If there is one thing this election cycle has made me thankful for it is that I am no longer a teetotaler.
Between Hillary Clinton being immune to laws on the left, the actual insanity that is Trump on the right, and oh so much nonsense in between, drinking is about the only recourse left to the thinking man. That and whining bitterly to each other over said drinks at the bar the last three of us meet at each night.
How anyone can take Trump seriously I'll never understand. The man does not have a conservative bone in his body, and yet he's somehow become the figurehead of an anti-GOP establishment movement. That there is a lot of anti-establishment sentiment in the GOP is good and well deserved, that it has latched onto a man who has actually advocated for the deportation of American citizens because of their skin color is astounding. That there is a huge overlap between Trump's supports and white nationalists is to his supporters great shame, though to a man they seem not to realize this. Nor do they seem to care that up until five minutes ago Trump was anti-gun, pro-abortion, pro-single payer health care, and basically indistinguishable from a democrat.
And let's not forget our friends in blue! In what is a most breathtaking indictment of our mere lip service to the rule of law, Hillary Clinton is not only not in jail awaiting trial for storing classified information on a non secured email server *and then lying about it*, but also has a serious chance of becoming the next Commander in Chief. Hillary's guilt is so painfully obvious at this point that most of my liberal friends do not defend her, and to the democratic party's chagrin they have very few other options to support. Bernie Sanders seems to be popular among some people, and to his credit he seems to be ideologically consistent, but whether or not ideological consistency is a virtue depends greatly on the ideology in question. Sanders is an unapologetic socialist, and seeing as people are being arrested in Venezuela for smuggling toilet paper I'd rather avoid socialism please and thank you.
And so, dear reader, my exhortation for you is to come join us at that bar. Be the sort of person who doesn't just react, but who acts deliberately. Dig deeper and see what's below the surface. Don't settle for sound bites and voxplainers. Grow a healthy skepticism of the hyperbole. So often I see people react without thinking, or repeat the things they've heard repeated by people who did the same. Even worse, I commonly see arguments develop over a topic where two parties take differing positions and argue, while both being utterly wrong. Minimum wage is a great example of this. One side talks about "living wages" and the other side talks about "not deserving $15 an hour to flip a hamburger" with neither side stopping to consider the economic reality of what wages really are.
Its tempting in times like these to say that we're a special kind of stupid these days. That in the past things were better, but alas I suspect things have always been this way. The ink wasn't dry on the Constitution before Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, effectively outlawing the first amendment. People have always been reactionary, shortsighted, and fearful. I don't think that's going to change anytime soon. Fortunately, the United States enjoys one of the world's only *designed* governments, and its designers were rather skeptical men who recognized this. They've made it exceptionally hard for us idiots to screw things up so badly we can't recover.
But let us not push our luck, eh?