My Red Pill

Most people who know me or have read this blog know that I am pretty conservative. You would be forgiven for thinking that I had always been that way. I have not. I mean, almost, but not completely.

Have you ever heard this old joke? “If you’re not a liberal by 20, you have no heart. If you’re not conservative by 50, you have no brain.”

Well, I was liberal far before 20. I was until I was, I don’t know, 12? I was generally of the opinion that people were basically good. That the government really did want to help the people. I thought that everything I read in my history books was true. I mostly bought into all of the liberal propaganda.

And then I read one book.

One book was all it took to completely change my mind about just about everything I believed in. My grandpa gave me a book when I was probably 12 or 13. It was called The Real Lincoln by Thomas DiLorenzo.

lincolnI might have mentioned this book before, but I’m not sure I’ve explained the impact that it had on me. First, I have to explain that I didn’t want to read this book. I liked Abraham Lincoln. I thought that I understood how the Civil War worked. And I knew that this book was going to say things that I didn’t want to hear.

I avoided it for about a year. For a year, that book sat on my shelf just bothering me. I didn’t know why I was avoiding it, but it turned out that I couldn’t do it forever.

Oddly enough, it was my regular history book that brought me back to it. A single line in my history book stuck out at me. It said that Abe Lincoln was the person that forced the war to begin. It wasn’t the South, and that really surprised me.

All my life, I had been taught that Abe Lincoln was a saint and the people of the South were all horrible racist slavers (and my parents are southerners, so you can imagine what they thought of that). But here I am suddenly finding out that Lincoln purposefully started the war (and I found out later it was for economic reasons, not moral ones). So finally, I sat down to read the book.

I was completely blown away. I’m not going to explain it in detail, but gosh, Lincoln was a monster and everything I was every taught about the Civil War was either wrong or terribly skewed.

Learning who Abraham Lincoln really was tore down my entire intellectual world. Suddenly, I was questioning everything that I had ever known. I was confused, and I needed to know what was real. I need some sort of bedrock.

For a little while, I all but stopped reading fiction. I devoured book after book about politics, history, religion, etc. I never noticed it, but my thoughts and ideas started changing.

I started believing a lot of new different things. But more importantly, I stopped believing in a lot of things. I stopped believing that people are essentially good. I stopped believing that the government had my best interests at heart. I stopped believing that everything in my history books was true.

In short, I became very skeptical. Of everything. To this day, I believe almost nothing of what I read online or anywhere else if I don’t have four or five sources to back it up.

I’m not sure why it pushed me toward the conservative side of things. Perhaps it was the fact that I had just found out that the modern liberal political and educational establishment had been lying to me for my entire life.

It’s amazing to me what one little book can do. And by the way, I still highly recommend the book. Who knows, maybe you’ll have the same reaction I did.

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Things I’ve learned to value in 2016

The year 2016 is fast approaching its glorious end. It’s been a wild year, but not a bad one, mostly, for me. I’m not sure the world is better off than it was at the beginning of the year (then again, we’re getting rid of Obama, so…), so here’s to 2017 being a little more, um, sane? And here’s a list of things I’ve learn to greater appreciate this year.

1. My left big toenail

Of all of the body parts to cause me massive amounts of problems this last year, my left big toe has probably been the most consistently annoying. It’s been a problem for the last couple years, but the last couple of months have made me wish the little bugger would just fall off and stop hurting me.

But see, I’ve also come to realize that there’s a reason that we have toenails. Mine was only just starting to come back before my doctor unceremoniously cut it back off again a few days ago. So that means I have lived a few months with no big toenail. And let me tell you, it sucks. When people step on your toes or you stub a toe, yeah it hurts, but it hurts a whole lot more when there’s no nail to protect it.

So now, I still want the darn thing to come back and not look really stupid (fat chance). I value it more, but I also resent it more.

2. Non-insane politics

It’s not just me, right? This last year was crazier than usual? I mean, I know that I’m only 20, so I don’t remember most election years. Maybe they’re all like this. Who knows, maybe it’s always been this way, but I became politically conscious around 2008, and I don’t remember this much insanity then.

This past election was like a reality TV show, which I realize probably had something to do with the candidates. This was the year the media really showed who they really were, and a good portion of America collectively said “Screw you, we’ll take the psycho you don’t like.” I have to wonder how many people voted Trump out of spite alone.

Dear God, please don’t let this happen again next election cycle.

3. Positive people

In a year that was full of negativity, it was a blessing to find people who were trying to stay positive. I clung to people who could see everything that was going on this last year and still smile about it. Those who could still laugh at all this made this year a little more bearable.

Speaking of laughing…

4. SJWs

I know what you’re thinking, how could you learn to value social justice warriors? The answer is easy: they’re flipping hilarious.

I mean, have you seen the way they reacted when Trump won? The looting and burning wasn’t so funny, but the TEARS and the WHINING, bloody hilarious. I learned a new word in 2016: Shadenfreude.This was year they all collectively lost their minds, and It. Was. Glorious.

10/10 would tick them off again.

5. Books

I miss books. Being in college, for me, usually means not reading a whole lot. I’m the kind of person who can’t just sit down and read a few pages of a good book. It’s finish or bust, and finish sometimes means staying up till 3 in the morning. I can’t really do that when I have an 8:15 am class the next day. Sleep is a good thing. Which reminds me:

6. Sleep

I’m a college student. Do I need to say more?

7. Classes that start after 9 am

My class schedule sucks donkey balls next semester. I have 8:15 classes EVERY DAY, and I am not a morning person. I’m hardly human before 10 am. I’ll also be spending more money on gas, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to wake up at 6 am to catch the hour-long, bumpy shuttle to Liberty’s campus. I like living off-campus, but not being able to walk to class in the morning is a bit of a pain.

The only good news is that I’ll be done by 2pm every day. I am seeing a lot of naps in my future.

What have you learn to value more in 2016? Let me know in the comments.

Wait, what just happened?

I can’t believe I’m writing this post right now, recording for all of human history that Donald Trump won the election last night. I am the definition of incredulous right now. Seriously, can anyone explain to me what the ever-loving crap happened last night?

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Me yesterday. I think my face says it all.

I thought it was going to be a short night. Hillary would win handily early on, and I could go to sleep with a growing sense of dread. Instead, Trump won Florida off the bat, and I had to settle in. I ended up staying up until they called Pennsylvania around 2 in the morning. And I fell asleep with a sense of amazement… and dread.

I know I’m  not the only one wondering how this all happened. A professor told me this morning that maybe two people knew this was coming: Ann Coulter and Liberty’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr. That may be true, but that leaves the vast majority of media outlets, pundits, analysts, and probably the American public very confused.

Ann coulter.gif

Alright, lady, you called it.

Still, as I sit in the cafeteria at my college, I can see that, although some people (including myself) look a little shell-shocked, life goes on pretty much as usual. People are still buying their morning coffee and posting their problems on Facebook. Students are still sitting around flirting with each other. Construction still goes on outside (always).

Some things never change.

I’m not sure I know what to make of this right now, but I do know one thing: my God is still on his throne. I’m clinging to that like a solid rock in the middle of a river of rapids. It’s going to be an interesting four years, but Jesus is still in control.

Below is the song I sang all the way home from the voting booth yesterday. It helped me. Maybe it will help you.

 

Dear Target, you’re not being inclusive

Dear Target,

Look, I think it’s nice that you want to be known as the super inclusive store. I mean, the rest of the world just thinks of you as the slightly over-priced alternative to Wal-Mart, but whatever. The thing is that you are not being inclusive.

You may think that you’re being inclusive to the tiniest section of the population by saying that transgendered people can choose which bathroom they want, but you’re actually alienating what constitutes most of your market: women. You are alienating them because you are putting them in danger. When you say that a man can go into the women’s restroom, you also leave the door wide open for perverts.

Listen Target, I understand that you probably weren’t thinking about the perverts that will take advantage of your new policy when you announced it. You just wanted to appease the social justice warriors that scream their shrill little heads off whenever they don’t get their way. I get it, but that doesn’t make it okay.

Here’s the statement you released about the controversy on Tuesday:

Guess what? I don’t feel “accepted, respected, and welcomed” in your store. As a woman, I feel like you just spit in my face. I feel afraid. More than anything, I feel like you don’t care about me. All you care about is appeasing one very tiny and very loud minority.

Look, you gotta do what you gotta do. If you want to endanger the majority to capitulate to the minority, you go right ahead. But until you change this policy, I won’t feel comfortable in your store, and it seems like a whole lot of people agree with me.

Uncomfortable people don’t buy as many things, just so you know.

Liberty University Loved Ted Cruz (I would know; I go there)

So maybe you didn’t notice, but something kind of momentous happened yesterday. We officially have our first 2016 presidential candidate. Ted Cruz, Republican senator from Texas, has become the first person to formally announce his candidacy for the next presidential election. And you know what’s cool? He did it at my school!!!

This is my first convocation at Liberty since I slipped on the ice and landed on my face a few weeks ago, so you can imagine my glee when I found out that Ted Cruz would be coming to Liberty on Monday. Well, quite honestly, I would have preferred a lot of people over the guy that was supposed to be there, the governor of my state, Terry McAwful… I mean McAuliffe. But no! It was Ted Cruz, one of my conservative heroes.

Naturally, after the events of a few weeks ago when Sean Hannity came to speak, I started praying that we’d be good. I knew full well that if anyone was rude or heckled Cruz during the speech, then that was all the media was going to report on. My friends were with me on this one, so we committed to praying over convocation together. Overall, everything went really well.

Ted Cruz’s speech was amazing, by the way, if you like that sort of thing (if you don’t, it probably would have terrified you), which I do. I’ve liked him for a while because he’s one of the few people in Congress who tells you what they believe and then stands up for it, even when it’s really, really unpopular. If you’re interested in listening (and I would highly suggest it, if you have the time), then here’s the video:

Great, right? When was the last time you heard a politician talk about faith so candidly like that?

So, you have this great speech about values that a lot of Americans hold. Obviously, that’s gonna set the uber-liberals whining. But did they criticize the speech? Well… no. You see, if you’ve read anything about this speech from most of the mainstream media, you’ve probably heard a lot of people complaining about how Liberty students were “forced” to attend the speech, or else we’d be fined. You know what? They’re absolutely right. But, and this is a big BUT, that’s not the whole story.

When you enroll at Liberty University, you understand that there’s this thing called convocation. You also understand that if you live on campus, you are required to attend Every. Single. One. Yes, it’s annoying. Yes, there are a lot of days I don’t feel like going and I’d rather go back to my room for a nap. But I agreed to this. We all agreed to this. If you go to Liberty, you go to convocation. That’s just the way it works, and if you don’t want to follow the rules, you get punished, just like in real life. Nobody forced us to go to this particular college, and therefore, nobody forced us to go to convocation. Other than the fact that this speaker was doing something most of our speakers don’t do and there were a crap-ton of news people everywhere, this really was just a normal convocation. Nothing out of the ordinary here, and nothing that is in any way newsworthy.

In addition, harping on the fact that we had to be there sort of misses the point. The real question is, what did we think of Cruz? The truth is that we loved him! If you watch the video, you’ll see that there were many times that tons of people clapped, whistled, yelled, stood up, and otherwise cheered for Ted Cruz. He was saying exactly what we were hoping that he was going to say. He resonated very strongly with the majority of the audience, so we applauded. While attendance at convocation may have been mandatory, cheering most definitely was not. Liberty students cheer when Liberty students feel like cheering. In fact, we gave him several standing ovations, and y’all, that’s not easy. We don’t actually give out standing ovations very often, so that tells you something about what we thought of Cruz.

Now, of course there were a few students who did not support Cruz. The most visible of those were the “Stand with Rand” crowd who were giving out free t-shirts at the beginning of convocation. They decided that they wanted to make it exceedingly clear to everyone present that Ted Cruz is not their first choice for president and that they’d prefer Rand Paul. The media’s been covering this tiny minority heavily as well.

Rand paul shirts

I want to make something clear here. I know these guys. Some of them are my friends. While it may have come off as rude, they meant well, and they weren’t really doing anything wrong. They were allowed to wear whatever t-shirts they want, and honestly, it didn’t really make a difference. I can also tell you that they don’t hate Ted Cruz. For most of them, he’s their second choice. And despite complaining about how they had to go to convocation that day (a couple of them were commuters, so they didn’t really), they probably would have been there anyway because, hey, who wants to miss seeing someone announce a presidential bid?

But what’s the story here anyway? That a couple of students want to support another conservative candidate? Really? That doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.

Bottom line is this: the media will do anything to make a story out of something that’s no big deal to the people involved. Also, they don’t seem to be able to defend against what Ted Cruz actually said. I mean, who can argue with abolishing the IRS? Not me. That’s for sure.