I have been a lurker on this site for quite some time. I have known Chris for over 20 years from a past life in software sales. I approached Chris about doing some opinion pieces for this blog, and he told me to go for it. I called this “View From the Cheap Seats” because I am not going to be as intellectual or as well researched as others who have posted here. I am just a slightly upper-middle-class married white guy with two grown children who has been left by the GOP and no longer recognizes his world.
While I did not vote for Trump, most of my friends and acquaintances did. I could not vote for Hillary Clinton and was glad that she did not win at the time. As I watched the protests after the 2016 Election, I was surprised that so many people were having a visceral reaction to Trump being elected. I thought, let’s at least let him form a cabinet, thinking that he would grow into the job, and we will see how he governs. I mean surely, the responsibility of being the POTUS would force him to reign in his basic instincts. I could not have been more wrong.
Fast forward to shortly after the inauguration. We see Trump claiming to have the most massive inaugural crowd in history. Meantime the Park Police and other outlets put out the numbers and, they were not even close to Barack Obama’s numbers. This is the famous “Alternative Facts” incident, and it began to dawn on me that this could be trouble. Call me naive, and many do, but I try to take what people tell me as the truth until they prove otherwise. Alternative facts, however, are not acceptable.
I am going to admit something here that I probably shouldn’t. I would depend on my news from what I saw on TV and reading the WSJ and USA Today when I traveled for business. The “Alternative Facts” incident was a wake-up call. I decided to subscribe to two online newspapers, the New York Times and The Washing Post. I did this because I wanted to be able to read different articles and discern for myself what is most likely the truth. I also started reading this blog because I knew the author of many articles and trusted he was a knowledgable and truthful person. When I compared this to what I saw on Fox News, listening to friends and acquaintances talk about the news, I was horrified by the difference in what I thought was probably true vs. the conspiracy and deep state cabal crap that was coming from God knows where. Is it too reactionary to be absolutely horrified that some of my fellow Americans believe there is a deep state?
Fast forward to today. Our Government has completely botched our response to the Novel Corona Virus pandemic. As of this writing, almost 140,000 Americans have died from this disease. A personal friend of mine who recovered from Covid-19 is living with 30% lung capacity in one of his lungs. Texas has completely botched its response, and now the virus is running rampant in densely populated counties. Our President either ignored or refused to hear intelligence of a Russian bounty on our troops in Afganistan. There are just too many horrors to list here.
So, moving forward, as more horrors present themselves, I will be sharing my views if they are deemed appropriate for public consumption. I will share what I am listening to and what I am seeing on the ground here in Houston, Texas. Just describing the view from the cheap seats.
What I am listening to This Week:
- Pod Save America (Podcast)
- The Art of Happiness (Audiobook)
- The New Abnormal (Podcast)
- The Lincoln Project (Podcast)
- Finding Mastery (Podcast)
What I am Reading:
Leadership: In Turbulent Times Book by Doris Kearns Goodwin