Continuation of Progress in America, or The Current State of Hate, or The Ramblings of an Excited Mind.

[Featured image note: This article is approved and endorsed by disco shark…]

Well, here we are; we’ve endured another election cycle, filled with mud-slinging and attempts at ruining careers/lives. Though this year seemed fairly one-sided, with a candidate basically slinging mud at his own campaign. Still the effects are evident, and people are once again tired of politics. It would be nice if I could say that anything in these last few months had been as tame as what I seem to have described. Sadly, fear-mongering, bigotry, and hate are still alive and thriving in our country…this election did a great job of bringing the neanderthals right into the spotlight. The culture of excusing such intolerance is something we still have to fight, and it is a war that must be won for peace and love! Sound like a bunch of hippy crap?  Good! The ideals of coexistence can be found at the root of the mission of any group seeking equality, and the opposite is at the core of those groups opposed to it. Today is a great day for the female movement, having accomplished what once seemed impossible, and our hopeful future Madam President stands with those who see to better our nation through equality for all citizens. No matter how ugly the opposition gets, we’re making this happen! I, for one, am thrilled to see those vile groups being highlighted as the minority, as more and more Americans stand up to give them the clear message that they are in the wrong. I remember being told “they grew up in a different tie”, as if this somehow excused the nasty behavior that a person was displaying. I was always against the idea, feeling that educating that person on why/how they are wrong is a far better approach than justifying what they were standing for. Progress requires change, and if my grandparents could love a lispy, feminine little boy who grew into a proud gay man…and in that time, cast of their own preconceived notions and force-fed opinions about the way I was born…well, damnit, so can all of these hateful/spiteful monsters! Literally…my Kentucky raised grandmother made me my first dress to do drag in…before I’d even come up with Anastasia’s persona…and she made sure I tried it on to get the fit right! Trust me when I say that nobody would have seen that coming before I came along. That woman taught me many great things about acceptance, fighting for yourself, and never getting pushed to the side. The path to equality is a struggle, and I find myself fortunate enough to live in a time where all those groups that were being held down as perceived minorities are coming together and realizing the strength in their numbers! What we have been shown as the “Republican” mindset in this election cycle is the propensity for evil in humanity. What we need to do moving forward is to address that, and discuss with people the root of their feelings for this. The greatest enemy to ignorance is education, and while misinformation is strong…facts are indisputable. Granted, feelings factor in, but this is where we must not tolerate bigotry and hate, we must shine a light on it, put it under heavy scrutiny, and eradicate it’s traces in those we love first…and then grow our numbers from there. Would it be nice to live in a country of no opposition…sure! Then again, that would be awfully boring, and if nobody were around to challenge my beliefs, they would not be as strong as they are today. Besides, some of the best conversations I’ve had were those that informed both parties of new information, and found a common ground…even if we still agree to disagree…the discussion happened and information was shared. The biggest issue I see is the lack of sourcing in media, and people not questioning what they read/hear/see. Misinformation must be brought to the forefront of the battle. News is not entertainment, it is information…and our treating it otherwise has resulted in a decline of distribution of accurate details. For that reason, I am happy that I was taught things like context and critical thinking…also, that my parents passed on the importance of common sense. Rise up with knowledge, and bring those who fear truth with us! Happy election day, everybody…and thanks for keeping a country that allows me to ramble freely! So, in the next four years…rather than nursing the election hangover until next time, let’s stay diligent…write letter, join groups, go to meetings, write letters to politicians…do whatever you can to actively participate in the system we all want to see improve in it’s function. Don’t just sit back and complain how little you like the two candidates or the two party system. Act up…take the elections in two years just as seriously as these…start living the change you want to see in the world…don’t just talk about it, be about it…and other usefully inspiring phrases…

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