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.

Come-y at me, bro!

One of the things I love most about the Trump presidency is its unpredictable nature. I’m so used to seeing typical politicians doing typical politician things: kissing ass, giving overly complicated speeches, and failing to act on a problem when it’s staring them right in the face. Then Trump comes along and says, “Screw those rules and let’s get our hands dirty.” So far, we’ve seen Tomahawk missiles, a MOAB, better relations with China, and an actual response to a certain obese North Korean dictator’s brash threats. Are we tired of winning yet? Apparently not, because Trump has finally started to come through on his promise to drain the swamp. James Comey, you’re fired!

I think one of the greatest things about this action is how it was actually done. Comey didn’t even know it was coming. Better yet, the disgraced former FBI director found out he was fired right in the middle of speech he was giving to some new agency recruits. Oh, the irony! The head honcho is shown the door right in front of the faces of the FBI’s future. These moves that Trump is making are just so perfect. Not only was this an ultimate “Screw You” play, but I think it was a message to the new guys and girls that if they want to play politics while trying to enforce the law, they’re going to be quickly shown the exit.

I don’t think it’s any surprise that Comey and Trump weren’t exactly great pals. I mean, one minute this guy’s saying that Hillary’s e-mail scandal should be investigated and the next minute he’s saying that everyone needs to drop it. And then the next minute, he’s saying that the investigation should continue. But then after that, he’s all about investigating the Trump-Russia “connection.” This guy couldn’t even keep his own investigation objectives in order and here he was leading the entire FBI. No wonder he was shown the door.

Now the thing I still don’t understand about the firing of James Comey is why the left is suddenly so upset. I thought they hated the guy. After all, he did decide to reopen the investigation into Hillary’s e-mails only a few weeks before the election. What a scumbag! He actually attempted to redeem himself and do his job by investigating a scandal that still stank of corruption and lies. That is a troubling thought, isn’t it? Every media outlet was calling for his head. And then Hillary lost. Instantly, Comey was blamed for the loss. How dare he make everyone remember that Hillary most likely did some shady things when she was Secretary of State. It was time for this snake in the grass to be stomped out.

Six months later, Trump actually gave those people what they asked for and stomped out that snake. The left responded in the usual manner: impeachment.

I really am starting to think that the left just can’t be happy with anything Trump-related. The crowd for this past week’s Colbert taping cheered when Colbert mentioned that Comey had been fired. Don’t worry, Colbert quickly corrected the audience’s mistake by mentioning that the Comey firing was actually a bad thing. Unlike Comey’s empty promises, at least I can still rely on the media to maintain its manufactured narratives, even if those narratives come back to bite them. The obvious propaganda and ubiquitous Trump bashing is starting to wake people up. At least, I hope it is. I can only imagine the headache involved with trying to follow a party that can’t even keep its own ideas about people and philosophies intact for more than one election cycle.

About six months into a Trump presidency and I’m still not tired of winning. I’m hoping we get to see a competent FBI director that will actually do his job and help to get rid of the political rats that keep stinking up this wonderful nation. Trump has another big decision to make, but as always, he’ll make the right move.

Grab your tickets, folks. There’s still some room on the Trump Train.

That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore

Hey all, sorry for skipping out on writing something up last week. I’ll try not to make a habit of it. As a result, tonight’s rant may be a little bit of old news, but it’s based off a thought that’s been irking me for a while. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two week, I’m sure you’ve heard about Stephen Colbert taking a little flak for referring to President Trump as nothing more than Vladimir Putin’s “cock holster.” Now, first and foremost, I really don’t care that the comment was made. In this country, we have the privilege to speak our minds, and if Colbert wants to make vulgar remarks about the president, he’s more than welcome to do so. However, at what point are “comedians” like Colbert and the rest of the late night hosts going to admit that their shtick isn’t being derived from wit or situational absurdity? At what point will they admit that their brand of “comedy” is being derived solely from hate?

I liked Colbert when he was on Comedy Central. I think his satirical portrayal of an ultra conservative commentator was pretty witty, and I’ll admit that when I first started watching the show, I thought he actually was a centrist who tended to lean a little more to the right. Back then, he’d mock the gaffes and screw ups of politicians on both sides of the aisle and it made for good television because he was showing how all of these establishment politicians were alike in their disconnect with the average American. However, as the show went on through the years, I noticed less and less jokes were being made about the left and more and more attacks were being launched against the right. Eventually, the show just became a giant GOP roast session. What happened to the man who wasn’t afraid to point out the flaws and hypocrisies of both parties? Why was one side suddenly elevated to a position of moral superiority while the other side became nothing more than a whipping boy? In my mind, if you’re a comedian, you shouldn’t be afraid to mock hypocrisy and plain lunacy, even if it’s spouted off by a person you hold in high regard. That’s just a missed joke, and in the world of comedy, that’s a terrible tragedy.

I look at Colbert and I start to think about some of his other cohorts on the various networks. We have Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Jimmy Fallon, and I’m sure loads of other left-leaning comedians that I’ve failed to mention. I think of these names because like Colbert, all they do is spew Trump hate. That’s their whole routine. “Trump is a monster.” “Trump hates women.” “Trump is a Cheeto.” “Trump is in love with his daughter.” The audiences all respond with the same hysterical laughter and applause as if these hosts have told the funniest joke in the world. These aren’t jokes. They’re just insults. It’s not comedy. There’s no wit behind the roasts. Did these people even study why a joke is actually funny?

Some of the best roasts I’ve ever watched are funny because a flaw of the target is lampooned in a hyperbolic way. The comedian has thought of some witty way to inflate the flaw to such heights that you end up laughing simply based off of the absurdity of the exaggeration. This kind of humor, to me, is the best. It’s a way we can talk and cope with our own flaws simply by laughing at them and refusing to give them any more status in our lives than that of a mild annoyance. These late night hosts are not engaging in that kind of humor. Their one-liners are not based off of wit, but rather, the absolute loathing hatred they harbor for the president. Comedy based on hate can only get you so far because it is based off of anger and not the usual happy-go-lucky emotions associated with humor. Colbert’s comment wasn’t funny. I’m sure the audience laughed, but they have to every time the stupid sign in the studio tells them to laugh.

I really wish we could make comedy great again. Anything made by humanity has flaws because we as humans are flawed. When we cannot joke about those flaws, or worse, say one’s sides flaws are better or worse than the other side’s, we are not using humor as it should be used. Humor can truly unite people and change their world view into something positive. It should not be used to push agendas and make people hate each other. I feel like humor is one of the reasons why humanity has survived all these years. The world is tough and if you can’t laugh at everything equally, you’re just not going to make it.

If you don’t agree with my point, I can understand. Humor in itself is highly subjective. Maybe you love the jokes made by Colbert and the other late-night hosts. If that’s your cup of tea, so be it. I want no part of it. I think their humor is lazy and born from hate, and when I want to laugh, I don’t look to surly, overgrown crybabies to tell me why hating the president is funny.

I just hope these guys get some new material soon. I’ve heard this joke one too many times.

 

Marching into Obscurity

In case you didn’t know, there was another international march that occurred over the weekend. The March for Science took place this past Saturday and united scientists and non-scientists across the globe in their quest to prevent the powers that be from infringing upon the progress of science. Now, I’m not criticizing the purpose of this march. After all, I am a scientist myself. However, what is a march like this really going to accomplish? I feel that ever since the November election, there have been marches and rallies every other day of the week. We’ve had marches to see Trump’s tax returns, general anti-Trump marches, marches for and against abortions, and I’m sure many more that I have failed to mention. I’ve had varying viewpoints on the marches and protests that I have heard about, and the purpose of this post is not to address my views on those topics. Instead, I want to ask one simple question. How many more protests, rallies, and marches do we have to have before nobody cares anymore?

Now don’t misquote me here. I’m all for public assembly, protesting, and exercising our first amendment rights. Hell, that amendment is the reason why I can type a blog like this without fear of the state police breaking down my door and escorting me to the nearest “re-education camp.” However, the marches that I have read about in the news in recent months are almost like mockeries in terms of what they are trying to accomplish. Take the anti-Trump marches that occurred shortly after the elections, for example. CNN showed city streets filled with anti-Trump protestors marching and shouting and protesting against a man they had grown to hate with every nerve of their bodies. Some marched to protest the United State’s electoral college system of voting while others marched against the comments Trump made in the now infamous Pussygate tapes. And my question to those people is, what were any of you trying to prove? Was a march supposed to convince him to resign from the Presidency right after he won it? Was a march supposed to convince him to out himself as some hateful bigot? Was a march simply to vent frustration over Hillary’s loss really going to net you a win for the progressive agenda? Simply marching and coming up with witty little rhymes to belittle your target of protest is not going to do anything but get you bonus points with CNN and make you feel good about yourself. If obtaining that “feel good” feeling is the true underlying purpose behind all of these marches, then the founding fathers are rolling in their graves by now.

I look at these marches as a kind of virtue fad. From what I see on TV and social media, it’s cool to live on the fringe. It’s cool to care about science, hiking, the environment, and offbeat hobbies. There’s nothing wrong with being interested in something. However, I see a problem with pretending to be interested in something just to give everyone else a false impression. Unfortunately, I see these marches and protests evolving into a virtue fad. Jane posts a status on Facebook saying that she’s going to the March for Science. Joe sees this and says he’s going to go. The statuses keep spreading until we have a whole mass of people going to the March for Science. Now that’s great for organizing, but do these people even care about what they are doing? Are they devotees to the cause or just trying to look cool on Facebook? Remember the terrible terror attacks that took place in Paris a while back? Do you remember how Facebook released a profile photo filter of the French flag? Do you remember how each of your friends had it? I’d like to think that the people who used this filter all truly felt sorry for what happened in those attacks, but I feel that some just followed the fad and simply were trying to one-up one another in the contest of who could appear to be the most virtuous.

What changes do we really want to see in our cities, states, and the country as a whole? How can we accomplish these changes? Do we have to come up with a local program to solve a community problem? If that program fixes the community, can we apply it in other neighborhoods? Can we apply it at the state level? If it’s successful at the state level, maybe it could be useful at the federal level. This is how change occurs. If you have lofty goals with no idea of how to obtain them, you will get nowhere. If you march for the sake of marching, you’re not changing the world. You’re simply sitting in the driveway with your car in park.

This past week, a man committed a murder while using Facebook Live. Police had a perfect description of the man and the car he drove. This guy should have been caught by the end of the night. Instead he crossed state lines and did not meet his fate until 48 hours after he committed his heinous crime. Where are the marches for that? Why aren’t people marching for safer communities? Where are the calls for more cops? Where are the calls for more resources for police so they can prevent these types of crimes from happening again? These would be reasons to march and these types of marches might actually accomplish something simply because there’s no lofty goals to conquer. The only goal is for the city to give the police the resources they need to do their job. That’s an obtainable objective. We need more marches with obtainable objectives because then we might actually start to see the positive things that we desire from our marches. Maybe these benefits would not be seen in our lifetimes, but the least we could do is lay the groundwork for our future generations.

I know this post offers more hope than substance and highlights more complaints than solutions, but if you don’t take anything else away from this piece, at least heed the words of this last paragraph. If you’re going to march and protest, go ahead and do it, but do some soul searching first. Why are you marching? Do you really care about the message or are you just trying to utilize a cool geotag in your next Snapchat? How far are you willing to go with the message from this protest? Are you here to stay or just trying to impress your followers? If you doubt your answers to any of these questions, then don’t participate in the next march that you happen to hear about on Tumblr. Otherwise, you are just helping to turn a great right in this country into the next crappy Facebook filter.