Can’t we all just get along? Part II

I really didn’t want to make a post like this one. I wanted to talk about Trump’s rhetoric about North Korea this past week, but the events in Charlottesville cannot go unnoticed. Well, I should clarify. They shouldn’t go unnoticed by me. The mainstream media has already had a field day with this. After all, it makes for good ratings.

First and foremost, the actions of that man that ran over counter-protestors is absolutely reprehensible. Anyone who somehow thinks that his actions were justified should be ashamed of themselves. The hate groups found on both sides of the political spectrum have the rights to speak their minds, but when they seek only to sow the seeds of divide, we must have the maturity to disregard those ideas. This is the price we pay for the many freedoms we have been granted. We have the freedom to follow whatever ideology we choose and speak however we want, but we also need to understand that hateful groups will be allowed to form because of these freedoms. It is up to the individual to decide which ideas to follow. We can only hope that he or she choose to believe in those ideas that promote the welfare of all Americans, as our founding fathers intended.

Now the one thing that doesn’t surprise me is all of the media blaming this event on every person who voted in Trump. After all, they’ve spent the entirety of the Trump presidency criticizing his agenda and supporters. You won’t be hard-pressed to find news articles, blog posts, and online comments condemning Trump supporters and their support of the President’s “bigoted, hateful message”. If you are one of the people that subscribes to that way of thinking, I suggest you read no further. After all, you’re probably immune to any counterpoint I’m about to share. If you’re of the type that is open to an opposing viewpoint, please continue.

For those pundits who want to condemn every Trump supporter for the actions of a few, that is your right. However, I would like to remind you of an event that happened not too long ago. Does the name Steve Scalise ring a bell? If not, he’s the representative that was hospitalized after a crazy Bernie Sanders supporter decided to shoot up a Republican baseball practice. If memory serves me correctly, Bernie Sanders was a pretty popular presidential candidate for the Democrats until he lost to Clinton in the primaries. Therefore, based upon the same logic being applied to Trump supporters, those who supported Bernie Sanders and any of his ideas also are in favor of shooting Republicans. If we’re going to play this game of blanket blaming, no situation should be immune from the same rules being used for Chalottesville. The funny thing is, I didn’t see any kind of articles condemning Bernie supporters shortly after the shooting.

This is a truly emotional time in our country. Let’s not let our emotions blind us to rational thought. Just look at the kinds of articles that came out after these two terrorist attacks. Why did the articles after the baseball practice shooting advocate for unity while the articles after Charlottesville called for a condemning of Trump supporters? Now, if we saw some more articles calling for unity, I might not dwell on the idea that one side is being favored over the other in this country. That in itself is a scary thought. I think the two-party system has failed us, but we cannot be tempted to follow a one-party system that promises to take care of its people, but only enriches its rulers. There’s a reason why the Soviet Union fell. There’s a reason why Venezuela is falling. The same fate will fall upon America if we choose to snuff out one side of the debate.

You don’t have to like conservative ideology. You can vote for your favorite liberal candidate the rest of your life. I don’t care. It doesn’t phase me. I have beliefs that encompass both sides of the political spectrum, as do a lot of my other friends and family. And guess what? Some of those people voted for Trump. What may be even more surprising is the fact that these people are average Americans who don’t care about another person’s creeds or colors. All they want out of life is to make a comfortable living for themselves and their families. They don’t want to start a war with their neighbors or terrorize the country. If it is impossible for you to believe that, then I’m sorry, but you are not contributing anything useful to the conversation. If you truly believe that every Trump supporter would maliciously mow down protestors and seeks to violently antagonize opposing viewpoints, then you need to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself a simple question: Am I looking for a way to unify the country or do I just want an excuse to hate?

 

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A Quick Rundown

Sorry for the absence. To be honest with you all, I’ve had a bit of writer’s block, but there’s been enough action in the past couple of weeks that I feel I can deliver you something semi-decent. So, for the first time ever here on The Armchair Conservative, we’re going to tackle a few issues for this post. Keep up if you can.

Mooch, we hardly knew ya

I’m going to miss Anthony Scaramucci. The guy was passionate, brash, and didn’t put up with crap from anybody. He was a perfect Trump-esque appointee to carry the mantle of shaking up Washington and force the politicians to maybe do their job for once. Hell, the guy was open about his mission to flush the leakers out of the White House, one by one. I’m sure Reince Priebus’s sudden resignation war merely coincidence after Scaramucci’s bold rhetoric. God, it looked like we were in for another crazy ride. Unfortunately, he only lasted ten days as the Communications Director and will probably end up as the subject of the last question on Jeopardy! one day. Theories abound as to the true reasons behind his firing. Most media outlets state that the new chief of staff John Kelly ordered Trump to remove Scaramucci. Your alternative media sources believe that Scaramucci was brought in to do Trump’s dirty job of getting rid of Priebus without causing an uproar. In my opinion, I think the true reason behind Scaramucci’s removal encompasses both of those theories. Scaramucci was bold, but he spent too much time shooting his mouth off to the wrong people, and even Trump knows when to be bold and when to be tactful. He accomplished his job of removing one major leak, but may have been too much of a live wire in the comms department. The only thing that really annoyed me about the whole affair was how every single major news outlet moaned about Scaramucci’s language. Every correspondent pitched a fit about Scaramucci’s foul mouth and how it was disgraceful to the tradition of the White House. Um, hello? The people voted in Trump because they’re tired of this lame “political tradition” that favors the politicians over the people. I feel like this is a simple concept to grasp, but I guess some people are still stuck on page one. It would have been great to see what this guy could have done. Shine on, Mooch, shine on.

The GOP drops the ball on Obamacare Repeal

The GOP is an absolute joke. For years under Obama, they touted that they would totally dismantle Obamacare and rebuild something better when they came back into power. Well, they finally got their power back in the House and Senate, and what did they do? They failed to repeal and replace Obamacare. They couldn’t even simply repeal it. The country goes red for Trump, and yet the Republicans act as if the Democrats are still running the country. These people are an absolute joke to their constituents. I mean, it’s no stretch of the imagination to say that the Democrats and Republicans are essentially just two sides of the same coin at this point. Both sides make promises to get elected, take some money from outside interests, vote based upon how their corporate sponsors want them to, and then they make up some crap excuses to make sure they can still get reelected by their respective districts. But, hey, that’s politics in a two-party system. The best thing that could come out of this Trump presidency is the dismantling of the Republican party and formation of a new conservative party based upon Trump-style beliefs: stronger borders, better deals, and putting the American citizen before anything else. Hey, a guy can dream, right? For now, I’ll accept new faces in the Republican party. These career “Republicans” are hardly what they claim to be. They failed their base in truly embarrassing fashion in terms of Obamacare repeal and the people of this country deserve better.

Immigration Reform

If you don’t know, the RAISE act is the latest bill in immigration reform that intends to reduce immigration by 50% and set up a merit-based immigration process where those who know English and have professional experience and education would be given priority. Of course, the REEEEEE-ing over this proposal could be heard around the country. After all, we are a nation of immigrants. Many of the members of the various immigration waves into this country came with nothing and were able to establish themselves. I’ll give some credit to that argument, but we are also not living in the same type of world. Illegal immigration is a major problem in this country. Illegal immigrants are not contributing to the tax pool, some are ending up in gangs and committing crimes, and they are taking jobs away from Americans. I know people will constantly chirp about how the illegal immigrants do the jobs that Americans don’t want to do, but that is absolute crap. An unskilled high school kid who wants to work would gladly take on some of these labor jobs. At the end of the day, this reform is fulfilling the idea of America First. This nation can barely take care of its own, yet we’re supposed to take in and care for anybody who washes up on shore or jumps a fence? That’s a wonderful thought for a utopia, but we’re still living in the real world. We can’t forsake the welfare of our own countrymen simply to feel good about helping another population that may or may not want to fully integrate into American society. If a country can’t take care of its own people, how can it expect to survive?

I think that’s enough to digest for now. I’m not sure when the next post will be, but if I need to do a little political venting or extremely light analysis, you loyal readers will be the first to know.

The Laughing Dox of the Media World

Oh my, is it great to watch CNN crash and burn in the most beautiful way. If you’re a frequent purveyor of this blog and/or a big Trump fan, I’m sure you share my sentiment of pure satisfaction at watching this biased, lying, poor excuse for a media corporation find more and more ways to attach themselves to the “fake news” label. I feel like the slow burn started about two or three weeks ago with the Project Veritas videos showing CNN producers admitting that the Russia story is completely fake and is just for ratings. Now, those were great videos, but I feel that Project Veritas is still confined to the conservative corner of the internet, so the mainstream guys and girls really were not too concerned. However, the doxxing story that came out this past week was the catalyst that finally revealed CNN for what it truly is: propaganda disguised as news.

This doxxing story has been picked up and heard about all over the internet, so I really won’t bore you with the details. All you have to know is that CNN blackmailed a private citizen simply because he made a meme showing the president beating the crap out of a CNN logo, and the internet had no sympathy. Within hours, a million more similar memes were created. Within a day, the reviews for the CNN app dropped from four stars all the way down to one. I wish you could all view the screenshots that many people circulated of the one-star reviews, but google made sure to delete them, so nothing to see there anymore. How did CNN respond? The same way they do any time they can’t spin a story in their favor. They just didn’t talk about it.

Now, I will get off my high-energy boasting for just a second to talk about what really scares me about this story. I still cannot believe that a private corporation blackmailed a private citizen of the United States. I’m sure that things like this have been going on for years. I’m not going to act naive on the subject. However, I just am astounded that a corporation literally threatened to dox a private citizen right out in the open. That is such a bold move that frankly, I don’t even know how to interpret it. I’m not sure if they thought they were taking a gamble and hoping that people would be on their side and encourage the doxxing, or if they were just so overly confident in their own perception of power that they really could not see any negative consequences of threatening a citizen over Twitter. I’m glad that the internet gave a resounding “NO” to CNN and proceeded to mock them relentlessly, but there were a still few people that tried to justify CNN’s actions.

These people started up a thread that appeared towards the front page of Reddit the other day that talked about this citizen’s post history. In past posts, he encouraged doxxing, so the posters on this thread proceeded to justify CNN’s actions by saying that the meme-maker deserved to be doxxed. This blows my mind that there are people in this country who can still find some way to paint CNN as more of a victim in this situation. We are talking about a private corporation essentially telling someone what he or she is allowed to think. And these CNN defenders are the people still calling themselves “liberals.” Huh? This country was built on freedom of speech. True, there is no freedom from consequences of your free speech, but surely, the founding fathers would have a few issues with a business trying to act as the free-speech police. There is no way you can paint an argument that puts CNN on the good side, at least if you truly believe in the freedoms that an American citizen is entitled to. As CNN has proven this week, they are nothing more a propaganda arm that uses its money and coverage to harass citizens and stay on message no matter the cost to itself or the American citizen. Or at least that seems to be the game plan from this point forward.

I know that CNN will not disappear overnight. They have been pulling the wool over our eyes for years and as a result, they have the power and resources to play this situation out for many years. At least having President Trump in office has exposed CNN and other media networks as the deceivers that they truly are so that we can turn our attention elsewhere. I really hope that this story sets into motion a media revolution. There are so many independent blogs and news stations that are engaging in actual journalism and trying to report the stories with as little bias as possible. Those are the people that deserve our money and our time. Hell, we might actually get back to an era where listening or watching the news actually kept you informed on facts rather than opinions.

So if you’re out at the gym, your favorite coffee shop, or any other locale that shows CNN nonstop, do your duty as a free citizen of this wonderful country, and CHANGE THE CHANNEL. This country has no room for the thought-police or their spiteful pundits. Oh, and one more thing: don’t tell CNN I wrote this. I don’t want to be next on the hit list.

 

 

Can’t we all just get along?

There’s a lot of thoughts going through my mind as I type this post. I really hope I can string together something that will stick to our main topic today, but it might be tough because I’m not sure where to even start dissecting the problem. I’m not going to be witty with this introduction. A bunch of republicans were shot up by some nutcase Bernie supporter this past week. Representative Scalise is still day-to-day on his recovery, and the media has moved on to continue their report on the completely fake “Russia” scandal. I am not one of those people who can simply move on from this politically motivated crime, and it has me truly worried about the state of politics in this country. Can we ever come back to a point where we can just tolerate each other for our different political beliefs?

Now don’t think I’m turning into some hippy over here. I’m still a conservative, and I’ll continue to criticize liberal ideals that I find far-fetched. However, I will never try to prevent a person from expressing their liberal views. I will never try to target a person simply because he or she didn’t vote for the same candidate that I did. I will never try to incite violence against non-conservatives. I will never do any of these things simply because they are not moral things to do. Every person has a right to live their life in the best way that he or she can, so long as it is not detrimental to the well-being of another. It is this spirit of individuality that continues to make us all unique from one another and allows us to continue fostering progress for our species through the exchange of different ideas and philosophies. That’s how this wonderful nation was formed in the first place. Where has that spirit gone?

I don’t know the answer to that question. Frankly, I wish we could return to a state of healthy debate. If everything was completely conservative, we would lose that sense of empathy for the suffering of others. If everything was completely liberal, the government would hold the ultimate sway over its people and their livelihoods. We cannot hope to improve our society by blaming the other side and refusing to come to the other side. However, it seems that the media wants us to move away from that ideal. Facebook got in trouble a few years back for encouraging its news team to push conservative articles to bottom of their “Top News” list. Buzzfeed lost all credibility when it published a false report during the campaign that was meant to scandalize Trump. CNN continues to push a fake Russia collusion story that is now seven months in the making with no solid evidence. As opposed to reporting on facts, these media sources use their coverage to push agendas. Anything that would oppose the reports is ignored or under-reported. If you’re a conservative, the big-time media sources are not your friend.

Hell, it seems that if you’re a conservative in today’s America, you’re just a target. Don’t believe me? Shakespeare in the Park put on a wonderful production of “Julius Caesar” over the weekend where the role of Caesar was played by a Donald Trump lookalike. Nothing says “art” quite like the stabbing of a live Trump effigy. Don’t be too concerned though. The production company assured everyone that this play was not meant to incite violence against the President. That’s a relief. Well, looks like the theater isn’t a good place to go. Maybe a conservative like myself should just stick to pro-Trump rallies. Hopefully ANTIFA doesn’t show up. You know, ANTIFA? The group that dresses all in black, wears masks, and takes pride in beating up those crazy right-wingers. Their attacks on pro-Trump marches have had varying degrees of “success” in terms of damage to persons and property. I’m sure they’re all good people who are up for a healthy debate after they try to set your MAGA hat on fire.

Don’t take this piece as a condemnation of liberals. I have plenty of liberal friends and know that most people’s political views will not suddenly cause them to stop treating their fellow man with respect and dignity. Rather, I’m writing this post to try to say that politics isn’t and shouldn’t be the only thing we use to judge each other’s worth. Disagreement is a healthy thing, so long as it does not become toxic. I think what we’re seeing in this country is a media that is furthering the divide between liberal and conservative through its malicious and opinion-driven reporting. They want to see toxic disagreement because it’s good for business. Everyone loves a little drama after all.

If you’re reading this, I urge you not to get caught up in the media hype. If you’re truly passionate about political beliefs, then ask yourself why you believe or don’t believe in certain ideals, and don’t use the same answer that some media pundit gave. Furthermore, ask yourself if you are able to accept anyone who has an idea that goes against yours. If you are incapable of accepting a differing opinion, then look inwardly. The problem may not be the politician. It may be you. And if you really think that violence against your fellow citizens will solve your political grievances, then just go see your local counselor.

The Do-Nothing Tour 2017

Yesterday, Ariana Grande and her pals came back to Manchester to do a benefit concert for the victims of the Manchester bombing a few weeks back. I read a Rolling Stone article today talking about the event. According to the writer, there was more hope than fear and a true feeling of unity among the concertgoers. The performers gave heart-felt speeches about not giving into fear and turning to love instead. Those are great messages and I’m glad that a benefit was put together to help out the victims of the terrorist attack that occurred at Ariana Grande’s original concert. However, what did this benefit concert really accomplish? Are singing and performing pop hits going to raise the dead or prevent further attacks? The intentions behind these kinds of acts are good, but they really are not accomplishing anything more than a light atonement for the atrocities that seem to be occurring across the world daily.

I’m reminded of an episode of South Park where all the hippies come into town and hold a concert to solve all of the world’s problems. Stan and Kyle buy into the hype of using love to change the world, but then quickly realize that all the hippies want to do is smoke weed and talk about changing the world without actually doing anything. I feel that this concert was almost identical to that hippie concert. We had Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and others get up on stage and talk about how love can cure all the world’s problems. That would be a great idea to buy into if only it were true. We cannot forget that less than 24 hours before these statements were made, a van mowed down civilians in London and the assailants decided to up the ante by going on a little stabbing rampage afterwards. Sounds like these guys forgot to get their tickets to the show.

Like I said earlier, the intentions behind these acts are good, but I feel that these celebrities just don’t get what the common man and woman are facing in modern society. It’s easy for a celebrity to preach about love and acceptance when they’re surrounded by armed bodyguards and live behind gated mansions in gated communities. They are insulated from the terrorism that is inflicted upon the commoners. You think Katy Perry is grabbing the train to catch Ariana Grande’s show? You think Justin Bieber is walking across London Bridge to get to where he needs to go? At the end of the day, it feels good to go to a concert like this. It feels good to talk about love and believe that it really can conquer all. However, love is not going to stop the increase of terrorism across Europe. Simply because something sounds and feels good, that doesn’t mean that the sentiment is actually accomplishing something.

I’d buy more into this One Love Manchester movement if Ariana Grande suddenly started to advocate for more counter-terrorism training for law officers and security guards. I’d be really impressed if Katy Perry put up money to various state departments in order to beef up vetting procedures for people coming into various countries. If Justin Bieber told his fans to take self-defense classes to lessen their chances of becoming victims, then I’d start to pay attention. It’s easier to get up on stage and do a little dance than to put in the effort to advocate for a position. Celebrities enjoy a higher status in society and hold influence over the population. If these celebrities actually made concrete efforts to bolster the resources available to those fighting against terrorism, then maybe their fans would follow suit and we might actually see some changes. Simply getting the crowd to raise their hands as a symbol of hope and defiance is not going to stop some nutcase from blowing themselves up two blocks down the road.

Maybe I’m taking a highly unpopular opinion by being disappointed with this whole benefit concert thing. After all, these kinds of events make people feel really good. But I don’t see any changes. Attacks keep happening across England and Europe. Families are being torn apart. Innocent people are being caught in the crosshairs of a battle that some politicians aren’t willing to acknowledge. In my mind, these events are just distractions. People go to them, put in their donations, hold hands, maybe shed a few tears, and then they go home. If we want to see real change, the people are going to have to get out in the streets and call their policy makers to act as opposed to going to pop concerts.

I really hope that we see some change. I really hope that people can feel safe again. I really hope we don’t have to see a 2017 Benefit Concert World Tour. I’m not a big fan of pop music anyway.

Lessons Learned

This week, I’m doing something a little different. I’m not going to be discussing politics. Rather, I’m starting to see a trend with my summers being times of great change for me, so I figured I’d do a little self-reflection. As I’m growing up, I’m learning new things about the world and I figured I’d list what I’ve learned so far. By no means are these guidelines by which you should live your life, but if you read something you like, feel free to amend that lesson to fit your own journey through life. Anyways, let’s get started.

Make time for your family and friends. Life is hard and only ever seems to get harder with new challenges and responsibilities presenting themselves almost daily. At some point, the stress will just be too much for one person to handle alone. That is where your family and friends come in. I can’t tell you how many times I was succumbing to the stresses of my own life, but hanging out with a friend or talking to a family member suddenly made those stresses manageable. I gained a new perspective and solved the problems from solutions born out of friendly and loving guidance. If you make time for your family and friends, they will make time for you. Most things in our lives can be easily taken away, but the camaraderie and love a person shares with their friends and family are bonds that can never be broken, no matter the pressures applied.

Appreciate the little things. Now, I haven’t had too many major life experiences. I’m still in my mid-20s after all. However, the ones I have had so far, I can’t seem to remember. I don’t remember any of the proms I went to. I don’t remember my high school or college graduations. I barely remember how I came to getting my first job or the first week of living on my own. The things I do remember though are almost trivial. I remember waking up mornings after long nights of drinking and stumbling into the kitchen to talk with my roommates about the night’s previous events. I remember sitting at my kitchen table with my friends and discussing current events over a pot of coffee. I remember sharing some memories with my brother and dad over beers at a Winking Lizard in downtown Cleveland. I can tell you the best places to run at the local park and what time the annual Thanksgiving yoga session starts. We spend so much time hyping up the major events that we completely forget to take in the emotion and memories of those events. However, with the little things that happen in our lives, we don’t have that hype getting in the way. We can appreciate the time spent with the friends who accompanied us during those times. We can appreciate the emotions. We can appreciate the laughs and the rants. In those moments, we just appreciate the fact that there’s more to life than the daily grind.

Don’t be afraid to change your life motto. I went on a job interview a couple of weeks ago, and the HR person asked me, “What is your life motto?” I was taken aback for a couple of seconds because I had never really been asked that question. After a few seconds of thinking, I answered, “Don’t be afraid to take a risk.” I never would have said that a year ago. My life philosophy changed last summer and it woke me up to the fact that I needed to start living more positively. I needed to be proactive in doing things that would benefit my own life and the lives of those around me. It was a scary change at first, but I’ve found that I’ve come to embrace it more as my life journey continues. If something happens in your life that goes against what you believe in, don’t be afraid to change your world view. Life constantly changes and we need to adapt in order to set ourselves up to be the very best people that we can be. The change can be intimidating at first, but stick with it, and I think you’ll find a change in your life motto can be a highly rewarding experience.

Everyone’s got a timer. Don’t let it frighten you. Let it motivate you. This lesson’s a little more morbid, but unfortunately, death is just a part of life and one day, we’ll all reach the end of the road. Rather than dwell on that negative end, I try to use it as a tool to get the most out of my life. I know that life is short, so I try to live mine as best as I can. I make sure to take in the things that make me happy. I make sure to share laughs with my friends. I make sure to get plenty of coffee. I make time for writing and am in the process of learning to play the guitar. I never shy away from a brew or two and am still down for a night out on the town that probably won’t be remembered. Those are the things that make me happy so I enjoy them as much as I can. That has helped me the most in the life and when I meet my end, I can look back with a smile on my face.

Look to grow as much as you can. Part of the joy of life is improving ourselves. In fact, I think that may be one of the major factors that has allowed human life to continue to this point. As much as staying in our comfort zones, is well, comfortable, we need to venture outside of our boundaries every once in a while. Once we venture past that boundary marker, we can keep expanding our limits. Eventually, we’ll reach a point where something that made us uncomfortable is now just a second thought. That’s progress and enables you to continue seeking out the best that life has to offer. Sometimes this process can be trying, but once we take the first step, the rest of the journey is a whole lot easier and we’ll usually learn something profound about ourselves in the process.

I’d like to end this piece with the closing line from one of my favorite songs. The song is called “If Only You Were Lonely” and it’s performed by The Replacements. The line goes, “And somewhere there’s a smile with my name on it.” I think I’m finding mine, or maybe I already found it. I hope you find yours too.

 

Ignorance 101

With graduation season upon us, I’d like to say congrats to all of the members of the class of 2017. I hope you all find success in your future endeavors and learn from the many mistakes you’ll make on your respective journeys. In keeping with this theme of graduating, I’d like to bring everyone’s attention to what happened at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony this past weekend. As I’m sure you’re all aware, Vice President Mike Pence was asked to give the commencement speech to the graduating seniors and shortly after his speech began, a decent sized group of students decided that they would walk out on their own graduation ceremony. Of course, your typical left-leaning media outlets made sure to get video and portrayed them as true patriots. I made the mistake of looking at the Facebook comments attached to one of the circulating videos and of course the majority response was that these students were so brave for protesting the monster that the media knows as Mike Pence. It’s too bad that after all the years spent at school studying and socializing, these kids still haven’t learned a damn thing about the real world.

I remember the commencement speaker at my college graduation. He wasn’t some hotshot celebrity or world leader. He was a successful businessman who started his own network security company. I wasn’t blown away by the speech. To tell you the truth, I thought it was a little long-winded, but I still listened. Why? Because this guy created something great from his own mind and ingenuity. He had the drive to take a risk, make mistakes, learn from said mistakes, and create something better than he had originally envisioned. Isn’t that the type of guy you would want to hear from when you’re about to set foot into the real working world? Even if you’re only half-listening to that kind of speech, your ears will have to hear at least one line that will stop and make you think about your own future. When you’re a graduating senior leaving the safety net that is school, you need all the inspirational lines you can get. So Notre Dame steps up to the plate and gets the freaking Vice President to deliver that note of inspiration. Mike Pence holds the second highest office in the land, so I would assume he has a few stories of triumphs and failures that could be used to impart wisdom on young minds. As opposed to setting aside their political views for one minute to perhaps gain a nugget of knowledge they didn’t posses yet, some students made the selfish decision to leave and demonstrate their own terrible ignorance and arrogance.

I’m not criticizing the action of walking out. As I’ve stated in my previous posts, I believe wholeheartedly in the first amendment. However, an action like this is so dumb that I have to question if these students learned anything at all. College is supposed to be a place of higher learning. This is the place where people and ideas of all varying backgrounds and convictions interact with one another. Old ideas are challenged. New insights are obtained. Perhaps a new world view is born. Perhaps an old one is better justified. And yet, colleges are no longer encouraging this kind of behavior. They are saying that only certain ideas are allowed. If someone challenges your view, you are no longer expected to defend it. Now you can just claim the opposing viewpoint as hate speech and retreat to one of many convenient “safe spaces” that your campus has set up. This kind of action is not helping these students grow. It’s merely demonstrating to them that it’s perfectly okay to block out any viewpoints you don’t like. If you don’t believe me, look at what happened at UC Berkeley when Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter tried coming to town. The students rioted and used the visits as an excuse to damage property and attack Trump supporters. They committed felonies simply because they didn’t like what these polarizing conservative speakers had to say. But here’s the catch. Neither person even got to speak! How can you protest (riot) against a viewpoint that you haven’t even heard yet? With behavior like this, it is obvious that some of the students leaving colleges today are simply overgrown children. They are ignorant to the viewpoints that go against their own philosophies and when one of these opposing viewpoints directly confronts them, they choose to throw hissy fits in the form of riots, protests, and labeling certain views as hate speech.

Mike Pence spoke for one minute before some Notre Dame students started to file out. I watched the film and unless I saw a doctored copy, it seems that in that first minute, Pence only did the typical introduction stuff. What did he say that was so horrible that some students couldn’t bear to listen to the rest of the speech? Oh, CNN’s telling me he’s just a monster. Now I understand. These students should be ashamed of themselves. They are so caught up in their own philosophies and have never been told that some of their philosophies are wrong. They’ve only been coddled when they’ve been challenged on their beliefs. The real world doesn’t care about feelings. It cares about your contributions. My fear for this group of students is that they are so out of touch with opposition that when they face it for the first time, they will not be able to cope. Colleges are not doing any favors by encouraging comfort when debate is a better option. If we truly want a great nation, we need input from everybody. Viewpoints must be debated. Negotiations must be made. That is how we make progress. Silencing the opposition is not productive.

To those students who sat through Mike Pence’s address, I thank you. Thank you for actually trying to learn one last lesson from a successful American before you venture out on your own. To those students of the liberal variety who stuck around, I thank you even more. Thank you for not trying to be cool and edgy by walking out of your own commencement ceremony simply because you didn’t like who was talking. Thank you for listening to another viewpoint that may have clashed with yours. You are the type of students that still make me hopeful for the next generation. To the students who chose to walk out, it seems you have learned nothing at all. When opposition comes calling, you choose to walk away as opposed to putting your own philosophies to the test. Ignorance to conservative viewpoints may be cool in college, but probably won’t get you too far in the working world. I have one last suggestion to these students. If you’re planning to go out to eat to celebrate your graduation, make sure to ask for a kid’s menu. You’re not mature enough for the adult one yet.