Tag Archives: Donald Trump

How to Save a Boiling Frog

The day after Donald Trump’s election was a tough one for me. Like many, I had believed it was a done deal. President Hillary Clinton was supposed to be a thing. I was supposed to wake to a better, brighter tomorrow.

I hadn’t slept much. Before I went to bed, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I saw it in the stunned faces of the broadcast journalists who just hours before had been crowing jubilantly about Hillary’s chances. But now we all knew different.

America had done the unthinkable. America had elected a man who, by all accounts of every expert the media could conjure—economists, politicians, career military men, four-star generals, the intelligence community and even psychiatrists—according to every last one of these “experts”, this man was not fit to lead.

And yet.

I got up at my normal time, though it certainly seemed as though life should have come to a halt. I nearly cried when I looked into my daughter’s eyes that morning. But I didn’t. I let them all go to school and I sat down in my office and began searching for hope on the news sites I’d haunted for months. It couldn’t be real. But it was.

Throughout the day, I cried, I cursed, I thought of friends who would be affected by this man who somehow had been elected to the highest office of the land. What would happen to gay marriage, to the right to choose, to the environment? Oh dear God, what kind of world would I be sending my oldest into in just a year and a half? How could I protect my family from this?

And how had it even happened? How could the world be so different from what I’d believed it was?

I know now that the same thoughts were going on in the minds of many men and women throughout the nation.

As the days and weeks wore on and the inevitable became obvious to all of us, we turned rebellious. The popular vote count grew more and more disparate in favor of Hillary Clinton. Donald J. Trump didn’t win that election. We had pulled it off. Hillary won. She won among educated voters in populous areas. The problem was, she didn’t win among rural voters in states where voters were more spread out. Trump won those. Hillary won in Charlotte and Raleigh in my own state of North Carolina—but the state turned red anyway because she didn’t carry my less-populated county and many of the other mostly rural counties in my state.

Rebellion built and carried us through the inauguration. We laughed at the man who we not-so-affectionately dubbed “45” when he claimed his crowd at the inauguration was the biggest ever. We posted pictures of the record-making crowds who turned out for the historic Women’s March next to the pitiful crowd of supporters who gathered to cheer the president they had elected.

For my part, I marched. I mailed postcards. I called senators and wrote senators and I raved on Facebook and Twitter, just as I’d done for months before the election.

And in spite of this, 45 began the onslaught on my country that I’d anticipated. He appointed unqualified people to posts they should have been disqualified for. He rolled back environmental protections and, in June, pulled the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. At various times throughout his first year, 45 insulted and/or angered Australia, Mexico, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the entire continent of Africa. Germany, France and Canada have expressed distrust for his ability to make the right decisions.

Our closest friends and allies do not trust our president.

But that’s not all. Through Twitter, 45 has continuously needled the U.S. intelligence community, the U.S. Department of Justice, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, his own Secretary of State and Attorney General, members of Congress, and, especially, the media. His lack of faith and knowledge of what truly makes America great has revealed itself time and again and each time I thought, Surely, this time the American people will have had enough. Surely Congress will act and we’ll be rid of this despot.

And each time, I was proved wrong.

Meanwhile, day-to-day life continued. I went back to writing about happy things. Love, romance—fantasies that lifted me out of the carnage I saw 45 wreaking on our government. And I found that as day-to-day life settled in and we were dragged from crisis to crisis—North Korea, the media, the Russia investigation, white supremacists, the Islamic State, North Korea, the media, immigration, mass shootings, climate change, Twitter wars, racist obscenities in the Oval Office, repeated denials and alternative facts—it all became a comfortable blur as I adapted to living in a world of turmoil.

And then, three days ago, while our nation celebrated 45’s one-year anniversary in office with massive protests against him—the government shut down. And suddenly, despite the constant shouting about who is to blame, there was relative silence from 45…and I realized something.

We the People are in huge trouble. We’re like the frog in the pot of water whose temperature has been turned up so gradually he cooks before he realizes he needs to escape. The media has been so busy bombarding us with so much information about so many scandals and crises, we’ve grown numb to it. We’re cooking slowly, but we’re not going to realize it until it’s too late.

And so I pray for some ice to be added to our pot to delay the inevitable just long enough. A Congress that proves it can unite to face down evil. (I’ve seen glimmerings of hope here, though not enough.) A midterm election that Democrats somehow manage to sweep. Or—the iceberg it seems absurd to pray for because if we hit it, who knows what will happen to our democracy—Robert Mueller’s investigation turning up the smoking gun that finally brings down 45’s evil, autocratic regime.

No matter how we cast our ballots, we’re all cooking in the same pot. And unless we all jump out of it together, we’re most likely going to need that iceberg to save the boiling frog.

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My latest poem: “Twisting Hate” (for 45)

Twisting Hate
By Michelle Garren Flye

Twisting words to kick the wounded.

Twisting hate to bind us all.

Twisting rope into a noose.

Without love or truth, you maul.

We’re twisting in the wind,

Left to hang without liberty.

Twisting, hanging, longing…

For the return of sanity.

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How steep is the high road?

Was it really just a week ago?
 
I took a picture of my daughter on election night. Her face is lit with hope and belief that our country could unite under a woman president. That we could cross that threshold into a new era. She’s holding two American flags. I can’t look at that picture without tears in my eyes, because I remember the look on her face the next morning when I told her who our president-elect was. Resigned disappointment.
 
I know why that resigned disappointment bothers me so much. It’s because that’s an adult expression, and I saw it on my nine-year-old daughter’s face. Acceptance when you really want to scream and shout, but you know you have to move on with life in the face of disillusionment.
 
For the past week, I’ve been torn. I half want to go burn Trump in effigy, but the other, cursedly practical half of me knows that’s the wrong thing to do. I want to protest and scream and shout, but I know it’ll do about as much good—and probably look like—a toddler in the middle of a toy section who’s been denied a bauble she particularly wants.
 
I wanted Hillary Clinton to be our president. I wanted it with all my heart. I wanted our country to vote for tolerance and inclusion and love.
 
I didn’t get that.
 
I got President-elect Trump, and the idea fills me with dread. But I’m still not going to say he’s not my president. I’m not going to move to Canada. I’m not going to burn the flag. What I’m going to do is stay informed, read the news, know what he’s doing and what it means for our country. If he institutes policies I don’t agree with, I will protest those policies. And in two years, I will vote again. And two years after that, I will vote again.
 
Persistence in the face of disappointment is what’s called for here. My nine-year-old knows that. I hope the rest of the country gets it too.
 
#GoHigh #StrongerTogether #LoveTrumpsHate

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What’s the use of being an optimist if you can’t just decide it’s gonna be OK?

I’m a glass half-full kinda gal. I had hoped to wake my daughter up this morning to the news that we have the first ever woman president. I couldn’t do that, and part of my heart is broken because of it.

Still, there’s what’s left of the water in the glass. How do I call it? I’m choosing half full.

This is an opportunity for us as a nation. There are a whole lot of things we can do with these election results and the coming four years. We now know we are a nation divided. Let’s start filling in that chasm. And here’s what we can fill it with: Hope.

Don’t lose hope. Whether you’re gay, straight, white, black, Hispanic, female or male, educated or not, we’re all Americans and more than half of us voted against Donald Trump. Not enough and not in the right places, but those people are out there. Those voters are out there, and that means there’s hope, and that’s a good base to build anything on.

Grab a shovel, Americans. That great divide the media has been talking about is bigger than we thought, and it’s our job to fill it in. Whether you’re on the winning side or not, we’ve got work to do, and it’ll go a lot faster if we all dig in together.

And once we’re done, let’s meet in the middle and go from there.

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The Case Against Donald J. Trump for President, as seen by a housewife, mother, writer and believer in human rights

NOTE: I’ve decided this will probably be the last political post I write during this election season. (Did I hear cheering?) Seriously, this is sucking the life out of me, endangering my relationships with people I care about, and eating up time I need to be devoting to my more enjoyable writing. So here goes. Please read.
The Case Against Donald J. Trump for President, as seen by a housewife, mother, writer and believer in human rights
This might very well be the last time I personally post against Donald J. Trump until after the election. I say might because I don’t have a looking glass that allows me to see the future. If, between now and November 8, Donald Trump does something else to enrage me, all bets are off. But lacking that, I’m going to leave it at this.
Here’s my case:
1. Donald Trump is not a successful businessman. In 1995 he lost $916 million and since then he has acknowledged he has paid no taxes. He’s declared bankruptcy four times, and he’s destroyed many small businesses by not paying or by paying less than agreed upon.
2. Donald Trump is dangerously unstable. He’s proven this time and again, inciting crowds to violence, dismantling teleprompters at his speeches, giving in to anger randomly. This weekend he was so angry about his portrayal on Saturday Night Live, he called for it to be canceled. This is not the behavior of an adult, let alone a man who wants to be our president.
3. Donald Trump is a climate denier. In the face of indisputable scientific proof, he says climate change does not exist. This flies in the face of science and the beliefs and desires of the rest of the world, and shows a total disregard for the well-being of other life.
4. Donald Trump is an amoral man. Yeah, I know. Most Trump supporters don’t believe there are any Christians on the Left side of politics, but I’m here to tell you, believing in gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose abortion, and that it’s our duty to welcome desperate refugees from another country into ours hasn’t come between me and my God. He tells me daily to be brave and stick to my convictions. My convictions are that Donald Trump has said and done things that other people would not be able to get away with. He doesn’t think the rules of society apply to him, and that is a dangerous trait in a president.
5. Donald Trump is a coward. His entire foreign policy is based on building walls around our country, pushing the “others” out and locking us in. This is not only impossible in today’s world, it is inadvisable. Tomorrow’s president needs to be a leader who can help us develop beneficial bonds between countries, not push our allies away.
6. Donald Trump has no notion of what our Constitution says or how to support it. He’s already threatened freedom of religion and freedom of the press. His support for human rights violations are well-documented. As such, he is totally unqualified to be president.
I plan to vote for Hillary Clinton. She’s not my first choice for Democratic nominee, but between Trump and Clinton, Clinton wins, hands down. I am hopeful that this election will result in stronger third parties for the next round. With so many varied opinions and feelings in the U.S. today, it is ridiculous that we end up with only two to choose from. However, I am unwilling to chance a Trump presidency on a gamble on a third party nominee this time around. So here’s my case for HRC:
1. Hillary Clinton is the single most prepared candidate for the office of president in the history of the United States. She’s worked her way through the ranks, advocating for children, women, and the less fortunate during her years as an attorney, First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State.
2. Hillary Clinton has definite policies and plans to capitalize on the nation’s current upward trend in jobs and economy.
3. Hillary Clinton will continue President Obama’s work to save our planet from the threat of global warming.
4. Hillary Clinton supports gun control. She doesn’t want to take anyone’s guns away, but she does want to make it more difficult to get one for people who shouldn’t have one. If you’re a convicted felon, an abusive spouse, mentally ill or a terrorist, you’re probably out of luck under her plan, but other than that, just relax already. Nobody’s gonna be prying anyone’s beloved firearms out of their cold dead hands. Promise.
5. Hillary Clinton has shown herself to have an even temperament in the face of strong opposition. This is a necessary trait in a president.
6. Finally, Hillary Clinton will strengthen our ties with our allies, do her best to improve relations with nations that don’t trust us, and act with strength and bravery when it is required of her. She is well respected by other countries who remember her from her years as Secretary of State, putting her in a good position to step directly into the Oval Office, ready to do the job from Day 1.
So there it is. Can you make as good a case for Trump and against Clinton using actual facts? Feel free to do so. But remember, I will challenge any half-truths, hearsay, or unsubstantiated claims. Do not use Benghazi (lacking additional evidence, that has been laid to rest), emails (even the new ones Russia obtained for Trump haven’t done more than embarrass HRC), and please don’t send me articles from sources that contain the words shoebat or endoftimes.
#StopTrump #StrongerTogether #ImWithHer

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Why this election frightens me

Please read this.

I’m a freaking romance writer, why the hell am I getting involved in politics?

Because the prospect of President Donald Trump terrifies me on a personal level, and I’m going to try to explain that.

And it’s not the so-called “salty language”/”locker room talk”, although for the record that locker room talk described actions that NO ONE should be okay with. I fear a Donald Trump presidency because I don’t think he has the emotional maturity to be president, and he will end up being an authoritarian at best. A dictator, more likely.

Think about it. He’s displayed all the signs. He is vindictive. He has shown himself to possess bullying tendencies. He calls people names and threatens them if they don’t do what he wants. He’s publicly threatened Hillary Clinton at least three times that we know of. He bans media outlets that don’t say what he wants them to say, calling them “unfair”. He threatens lawsuits for almost anything. He’s shown a total disregard for and lack of knowledge of the Constitution and international laws on several occasions.

If Donald Trump is elected president, I won’t agree with him. He doesn’t believe in the equality of races and sexes. He doesn’t believe in climate change, and I am very sure that if we have a president who denies climate change in the face of all scientific proof for four years, we’ll do uncontrollable damage to the environment.

If he is elected president and follows through on the promise to force his Attorney General to appoint ANOTHER special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton and spend billions more of our tax dollars on ANOTHER investigation of our tax dollars, I will have to protest that, because it will put our entire system in jeopardy.

I will write every word I can to protest what he does that I feel is wrong. I will watch every move he makes as president, and I will fight every way I know how to try to make our nation a decent place for my children to live.

And there’s the rub. I will fight using the only real weapon I have. The written word. And we well know that Donald Trump does not believe in Freedom of the Press. In other authoritarian regimes, writers who fight the government end up in jail or dead. Their families are threatened or just disappear. Sometimes they flee their country.

If Donald Trump is elected president, writers are going to have to be as brave as soldiers. Journalists are going to have to make a commitment to fighting, right here on our own home turf. We’ll have to fight for what we believe is right, no matter the consequences. Because our nation will be at stake.

Which is why I beg you, if you believe in truth and freedom and justice, don’t vote for Donald Trump. I’d rather you vote for Gary Johnson. Write in Mike Pence or Paul Ryan. Jeb Bush was my pick for Republican nominee, honestly. Vote for him. I don’t fear any of those politicians. I don’t respect or agree with many of them, either, but I don’t fear them. Because I believe I could disagree with them and still go home at night and feel safe.

#NeverTrump #ImWithHer

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Why I am writing about politics

It’s not a decision I made lightly. Friends and colleagues both warned me not to jump into the political arena this year. “You’ll alienate your reader base,” they said. “You’re a romance author. You’ll sound like you’re trying to be an expert at something you’re not trained in.”

What did I do? I ignored them. And there’s a very simple reason why. This year isn’t about politics at all. Politics are about policies, and there must always be some give and take about policies. This year is different. This year is about defending our country’s values, principles and freedoms. They are in danger, and Donald Trump is the threat.

I started my crusade on Facebook at the beginning of the year, trying to encourage friends and family to truly look at what Donald Trump had said and done since launching his presidential campaign. His off-the-cuff remarks about Mexicans being rapists and drug dealers, his horrible comments about women, his passion for waterboarding and other forms of torture, and the worst of all, to me at least, his advocating for killing the families of terrorists. And let’s not forget his promises to limit both freedom of the press and freedom of religion. Any of the other Republican candidates would have been better for our nation. But they didn’t become the presidential nominee. Trump did. And so I vowed to keep posting until Donald Trump was no longer a threat to my country.

Well, he’s still out there. And I’m still writing my articles for whatever they’re worth. And that’s part of why this blog has been so neglected. I’ve only let my politics sneak on here once or twice before. But with the election less than a month away, I’ve made a decision. I hope it’s not a dumb one.

I hope it doesn’t make you hate me or decide not to read my books. If it does, that’s my loss.

In an attempt to reach more voters, I’ll be posting on here now. You’ll see what I believe in right up front. There’s nothing romantic about politics, but there is passion. Passion for preserving our country’s founding principles. There is love. Love for our country and our fellow man. There is desire. Desire to make our country a better place for everyone.

And that’s why, for the next month, I’m dedicating this blog to anyone who believes that we must defeat Donald J. Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election. I’ll post my #StopTrump articles here and then to Facebook. If any of my other talented, like-minded fellow writers wishes to join me, I will welcome them.

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