Note: As I stated in my last entry, this next portion of my journey will cover what I experienced in my political shift during the early summer, fall, and winter of 2016. If you, the reader, have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment and tell me what your concern is. Thank you, and please enjoy.
My 9th grade year had ended, and a long summer full of fun and conventions ensued. First off, Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2016 race, much to the anger of his supporters and the delight of his detractors. I personally thought this was a good thing: bottom line was, no more Bernie. This made me pretty satisfied; my fellow students, it seemed, supported Sanders. Frankly, this was a huge annoyance. I see the irony, however: Most of these young kids, rather than going for the more younger Martin O’Malley, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, instead favored the three oldest candidates in the race! What was even more ironic was that two of those three, Sanders and Trump, seemed to have more energy than the other candidates! I really don’t care about the age factor, though. What I care most about is the candidate’s ideas. While Grandpa Sanders was promoting a politician ideology which hadn’t worked in every country it had been tried in, Trump had been promoting a different mindset; one without PCness, a culture of ‘I don’t care if it is offensive; it needs to be said’. With young people, you’d think our rebellious spirit would gravitate towards this. However, the opposite seemed to occur. I questioned this. How could a young-person-focus type of campaign be so unpopular among young people? Maybe, just maybe, it was because of one big roadblock in their life: Teachers. Was it the teachers’ fault for the stagnation of GOP support in my school? Or, was it that the students simply didn’t like Trump? I personally thought the former, but I’m sure those in education will argue the latter. However, I pose another question: When the educational system, the mainstream news, and politicians all tell you someone or something is bad, are you going to really pay attention to your own personal thought, or will you just go along with the establishment’s ideals? That’s a question for you to answer.
With late July and early August, came the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Oh boy, do I love those conventions! Five nights of speeches from both parties’ dominant ideological viewpoints (Libertarian & Conservative >> Republican; Liberal & Socialistic >> Democrats) and at the end of it, the party’s candidate? Could a political nerd be happier? I think not.
Keeping up with my tradition, my grandfather and I watched both conventions when we could. We saw Ted Cruz’s shamble of an endorsement of the Right, Marco’s speech, David Clarke’s “Blue Lives Matter” speech, and even Scott Walker’s speech. The convention was, in a matter of words, awesome. However, the only issue I had with it was that some of the speakers, like Ted Cruz, didn’t seem to get the memo. Another issue was that most of the speakers said, “Our next U.S. President!”. I personally avoided saying such a statement, as I had personally experienced the tragedy of “calling the game before it was over”. When you did that, your chances of failure usually doubled, if not rose substantially. The convention, in my eyes, was run in order to galvanize and convince the Republican right of why they should support Trump and his bid for the Presidency. In my mind, if I had run the RNC’s convention and had had a copy of Cruz’s speech, I would have dis-invited him from speaking. However, that’s not very nice, and restriction of speech for me is kind of a ground-breaking issue; I don’t support heavy restriction on speech, and never really have. Mike Pence’s speech, which I had originally thought wouldn’t be anything special, was great. This man was definitely a shining light for Christians on the Right; while Donald Trump, who was arguably not a religious man himself, was a loose cannon (that’s not always a bad thing), Mike Pence was almost his complete opposite. This man was a great ticket-balancer for our side, and it was another point which secured my support for Trump even further.
The week after the RNC ended, the Democratic National Convention was held. While I support political party differences (there should be more than one country which rules this country), I personally thought the DNC was a complete disaster. While the RNC was kicked off with an energetic prayer/speech from Pastor Mark Burns, the DNC was sent off by a woman who was a reverend Cynthia Hale, who’s speech was interrupted by crowd jeering when she dared to mention the party’s nominee. While the Republicans had issues on the floor rules, and maybe some speeches which didn’t go over so well, the DNC out-competed it on controversies. Yeah, Melania may have copied Michelle’s speech, but at least she didn’t fall asleep during her husband’s address. Yes, while the anti-Ted Cruz people did boo him when he refused to mention the party’s nominee, at least they didn’t interrupt the opening prayer. In fact, Bernie’s supporters were so numerous in the DNC that, when he gave his address, they started chanting his name and some other slogans. Am I saying the RNC has never had issues, or less issues with it’s convention? No. In 1976, Reagan himself tried to change the convention rules in order to get more delegates to his side. Then, his speech that year at the Convention didn’t really endorse Ford; it was a rally for his supporters. In contrast, Bill Clinton, who’d given a speech at the DNC as well, droned on and on. In fact, when he’d said, “In conclusion,” the audience had burst into sarcastic applause. Even when he’d given his speech in 2016, he droned on and on about his love life with Hillary. Now, again, I’m not saying the RNC was perfect; I’m just stating, I think the Republican’s convention was a lot more interesting.
Then there was also the Libertarian National Convention. Originally, I was as pumped as for the other conventions, despite all of their bumps and mishaps. However, all of that shattered when I saw the Fox News story that the party’s front-runner, Gary Johnson, had stripped at the convention. At first, I thought it was some kind of satirical spin; however, when they played the video of Johnson parading around in almost nothing, my worst fears came true. Now, I’m not one to attribute convention activity to a party; even if the DNC had shown it’s divided state, that didn’t mean Hillary was a neutralized threat. But, this took the cake. I liked a three-way fight as much as the next guy, but Johnson’s actions at his convention lowered his status in my eyes. From that day onward, I couldn’t take anyone who considered voting for Johnson seriously.
FINDING A MESSAGE
About two weeks before my 10th grade school year began, I found Anthony Brian Logan on YouTube. And, ironically enough, I found him through commentary on Ben Carson’s speech at the RNC nearly a month before. Logan branded himself as a “Common Sense Conservative”. Personally, I can’t explain the “Common Sense” part of his belief system, since, from what I’ve seen, “Common Sense” has become a subjective viewpoint; nevertheless, I still agreed with a majority of Anthony’s beliefs. After the events in 9th grade, I had lost the ability to imagine an African American could be a conservative. I know, I know; it’s as racist as it sounds. However, you need to see where I’m coming from: Up until that point, the only black conservatives that I knew of were Pastor Mark Burns, Ben Carson, and Logan. Logan, though, broke that pre-conceived notion, and gave me hope that I needed in that time.
Logan was much more optimistic about November 8th than I was. Many in the #MAGA movement were. Me, my grandfather, my grandmother, most in my school-none of us expected a full Republican win.
Pre-election day rolled around, and the attitudes of my teachers were mixed. My English teacher told us, “Do your reasearch when you vote. Know who they are, and what they want.” Pretty non-partisan, until she followed up with, “Because some people in this race are trying to buy their way to office. Know who you’re voting for.” Then, onto my Science teacher. His speech was the best I’d ever heard. He didn’t mention a candidate’s name, he didn’t mention their platforms, and he certainly didn’t endorse a party. Instead, he warned us against voting without being smart about it; he wanted us to know who we were going to vote for (in the future; none of us were the proper age to legally vote at that time), why, and what our reasons for voting for them instead of the other candidate were. I don’t recall what my History teacher said, but I do know it was along those docile lines.
As I and my grandparents went to bed that night, we didn’t think the Donald would win. We were all hopeful-I can reassure you of that. But, I don’t think we expected anything good out of it.
ELECTION NIGHT 2016
On the day of election, I’ll be honest: I wasn’t expecting a Trump win. Did I want one? Yes. Did I think it’d be great if he won? Yes. Did I think he had a chance against Hillary? The chances, in my eyes, were less than half. Both of my grandparents, too, shared my opinion, as well as a few other friends of mine. Our expectations probably went along the lines of, “Boy, it’d be great if he beat her on November 8th. Buuuut, the chances of that actually happening are slim, if not any at all.” I knew of several others who weren’t optimistic of the future, like me. Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder, and a slew of late-night comedians shared part of my sentiment. I can say this as well: At least a full sixth of Trump’s entire final vote tally were made up of disgruntled Americans who’d voted for him simply because they didn’t want Hillary in office. Now, there were others who shared my opposite sentiment. Styx, Anthony, and a few Senators were at least approaching something of confidence in their hopeful’s chance at election.
So, I get home from church at around 8:00 that night, and my phone immediately started to blow up with notifications. “Trump wins these seven states”, “Hillary wins these five states”, you get what I mean. At first, I was not surprised. Texas? That was a given. Tennessee? Okay, could have predicted that. Utah? Are you kidding me? All of the states the two candidates were winning had been projected in their favor by countless “experts” days before. In fact, there were some the pundits hadn’t projected Trump would win; Iowa and North Carolina, as well as Florida, were unexpected. Then, certain states flipped. Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida-all three had been “battleground” states, and all three had went red. People believe the combination of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan were what won Trump his Presidency. The fact that these states went red themselves were sort of shocking to the everyday citizen. While Michigan was indeed a blue collar state (that demographic went mostly for Trump), it had several Democratic strongholds like Wayne, Kalamazoo, Genesee, Washtenaw, Oakland, Ingham (all of these counties had a major Clinton lead; Oakland being the smallest with nearly a 7-point lead, and Wayne being the biggest with a nearly 47-point lead). Macomb, however, went red. This was surprising to me and my friend, as we were both from there, and because Macomb county was a heavy Democrat-leaning city. In some places in Michigan, it was a complete blowout in either side; in Detroit, for example, Trump only garnered 4% of the vote, while Clinton won +90% of the vote. In Clam Union Township, Trump won 81% of the vote, and Clinton clenched 11%. But, the entire state nearly went red. While Clinton may have dominated in many cities statewide, she only won 8 counties. This was a complete upset; Obama won 17 counties, and the state, in 2012.
THE NEXT MORNING, OR, THE AFTERMATH
After I arrived back at my house that night, my phone had informed me that Trump had won nearly 10 states, and Clinton had not been far behind him. I went to bed that night, still not sure my hopeful would win. Then, at 2 a.m. on November 9th, it happened. I woke up, and checked my phone. Trump had passed the 270 margin, and had won. I personally could not believe it. What had happened? Clinton, the powerhouse of the Democratic Party-everything had flipped on it’s head. This election had been one to remember, one to study, and one to debate. In all sense of the word, it had been historic. I’ll tell you one thing: It had also been impossible. God’s hand had indeed been on Trump this time. With everything the man had said, how he had been covered in the media, and how powerful the Clinton machine had been-what had transpired was the biggest upset in the history of an election involving Clinton herself.
The fallout from the Democratic Party had been hilarious, too. If you look it up on YouTube, there are probably 5 or 6 videos on the reactions from the media alone. I’m not one for watching disasters happen, but CNN’s meltdown was almost laughable. Various commentators, with their sad faces, and their trembling voices, was one sight to see indeed. Especially as a person who this media had reported as “violent”, “deplorable”, and “the dregs of society”-it was poetic justice. And as I said before, I was one, like Ben Shapiro and Steven Crowder, who’d thought it was over for the GOP. Unlike Anthony Brian Logan or Styxhexenhammer, or others, I was not optimistic. My personal mindset was that this was not going to be a good election, and that whatever happened, we needed to respect the winning person. But then again, my side won and their side didn’t.
FALLOUT IN MY SPHERE
School was great the next morning. Among my friends at the time, the expressions were mixed. From one corner of them, they were happy Trump had won. Another person wanted to move on from it. And, from one specific friend, well…I personally didn’t ever find out his true feeling on the situation.
My teacher’s reaction…oh my goodness-it was glorious. In my English class, the teacher first said, “Well, I guess we all saw that you can indeed buy your way into the Presidency.” (By the way, the Clinton campaign spent the Trump campaign more, by a big margin; so that argument is more like, “Well, I guess we can see that you can buy yourself a loss”). Then she followed up with, “This is what our children have to look up to. This is now how our country will look. Did you watch the debates? Did you see what they said? That’s what our children will model now.” (I must ask: How many kids do you know who actually paid attention to this election? (And no, it doesn’t count if you got them interested in it). And, I’ll inform you right now: While Trump had said some inflammatory things, this teacher had said some inflammatory things, as well as said some swear words in class. Political grandstanding yourself kind of backfires when you turn out to be a complete hypocrite). A third part of this problematic argument is: If you aren’t respecting the authority in place as the partner, what chance does respect have of skipping a generation and finding a place in your kids? As it has been said before, parenting is more caught than taught. So, even if you, the teacher, are perfect, if you’re not respecting authority, then, must I ask, will your students do so, too?
The outrage from my Social Studies teacher, though, really took the cake. First, he started off his speech by shouting (bad omens ahead), and began a diatribe about his “friends”: “I have friends who are gay! I have friends who are Muslim!” (The next part will be heavily paraphrased, as I can’t remember his exact words. Nothing will be overblown, or taken to another extreme) “What are they going to do? What will happen to them? Will they have a place in this America? Will they be accepted?” This was hilarious. First off, stop crying. I have friends who are both too. Just because you have certain friends in certain groups doesn’t make you special, or anything close to being an authority to speak for them. Second, this whole notion that ‘the gays and Muslims will be targeted’ is total nonsense. As we can all see from our place now in this timeline of history, the only threat that’s even been thought of as such has been the so called ‘Muslim ban’. And, the only reason that ban was placed was in order to lower the threat of possible terrorism. (Look up ‘Muslim ban’ on YouTube along with the phrase ‘Anthony Brian Logan’, or ‘Steven Crowder’ if you want my source of information on that). The ‘threat’ to Mexicans comes in a form of the wall, if you follow the liberal news media. First off, for comparisons to the Berlin Wall: No one in history who wants a free society would EVER want a wall like THAT one. All Conservatives can agree on that, right? Second, the Wall in Berlin SPLIT the city in half, not PROTECTED the city from outside threats. While I do agree that a wall will not protect us all from EVERY threat, (A nuclear missile can easily fly over any and all terrain) I believe that argument is a straw man churned out by the Left. Anybody with a brain knows one solution will not fix all problems, especially not a solution come up by a human. But, the wall is also a symbol of our nation’s awesomeness, as well as it’s authority and rule of our land. It defines our borders, and gives us a reason to defend them. Many of these people who criticized it in the media don’t get that America has been defending the world from itself for 200 years, and, if we stop being a nation without a reason to stand, we stop being a nation worth defending.