On the Evolution of Tom

The optimism and inclusiveness of the DNC was a welcome respite. It was nice to see Democrats and Republicans – conservatives, moderates, and liberals alike – come together with a common purpose, despite a wide range of competing outlooks and ideas. Joe Biden was never my first choice, but his enthusiasm, energy, empathy, and compassion will be refreshing in post-Trump America. Next week will be all negativity, divisiveness, ass-kissing and fearmongering. I’ll pass.

It’s a shame. There was a time when both parties were equally terrible – maybe even equally hopeful and worthy of respect at times? – but the Republican Party is clearly lost in the charlatan’s shadow. Gotta find their soul, I think. Listen to the wiser members, those who are fighting against the authoritarian self-importance of Donald Trump. Folks like John Kasich. Colin Powell. Christine Todd Whitman. Mitt Romney. Even George W Bush and John Bolton. There are conservative voices out there for the Republicans to follow. They ought to.

I fell in love with politics in the early 90s and have done more deep-dig political and social analysis than I care to admit. I’ve taken courses, written papers, pushed others into political interest (for and against me!) and debated online and offline for more than 25 years. I started as a Limbaugh-conservative way back when and I’ve argued every far-right case. I remember the “triumphs” of the Contract With America and the December 12th, 2000 Supreme Court ruling.

I remember 9/11.

I remember arguing vehemently with a professor or two in the years that followed about how righteous was the invasion of Iraq. I remember having a very strong stance, despite having my doubts. Doubts are normal. If you don’t have them, you lack objective thinking.

It wasn’t long after the election of 2004 when I really started giving credence to my own doubts. To my own objectivity. I opened myself up to alternative points of view. I read vigorously from the works of people like Joseph Stiglitz and listened to opposing views on economic inequality and social injustice. After 15 years I left the Republican Party.

I called myself a Libertarian for a while and dug into other tomes by the likes of Friedman and Hayek and Boaz. I read Ayn Rand. It didn’t take me long at all to realize this point of view, like conservatism before it, had merits but also did not align with my true north star, denied too long.

Even in the 90s I believed in stricter gun laws, for example, knowing how I do that such a thing produces a better, safer, and even freer society. Want to own a gun? I have no problem with that (conservative/libertarian). But you’ll have to go through a nationally-recognized regimen like licensing, registration, and background checks (liberal). I’ve always believed in the death penalty as deterrent and punishment, but I’m decidedly against the American system of mass incarceration. I’d rather a woman did not get an abortion, but I believe it’s her choice, not mine (or ours). I do not believe in any religion or god, but I support your absolute right to peacefully worship whomever you wish. It does not offend me when the Pledge of Allegiance includes the words “under God.” It does not offend me when it does not.

I have held a lot of these beliefs for a very long time, throughout my evolution in fact, but what has changed – and continues to do so – is my depth of understanding of each issue. I have always been against economic and racial inequality, but I had a simpler understanding of the pervasiveness of each in the first decade and a half of my evolution. In the last decade and a half I am more enlightened, wiser. I don’t mean that to sound in any way braggadocios. On the contrary, if I were a smarter man I would have learned earlier.

Today I am politically independent, or “No Party Preference” as it states in my registration. Some people mistake that as meaning “moderate,” but it does not. My views are decidedly on the left. In the political spectrum I’m in the lower-left quadrant, somewhat south and west of folks like Bernie Sanders. “Libertarian-Left” according to some scholars. I believe very strongly in personal liberty and economic equality. I believe that capitalism works best when regulated by progressive taxation and redistribution. I also believe that you should be allowed to love who you like and dress how you like. I’m strictly anti-authoritarian and I despise any individual who is intolerant of differences or wants to be a king.

Donald Trump is completely intolerant of differences and absolutely thinks he’s a king.

I have no problem with any individual of any party preference. I have problems with both parties – it’s hard to support any of the self-interested political machines – but not necessarily their individual constituents. I judge people by the content of their character.

I told you this last time and I meant it: I’d rather see an honest Republican in the White House than a shyster Democrat (and vice versa). I would have voted for John Kasich, for example, over Hillary Clinton. Character. That’s what matters.

Donald Trump is the lowest of the low when it comes to character. He has no kindness, no empathy, no compassion, no interest in the interests of anyone but himself.

But enough about him.

I’ve been working hard to get Dylan ready to be my right-hand man when I take over the store – that plan is still in the works but delayed by certain personal and worldly events. He’s come along great. Amazing, in fact. He has a natural understanding of processes and ideas and people. He’s a willing and eager learner. I found the right man for the job.

Mrs C is getting more and more responsibilities at the bank; they love her and she loves it. We’ve been laying low for months, except for work and an occasional beer with the neighbors, for obvious reasons. We cook some and do some take out. She switched to a fasting diet during the week (the carb restriction one didn’t work for her) so she doesn’t eat nights. Left to my own devices I consume too many frozen burritos. I’m gonna try to change that next week, by grilling more meat and veggies. Wish luck. Health matters.

Moxie is in poorer health. The fella is gonna be 12 in a couple of months – old for a gold. His latest checkup indicated kidney problems so they’ve asked us to change his diet. They are optimistic they can help him get those kidneys back on track and give us a few more years with our angel. They are always optimistic, which is good. I see it in his eyes sometimes, though. He doesn’t understand.

Work, home, politics, and pups. Is it any surprise my update would feature such?

Just you wait, though. Football is almost here. 😉

Have a great weekend now, folks. Stay safe and hopeful. A better world is coming!

 

27 thoughts on “On the Evolution of Tom

  1. Thanks,Tom. I needed to read something optimistic today, even though my personal well of optimism has almost run dry. But when 40% of the electorate (which is more than enough when you factor in Putin and gerrymandering) STILL cannot (WILL not) even admit that this treasonous retard is in the midst of an authoritarian coup. And that’s why he might actually pull it off. Nothing scares the shit out of privileged white people like conjuring images of rioting brown skinned people — even if those images are cherry-picked or downright false. I was very impressed with the DNC this week, but I fear it may already be too late.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. America won’t recover that easily; it will show post-Trump/traumatic signs for years because the problems are too big for one man to change them, democrat or republican. And I’m strongly anti-gun, I don’t approve of death penalty, I am supportive of abortion (your body, your choice, it is too precious to be given to the state to decide what’s good for you), and the invasion of Iraq was just unacceptable because who are you to interfere in sb else’s affairs and impose your will. God?
    Still friends?

    (You’re taking over the store? Cool. Kisses for Moxie, get well soon. Football? Oh god!)

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Many people have disappointed me in my life. One day, we’re best friends, the very next, who the fuck are you?
        I am not one of them, though. With me, it’s always been for better and for worse, so you have my promise.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. For clarifications sake: I came to understand in time that my professors were right about Iraq. Like I said, I grew. The cancer that infects America, and brought us Trump, was here before he came along and will be here long after he is gone. I do not believe anyone can fix that. Still, getting Trump out is an improvement and sometimes all you can do is treat a symptom.

      I like the Swiss/Canadian model of gun control: you can have ’em, but it ain’t gonna be easy. As both of those cultures show, there’s nothing inherently wrong with owning a gun. We do, however, need to treat the underlying sicknesses in society that make someone pick up a gun and shoot people.

      We agree on choice; disagree on the death penalty. Look at us!

      (Thank you! Go Rams!)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh gawd yes, needed to hear/read something like this. I can’t bare the news anymore because of that orange orangutan and his over inflated ego. But I did catch Obama’s speech at the DNC, and I found faith that had been lost the second year this president was in office. I’m with Bojana, this country will have a Trumpiasain hangover for years to come and won’t be easy to remedy. But, still there is hope, just like you Biden wasn’t my first choice, but he and his VP candidate have begun to scare the status quo, now that is something to see! Much love and hugs to the Moxter, just look at the golden years in his wonderful face! Like the shirt as well, but that mask! Awesome Pastor Tom!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What, me worry?

      This country will overcome Donald Trump, even in time forget about him, but his rise is scary on so many levels. Can you imagine if the dummies who elected him had chosen a competent dictator instead of this incompetent one? The America as we know it may never be the same; the empire may really be dying.

      Or, maybe, from the ashes of the lost kingdom will rise a better one. A kinder one. A more egalitarian one. It may not be likely but it is entirely possible. Keep that hope alive!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said on the political topic. While I’ve always been a tree hugging liberal I have voted Republican if I felt they were the better choice. Biden won’t evoke much passion, but he will bring back common decency which has been severely missed.
    So very sorry to hear if Moxie’s health trouble. That old boy always makes me smile.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. When you have a new prez, will they call it Post-Trumpmatic Stress Disorder? Also, do Americans have to register with a party or as an independent to vote? We don’t have to do that here–if we did, I’d be a cardcarrying member of the Pirate Party. Give Mr. Moxie many hugs and special cookies from me and Atlas:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Will do! You have to register, but you can register NPP (No Party Preference). The missus and I do that every time. Like I said, I choose the best! I don’t have to agree with a person to respect ’em, but I do have to respect ’em to vote for ’em. 😉

      First I heard of the Pirate Party. I like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks forthe respite Tom. Your writing always takes me away from reality, even if briefly. I’m especially touched by your update on Moxie. I’ve followed Moxies stories over time and that hunk of gold has a little piece of my heart. Yes, a better world is coming g. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure, Gil. Thank you for the kind words for Moxie; he sends back love.

      I do disagree on one point, though: my writing is the reality; the rest of the world is fake. 😉

      Like

  7. Those Moxie eyes! Hope the dietary changes help him feel better. Hope the same for you and Mrs. C 😉

    While I steel myself for the political roller coaster ride of the next few months (we won’t have a “done deal” election result for days, maybe even weeks after Nov 3rd if it’s contested as it surely will be when the idiot incumbent loses), I look fondly back to times when there wasn’t near as much drama in elections. Just one more way we’re suffering after a minority decided to elect a TV personality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right, Rebecca. I remember sitting for a very long time in front of the TV the night the buffoon won and telling Mrs C, “It’s worse than a mistake; that guy will never want to leave.”

      Fast forward to now, and he’s dropping that bomb left and right, setting us up for a confrontation. Well, let’s have it. The Constitution of the United States has been destroyed by Mitch and Don so we’ll have to come up with something better, something that prevents authoritarians and party hacks from treading on democracy.

      Benjamin and the rest gave us a representative republic, “if we can keep it.” We’re failing you right now, folks.

      Thank you for the kind words!

      Like

  8. “Doubts are normal. If you don’t have them, you lack objective thinking,” might be the wisest thing you’ve said, which is saying something because you’ve said some pretty wise things. Some, particularly Trump supporters, consider any admission of doubt to be a weakness, but I freely admit I have doubts. Those doubts have caused me to evaluate my positions and, I think, make a better case for my opposition. For whatever it’s worth I can cite facts in response to those who only cry “Fake news!”
    One thing I have no doubt about, though, is that Moxie has been deeply loved and deeply loved you and Mrs. C in return, and will always be special.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Chris! ❤️ I’ve been busy AF at work these last few weeks and one of the side effects of that exertion (in the stifling swamp-cooler humid heat) is a lack of brain power and downtime motivation, so sorry for the late response!

      Citing facts is way cooler than screaming “fake!” about real stuff. Do you remember how that “fake news” thing started? The MSM was calling out Donnie on all his lies by calling his actually fake facts fake news and Donnie co-opted it. That’s his thing. He takes what others say about him honestly and he turns it into his own phrase and says it over and over about others dishonestly. So transparent.

      Now everyone’s trying to tell me that “it is what it is” is a Trump thing, and it ain’t. There ain’t no innovative Trump things; just his stack of never-ending, self-serving lies.

      Keep doubting, checking, and learning, my friend! We progress!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I very much fear that regardless of election result the cheeto will simply refuse to leave and ask Russia to assist him in maintaining his personal status quo…….that said, bless you for the pictures of Moxie et al today. I seriously needed some puppy time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and you’re welcome, Suze! Yeah, the charlatan will try anything and everything to stay in power now that he’s got it. That’s always been the concern when we let him slip into place. It was a big accident and a victory by technicality, and we’ll be paying the price for years to come. Place just as much blame on Mitch and the others in the Senate, who defended him when we had a chance to remove him. At least 200,000 American lives are on their ledger … and counting.

      Like

    1. Every progressive mile begins with a first step. Nobody can undo the damage quickly, but someone has to get started. Need to clear out the con-man, and his enablers in the Senate. This is gonna get ugly, but sometimes that’s what it takes, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

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