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Dear Mr. Trump… can I call you Mr. Trump? Is that ok? I want you to be happy, that’s very important to me.

Before I get started, let me say this letter isn’t from all women. The Trumpettes surely won’t approve of this message. But this is from most women.

We see right through you. We have all known you at some point. Your ways are not unfamiliar to us. We see through you because we’ve been dealing with you our whole lives.

We heard you call women pigs. And disgusting. And stupid. And bimbos.

We watched as you called a former Ms. Universe “Ms. Piggy” and then spent four days continuing to insult her.

We see your weakness. Your lust for attention at any cost, your need to denigrate women. We see all of it. And we’re mad.

Yes. We’re mad. And fired up. And here’s the thing about us… we can be bitches.

Gone are the days where we question our power or our influence. We are strong. Smart. We know our worth and it doesn’t reside in the size of our bras or our skinny jeans. We build each other up. We have our sister’s backs. And our brother’s. So when you took on the former Ms. Universe, you took on all of us.

And right now you’ve got a lot of angry women to contend with. And let me remind you, Mr. Trump… hell hath no fury like a pissed off woman who’s tired of this sexist bullshit.

We heard you when you said we should  “look for another place to work” if we experience workplace sexual harassment. Your non-solution illustrates either your lack of understanding or lack of concern. Or both. Your attitude and ignorance on this is stunning. Your response, pathetic. We see you, and we see someone who’s in over their head.

We watched you interrupt a woman 51 times during a 90 minute debate. While the better qualified, more knowledgeable woman was talking, you attempted to bulldoze right over her. We all know this game. It’s called male privilege. And it doesn’t look good on you, Mr. Trump. It makes you look weak. We see you, and we see a man who is so threatened by a woman speaking that you can’t even bear to let her finish. Sad.

And we see it rampant throughout your campaign and your proposed policies. It’s in your paltry maternity leave proposal that leaves out fathers and LGBTQ and adoptive parents. And when you say that women who seek abortions should be punished. And when you refuse to consider supporting equal pay for women.

Your latest ad, in which your daughter, beaming with privilege and pride, says “being a mother is the most important job a woman can have.” didn’t go over so well with us, Mr. Trump.

We are different, us women. We are not a homogenous army of fem-bots. We have different interests, goals and lives. There is more to us than motherhood. Some of us revel in motherhood. Some of us don’t want to have children. And some of us can’t have children. Our status as mothers has nothing to do with our worth. This ad, coupled with your policies show that you are tone deaf to the reality that women face and point to an antiquated attitude. One that keeps women as the caregivers and leaves men out of that equation.

We see you. And we see a man who has no business representing our interests in the Oval Office.

We heard you say no one would vote for Carly Fiorina “because of her face.”

We remember you calling women “a beautiful piece of ass” in Esquire Magazine.

We watch you say one thing, then say the opposite. Then refuse to admit any of it happened. Problem is, we can spot gas lighting from a mile away.

We recall the bit about all women being gold diggers in your memoir.

We cringe and hold our daughters a little closer when we are reminded that you said you’d date your daughter. If only she weren’t your daughter.

We remember when you called a lawyer “disgusting” for requesting a break during a trial to breastfeed.

We roll our eyes when we saw you try to dismiss Megyn Kelly after she had the nerve to ask you questions. At a debate. “Blood coming out of her wherever” was not lost on us. Most of us remember hearing such comments in Middle School.

We are horrified when we learn that you sent a journalist a picture of herself with the word “Dog” scrawled across it.

We seethe with anger when we read your tweet blaming military sexual assault on the fact that women are in the military.

We haven’t forgotten your lurid tweet about Hillary Clinton not being able to “satisfy” her husband.

Not only do you not understand women, you seem to have an awful lot of contempt for them. This is not fitting for a man who wants to be President in the 21st Century.

Which leads me to this:

Make America Great Again.

We know exactly what you meant when you branded yourself with this slogan. It’s not-so-coded language for a time gone by. Your “great” America wasn’t so great for women and minorities and gay people.

We won’t go back.

We won’t be relegated to the kitchen.

We won’t be locked into a life where we have no choice over our bodies or whether we have babies.

We won’t accept your patronizing response to sexual harassment.

We won’t be silenced or demeaned any more.

We won’t be ridiculed for our weight or judged by our appearance.

We won’t be shamed for owning our sexuality.

We have come a long way since your days of when America was “great.”

We have busted our asses to get here and we’re not going back.

We are raising strong daughters who fight back against sexist school dress codes.

We are raising strong sons who aren’t afraid of their feelings and aren’t afraid of strong girls.

We are shutting down catcalling.

We are no longer letting ourselves be interrupted and drowned out in the board room.

We are locking arms with our sisters in solidarity when rapists are given a slap on the wrist.

We are shouting about every day sexism.

We are calling you out, Mr. Trump.

We will not go quietly into any good night. We are loud. We are in your face. And we don’t put up with the kind of bullshit you’re selling.

So maybe this isn’t your time, Mr. Trump. Maybe your time has passed.

Maybe you would have been more suited to the early 1900’s when women did not yet have the right to vote.

When marital rape was still legal.

Or the 1950’s when women largely stayed home and produced children and McCarthyism and blacklisting were acceptable.

Or perhaps 1930’s Germany would have been a better fit for you.

But now? Now is not your time.

We’re moving forward. All of us, smart men and women, have had enough of the tired gender roles. We’ve had enough of you and other weak, fearful men trying to stop progress.

We see you, Mr. Trump.

We see your sexism and your bigotry and your racism. We see right through you.

Remember. We can be bitches.

And bitches get shit done.

Bitches Vote.

See you on November 8, Mr. Trump.

 

*photo source*

 

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Third Party voters. You’re everywhere. You’re young, you’re old. You’re Independents, or you’re disillusioned Democrats and Republicans. There’s a lot of you this time around.

And it scares the hell out of me.

You might think I’m being dramatic. Or experiencing some longest election year ever hysteria.

But right now there is a racist, bigoted, nationalistic, white supremacist baiting, federal reserve illiterate, foreign and  domestic policy ignorant, dangerous narcissist applying for the job of the most powerful person in the world.

And your protest vote could very well be the reason he gets the job.

I get it. You’re fed up. Frustrated. And you’re going to walk into that voting booth in November and vote your conscience.

But I don’t know if we can afford your conscience.

Your moral vote, your election day purity, your clean conscious, they are all luxuries we can’t afford in this election year. Not when Donald Trump is running neck and neck with Clinton in the polls. Not when polls that include Third Party candidates show him taking a lead over Clinton. Not when your protest vote could result in the most dangerous presidency in the history of the United States.

All of you together can disrupt this election. All of you together could have us staring slack jawed with a death grip on our pocket Constitutions while we watch our worst nightmare get sworn in.

So this is a plea to you, a plea for reason.

Because I know you’re reasonable. You know your world history. You know that equal parts Mussolini/Hitler/Joseph McCarthy in an Armani suit would be a disaster for our country. You don’t really want him to win. But you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think your Third Party vote could be the reason there’ll be a six foot tall Trump painting hanging in the Lincoln bedroom.

Whether you admit it or not, your protest vote is relying on the herd immunity.

Herd immunity: The majority of a population is immunized, creating a barrier of protection for the vulnerable and immunosuppressed. 

The disease is Trump. The vaccination is your vote. The vulnerable? Black Americans, Mexican Americans, Mexican immigrants, children of Mexican immigrants, Jewish Americans, Women, LGBT, Muslim Americans, and any other minority population within our country. One could argue that eventually the vulnerability trickles up to everyone, the disease eventually will infect anyone and everyone in our country.

So this election is about more than what makes you feel good in the five minutes you spend in the election booth.

It is about someone who is unpredictable and easily riled who has no business holding the key to the nuclear football.

It is about someone who lacks the judgement to make a decision about whether or not to launch a nuclear weapon. A decision that once put in action is irreversible. A decision that can’t be walked back.

And some of you are taking a risk on Donald Trump being that person. 

This is about someone who has been deemed so dangerous and unfit for office that over 50 Republican Former National Security Officials have signed a letter stating that Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.” and “would be the most reckless president in American history.”

This is unprecedented. Never have more people agreed that a presidential candidate poses a serious danger on so many different levels. Long time republicans, conservatives, people who’ve dedicated their careers and lives to the GOP are fleeing. And they are being very clear about why.

His words create unease among allies and enemies, they embolden racists and they create propaganda for terrorists.

A short list of who wants to see Trump in the White House?

ISIS.

Vladimir Putin.

The KKK.

The Alt Right.

Are you scared yet? 

THIS IS NOT POLITICS AS USUAL.

This is about a candidate who has tweeted and retweeted racist words and ideas and memes.

Who is regularly throwing out a bone or a “wink wink” to the increasingly prominent White Supremacist crowd. A candidate who hired the proud, self proclaimed leader of the Alt-Right  to be his campaign CEO. In between rabid musings about the “white genocide” they are gleefully retweeting Trump. They show up at his rallies. They call him “their candidate.” This is about a candidate who not only encourages the Alt Right, but emboldens them.

This is about a man has actually recommended doing things that were done in Nazi Germany. Creating a database of Muslims. Banning an entire religious group from entering our country. Demonizing Mexican immigrants. Threatening the press. Threatening enemies. Building a wall. This is about a man who is openly promoting Xenophobia, Racism and anti semitism. Sound familiar?

Unless you want our country to look like a Trump rally… unless you want Confederate flags being flown by angry men screaming at black people and Jewish people and gay people… unless you want your grocery store or your kid’s little league game to become a venue for expressing pent up racist rage, you need to think twice before you press that Third Party button. The things happening at Trump rallies? They’re happening everywhere. They are becoming the new normal.

So, yes, your Third Party vote scares me.

It is at best a risk. At worst a destruction of everything we hold dear and true about our country.

Your vote is dangerous.

It is the bloodshot eyed, stale cigarette perfumed gambler laying down his last chip.

It is the Prada bag you’re drooling over but your credit card is maxed out and you haven’t paid this month’s rent. We can’t afford it.

That vote that you’re throwing against the wall is the petulant toddler who insists on ice cream when staring at a plate of broccoli and green beans.

Your Third Party vote isn’t a protest. It isn’t a bold statement of rebelliousness. For most, that Third Party vote is a last minute hook up under the blinding bar lights at 2am. You don’t really know what you’re getting but you’re getting some.

We need all the adults in the room to show up and do whatever needs to be done to keep Trump in his self congratulatory, phallic tower and out of the White House.

Your Third Party vote is dangerous because it is relying on herd immunity. You’re having your feel good moment while you’re pressing a button next to a name you’ve only known for a few months. You’re relying on everyone else to get the job done and keep the mad man from having his finger on the button.

Herd immunity works. Until it doesn’t. And when it stops, when there is a breach, one tiny cough, it can be disastrous.

Your protest vote is the feverish stranger wandering into the I.C.U. when their shots aren’t up to date. You’ll walk out and you’ll go home and you’ll watch your HGTV and you’ll take some aspirin and you’ll go to sleep, but you exposed the vulnerable to your illness.

It’s not a badge of honor to risk the stability and livelihood of the country and quite possibly the world, all because your conscious is feeling some heat.

And sometimes voting your conscious means doing the hard thing. It means looking at the reality you’re dealing with no matter how much you don’t like it, and working within that reality.

Morality is only really moral when it’s dealing in truth.

It means possessing enough self awareness to consider your station in life, your privilege and how your vote could affect those who are more vulnerable.

I know you’re mad and you’re frustrated. Sometimes I want to burn it all to the ground and start over too. But we can’t. That’s what separates us from the sociopaths. We work with what we’ve got. We operate in reality. We think about things beyond our own angry impulses.

Start your revolution. Build it. Work. Sacrifice.

But don’t tip over the table because you didn’t like the food you were offered.

Don’t saunter, whistling, through the I.C.U. while your skin is beaded in a viral sweat.

Don’t rely on everyone else to do the non-glamorous task of the practical, safe vote.

Don’t engage in the false equivalency of the “two evils.”

Don’t tell me your conscience can’t take it. Your conscience will be fine. Your conscience surely has bigger fish to fry. But if your protest vote, along with all the other impotent Third Party votes ends in the myriad of dangerous scenarios that experts of all parties and all stripes are warning of? I fear your conscience may suffer a crippling blow.

If you ever wondered what you would do had you been a German citizen voting in the 1930’s… If you ever wondered if you’d have the presence of mind to recognize a virulent danger when it’s looming over you… If you ever wondered if you could stare at racism and fascism seeking power and shrug in apathy or stand up and fight?

Now’s your time to find out. Don’t let the herd down.

 

 

 

 

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My first political debate took place in the back of the school bus in First Grade. My friend and I had started arguing about the upcoming election. We were going at it pretty hard over Reagan v Carter. We were spitting out words and throwing around phrases we had heard but didn’t really understand. But we both sat firmly in our separate corners, glaring at each other and sizing each other up.

It got a little intense. Other kids joined in and took his side. I was alone. It became clear that I was the only person on team Carter. They were yelling at me about the Iran Hostage Crisis and the gas shortage. I felt myself shrinking into my seat. Mercifully the bus brakes squeaked and I was able to make my clumsy exit. I walked home with tears stinging my eyes.

The next day I got on the bus and sat next to my friend and we were back to making plans to catch crawdads in the creek that weekend. The harsh words and heat of yesterday’s debate was forgotten as we compared scuffs and scrapes from our most recent bike accidents (that were accidentally on purpose to get the scars that we wore like a badge of honor.)

I still care about politics. But these days I avoid the debates. College was the last time I felt free to engage in the healthy exchange of ideals and positions with anyone outside of my innermost circle.

I’m a liberal who’s lived in the South my whole life. In the Bible Belt.

I’ve had a lifetime of listening to listen to viewpoints I disagree with. And that’s completely fine. In fact, I think it’s been healthy for me. It’s made me realize that sometimes it’s better to just listen. Sometimes I can learn from someone who holds a radically different view from me. It’s shown me that political disagreements are just that. I can have many other more important things in common with someone and care about them even if we disagree politically.

But sometimes I’ve also had to hear things that grated my senses, things that were known falsehoods and sometimes things that  were tinged with racism or homophobia but passed off as political opinion. I usually held my tongue except for the few occasions where I trusted a healthy debate could be had. I sometimes seethed that others could just spout off when I had to stay quiet for the sake of not ruffling feathers, being of minority opinion and all.

I’ve marveled at how freely people would speak their mind, not concerned that they might be speaking to someone who disagreed- not inviting debate or discussion- just spouting off because it feels good to unleash a little political fervor every now and then. I’ve found myself a little jealous of the people I would encounter at school/work/in my neighborhood/on the playground/at the store who felt entitled to go off on a political rant without any concern.

Such is the privilege of living some place where your politics are the widely held ideology. The privilege of majority opinion.

I’ve become an expert at changing the subject. Or smiling politely. Or redirecting a red faced diatribe. Or just calmly walking away because I don’t need to listen to anyone’s one-sided viewpoint when they only wanted an audience, not a discussion.

So when I started this blog three years ago, I vowed to never write about politics. I knew it would only bring drama and that is not what I wanted.

I write about the things that matterto me. My first post was a response to a blogger who slut shamed her son’s social media girl friends. My second post was about a 7 year old girl who got kicked out of her school because she had dreadlocks. And I wrote about grief and life and a random assortment of things. Not political, but sometimes still controversial. And sometimes I get a fierce backlash. Hateful comments. Private messages saying vile things. I have learned to ignore them. I’ve had to delete violent comments attacking me or other readers on my blog. My skin has developed a tough shell.

Writing about the things I care about has caused plenty of drama, even when politics aren’t involved.

I’ve always said that writing about social justice or inequality isn’t political. At least it shouldn’t be. These issues definitely seep into politics sometimes, especially when racism or homophobia or sexism motivates legislation.

But this year, this election, is different. I’m no stranger to my “team” not winning.

This isn’t about liberal vs conservative.

This isn’t Reagan vs Carter.

This isn’t politics as usual.

This is about racism and homophobia and fascism. We are faced for the first time in our political history with someone who threatens everything our country stands for. There is an enormous swell of people, conservative and liberal, politicians and pundits, academics, historians, economists, psychiatrists… who are all ringing the alarm bells.

People who have never come together politically are saying This man is dangerous.

Telling us that this is repeating, eerily repeating, the things said and done in Germany while Hitler was climbing to power. This is not exaggeration. This is not people just offering political opinions. These are people from all walks and all persuasions trying to warn the rest of us that history, the absolute worst of our world’s history, is repeating itself right here, right now, in the United States.

So, yes. I will write about politics this time. Because this time it IS about racism and homophobia and civil liberties and the very life we all know. And because I am still intent on keeping this blog politics free,  I will be publishing political posts on other sites.

This week, I am at the Good Men Project, where I will be appearing weekly as a columnist.  This one is a dating advice piece, having a little bit of fun with a serious issue. More specifically, why you should not date Donald Trump.

I hope you go over there and read it. I hope you like it. If you don’t, that is fine. I am comfortable with people disagreeing with me. I’m kind of used to it. And I don’t mind if you want to have a debate either. As long as tomorrow, when I get on the bus, you and I are still cool.

https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/4-ways-to-know-if-hes-the-one-presidential-edition-kelly-jrmk/