God Gave Me Common Sense…And I’m Going To Use It In The Voting Booth In November

So I’ve given up the Facebook…again. This time, it’s 100% due to the political discourse that has seemingly overtaken my favorite social media outlet. Anything and everything seems to dissolve into political talk, whether its the idea of face masks being a useful way of not spreading the virus to whether to not eating a red or a blue popsicle makes you a right or left wing lunatic. It’s uuuuuugly right now with Trumpsters spouting off negativity about “PedoBiden” and Biden supporters ranting about Donald Trump’s obvious shortcomings in all things presidential. There really wasn’t many NON-political posts on my Facebook feed at any given time so…I bailed. But not before giving MY rationale for voting for Joe Biden in November. My last post before possibly returning to FB in late November or December was a link for a Forbes article about Trump moving campaign money into his private businesses along with this…

Doesn’t this bother anyone else? I see all these pro-Trump signs, see so many pro-Trump social media posts…I don’t get what anyone sees in this con man. I’m not pointing fingers. I’m tired of politicians also…so voting for a businessman made sense in 2016 (I guess. I didn’t vote for him but I get it). But come on. This guy is a MAJOR disaster. And I find it hard to believe that anyone truly believes he has anything but his own personal agenda on his mind. You like the tough guy exterior? Why did he go hide in a bunker at the first sign of unrest? You like his stance on foreign policies? He’s basically schmoozing with some of the absolute worst world leaders while pissing off our allies. We all know his stance on women and his apparent love of all things white. He can’t even put together a coherent sentence most of the time. He postures, he insults, he grandstands and all at the cost of our country’s personal well-being. I get that we all want change…but he ain’t it. In my opinion, following him is like trying to walk headfirst into a hurricane and I refuse to go with the flow. Do I believe 100% in the Democratic nominee? No. But I’d vote for a head of lettuce before I checked Donald Trump’s name in November. This will be my last post for a while. I’m tired and I think this should be all you need to either unfriend me or block me and I’m ok with that. I think I’ve had enough of politics and mask arguments and COVID conspiracy theories. We are all tired. I get it. Our world has changed for the worst and the last 3.5 years have worn me down. I think it’s time to put my best foot forward and get started on trying to make it a better place for myself and my family. The Trump political circus has got to stop and I think I’ve had enough. For now…getting off social media will be enough for me to get my thoughts in order. Facebook is a cesspool of false information and angst. In the grand scheme of things…I think it’s a little narcissistic of me to think you’ll care or miss my basketball photos or silly updates but I hope you do. If anything, Facebook is losing a guy who really enjoyed this platform up until maybe 4 months ago but I’ve been heading this way for a few weeks now and I think I’m ready to pull the plug. For now anyway…Peace. I’ll see ya on the flip side. #VotingBidenInNovember.

Ok…so I wasn’t going to get back on Facebook but I had someone text me over Messenger about a “discussion” that was happening so I went to see what was going on. Of course there were the nice “We will miss you” responses and the “I understand” responses and there were a few that agreed with me and a few who didn’t. And that’s ok. But then I had someone who I knew many years ago who is older than me, who I don’t really remember all that well but who I respect on a certain level post a comment that I find interesting. He said…and I quote…

“Alan, God gave you common sense, use it.”

Of all of the comments that were made and all of the back & forth about politics and whatever else…this one struck me. So…I went to went to see what the definition of common sense is. Simply put, common sense is…

Judgment, wisdom, the ability to reach intelligent conclusions. Implies a reliable ability to judge and decide with soundness, prudence, and intelligence. A choice showing good common sense suggests an average degree of such ability without sophistication or special knowledge.

So now I have to break myself down. Psychologically, there isn’t a whole lot of depth to me. I pretty much feel like what you see is what you get. Inherently, I’m a good person. Raised by good parents in a good, hard-working family. Raised in a time where there wasn’t the kind of discourse that is happening now…or maybe there was but because there were only 3 channels and I never watched the tv at 6:30pm every night…I wouldn’t have known anything about it really.

So let’s look at the definition again. Judgement. How do I judge others? I feel safe in saying if there’s anything I’ve learned in my 50+ years, it’s that people can…and will…surprise you. So…I’m not quick to judge…especially when it comes to appearances. Evaluating after pausing and reflecting can always make a difference. Anyone who is quick to judge doesn’t always see the entire complexities of the human spirit. Some people are quick to give an impression. Others are more controlled, more precise. I tend to judge by the way someone treats other people. It always surprises me how ugly some people can be to others. Which is maybe why I don’t particularly like the guy sitting in our White House right now.

Wisdom. So…I wouldn’t call myself “wise” in many ways. Am I able to carry on a conversation and give an opinion? Yes. But true wisdom comes with knowledge and understanding and there are a lot of things I admittedly am NOT the person you want to ask about many things. Things like…how do you install plumbing in a 3 story home? Or if a car was traveling at 75 MPH and had to travel uphill at an 80 degree slant, how much gas would it take to get to Connecticut? Or even how to make pancakes. Because frankly? I’m a terrible cook. There are a LOT of things I am NOT wise about. But there are some things I feel I AM smart about and I take great pride in my ability to use that wisdom in a way that will make me a better person. That wisdom is what I use when my kids need help making decisions. When my neighbor has a clogged drain or needs help with her lawn mower. Or when there’s a person who can’t find their way to the airport because they got off the wrong exit and now they are a little lost. There are many ways where I am not the wisest man in the room. But I can contribute in my own way and I will ALWAYS try to use my wisdom to help others in any situation. Which, from what I’ve seen, is more than Donald Trump is willing to do.

The ability to reach intelligent conclusions. This is an interesting sentence. Because an intelligent conclusion is obviously different for everyone depending on their intelligence level. So…where do I fall in intelligence? Well…I haven’t taken a test in many years so…I can’t give an exact number. I was an average student, made mostly B’s if I remember correctly. Graduated from a 4 year college. Been somewhat successful in my career path. Raised a couple kids who, by most standards, have seemed to turn out okay. So when it comes to coming to an intelligent conclusion, I feel like I would place myself in a mid-level tier as far as what my intelligence level will allow. Psychologically, I admit I am probably a little more emotional than some men. I allow for empathy in situations where some might not. If you were to put that in political terms, I imagine this puts me in the moderate to somewhat liberal Democrat zone. But I don’t allow myself to be placed in that area entirely. Because of my ability to empathize, I often find myself seeking answers to things that don’t feel right to me. I try to look at each situation as a single entity and not the whole. For example…Donald Trump’s crass comment about grabbing a woman by her private parts. Now…as a man who has heard conversations that sexualize women, I can see where, prior to being the President, a rich millionaire would say something like that. I mean…when you have Trump money, I imagine there are all kinds of people that will allow you to get away with doing anything you want. Do I think that says something about you as a person? Yes. So my judgement would be that you probably don’t look as women as equals. My wisdom tells me that you probably have a bit of a superiority complex and that you probably need to be taken down a notch. My intelligent conclusion would be that I probably won’t be spending much time with you because I actually think women are awesome and would never think to ever do something like that…even if she wanted me to.

So now it comes to a choice. The definition above says that a choice showing good common sense suggests an average degree of ability to judge and decide with soundness, prudence, and intelligence without sophistication or special knowledge. As I’ve stated…I’m not special. I’m not overly sophisticated either. You ask me which fork is for the salad and I’ll laugh and pick the one closest the the bowl. When it comes to special knowledge? I know what I know. I definitely don’t have a “special” knowledge about anything. I’m more of a jack of all trades, master of none when it comes to that department.

BUT…can I judge with soundness, prudence and intelligence when it comes to most things that are happening around me. Can I evaluate and make sound decisions based on the situations I can control? And that’s where the Facebook comment got me thinking because I DO feel that I do a good job of that. Evaluating and making decisions is what we all base our lives on. Where we are and how we think are all rolled into that which is our personality and our perspectives.

So I’m gonna say that yes…I feel that God HAS given me good common sense. God has also given me a sense of empathy and the ability to judge from a humane standpoint. I’ve seen what has happened in our country in the last 1,320 days and my conclusion, whether you find it intelligent or not, is that this country is in much worse shape than it was 3.5 years ago. Let’s take a look at the original plan that was promised when Donald Trump was elected in 2016. By his own admission, these 10 things were SUPPOSED to happen in his first 100 days in office…

Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 12.06.04 PM

Now…did he do any or all of the above? No.

#1…Middle class tax relief? The largest tax reductions were mostly to those who made over $1 million. Now…maybe I know people who make that kind of money? But I guarantee you most people that I have as friends are not making that kind of bank and they definitely are NOT middle class. The biggest reductions were for corporations and considering what happened in the last 7 months or so? I now know that, for Donald Trump, making sure his millionaire friends can find loopholes and collect government funding is a top priority. 

#2 was his way of discouraging companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free. Sounds like a decent proposal…especially when running for election. It never happened. 

Let’s skip ahead to #5 because there been no significant new infrastructure legislation proposed for #3 and we all know that Betsy DeVos is a hot mess at #4. EVERYONE has an opinion about #5. The Affordable Care Act is possibly the most controversial bill that came out of the Obama administration. Trump and his followers have been tossing this one around for his entire time in office and yet? It still exists. 

Let’s see…I’m gonna speed things up here by telling you that #6-9 have been addressed at times but nothing substantial has been passed as of yet. 1,360 days into his time in the Oval Office. But #10 is interesting to me because the original reason I feel Donald Trump was elected in the first place is because we, collectively, as Americans, are sick & tired of the way our nation’s capitol is being run. While the economic budget continues to balloon out of control, our government has not addressed important needs for its people.  Democrats and Republicans behave like children, pointing fingers and blaming the other. It’s really pretty pathetic and so…Donald Trump arrives and can clean it up…right? I mean…if you listen to HIM talk about himself…he can do ANYTHING he wants…right?

So…let’s clean up Washington. Drain that swamp. Get our country back on the right track. Just like he’s done for his personal business ventures like the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City or his Trump University which is, I’m sure, a place where someone can get an outstanding education and learn good judgement and wisdom! I mean…this guy can obviously fix it all and make America Great Again! Woohooooo!!!

But…he hasn’t. Here’s what MY common sense tells me. It tells me that Donald Trump is a con man. He’s not the savior of our country. He’s only done what Donald Trump does on a grand scale and that’s make matters worse. He has acerbated the situation in our country to such a degree that it is going to take YEARS to get our country back on the rails again. Was the pandemic his fault? Of course not..BUT…it was. He failed to expand the inventory of critical medical supplies, he failed to strengthen the CDC and he failed to help critical components of our national public health system. He ignored warnings, he lied to the public about it, he has tried to place blame on Dr. Anthony Fauci (who is the ONLY person I would have listened to in the case) and anyone else he can point a finger at, and he has discouraged the use of face masks and pushed dangerous, unproven drugs and remedies as a way to combat the virus.

It has been a circus from day one. And that’s just the coronavirus situation. 

Common sense. There is a lot to be said for having it. Through the years, you develop it as you go. I’ve had my parents, teachers and in many cases, my friends and coworkers, that have helped me develop mine. When I think of the last 1,320 days, my common sense does not tell me that we are doing pretty damn good. No…quite the opposite. MY common sense tells me that this has been a complete and utter disaster of the highest magnitude. Politics were bad enough BEFORE Donald Trump’s stay in the Oval Office. Now? It’s almost comical how bad it is. At least before there was familiarity to it. Politics have always been a topic that can spur debate and conversation. But now? I can’t even look my Trump supporting friends in their eyes anymore. To me…being a Trump supporter makes you a racist, a homophobe and someone who is unable to see the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

The last few years have not been okay. Not even a little bit. And MY common sense is pretty sure that I done a pretty good job of evaluating, judging and making an intelligent conclusion on Donald Trump and the ideology that he has brought to the White House. 

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