Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

The New York Times is running an ad tonight during the Oscars in defense of the attacks on the media by President Trump – the subject of the ad is the truth.

The truth.

They aren’t selling perfumes, pizza or even the latest tennis shoes, but the truth.

The New York Times doesn’t even make the truth look sexy, young or pretty the way advertisers are supposed to.  It’s just there in black and white. Cold and alone.

And they are spending a fortune in order to send this message.

The truth is hard.

 

Fake news.  False stories.  Sad ratings. The President been attacking the media from his early days in the campaign to today when he tweets from the White House.

I’m angry that an ad is running telling the world that the truth is hard.

But I’m not angry with the President.

I’m angry with the New York Times.

People who know me and read this blog, know I’m no fan of the President. I didn’t vote for him, I don’t support his policies and I don’t buy into his rhetoric.  But he is winning this battle. The media is playing right into his hand.

The truth is that the New York Times running an ad explaining the “truth” to us is nothing more than the public playing 3rd party to dysfunctional relationship between the media and the President that continues to boil since he took office.  I wish I could give credit to the person who coined the term “battered woman syndrome” in this scenario, because it’s a perfect description of what’s going on here.

It’s painfully obvious that the  media isn’t exactly sure how to handle BEING the story versus reporting on the story.  The President repeatedly beats them up, invalidates them, abuses them and yet they constantly seek his approval.  As clearly displayed in this ad, I’ve seen more self-confidence in a 13 year-old girl.

We get it, truth can mean different things to different people.  The media isn’t “fake news.”  We can scream we love you from the rooftops, but the one person you want so desperately to say it, never will.  So media, how are you going to learn to live with yourself for the next four years?  Taking out million dollars ads during every major news event isn’t going to fill that lonely void.

Have confidence in your product.  Stop being so defensive about it and, as Nike says “just do it.” Keep doing your job.  You are great at it. Report the fact and leave the truth part up to the reader. We all know deep down he really loves you.  Why would he spend so much time telling us how much he doesn’t? He can’t live without you.  That is the real truth and it didn’t cost a thing for me to advertise it.

 

 

 

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What would have been another lazy Sunday afternoon, was far from it when I gathered with hundreds of others at Kansas City International Airport to protest against President Trump’s Executive Order barring people from seven Muslim countries for the next 90 days.

Our airport is far from a flourishing international airport.  Most of the international flights are headed to Mexico or Canada, but that didn’t stop this crowd from assembling at our small terminal to send a message.  This ban is wrong. Refugees are welcome in our city.  Kansas City is a friendly and welcoming place for all who are peaceful to settle.  My America doesn’t ban groups of people based on religion.  We don’t favor one religion over another.  My America doesn’t turn our backs on refugees in crisis.  We did once and the consequences were disastrous.  We learn from our mistakes.  Regardless of what President Trump says, I know that is what really makes America great.

I am sure if I surveyed the crowd, we would all be there for similar reasons, but I can only speak for myself.  I had things to do today.  My house needed cleaning and my fridge is empty.  I desperately needed to go to the grocery store.  I have dirty clothes piling up.  Like a lot of Americans, Sunday is my catch up day for household chores.  I’m a busy working mom with a packed weekday schedule.  So why did I ignore all of those things and join the others holding signs?

This is why.

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
Martin Niemöller

 


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I woke up, checked my twitter feed and sure enough it wasn’t a bad dream, the 45th President was still Trump

Ugh…so I put on my “Nasty Woman” t-shirt, made some signs, joined 2.5 million of my closest friends around the globe and went out to make a statement.

We chanted, cheered and sang.  We were wearing our pink hats, held our signs and marched.

We made a major statement.

 

So now what?  What happens now that the march is over, the signs are in the trash and I’ve kicked up my sore feet?

Here’s what happens.

1. Pick the issue that you passionate about.  I realize there is a massive list of issues to choose from.  Just focus on one.  Don’t try to be superwoman and join them all.

In Kansas City, there were speeches about:

  • Women’s and Reproductive Health
  • Gun Control
  • Refugee Support
  • Increasing Minimum Wage
  • LGBT Issues
  • Sexual Assault Awareness

Oprah would remind us that burn out happens when we try to do too much.  Commit to focusing on one issue.

2. Stay informed. Sign up for your local representative’s newsletters, read your local paper, watch the news.  Make a statement against Trump by supporting the press.  If you can find 5 minutes, you can read the headlines.

3. Voice your opinion.  The first step was today, but take a step every day.  Post on social media, follow hashtags, write emails or start a blog.  Speak up often enough so that the representatives know who you are.  If you are in Kansas City, the twitter hashtags to follow are #ksleg and #moleg.  If we all commit to speaking out during key legislation, we can make an impact.  We witnessed the power in our numbers today.  One of my signs today said, “I’m a huge pain in the ass” – I wasn’t kidding.  Be a pain in the ass with me.






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4. Think about running for office.  Michael Moore said it today and it is so true.  Change happens at the local level.  We need new local leaders.  Find out what it takes to run for office and go for it.  If you can’t run, commit to volunteering for a campaign.

Rallies are amazing, energizing and inspiring.  They make us feel good and part of a community, but the difficult time comes when you are alone and don’t have the energy of the crowd to keep you engaged.  Do what it takes to stay involved.  Reach out on social media for the support to stay engaged.  The women’s march was the first step in the real march which is withstand the Trump administration and win the next election.

It was a powerful first step and I’m proud I took part in it.

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Dear Dr. Hinson,

Social media sure was buzzing today! I thought at first your BFF Brownback finally got his rose from President-elect Trump to be Secretary of Agriculture, but then I read about the big controversy in the Shawnee Mission School District about teachers and staff reprimanded wearing safety pins.   Why the safety pins? (For readers who may have been living under a rock for the past two weeks), let’s go to the VERY neutral source of Pop Sugar who brings us cutting edge articles like “These are the 9 best body butters for soft skin in winter.” There are some great tips so please stop and read.

 

“A few days post-election and it’s not unusual to hear about hate crimes happening around the country, including — but not limited to — ones against immigrants, people of color, and Muslims. But in the midst of all that negativity, people are banding together in a positive way, wearing safety pins to symbolize solidarity and to combat what’s going on. The movement, which started in the UK when similar events occurred post-Brexit, is a simple and easy way of saying, “Hey, whoever you are, whatever you believe in, you’re safe with me.” http://www.popsugar.com/fashion/What-Does-Wearing-Safety-Pin-Mean-42695540#photo-42695540

 

Your official statement below– I took the liberty of bolding the interesting part.

 

“Recent events require us to remind our employees of their rights and responsibilities.  As a staff member, you do not give up your first amendment right to free-speech on matters of public concern. However, your communication inside the classroom on school time is considered speech on behalf of the school district and there is a limitation on that speech. 

The wearing of a safety pin as a political statement is the latest example of such political speech.  Although wearing the safety pin as political speech is not the problem, any disruption the political statement causes in the classroom or school is a distraction in the education process.  We ask staff members to refrain from wearing safety pins or other symbols of divisive and partisan political speech while on duty–unless such activity is specifically in conjunction with District curriculum.

Further, the use of district owned devices and accounts is strictly forbidden for anything other than District business.  If you have questions regarding appropriate use, please see BOE policies IIBF and GAT.

NEA-SM and the Board of Education are committed to the safety of every student.  Thank you in advance for your careful review of this statement and for working with all students of the Shawnee Mission community.”

The Shawnee Mission School District has been and will continue to be a district that focuses on taking care of students and making sure that all students feel safe and supported regardless of issues or concerns occurring outside of our schools. 

 

Translation – Stop wearing pins and they are reading your emails!  You have been warned.

 

From the Shawnee Mission Post,

“The ACLU of Kansas strongly urges you to reconsider the prohibition on staff wearing safety pins,” wrote Executive Director Micah Kubic. “The school district’s current policy sends students a clear signal that not all students are valued or safe at school, undermines attempts to build community, and is vulnerable to a legal challenge.”

 

I see the ACLU is in the “strongly urge” stage.  It hasn’t been proven, but I know there are 5 stages to the ACLU that you should be aware of and they are as follows:

1.The side-eye and harsh glance stage.  This is reserved for minor offenses.   This one can be summed up in an amusing GIF.

aclu

2.The “ya might want to rethink that” stage. That means you have done something severe enough that they have sent one of their lawyers an email with the subject line “heads up”. The email has then been forwarded about one THOUSAND times so everyone is on alert.

3. The stern warning stage – I’m not talking about a stern warning from your mom to clean your room.  This is where they have added you to the section of the website known as “know your rights.”  You are part of their strategic communication plan and honey, they are organized.  Once you are part of the website, you aren’t EVER coming off.

4. The “strongly urges you to reconsider” stage – that is where we are today.  The lawyers are ready, but no action has been taken yet. The key word is yet.

5. Finally, the “Alert! Alert! Rights have been violated” stage – you better lawyer up, because this one is going to be a long and costly process. Here comes the lawsuit. Hope the kids don’t need  new books, playground equipment or desks next year, because you are going to be b-r-o-k-e fighting this one. The ACLU moves from stage 4 to 5 faster than college kids swiping on Tinder at 1 am on a Saturday night.

Now that we have identified the 5 stages of ACLU, I noticed that you did what any PR genius would do to calm tensions, you compared the safety pin to the Confederate Flag.

 

From KCUR,

“It was also discovered Tuesday that district administrators dealt with at least one instance of a Confederate flag being displayed in a classroom. “We asked that individual to remove the flag, we found that to be political speech that would be disruptive,” says Superintendent Jim Hinson. “They removed that flag” 

“Any political speech that’s disruptive, whether it’s a flag or safety pin, we’re going to deal with it all the same,” according to Hinson. “The school house is not the place for students to be exposed to any type of political indoctrination.” 

http://kcur.org/post/safety-pin-controversy-rages-shawnee-mission-school-district

 

School house? The 1850’s called and they want their term back.  Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, calms people down more than comparing the issues of safety and security with the Confederate Flag.  Well done,Dr. Hinson, well done.  I believe that’s the ACLU for you calling on line 1.

 

Yours for allowing teachers to wear safety pins,

Aimee

Usually I write letters to others, but this one is to myself. I think a little self-reflection is needed after this election.

Dear Aimee,

He won.

It happened. I know you still can’t believe it happened, but it happened. How did it happen? Nothing about it makes sense. Hillary had the boring policies, she won the debates, “you’re the puppet”, the convention was on point, the ceiling was shattering, she had a strong ad game, and she had Katy Perry.

She had KATY fucking PERRY. We were roaring. You were roaring. And you roared like a champ.

giphy

Today Trump went to the White House.

No amount of protesting, crying, bargaining, tweeting, status updating or ranting is going to change the outcome of this election.

So now what?

1. Let them have their moment. You had yours when Obama won. If we are being honest for a moment, it was pretty obnoxious how much of a moment you had.  Take a calming breath and just let them have their moment. Type all the responses on Facebook you want and then just hit delete and don’t post. Let them be happy. Life goes on without you responding to every Pro-Trump post on Facebook.

2. IGNORE ALL PETITIONS. As much as you would like to believe that signing that petition from moveon.org is going to make all of this go away, it’s a waste of time.  Channel your energy into more productive things.  A petition does not bring down a President.

3. Have some hard conversations about what went wrong.  That doesn’t mean pointing the finger at “them”, but turning it around and figuring out exactly what went wrong with us.  Is this party as diverse and inclusive as it claims to be?  Why aren’t there new leaders emerging? Why does this party have trouble connecting with rural and suburban voters?  What are some core issues that the party is missing the mark on?

4. Get involved. Get involved. Get involved. I am not 100% sure what is in store for the country in the next four years, but get involved and stay involved. Writing a blog and poking fun at politicians is the fun part, but if you’re really as upset about this election as you claim to be, then you need to take MORE action.  You know that the real change happens at the local level.

5. Keep it in perspective.  You have lived for YEARS as a liberal in conservative Kansas.  You have survived, kept your sense of humor and spoke out for what you believe in.  You have Sam, tax cut disaster, Brownback to thank for the years of training in responding to conservative social and economic policies that have destroyed this state. You are not alone.  There are thousands and thousands of us in the Midwest that are used to this.  We just have to ramp it up to the national level for a while – and really start to roar.

Yours for surviving President Trump,

Aimee

 

 

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