Say No to Trump

Donald Trump is everywhere. He’s YOOOOOGE… and inescapable. I turn on my television and there he is. And he wants to be president.

At first, I thought it was a joke. I know that many still don’t take him seriously. But guys? I’m starting to worry.

In the age of “going viral”, it’s certainly not unheard of to take a joke a little bit too far. Take the potato salad story. In 2014, a Columbus, Ohio man started a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money to make a potato salad. It was a joke, a prank, a gag. But somehow, it grabbed attention. People gave money, probably ironically at first. Who has spare cash to give away ironically? I don’t know. But apparently, there are more of them than you’d think. The guy who wanted to raise $10 to buy some potatoes and mayonnaise ended up pulling in over $55,000. Let me say that again. A month-long Kickstarter campaign meant mostly as a joke — meant to raise $10 at most — raised OVER FIFTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. To make potato salad.

Now, as pranks go, this one was by all accounts benign. Even beneficial — the man who started it all ended up organizing PotatoStock, a giant potato salad party with the proceeds going to benefit charities that help homeless and hungry people. That’s awesome, and the fact that something so incredible could come out of a joke is probably part of the reason why people are eager to hop on the bandwagon of new, exciting, internet-friendly viral ventures.

But there’s a darker side to this, and you can see it by looking at all of the instances of a popular internet thing going horribly wrong. An innocent student hounded because he was misidentified as the Boston Marathon bomber early on. Fake charities, fake pregnancies, and faked illnesses. Anonymous. GamerGate. Rebecca Black’s Friday.

And now, there’s Donald Trump.

I know, I know — he’s a businessman and would-be politician, not an internet sensation. But in many ways, Donald Trump is made for the internet. He’s an active Twitter user. That hair. He says pithy, easily meme-able things. That hair. He’s “not politically correct”. That hair. The reality shows and pageants. That hair.

And he’s caught on, in a big way. And I’m starting to really fear how far this joke might go.

I urge you, if you’re looking at Donald Trump as a serious solution to the nation’s problems, please stop and rethink. If you know someone who has jumped on the Donald Trump bandwagon, please urge them to stop and rethink.

A country is not a business, and being able to handle money as a business person (however arguable Trump’s ability to do that is) does not translate to an ability to handle our country’s money.

A man who thinks that politically correct is a bad thing to be shouldn’t be allowed near foreign policy decisions. Political correctness is another way of saying “respect for others”. Trump’s brashness will lose allies and could conceivably start wars.

A man who is too thin-skinned to handle debate questions from Fox reporters can’t possibly be trusted with the immense pressures of the nation’s highest office.

We’re a nation founded on immigration. Trump’s attitude toward immigrants is unconscionable in a country that claims to pride itself on welcoming “the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”

And… that hair. Do you really want to look at it for four straight years?

Donald Trump is massively entertaining for a real estate developer. I freely admit that. Give him a new reality show. A new pageant. A new book deal. Let him back in the WWE ring. But for the love of all things sane and good, do not give this man elected office. Especially not THIS elected office.

Every Day I’m Hustling….

The life of the professional writer – like that of any freelance, whether she be a plumber or a podiatrist – is predicated on willpower. Without it there simply wouldn’t be any remuneration, period. — Will Self

My last post was a way-back post brought over from a rev share sight, concerning my first major income loss as a freelancer. The following is the follow up to that post. While it’s important to understand the downs in the freelancing life, it’s just as important to understand the ups. The work is out there — you just have to go for it.

Well, today I have been, anyway. It’s been two days since the company that was my primary income stream canceled my contract. I took a day off to mope around. Everyone needs a good mope now and then. Then I spent today sending out resumes, sending out writing samples, posting ads, answering ads, and basically begging for work.

All in all it was a pretty good day.

I now have one short term job, one longer term opportunity that looks like it could end up being pretty lucrative, and a couple of nibbles that might turn into something useful, but I’ll have to wait and see.

Pretty good for a rainy Saturday’s work.

This is one of the things I like about freelance writing work. If I’d spent my day knocking on doors in the brick-and-mortar job world, I wouldn’t have gotten a thing accomplished. (I’d have gotten really wet, though, it stormed all day). It’s a Saturday, so nobody would have given me an interview… in some places, I’d have been lucky to get an application. Certainly nobody would have looked at any applications I put in today. Probably not tomorrow, either. Heck, I wonder how many applications they look at ever? Last time I was looking for a “real” job, I could go a month or more without hearing back from anybody, even to say, “thanks but no thanks”. But in the freelance world, I can start making money again right away. Just another reason why I never want to punch a clock again.

These days, I have a lot more eggs in a lot more baskets. It makes it a lot easier to roll with the punches. I’m just as determined now as I was then to never, ever punch a clock again.