If we do the right thing as a society, we will become unimaginably strong. We will truly become the greatest and most powerful nation the world has ever known… or we’ll lose it. We’ll hand it over to China and take a back seat on the world stage like Great Britain. Right now, it has nothing to do with being first, but everything to do with idealism.
The United States represents the untethered spirit of mankind. Our unity and perseverance will solidify our values of democracy and republic. We will be the great country that was destined for us—that was preserved by the Greatest Generation, cultivated by hardiest of frontiersman, and industrialized by visionary innovators. Each one of you are the dream and beacon known the world over. You are their hope, but only if we unite.
The people of this country are in control. It will be through our volunteerism and cooperation at a local and community level — ignoring the pundits and partisanship — all of the thirsty politicians and their hollow rally cries. It will be us simply doing what is right for our towns and our people because it is the right thing to do. It won’t make up for our sins, but this selflessness will save our soul. This unity will fortify our unwavering dominance. This cooperation will prove that a free people is the most powerful people.
We are bigger than governments, we are bigger than financial systems, we are bigger than a natural disasters. We, as Americans, embody idealism — and we achieve it through hard work and unity.
This excerpt was taken from my personal, handwritten journal on Monday, March 16, 2020.
I am part of the first generation. I was dial-up internet chatting with friends and strangers over ICQ and AIM in junior high. I have created an account on just about every major social networking site since the phenomenon’s inception. I’ve gambled on sites that have long since dissolved and disappeared. I’ve been a user on sites that are only popular in other countries. I have used my own name. I have used fake names. I have lurked, trolled, whored, geeked, gamed, and just about everything else one can do online. I have a long history of internet use—with almost two decades of it occurring before privacy ever became a notion or concern.
Prior to Trump, my generation—the first generation of social media users—could have never been elected into office. There’s too much dirt on us—sticky digital fingerprints all over the trash, photos, videos and every ignorant thing teenagers and twenty-something morons think, do, and say online. For the first time in human history, all the nonsense of growing up and discovering life—experiencing all of the good and bad in the world—has been digitally documented and preserved forever. Moreover, we didn’t know that prior to going in—neither did the adults—and we surely didn’t consent with an understanding of the consequences.
I caused some hurt feelings on Twitter the other day. While filling out my ballot for the midterm elections, I took to the internet to help make sense of convoluted wording of the propositions. First off, that’s saying something about the voting process. I have a degree in philosophy and found it easier to understand Spinoza than the different amendments and propositions that I was voting for.
To gain clarity, I went to Google and began searching. Naturally, my local newspapers—namely The Denver Post and Colorado Springs Gazette—continued to pop up in the results. Once clicking on them, I quickly found that all of the important information about candidates and the propositions was gated behind a paywall. These sites required that I buy a subscription to view this content.
October 2, 2017—the day of the Las Vegas Massacre. It was technically the night before, but the world woke to another tragedy. A community shocked and numb.
It wasn’t surprising—I feel like everyone knew something like this was going to happen at some point in Las Vegas—but that doesn’t make it any less devastating or easier to accept.
I’ve seen it closeup several times before. I have a lot of connections to the Columbine shooting—know people on the hit list, have friends who lost their friends. I was there for the Theater Shooting, was a couple of miles up the road from the New Life Church shooting, drove along the highways during the Arizona I-10 Shooter scare, and used to play arcade games where the Trolley Square Shooting went down. I have dealt with this in my backyard, I have seen it unfold through the eyes of people who have established roots in these communities.
Vegas still felt different.
While there is absolutely no moral equivalency being drawn between good and evil—right and wrong—this exposé on same-sex marriage and modern families is completely about turning a blind eye. How I looked the other way—simply because everyone else did. We are afraid to ask the simplest of questions just because of the way it makes us feel. Ignorant. Confused. Fearful of the future. A whole host of complex questions that require considerable thought, vulnerability, and stirs deep emotions.
Meet Ginger; a longtime family friend and who would be the closest thing I have to a sister. My dad and her dad have been friends since the mid 1970s. They met while at work; my dad being a construction manager and her dad, David, owning a painting company. The two played competitive softball with each other for many years. As the stories go, it was a tight-knit group of friends and the ballgames were much more than obsession—it was their life. My mom had a significant role in Ginger’s young life, acting as an close-to-the-family babysitter for her and her brother for several years. Ginger’s mom and dad were always very much involved in her life, but appreciated the extra help while working full-time jobs and managing softball teams. Eventually I was born and my mom looked after all three of us. Though I was only a toddler, Ginger was my favorite and I followed her around like a duckling.