This has been a long time coming,
I’m tired. I mean I’m really fucking tired. What am I tired of? I’m tired of trying not to offend. I know right now you’re thinking some version of “Josh when have you ever tried not to offend?” That’s a fair question and, believe it or not, the answer is all the time. When I post my opinions and views into the public sphere of consumption I tend to self-edit because there are friends I love like family who have very different, sometimes polar opposite, views than I do. That was all fine and good when things seemed more or less fluid.
That, unfortunately, has changed.
I bet a lot of you know this quote, hell I’m sure most of you do, but I’m putting it in here anyway.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
– Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
Martin Niemöller spent seven years in a Nazi concentration camp because he dared to speak out publicly against Adolph Hitler. He is just one of a plethora of men and women brave enough to speak out and declare their views regardless of the consequences. Also, I have to admit he’s been a personal hero of mine since I became interested in World War 2 when I was nine.
Why am I saying all this?
The answer is simple—Donald Trump. I with all sincerity see too many parallels to the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany with Donald Trump, the Tea Party, and the fundamental fractures in this country since 2001. To put it bluntly, as a father of six I’m too terrified of what could happen if I were not to speak out.
Yes, I know a bunch of you just got your hackles up. You think I’m Godwinning this, I am so get over it, or you think I’m a paranoid conspiracy theorist. I like to think I’m not too paranoid—a little paranoia is a good thing, but conspiracies are real and documented. I’m not on the level of the real whackos, *Cough* Alex Jones *Cough* but I do believe there are shadowy behind the scenes shenanigans, and frankly it boggles my mind that people don’t see them.
As a corollary to my genuine concern about Donald Trump, it seems to most of the liberals who have the steel to speak up (MOST NOT ALL) are crazy as fuck. Okay maybe not that bad, but the left seems to be dominated by new atheists (I’m an atheist), rabid social justice warriors (I believe in the benefits of social justice), and politically correct obsessed privileged kids (I have little use for the PC community).
So now that I’ve pushed away the far right and the far left I want to address my friends who might be reading this. You are going to disagree with a lot of what I’m going to be saying, a lot of things you don’t agree with, sometimes vehemently, and you might wonder if that means I have secretly been mocking you or hating on you. I need to put this out there right now and cut those thoughts off before they can plant roots and grow vile branches of dislike.
My friends are my friends regardless if we agree or disagree.
I really hope that’s clear, but let me make it very crystal. I’m an atheist, but I have no hate for religious people who don’t use their faith to justify hate. I am pro second amendment, but I’m a moderate who advocates common sense gun control laws at the federal level. I am pro-immigration, but not without common sense screening. I’m a feminist, but I have no use for man haters, and the same goes for men’s rights activists. I believe in freedom of speech, but not the right to knowingly lie and pass it off as truth. I believe in complete government transparency. I believe our taxes should pay for education, medical treatment, and retirement one hundred percent. I’m an atheist, socialist, feminist who believes in equal protections and rights for all.
I’m sure there’s more and I know there are qualifications and exceptions that prove the rules, but this’ll do for a start. I’m sure I lost a few of you with just this essay, but I hope enough of you will stick with me. If not, no harm no foul.
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