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My Reaction to the Election Result November 11, 2016

Posted by shwaldman in Family, Politics, Society.
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Over the last few months, weeks really, I finally had to chime in an voice my opinion here. It should not come as much of a surprise that my reaction to the election results includes the feeling of disappointment. But there are many emotions flowing through me in the days since the election results became final. Among them are shock, fear, hope, but disappointment is the one that rains supreme. That word, disappointment, is one that hurts. When my mom would tell me I disappointed her, it is the word that caused me to know what I did or did not do or what I said or did not say that created that feeling in her that hurt her. I never wanted to hurt my mother.

And here we are. In the days since the election, I have struggled, like many Americans to come to terms with this new reality. A man who ran his presidential campaign with wild abandon has been elected and will become our 45th President of the United States of America. I have tried to tell myself that he said things only to stir outrage, start conversations, create media buzz, and, ultimately, to get elected. He has this “problem” where he says whatever is on his mind, stream of conscience, without thinking, without being concerned with how people will interpret his words.

But in the days since the election, I have heard personal stories, like the ones found in this Twitter storyline. Personals stories, friends, co-workers. These stories are NOT okay. This is not okay!

I get that I have different feelings than Trump supporters. We believe our country, our shared nation, should be run in different ways. We can have different beliefs and I can accept that Trump will try different things to “Make America Great Again.” But the statements that the continue to divide us as a nation are not acceptable. WE MUST COME TOGETHER NOW!

I have tried to live my life with the belief that everyone has the right to live their life the way they want. As long as their life and their actions do not infringe on others, we should be able to life peacefully. But we can’t stop there. We need to do things for each other. We need to take care of each other. Each of us have strengths. And each of us have weaknesses. We must use those strengths to raise the capacities of the weak who in turn are using their strengths to improve our weaknesses.

When I was 14, my father passed away from lung cancer. There is nothing I was able to do as I watched his strong body be destroyed by the cancer and chemotherapy. As a freshman in high school, I had to see this cancer up close. When I was 17, my mom introduced me to blood donations. This was a way to give back. In less than an hour, this was a way to help people who are sick or hurt. It felt good. When I was about 31, I got a call from the National Bone Marrow Registry. I was a match for a sick leukemia patient who would benefit by receiving my bone marrow. Though I hadn’t given it much thought, when I donated blood that first time in 1989, I also gave a sample of my blood to be included in the registry.

And a couple of years ago, I was called by the Red Cross and informed that my blood was of a quality that would make blood platelet donations an option. It is almost the same as whole blood donations, though it takes a little more time, it can be done more often and helps more people. (whole blood can be donated every 56 days, while platelet donations can be done every 7 days.) When I learned this, I started to realize this is how I can help people, this is my strength. So now, I donation as often as my schedule allows, a few hours of my time to potentially save the lives of strangers. Seems like an acceptable trade-off.

Now, let’s get back to Trump and his vision of our future of America. One of the things Trump as said from the beginning of his campaign was that he will repeal the AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (also known, unfairly, as Obamacare). I don’t know what other things Trump will do, but along with Immigration, Marriage laws, Gun Ownership, Women’s Rights, he is going to change the landscape and direction we have been on for the last several years. I fear these changes. Without a doubt these changes will have a dramatic impact on our lives and those of our children. When you put these changes in the same conversation as the hatred he has instigated and condoned during his campaign, it becomes a scary conversation.

I write these words because I have read Facebook in the last few days and there is still a great divide among us. There is a lack of understanding on both sides. We have elected a new President and we do not know the direction he is going to take our country. This uncertainty results in fear and the fear causes people to lash out. We must restrain our fears, resolve to create our own certainty and stop lashing out. We are ONE NATION, let’s come back together and move forward. But know this, moving forward means, we move forward together, all of us, all of our neighbors, Republican, Democrat, Rich, Poor, White, Black, Brown, Yellow, National, Foreign, Man and Woman. Please! For our children! We must use our strengths and our capacities to make our neighbors stronger. Please Join me in whatever way you can.
Thank you for taking the time to read.

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Election Season is over. November 10, 2016

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It seemed like the Presidential campaigns lasted two years and after much divisive rhetoric, the votes have been cast and we have a new president coming. Here is the final counts…
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Trump was right. The polls were wrong. Many people said it in the last week, but I think more than 50% of the nation and probably the world was shocked by this result.

What the Polls are saying today… October 16, 2016

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20161016-electoralvotes

The Election October 16, 2016

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I have been thinking about this post for some time and finally just need to get it out of my head and off my chest. I feel like this election is sitting on my chest, just suffocating me. I can’t wait for it to be over, but I am so afraid of the outcome. Despite the divisive nature the primaries and fall has taken, I think most Americans agree on one this about this election – There is not a great candidate!

There are two “other” candidates from the Green party and from the Libertarian party, but neither is truly qualified or have enough following to be considered true possibilities. But they do have the power to dilute the votes and make the lesser qualified candidate a potential winner. This is very scary.

The thought of having Donald Trump as our next president of the United States is not only scary, truly frightening; it is also confusing. Sure, I know Ronald Reagan was an actor before moving into public service. But Trump has zero experience in public service. He only knows politicians and has dealt with them for years as it related to his businesses or media career. He has never shown any interest in serving the great good in any way. His entire life has been about serving himself. He has started over 500 companies. He has made billions of dollars, and lost millions of others.

I am so confused by why people think he is actually planning to suddenly turn over a new leaf and started to care about the well being of other people. He only cares about himself. He has not dedicated his life to making the world a better place for people. He has only looked to fill his bank account. He admits this very clearly in many of his speeches. He is very, very rich. And he knows how to use the laws and taxes to his advantage… to HIS advantage. He has not ever said he knows how to use these same laws to help others, only himself.

And when he gets into office, he is not going to know what to do. Again, he has never performed public service in his life. The idea that he is looking to improve the lives of those less fortunate than himself is simply laughable. Unless he plans on printing more money for people (and himself), it is very unlikely people will become more wealthy. The said thing is there are people who think printing more money might actually help them.

I say he does know what he is going to do because he has said as much. His entire primary and candidacy has been based strictly on saying what he thinks people want to hear. He has flip flopped and changed his story to suit his needs and he continually contradicts himself. You can only base his platform from what he said last, since prior to that he easily could have said simply the opposite and people are buying it. I just don’t understand it.

Now, I am not saying Hillary Clinton is a MUCH better option. But she is a BETTER option. She has spent her life serving her community and country. I suspect she could have made millions, or dare I say, billions more in private industry. She went to Wellesley College outside Boston, MA, which is considered one of the top schools in the country. From the beginning she has demonstrated her intelligence – she made her name for herself there and it started with political activism.

Any idea where Donald Trump went to school? He loves to tout that he graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He has a degree from there. He did graduate from there, but he did not demonstrate his intelligence. He went to Fordham University for his first two years before moved on to Penn, but no one is quite clear how he was admitted there. He does not even appear in the school’s yearbook.

Seriously, can we just be done with this election? We have one candidate that has a lifetime of public service and interest in improving the community and one that is only in it for himself. I agree we need a change. But we need incremental changes. We need to careful with our changes and making the right way. I don’t know what Trump would bring to the White House, but I think it safe to say, he is not ethically equipped to do the job. If we needed someone to sue other countries or shutdown the companies that aren’t turning a profit, I might look to him. But I want a president that will demonstrate political leadership and a general understanding of the world around him, or her.

Please be thoughtful with your vote this year. We only get to pick a new president every four years, and this is certainly the most concerning election I have been a part of. I am afraid for what might come of our country if there is a male president on January 21st, 2017!

Favorite Audio Podcasts July 9, 2013

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There is so much good content online. You could read, watch and listen to anything and everything at any time. I have a hour long drive to work and from work. Rather than just listen to talking heads or bad radio, I download and listen to content as often as I can. I also listen when I work in the yard or exercise, but I still have growing library of information that seems to multiply everyday on my computer.

Here are a few of my favorites. Like I said, there are many more, so if you have one that I haven’t listed, please let me know.

lifehacker Lifehacker. They have a great web site and once a week, they release an hour long podcast that covers the latest news, hints and listener questions. If you are looking for a way to improve your life in any way, through technology or not, you definitely need to check out their website and if you like that, these guys are fun to listen to each week. I usually come away with at least two things I want to implement into my life.

pti_300PTI (Pardon The Interruption) is an ESPN show with Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser. They are classic sports journalists who can speak to any sport and do. They cover all the latest news and action highlights and bring in often touch on hidden gems. They only down side is that this is an audio recording of a TV show, so they will reference videos or images you can’t see. I wish they would make this a video podcast and it would make my other (next) list.

krys_boyd_150NPR has some amazing content. I listen to several compilation podcasts that pull in stories of my favorite categories, like Economy, Education and Technology. But my pick for this list is a little known show from an NPR station in Dallas, TX. They run two one hour interviews shows every weekday and each one is usually very interesting. The host, Chris Boyd, is one of the best interviewers, always incredibly prepared and offering thought provoking questions for a great conversation with the interviewer. This show lives up to its name, THINK! I have a couple more blog post coming from recent shows that I listened to – unfortunately, I am about 8 months behind in my listening!

mzl.xvsnrnou.170x170-75On CNN, Fareed Zakaria has a great global news coverage show called GPS, Global Public Square. It is another show converted to an audio podcast, but I find very little if anything is lost in this change. Fareed is another excellent interviewer and very well informed journalist and he can open eyes to the global situations that affect us all. I highly recommend this one if you are looking for a global perspective and how activities across the world affect Americans.

sidebar_book_drive_pDaniel Pink is a well-known author of business, management and work environment books. He started with Free Agent Nation in 2001 and his most recent book is called To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others. But I think he is best known for the best seller Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us from 2009. Pink’s podcast is call Office Hours. It is a casual interview/conversation with other authors and professionals in the field of organizational development and behaviors. While I don’t always agree with the accuracy of this assumptions, it often gives me something to think about how I operate in life and at work.

The growth or end of democracy? July 3, 2013

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Watching what is going on around the world with the changing of political systems in other countries and the gridlock that has frozen much of the progress in the US, I have wondered what is next. You may have read my doubts in previous posts.
Our country is divided right now. There are those that seem to feel it should be every person for themselves and the other side that feels we should take care of each other and not let people fall through the cracks.
I am not sure this hypothesis is accurate but it is an interesting concept and possibility.

Every American Needs to Watch This… April 23, 2013

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The United States of America, USA, America. It is our home and our home is broken. Our people and our politicians are fighting. We are not moving this country forward. We need to demand progress. We need to demand change. No matter what side you take on the issues of the day, this is something we should all want.

Movie Review: The Help August 26, 2011

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Netflix Synopsis: In 1960s Jackson, Miss., aspiring writer Eugenia Phelan crosses taboo racial lines by conversing with Aibileen Clark about her life as a housekeeper, and their ensuing friendship upsets the fragile dynamic between the haves and the have-nots. When other long-silent black servants begin opening up to Eugenia, the disapproving conservative Southern town soon gets swept up in the turbulence of changing times.

This is the first serious movie of the summer for us. And it was worth the wait. Having just seen Emma Stone in “Crazy, Stupid, Love” it was interesting to watch her perform a completely different character. She and Cicely Tyson were outstanding together, but the most intriguing part was played by Ron Howard’s daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard. It is hard, having grown up in the 70s, to really understand the ugliness that was a reality in 1950s and 60s and before. I felt like this movie really brought home how something that seemed so simiple as daily life could be so unfair and people could really believe in an alternate reality.

For anyone interested in understanding the start of the civil rights movement and how much life has changed, I highly recommend this movie. I also hope we can see that there still inequalities in our current world and we have a ways to go to resolve our differences.

Movie Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love August 25, 2011

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Netflix Synopsis: When Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) discovers that his wife (Julianne Moore) wants to end their marriage, he reluctantly faces the unwelcome prospect of single life with the counsel of the younger and smoother super-bachelor Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Meanwhile, Cal’s adolescent son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), has formed an unquenchable crush on his 17-year-old babysitter (Analeigh Tipton) — but is she more interested in Robbie’s recently unwed father?

From the beginning of the summer, this looked to be the best movie of the summer. It has a great, diverse cast and a great combination of stories. The characters interact with perfect randomness and yet everything made sense. The ending has a great twist and I am not going to give it away – I hope no one else does, either. Once you are engrossed in this movie, the plot twist comes out of the blue and adds another fascinating dynamic.

I highly recommend this funny, touching look at the complexities of married life and love.

Today’s Inspiration (part 2): Taking Risks April 7, 2011

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Next up is Morgan Spurlock. I just love this guy. His projects are always thought provoking and fun. He has a honest view of the world and does, as he says, “examine the societal issues in a way that makes them entertaining.” His latest project takes a similar look as a movie that starred David Duchovny and Demi Moore called “The Joneses.” If you are interested in marketing and branding, I suggest you see it. And the premise of this talk, transparency, makes me curious to see how Spurlock tells the sorry of “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”

But the thing that struck me about this talk was more about his thoughts on taking risks. I love his quote of “When you train your employees to be risk adverse, then you’re preparing your whole company to be reward challenged” and now it is time to find my brand…

And then finally, one of the most curious, and possibly overlooked points of this talk was at exactly minute 16. One of the biggest applause Spurlock got was when he mentioned visiting a place that bans outdoor advertising. And then there was udder silence at the next sentence mentioning businesses putting advertising in our schools. I really wish we could get to the point where business would be willing to give up a little in terms of their taxes and let it go to schools. Instead, our governments are turning our schools into advertising billboards. The money is going to come from somewhere, why not invest our tax dollars into our future, instead of advertising dollars. It will be much more efficient and fair for all!