who would have guessed?

This problem is so insidious that when some of my friends were talking about alt-right women being upset about how the males in their movement were treating them one of my friend’s friends on FB wrote, “Is she legitimately a white nationalist, or is she just a troll herself?”

Wait, what? Why would women, because the article was about more than one woman, actually—why would women tell others they were part of the alt-right if they weren’t? What would possess anyone to do that?

You know, I honestly am more upset about his reaction, doubting who these women said they were while having no legitimate reason to do so, than I am about the fact these women internalized the hate around them and then would speak up and say they want to be respected by the men in their movement.

See, women have internalized these patriarchal schemas to such a point that really shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s what sometimes happens when a person is raised in an environment of constant self-doubt and hate. It’s why people say hate is something that is taught. I realized that, in general, it doesn’t surprise me that at some point these young women are waking up to the fact that this framework isn’t serving them very well—we’ve also been trained from the time we were young to please others and go along with them, ignoring how it affects us or how we feel. It takes time to grow out of that.

Looking at how prolific these women are, it’s obvious that horribly misguided though they are, they also aren’t intellectual slouches. They write and produce videos fairly prolifically. For them to take some baby steps towards greater awareness of what justice means to them is a good thing and also says something about their intellect, because they are questioning the paradigm, and questioning core beliefs not only requires that intellect, it also takes real courage. The seeds planted at this point could some day turn them into something even more amazing—someone who switches sides. People who can do that are often much more able to relate to those inside their old way of thinking, and reach them in ways most others simply cannot.

It’s important to note that by the time it takes us (women) to finally find our footing in many cases, we’ve often been derailed by this constant struggle to prove ourselves, and while often less severe than what these women need to do at this point, we all usually have some realignment to do. This is why brilliant women over the age of 40 are often a good deal more formidable, and much less apologetic about it.

Why, at this point, should anyone be surprised when they hear about women who are working against their best interests? Well, how is a woman supposed to grow up to be confident and strong when the assumption from the time she opens her mouth is that she isn’t—until she proves otherwise.

What really bothers me, though, is men and women perpetuating these schemas in perpetuity and ignorance.

You want to start helping women? Start by believing them to be competent until they prove otherwise—and treat them as such.

Start by believing women first.

Welcome Tyranny

Kamala Harris’ statement

If you weren’t already angry, pay attention: last night The GOP made an absolute mockery of representative government.

Senator after senator made public statements last night about the fact that this process has been inadequate and lacks the transparency that the American people deserve.

Special interest lobbyists were creating “cheat sheets” to help our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES with the changes in the bill–before it was even available for them to read.

Let that sink in…LOBBYISTS had more access to this bill than our elected representatives, who weren’t given time to read the bill, let alone discuss it or critique it.

Last night doesn’t represent a win for anyone who cares about democracy. Last night, the democratic process was upended by ideologues whose only concern was a legislative win.

Last night, transparency in government, the democratic process, responsible decision-making, and the American people lost, and lost big.

Think about it–does this process in any way, shape, or form represent your interests in any manner you’d condone or respect?

Last night, democracy lost.

The Right is Utterly Failing the Integrity Test

The Roy Moore controversy really has me, and a lot of people I know, just incredulous. We aren’t surprised that a GOP elected official would be making sexual advances towards a 14 year old girl. That kind of appalling behavior just is no longer a surprise. Deeply disturbing? Yes. Surprise? No. What disturbs us is the idea that anyone would back this guy while acknowledging that he probably did this.

Also not surprising, I have seen all kinds of rationalizations for support of Roy Moore by people claiming religious faith, even including claims of his critics having “a demon” and the like. Sorry, my religious friends, but if someone thinks when writers do a critical, fair and balanced, academic analysis based on sociocultural influences and an honest review of a text that there is something wrong with the writer (such as he/she has a demon, etc.)…

you are FAILING the INTEGRITY test.

When your text and the history of your faith are embedded in practices that we find detestable by today’s standards, and you can’t recognize that and wrestle honestly with what that means about your belief system, you don’t come across as intellectually honest in any way, shape, or form.

You really cannot claim the moral high ground, that you represent family values, or any kind of moral superior position. You can try, but those of us paying attention are either just going to look at you in pity or laugh.

Your political positions have been making you sound like someone who will make any and every excuse for the troublesome behavior of those aligned with you religiously and politically, and frankly, while it’s certainly no longer a shock, it’s pretty disappointing every…single…time.

Believe it or not, contrary to a lot of people these days professing religious faith, most of the public actually still believes that integrity matters. You don’t get to hide under a cloak of forgiveness and history in regards to these matters. You need to own up to it just as every single one of these powerful men are who are currently being thrown under the bus in Hollywood or anywhere else…or…

you are complicit and just as much to blame as their victims…because you are an enabler. You are enabling this garbage by turning a blind eye and hiding behind your religious “convictions,” and it’s not fooling anyone.

You can do this, this hiding behind your moralistic world view, but don’t act so surprised anymore when people fight your figures of the ten commandments in public spaces, fight the installation of huge crosses on military grounds, or want to get rid of tax breaks for churches and religious organizations.

Don’t act so surprised, though, if your alignment with people advocating racism, looking the other way in the face of sexual violence against minors, and a prideful, pussy-grabbing president causes the general public to take a step back and to reevaluate the value of your faith to our country, at large, and then stops financing and supporting it through tax breaks and public monuments.

See, when you do this you are showing society that encouraging and supporting your faith and belief system is actually a detriment to society, not a benefit, and we won’t continue to support you in this. We will strip you of your tax shelters, we will fight to have your monuments removed from public places, and we will embrace pluralism even harder.

Your hard alignment with these deviant people and abusers in positions of power is not going to give you anything but very temporary wins. You may have won the battle last year at the polls, but you will find that the things you claim are important will quickly lose ground to a very different America.

The youth of America are steering left. They are moving away from bigotry and racism. They prefer a fair and pluralistic America. They are angry at prior generations and corporate America for sacrificing their future happiness in pursuit of money and power. The tsunami of ill-will is almost upon you.

Are you really going to hang onto these dated and extremely harmful politicians and conflicting value system? Or are you going to find a path to the future that embraces others and holds integrity above political loyalties? Are you going to embrace a John Pavlovitz style faith? Or are you going to destroy your credibility for generations by following and supporting a corrupt, malicious, and poorly considered GOP agenda?

Have you just become sheep for these wolves? Or are you going to start valuing wisdom like those many generations before you, the wisdom of Solomon, and wrestling with the hard issues of today with integrity, so that there may somehow still be room for your faith to grow?

Please stop acting so surprised that you are losing us, and really consider where you are headed, because the America you are advocating for is something most of us no longer want to have anything to do with.

The Laber Retort

Fairly single after many years of being partnered, and having gone on plenty of dates, I know what kind of people I like spending my time with. Since I’m looking for a close relationship, this person has to at least roughly share my goals and values. I know myself well enough that it also must be someone I can deeply respect if the relationship will be at all healthy. From time-to-time I’ve talked to men with different preferences, and it’s been an utter disaster, because THEY are emotional snowflakes and can’t handle my strong opinions about political matters, especially Trump. More than once, I’ve seen men go completely off the rails because I’ve said what I think and they simply can’t handle it.

So, not only is it not good for me to be with a man who doesn’t share my values, it’s obvious that the vast majority conservative men are completely incapable of getting to know me to any degree without losing their minds. It is obviously also in their best interests not to date me.

With this in mind, one day this week I woke up to  Jerrod Laber’s article, “Your Refusal To Date Conservatives Is One Reason We Have Donald Trump.

Perhaps I shouldn’t respond to this narcissistic click bait of an article, and yet, I find myself doing so. Obviously, it’s something I have strong feelings about. Between the MRAs & the MGTOW crowd, Laber’s article probably isn’t adding much new to the venomous spittle of these entitled males who are mostly on the right end of the political spectrum. Even so, the article has gotten a fair bit of attention.

As I read this, as a woman in the dating pool, I don’t see a single place where Laber points to any possible benefit that could be derived by me dating men I have nothing in common with unless it’s his premise—that we have Trump because we aren’t willing to partner with, sleep with, and have families with men who are out of alignment with our values. Considering there is no data whatsoever provided to support that premise, I’m going to look at things from a bit more selfish premise—how this might affect me, personally, because he seems to be completely incapable of thinking about the opposite sex and what they want, or need, in a partner. On the other hand, I can think of an awful lot of reasons I would not benefit from such an experience.

  • First of all, let’s look at Laber’s trigger: a Planned Parenthood badge. If I don’t ever want to get pregnant, the last thing I need is to wind up dating, and having sex with, a man who doesn’t believe I have a right to choose my fate should I become pregnant regardless of the lengths I go to in order to prevent it. Considering the basics of heterosexual pairings, this matters a great deal. Because I have health problems impairing my ability to have a successful, healthy pregnancy, pairing up with a man who doesn’t value my health over a possible outcome that he might prefer could, at best, mean I was stuck dealing with an unacceptable outcome on my own, without his support or help—financial, emotional, or practical. This is a pretty big drawback in dating! I would think men who are against abortion would prefer this kind of heads up, as well.
  • Secondly, some men can be downright scary when you disagree with them about their deeply held beliefs. We see this publicly all the time as women receive death and rape threats because a woman dared to reasonably respond to a debatable issue and happened to have better evidence and reasoning than the men they disagree with…see Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian, if you want some examples. Having this information up front saves women from the hassles and danger posed by men who disagree with them on this fundamental-to-heterosexual-pairings matter.
  • Men who don’t share my liberal values are unlikely to value the work that I do in any way that is meaningful or beneficial. They probably will be a distraction and compete with my career and projects, and add more stress to my life than benefit.
  • Men who don’t share my values are unlikely to value engaging in the kinds of activities that are meaningful to me—deep, respectful, intellectual conversations, visiting museums, movies that are more intellectual than action-packed, listening to other intellectuals discuss a wide variety of topics, attending writer’s panels, and exploring hidden gems all matter to me. Why partner with someone who doesn’t value these things, too? I am not interested in dragging some unwilling participant along on what should be an adventure we both really enjoy.
  • Men who don’t share my values are likely to pigeonhole me and expect me to conform to some kind of societally determined way of being female that doesn’t suit me, at all, leading me to feel stifled and unhappy. I’m definitely female, and yet, many things that are stereotypically female are  very low on my list of priorities. Among those things, I do not shy away from an argument based on evidence. I had one man try to shush me for most of my adult life. I have no interest in meeting yet another.
  • Men who don’t share my values are likely to interfere with the things I like doing, meaning I will wind up being vetoed by a domineering male, or a pouting one, who thinks the world should revolve around him. The only men who have done otherwise actually share my values and are happy to do what I want to do from time-to-time just because it makes me happy, just as I will do for them.
  • If I actually did have a child with such a man, I could be sure to experience even more of the same in addition to an imbalance in parenting roles, because, let’s face it, it isn’t the liberal men insisting they don’t change diapers, get up at night to care for the baby, or give small children their baths.

Laber criticizes the evils of “assortive mating,” while discussing none of the benefits of doing otherwise. He’s provided very little to support the idea that doing otherwise is beneficial to society, let alone to women (who he attributes the Trump problem to), beyond a vague sense of the idea that choosing not to mate with someone whose politics are different leads to more class stratification, pretending that actually might matter to conservatives. Is he saying he personally doesn’t support Trump? Or is he trying to convince women that they can fix everything that is wrong with conservative males? Can he show me a study, any study, where people who marry those with considerably different goals and values is a good idea, that it benefits society? Or is it just his opinion, based on his own beliefs that “as a political protest, this form of virtue-signaling is counterproductive in the long run?”

If this mental flatulence is the best bit of trash the right can come up with while commenting on cultural issues, it is no wonder that Hollywood and educators have the corner on cultural relevance these days. These tired tropes won’t work on educated and intelligent women, but you weren’t really writing to us, were you? If you were doing anything besides right wing virtue signaling to angry white males, you wouldn’t be writing for The Federalist, would you?