Monday, June 01, 2020

George Floyd, Mike Pence, and The State of The Country

On Saturday night, I turned on the TV expecting to watch a movie or show. Instead, I watched coverage of protests occurring throughout the country. A few minutes later, 9 year old The Moose, who I thought was asleep, came downstairs and wanted to see what I was watching. His immediate response to what was on the screen was questioning why people weren’t social distancing or wearing masks. I tried to explain the death of George Floyd and the reason behind the protests, but he really didn’t fully grasp what was happening. While it’s good that he understands the seriousness of the coronavirus, he’s still a fairly sheltered white kid living in the suburbs.

On Sunday morning, The Moose in turn tried to explain the protests to 6 year old Pedro Tulo, who was much more interested in breakfast and didn’t listen to his brother. That was probably for the best since I know that Pedro Tulo wouldn't understand anything.

I don’t have much to add to what’s happening across the country. The protests are happening for the right reason to fight injustice. Meanwhile, the looting and destruction appear to be done by people just to create chaos and harm. It seems to have little or nothing to do with the reasons behind the protests.

I’m going on a brief tangent here, and I know that I’m not the first person to mention this. On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence posted this tweet.

I think the vast majority of people are for peaceful protests. This would include the VP, right?

So much has happened in the last few years that it’s really easy to forget this. Mike Pence travelled to Indianapolis to participate in a jersey retirement ceremony for Peyton Manning and to make a scene at a Colts-49ers football game. Everyone knew that players on the 49ers would take a knee during the national anthem. Pence and President Trump came up with a plan that if any player kneeled during the anthem, Pence would leave. How much money did it cost or security was needed for Pence to pull off this stunt? Anyway, he clearly didn't like a peaceful protest then and essentially took the ball and went home.

Anyway, I'm just frustrated with the direction of this country right now. There is no leadership or empathy in the executive office. We're at over 100,000 COV-19 deaths right now and sky-high unemployment rates. To The Moose's point at the beginning of this post, there definitely hasn't been social distancing during these protests. There have also been plenty of pictures and videos in places like the Ozarks and Florida and Texas beaches where people are crowded together like nothing was out of the ordinary. Is there any reason to believe that we won't be at 150,000-200,000 deaths by the November election or that the economy will dramatically improve? So if we didn't make America great again over the last 3.5 years, how are we now supposed to re-elect the current leader and believe that we're going to "Transition to Greatness" after November?

While Joe Biden is not my first (or second or third) choice to be President, my hope is that this country will elect him, so that we can have a grown-up in charge. Someone with empathy. Not someone who urges governors to use force against unruly protesters. We don't need a Tiananmen Square in America! Not someone who will pick fights with anyone who disagrees with him or yell LAW & ORDER or CHINA on Twitter. The only time where it's appropriate to use phrases like this on Twitter is while watching a sporting event and tweeting GOAL or TOUCHDOWN STEELERS! Seriously, if one of your friends or parents did this, you would think they were crazy and probably unfollow them.

I have no grand conclusion here. Our country needs to be better. To care more for each other and to demand justice when needed and necessary.

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