Of Men and Ideas

Listen to the people in your world that vigorously disagree with you. Don’t try to change their mind. Don’t argue with them. Not yet. Not until you’ve listened. Just listen and seek to understand.

It’s a rare and difficult principle to maintain. I do try to get outside the echo chambers that agree with me as much as I can. But sometimes, I don’t know I’m in one until it’s too late. Recently, around October 8th maybe, I realized that I’d been in one for quite a while. It was one that told me that Donald Trump was personally too despicable to be president of the United States of America. Clearly I was wrong. Because I didn’t do that thing I just said to do. I didn’t seek to understand. I saw the man. And I dismissed him, with good cause to be fair. But I never dug down deep into understanding Trump-ism. I fought the man, never the idea. And that’s a problem.

So what is Trump-ism?

You can find the answer wedged somewhere between Scott Baio and Jerry Fallwell Jr. telling Yo Mama jokes at the Republican National Convention this year. A man named Peter Thiel spoke. Thiel is a billionaire Silicon Valley businessman who is one of the few men in the world who have founded multiple billion dollar corporations. He sits on the board of directors for Facebook. He counts people like Elon Musk as his partners and peers. And if there’s a Mount Rushmore of the modern “dot com” business ecosystem, Thiel is on it. You could write ten thousand words on what’s right and wrong with Thiel and still not be done. You could write another ten thousand on why he doesn’t fit any molds that we like to put people in. I’m not going to do that here. But I’m familiar with him. And as someone who works in the tech world and moves in the Silicon Valley circles, I can get you pretty far with a few sentences.

Peter Thiel has had success listening to what everyone is saying and doing, and going and finding something else, building it before anyone else does and winning before there is competition. He asks aloud in his books and speeches, and urges us to ask ourselves, what truth do you believe, that almost no one else does? It’s a hell of a question, especially in business. He is, after all, Silicon Valley’s contrarian. If you want to know more about him, Google him. There’s loads of stuff, much of it ugly and negative. But as far as this discussion goes, that stuff, is noise. Because it’s fighting the man again, not the idea. His ideas, though, are at the emotional center of Trump-ism, whether or not he ever intended them to be. They can be summed up in two Peter Thiel quotes:

“For a long time our elites have been in the habit of denying difficult realities. That’s how bubbles form.” Thiel is the anti-bubble.

Yes.

People incorrectly believe that “If you don’t conform (to diversity), then you don’t count as diverse. No matter what your background”

I love it.

When I read those quotes as a business leader and someone who has worked on my own start-up, I get pretty fired up. It evokes emotion. It stimulates me. They are powerful words that speak directly to the psyche of change makers-people who want to drive to a better tomorrow. And when I posted those quotes and his name on my Facebook page without commentary, I got a very heavy dose of feedback about Thiel being a white nationalist and an anti-semite and a rape apologist and an opponent of the free press. All of which may be true. I don’t know. I’ve never been in the same room with the man. But none of the dissenting commentary addressed the ideas he had. Because in a vacuum, they are ideas that are nearly impossible to discredit.

We don’t live in a vacuum though. And right now, those words are being spoken in the Trump-ist echo chamber with great excitement.

So what exactly is that truth Trump-ists believe that no one else does? Except all other Tump-ists of course. Steve Bannon, chairman of Breitbart News and recently appointed chief strategist of Donald Trump’s administration can help explain it. Now, it’s possible that hearing the words Steve Bannon evokes a blinding rage in you and a need to spout out a laundry list of grievances about white supremacy, misogyny and maybe even a twenty year old arrest report for domestic violence. And that’s fine. But realize, you’re doing it again. That’s the man. The man is easy to beat. The idea, well, that’s another thing all together.

So here’s the idea in his words.

America is in “a crisis both of capitalism and the underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian west in our beliefs.”

Bannon says that crony capitalism and globalization have eroded the stability of our country and weakened us to the point of crisis. Whether or not he believes it matters far less then what it means. Thiel and Bannon are Trump-ism. They form a combination of contrarian, anti-elite non-conformists, conforming together behind the belief that the key to restoring righteous capitalism is a focus on the return to a Judeo-Christian led world.

If not…it’s going to be China for a hundred years…

That’s the idea. And it comes in the form or a red hat, and a slogan.

It’s powerful idea. And it represents one side of the modern political argument in America today. You couldn’t have sent a worse champion than Hillary Clinton to strike it down if you tried. She was perfect if you were fighting the man. But she wasn’t fighting the man. She was fighting the idea. And she was powerless against it. Perhaps if we had taken the time to understand the idea, we may have thought differently. Perhaps that’s why the Democratic National Committee is in ruins, when most of us thought that it was the Republicans on the edge of oblivion.

That doesn’t mean Trump-ism is right though. In fact I believe it’s quite wrong. But it took a little digging and understanding to get there for me. And in order to do that, you have to be willing to divorce the ideas from the men saying them, especially since some of those men are only saying those ideas because they know they are the ideas that work right now. Because the ideas are not wrong because of the men saying them. The ideas, by themselves, on their own merit are wrong. Dangerously so. And we need to start screaming from the mountain tops why.

First, intended or not, the core argument of Trump-ism, Judeo-Christian leadership of the world, is a substantial part of the argument that white supremacist groups use to further their message. Trump-ism left off the part about racial superiority. Those groups gladly add it back in. And when you deliver the Trump-ism message, and you are willing to accept anyone who believes it, without strong condemnation of those specific groups that add racial superiority to it, it provides oxygen for them to grow and breed and start to normalize and call themselves things like “Alt Right”. And then they form groups that sound snappy like The National Policy Institute. Make no mistake about it.The National Policy Institute is a white supremacy organization. If you can’t get a couple hundred of your members in a room without a bunch of them throwing out Nazi salutes or yelling sieg heil, and the first Op-Ed on your pretty web page is about the folly of desegregation in schools, then you are a white supremacy group.

You can call yourself something else. And you can ooze into the room with lots of other dis-enfranchised people and tell them you are the same. But you aren’t. And unless the leadership of the new Republican Party denounces it and cast it out of their numbers, a dangerous political discussion is on the horizon. Because whether or not to denounce and eliminate from prominence groups that further white supremacist ideology cannot become a political debate.

Secondly, because frighteningly the first part isn’t enough, if the “Judeo-Christian” portion of your message really is the whole message, than that’s a problem. Because that’s not American. America, imperfect in her ways, has been defined by relative inclusivity. Our strength has come from differing people coming to us from places with their ideas and their drive to build something. And my opposition to Trump-ism is grounded on the belief that I’m not willing to give on that. Not because I’m full of love and togetherness and because I’m naive to those out there that want to do us harm. I’ve fought them all over the world in places you’ve probably never seen doing things you’ll probably never do. I’m not willing to give on that relative inclusivity because turning inward makes you weak. And ignoring the skills and ideas that others have, and forcing them to seek other places to have them, makes others stronger. My message of dissent is about making and keeping us strong.

It pretty simple for me.  If that big idea that you have that no one else agrees with, that Peter Thiel disruptive change the world for the better idea, is that the words penned in our Declaration of Independence or in the Bill of Rights are wrong, that all men aren’t created equal and that only some are born with liberties and the freedom to pursue their faiths, then fine, let’s have that debate. And let’s have it in earnest. The fact that middle America, my strong patriotic brothers and sisters that took up arms with me to fight Islamic fundamentalism and other ideologies that threatened our way of life appear willing to have it, hurts me. It hurts me down to my soul. Because I believed, and I still need to believe that we are better than that. And that the principles that I swore to defend with my very life didn’t only apply to me and people like me. They applied to everyone.

So let the debate begin.

What Now?

I’m not a liberal. I’m not a safe space, social crusader.

I’m not a sore loser who can’t get over the fact that Hillary Clinton wasn’t elected president. The notion that I had to put what lukewarm support I had for a candidate behind her was a source of great frustration for me.

I am, at my very core, someone with conservative foundations.

I believe that men and women, whenever possible, should be free to live their lives without government intervention. My family and my Christian faith are the center of my life. I like my guns. Chances are, I’m better than you at using them.

I’ve worked with and for the toughest most dangerous men on the planet. Men you’ve read books about. Men you’ve seen movies about. I’ll never claim to be one. But I’ve proven myself useful in their presence. I share this with you so you understand where and who the message I’m about to deliver comes from.

I’ve been all over this planet. And there’s a troubling observation that I’ve made on my way. It’s that mankind, when left to our own devices, does not naturally accept different people. Whether I saw Sunni and Shia in Iraq refusing to recognize the humanity of the other because of relatively nuanced differences in their common faith, or tribal warfare and genocide in sub-Saharan Africa or racial oppression and modern slavery of East Asia, the ingrained need to divide and subjugate others is ever present. In mankind’s darkest moments, the most common culprit has been that division.

For most of the last seventy thousand years, since the cognitive revolution of man drove us to organize, we’ve programmed ourselves to trust and support those that are similar to us. The result is that there have been frighteningly few societies in the history of mankind which have not been separated by either race, class or gender.

Where there is one race, we make caste systems.

Where lack of structure provides no castes, we subjugate gender.

It’s as consistent across time and region as the number of our limbs or the shape of our organs.

Fifty years ago in America, we made the first real effort, at scale, in the history of man, to change it in a society as diverse as ours. And since then, we’ve made great but imperfect progress. The work isn’t done. But we’re further than where we were 50 years ago. When we get there and make good on the promise penned by our forefathers, it will be the greatest, rarest accomplishment in our history.

On Tuesday, we took one giant leap backward on the arc of our journey to one people. And over the last four days, I’ve been bombarded by explanations of why Donald J. Trump was just elected president. I don’t need any more. I didn’t need them in the first place.

I know why he was elected.

He was elected because the only message that matters for the American government in 2016 is a need for change. And when the alternative to that change was someone who moved into the White House when I was fifteen, (I’m 40 now) that choice was clear for some.

But it was a choice.

And the ultimate choice that was made, the one people will remember a hundred years from now, was a willingness to ignore personal decency and fair treatment towards people who are different in service to that change. That was the choice that the minority of the American electorate made. That was the choice that about a quarter of eligible American voters made.

I’m not here to argue the legitimacy of the results. And I don’t get to pick and choose whether I support democracy because of the outcomes. I won’t tell you that you are a racist or a bigot if you voted for Donald Trump. I won’t even tell you that you personally are indecent. But I will tell you what you just bought with your choice.

You bought a very vigilant, sensitive and loud American majority who will cry foul at the drop of a hat for anything that resembles attacks on those we have fought so hard for these last fifty years.

Because what you showed us with his nomination and your vote in the election, is that you can’t be trusted to do it without us.

Many of my devout conservative friends were remarkably quiet when their candidate trashed their personal values. And they were remarkably quiet when their candidate made inexcusable first hand remarks about minorities, women and disabled Americans. And they were remarkably quiet when the dark forces of white supremacists aligned themselves in support of their candidate.

I understand why. You couldn’t live with the alternative. So you rationalized out of fear that speaking up would enable it. Well, that risk is gone now. You avoided the end you couldn’t live with.

That excuse is gone.

And now it’s fair to say that tolerance of that behavior from here on can only be seen as an endorsement of it. So when there’s a KKK rally in North Carolina to celebrate the election of the candidate you support, you no longer have any excuse not to condemn it with the same uncompromising vigor that you condemned Hillary. Let’s see the memes. Let’s see the Facebook posts. Let’s see the outrage.

Perhaps the rest of America can trust you to hold the leader of our government to the change you so uncompromisingly sought. But we won’t trust you to look out for our fellow Americans who are different.

So, get ready for four years of vocal, loud, peaceful I pray, dissent. If you thought the core Trump supporters would be loud if Hillary Clinton won, what do you think is going to happen now that you’ve  marginalized a group that has much more to lose than freedom from background checks for guns and a ten percent lag in wage growth?

At stake for them, is participation in our society. And if their vocal insistence on it is something you aren’t willing to tolerate, then perhaps you might consider a different path in thirty months when you get to choose your next leader without the looming evil of Hillary excusing your choice.

You can’t point to her any more as cause.

If insistence on decent treatment of all Americans makes me a liberal in the eyes of conservatives, then maybe we should take some time to reflect on who our modern conservatives actually are. The world is watching.

So What Did We Learn?

As the exhausted, miserable people on my television reported that Secretary Clinton had conceded the election by phone and our new president elect addressed his constituents for the first time after the political upset of an American generation, I sat up in my bed, quietly trying to digest what just happened. My wife, a woman of Mexican descent, a mother to a special needs child and a military wife who suffered through three wartime deployments nodded off in disgust a few hours earlier. I’ve already started to make my peace with it though.

I’ve been about as vocal a critic of Donald Trump as anyone you’ll find. I can’t and wouldn’t revise anything I’ve said about him. But I make it a point to stay objective about things. And to deliver a level headed clear-eyed assessment of things that matter. And right now, before I make that peace, I’ve got to account for a few things that I know now, that I didn’t know four hours ago.

So here goes…

-Donald J. Trump is the most effective political marketing machine of our time. It’s not close.

-Crowds mean more than polls. In retrospect, that makes sense. But I was stone cold dead wrong on it.

-There’s still enough white working class men out there that if you make an election a referendum on their value as a part of America, you better have them on your side.

-No one gives a rip about third party candidates. No matter how much more qualified they are.

-Many white men-and women-are more comfortable with the idea of a black man being president than a woman.

-Hillary Clinton is un-electable.

-The message of change is the only one that matters.

-The people still choose the president.

-This actually wasn’t close. (Trump won every contested state)

-We know nothing. (I actually knew that one already.)

Tomorrow, in a few hours, the sun will come up in America as it has for centuries. And things will go on uninterrupted. We’ll get the kids off to school. I’ll sit in traffic forever and I’ll think about a few things. I’ll think about what it all means and about what’s going to change about what it tells us about ourselves as a people. I’ll think about what to tell my kids about our president. Big problems. Big thoughts. Big questions.

There’s one other thing worth noting though. For the first time in my life, Donald J. Trump and I are on the same team. And I don’t know what to do with that other than hope like hell that he’s the best God damn president of my lifetime. Because there were dark and frightening powers that helped this come together for our new president elect. But there were also good and decent people who believed that this was their best option to drive change in our political process. And the only way that we get through this in one piece is for those good and decent people to help hold our new leader accountable for delivering on what they saw in his message-a  change for the better from the political status quo.

Democracy…warts and all.

What You Need to Believe

I want to take a very brief moment to make a very important point. Because there are some very serious people in very serious positions that are making a very public declaration that I feel is extremely harmful. I heard as recently as this morning, from someone I respect, the following:

Donald Trump, after at least 50 years of despicable behavior and after being caught on tape bragging about how he can do anything he wants to a woman, up to and including “grab her pussy” because he’s a star, is the most appropriate option available for the highest office of the most powerful nation the world has ever seen.

It’s probably appropriate to point out, that it should be the least surprising thing in the world that a man who behaves worse publicly than anyone I’ve ever seen would also behave worse than anyone I’ve ever seen when he thought only Billy Bush was looking.

But I digress. I said I wanted to make a very quick point. Because it’s important that we get on the same page here. We’ve got a few weeks left. So here it is:  By now, after all we’ve seen from Donald Trump, in order to believe he is the most suitable candidate for president, you would also have to believe the following, with a level of certainty that only can come with seeing it or hearing it yourself personally (perhaps hearing it said to Billy Bush on a leaked tape):

-Hillary Clinton was not simply negligent, but willfully so, in her conduct as Secretary of State during the time and events that lead to the death of Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi. You are certain of this (certain like you heard her saying it on a leaked tape to Billy Bush). And though one of the longest congressional inquiries ever held investigating the incident showed nothing more than instances of poor judgment by multiple levels of government and defense, the Republican led congress either failed to do their due diligence or is in fact secretly supporting Hillary Clinton.

-You also need to believe that former Chairman of the Joint Chief’s of Staff and Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell, who said in a private email that he felt like Clinton got a “bad rap” has no idea what he’s talking about. And that you have a firmer handle on the role, appropriate conduct and reasonable expectations of outcomes for the Secretary of State of the United States. You may also need to believe that Michael Bay makes movies worth watching not named “Transformers”.

-Hillary Clinton has clear, certain knowledge (certain like she heard him caught on tape saying it to Billy Bush) of the 42nd President of the United States sexually assaulting women. Moreover, armed with that knowledge, she has taken no action to prevent future or seek justice for past acts.

-Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server was intentionally done to harm the United States of America or promote personal gain on a criminal level, and though a six month investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and no criminal charges have been brought against her, you either know better than the FBI or you are certain (certain like the director got caught saying it on tape to Billy Bush) they are either corrupt or complicit.

-You are not just pro-life. But additionally, you view abortion to be murder. And electing Donald Trump will enable an immediate or near term change in the Supreme Court ruling of Roe -V- Wade and therefore voting for someone else is actually not just endorsing, but enabling murder. The ability to actually affect change here matters. Because if he can’t change it himself, then this issue is actually not really in play and ceases to meet the criteria for belief stated above.

-Public defenders that defend criminals as a critical function of our system of justice actually are in favor of those criminal activities. And accepting to defend people who cannot stand trial without representation is an endorsement of their behavior and character.

-You believe that there is proof that Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State, was criminally trading U.S. interests for donations to the Clinton foundation. And though the author of the book Clinton Cash, Peter Schweizer, has gone on the record saying there is no proof that it happened, you are certain (certain like you heard her say she did it to Billy Bush on a leaked tape) that you know more.

There may be more. I might not have gotten all of them.  And you don’t have to believe all of them. Believing any one of these might be enough to start, but not finish, the following debate:

Someone who we know with 100% certainty is guilty of the behavior highlighted above is more or less suitable to be president than someone we know with 100% certainty brags to people that he barely knows that he is allowed to sexually assault women because he’s a “star”.

If you believe these things, I really can’t argue with you. Because you either have information that the global media community hasn’t gotten their hands on. Or because you don’t really believe it, you just can’t get past the politics. And since the rest of us know that the first one probably isn’t true, then the second one is. You don’t believe it with certainty (certain like you heard it on a leaked tape to Billy Bush). You may just be a die hard conservative. Which I applaud because we need those. We really do. And I want to help you. Because when the rest of us hear you say these things, all we really hear is that grabbing women’s genitals because you’re famous is OK. What we really hear is that sexual assault is not that big a deal.

Consider this a public service message. For your own good, just go quietly into the night on this one, without a fight. You might maintain your strength in Congress. Which is good, because conservative ideology is important. But you have to stop. Because it won’t end well. In fact, for many, it already hasn’t. Consider the following from Mark Cuban:

screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-2-35-27-pm

That may be a bit heavy handed. And it’s probably unfair to those just trying to work hard and make a living. But for those with a choice, it’s probably not. And for those with a vote, it’s probably not either. We’ve wandered into a territory we never have before in our political history. Which usually requires you to do something you’ve never done before. It’s this: Put down the political looking glass and see this for what it is. Stop the false equivalency comparisons. This is a rare time when the burden of proof has been met to make this a clear binary decision. It’s not enough to condemn the words. Condemn the man. Condemn his goals. Condemn his participation in the future of our country.

Or condone the actions they represent.

The American System

Mass conflagration.

It’s one of my favorite terms. It’s a kind of training exercise on a naval ship. It simulates a scenario where everything has gone so horribly wrong in combat that the crew is no longer trying to focus on the military objective of defeating the enemy. Instead, they’ve shifted their resources to saving the ship and themselves. It’s not an easy thing to do. It requires lots of coordination and expertise. So you have to practice it. I did it more times than I can remember during the two years when that’s what I did with my life-serve on a ship.

I’m not on a ship any more. I’m not even in the navy any more. But I experience mass conflagration often-for about an hour, every morning,  in my house, when my wife and I are getting our children ready for school. If you have grade school aged kids, you know exactly what I mean. If you pretend you don’t, you’re a bald face liar.

No matter how hard we try, within the first 30 minutes of our day, my wife and I surrender all attempts at making this a “great” morning and instead are forced to focus on two things 1) getting them to the bus alive and 2) staying married. Save the ship…and her crew…Both are in question more times than I’m happy to admit. To be fair, neither are ever her fault.

The risk to #1 is caused by my kids. Every morning they appear to be both equally surprised by the existence of school and unaware of the any activities required to get them there. Again, if you have kids, you know exactly what I mean. The risk to #2, staying married, is more interesting-and also why I’m talking about getting my kids ready for school in the morning in a politics and society blog. Why my wife hates be by the time the bus gets there is really the issue.

I have what I like to call a linear approach to solving the problem of getting through the morning with school aged children. I like to think that waking up earlier, preparing lunches the night before, waking the kids up earlier, or limiting breakfast options are all things that give us more time to get out of the house. Yelling louder makes them move faster…gives us more time to get out of the house. My approach is more rigor, leads to more efficiency, leads to less time required, leads to less hurrying, leads to less stress, leads to a calmer, happier morning-a better outcome.

It seems like a common sense approach.  Many people like common sense, effort in-results out approaches. Because it makes us feel like we’re in control. But here’s why I’m wrong-and she’s right.  And here’s why my approach has the opposite effect of a calm, happy morning for my family. I’m not in control.  Neither is she. No one is. Because morning in the Hughes household is complicated.

My kids, are young. And their needs vary. Some are autistic and can’t really communicate-yelling makes it worse, not better. Some have very real medication needs. Others are simply a pain in the ass-yelling helps them-hurts others.  Sometimes my wife has clients she has to see early. And sometimes she doesn’t. And sometimes my job emails me in the middle of the night and an emergency is waiting for me when I wake up. So even if I wake up early, my attention goes there instead of making pancakes. And then I’m grumpy about work and no pancakes all at once.

Mornings in the Hughes household look a lot more like a living breathing organism then an assembly line. Living breathing organisms are hard to control. Assembly lines are not.  Assembly lines are linear. Input, effort and execution yields outputs. Organisms are systems. Sometimes inputs don’t match outputs the way you would think. Some things work with others better than others work with some.  Improving a single aspect (screaming at one kid) can potentially have a negative effect on another (an autistic panic in the one sitting next to him). Doing some things worse (waking up later) can actually make others better (more rest, less grumpy-but still grumpy-dad).

Mornings in the Hughes household are a system-a set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole. And the goal of that system is to get our children to school fed, clothed and in a state of mind to learn. And when you apply a linear strategy to a system, well, you get yelled at by your wife for being stupid. Because it doesn’t work. Doing things that don’t work over and over again is stupid.

About the only time I don’t apply systems thinking is when I’m being an obtuse rock head dad or husband. I don’t really know why, but I know I’m not alone. Outside the home though, I’m a systems thinker. I’ve taken a systems approach to fighting wars and insurgencies. I’ve used it to build software products. I’ve used it to market this blog. Just about any problem more complex then brushing your teeth takes systems thinking. I live by it. Because its how you solve hard problems. Which are the best kind to solve.

America is a system-a giant system. Problems like poverty, job creation, racial inequality and terrorism take systems thinking-because they’re hard, complex problems with lots of overlapping and inconsistent inputs. Doing something logical and linear may sound like a good idea. (We have too many people from outside our country inside our country. We must build a wall.) Because it’s simple and it makes you feel in control. But it actually doesn’t solve the problem. Because it’s not actually designed to solve a problem. It’s designed to make people angry or happy. Because it’s politics.

The core difference between a political debate and a debate of any other kind is that other debates focus on differing opinions to solving an issue. Political debates focus on differing opinions of what the issue is. There are no solutions to political debates. And nowhere besides government do we focus the energy on the politics of something and not the solution. Good non-government entities usually use the word politics at the beginning of a sentence used to describe an effort or decision that didn’t make any sense. My wife and I never argue over whether or not its good if the kids get to school on time-only how effective me yelling at them is. See the difference? Spending a morning on the former would be stupid.

This is a round about way to get to the following fairly simple point.

Politics are stupid.  

Political cycles are a long standing dialogue that argues whether the problem at hand is making our country great again or keeping it great. Those are two very different problems. And it’s party agnostic. Whatever party owns the government, owns the burden of arguing to keep our country great. Whatever party  is out in the cold owns the burden of arguing that we must return the party to greatness. The problems you identify when your task is keep are very different then the problems you identify when your task is return.

Here’s my point again: Politics are stupid.

Systems thinking is not. Political thinking is linear. You are allowed and expected to make simple arguments that people can digest that have no chance at solving any material problem in politics. Political motivation and systems motivation cannot occupy the same space at the same time. You cannot solve hard problems without systems thinking. You cannot solve problems with politics.

Politics are lunacy. Political opinion is a waste of time.

So the next time you are about to engage in a political debate with someone or spend time listening to two gas bags argue about whether or not something is a problem by proposing simple bite sized ideas that won’t solve anything important, pause and say to yourself, out loud.

“What I am about to do is an absolute and thorough waste of time.”

If you must continue, realize you’re using the same part of your brain that argues whether or not Lebron James is better then Kobe Bryant-or whether or not the best Pebbles are Co-Co or Fruity. Political thinking is capable of solving one problem-maintaining or taking control of government. The less time you spend there-says the guy with the political blog-the freer you are to think about the things that matter.

Like how the hell your son can lose his shoes twice in one morning.