Dear [concerned liberal teacher-friend],
I’m tempted to send a million links to writers who can make my points much better than I can, but I’ll spare you that burden. I’ll try to take your points as I see them and make a response. This, by the way, is how I can pound out e-mails and essays quickly. If I compose with some points in mind, it’s easier to develop and revise in general. I credit teaching AP Lang and writing with the students for developing this skill.

I’ll start with saying that it’s quite clear that our news is very different. You might say that one is true, and one is false, but I rather think that media on both sides mostly emphasize different things. While you’re reading about Trump’s groping and sexist/islamophobic rhetoric, I’m reading about HRC’s abuses and Obama’s policy failures. I don’t think either of us could remedy any ignorance that might arise from actually paying for our news instead of reading free news online. Seriously man, who pays for their news nowadays? And how is paying to read Paul Krugman, Charles Blow, or Maureen Dowd really going to open my eyes? (For the record, I do appreciate Ross Douthat and sometimes David Brooks, which is where most of my free reads go when I visit NYT.)


Perhaps if I’m feeling particularly progressive, I can peruse the fresh feminist voices of the Huffington Post.

Nor do I think that strictly reading news reports, versus opinion columns, will spare anyone from imbibing falsehood. Not only are journalists who “simply report the facts” biased themselves and are often quite selective in their stories, but they also tend to infuse some of their own opinion when reporting those stories. Moreover, reading all these stories would take forever. Why not let the pundits do the work for me, and click on those links they provide if I’m curious? Both liberals and conservatives pull from the same sources, and I can easily glean what’s been going on that way than combing through NYT’s or WSJ’s many pages of headlines.

All that said, I think you’re applying a double-standard with Trump’s and Hillary’s flaws. You say the former is a known slime bag while the latter is the innocent victim of so much sexist bigoted slander. I’m afraid they’re both pretty bad, and, judging from the plethora of reports and analyses of her crimes/scandals, Hillary is actually much worse. It’s telling that they’re now having to discuss Obama using his executive privilege to pardon her. Has the same been said of any other presidential candidate in recent history?

How fun would it be if these two were the presidential candidates instead?

How fun would it be if these two were the presidential candidates instead?

To our credit, I don’t think either of us wanted them to be our respective candidates. Remember that. You liked Bernie, and I liked Cruz. And I think we liked them for a similar reason: they expressed our political beliefs in the clearest way. You believe in a government that provides for the poor and doesn’t favor the rich; I believe in a government that is very limited and allows people to lead their own lives. You believe in an America held back from destruction; I believe in an America let loose for prosperity.

In this, I think we both believe in good things and can find common ground if we try. However, I think you better get off your moral high horse (to quote Obama) and stop claiming that Christ is on your side. When the Democrats clamor to expand abortion and assisted suicide “rights” among other anti-Christian agendas, we err in thinking we can keep our conscience clean by voting for them. And you can probably imagine how the prospect of having my first child and witnessing the miracle of life right before me only reaffirms my belief in all people’s right to life.

Furthermore, Jesus said to give to the poor (which I do, quite generously, if you must know), not give to Caesar to redistribute to the poor. Understand, I don’t mind that there are government programs that help the truly destitute. However, I do mind programs that help certain businesses over others or programs that are redundant and help no one but the bureaucrats who staff them. Therefore, I believe in free markets, free speech, and free assembly, and I think history and current reality justify my belief.


The ghettos of Compton may inspire talented rappers to tell their stories, but they’re not very family-friendly.

A quick look around the world will show that capitalist countries become richer while socialist countries stagnate and become poorer. States with limited, fiscally conservative governments like Texas and Florida are much more attractive spots to live and work than states with large liberal governments like New York or California. Normal people can’t afford to live in those places—too many fees and taxes, and too few jobs.

I also think we profit from uncensored media and discourse since this places a critical perspective on all people and ideas. The polarized niche-mass media of today bother me greatly. It’s nearly impossible to talk with you or other liberal colleagues without getting a little emotional, and I think it’s the same vice versa. Why should this be, except that we’ve based our views, even ones that reach our very core, on very different premises? Our goal should be to broaden our minds, not narrow them. Additionally, we should not take this stuff so much to heart. I’d rather become heated over my own life, not the foibles of ugly geriatrics in Washington. I think that vilifying the other side and outsourcing our opinions to entertainers has had enormous consequences for our ability to speak about politics competently.
Finally, I desire to return our culture to one that nurtures family and church life. There’s a social breakdown in our world, and I think the solutions proposed will either do nothing or exacerbate the issue. For instance, on the issue of broken homes, some Democrats propose contraception and abortion to limit the problem of children. Less hard hearted ones might want universal daycare to take care of them. Republicans suggest little except maybe some tax-credits for families and nodding approvingly at churches and other faith-based organizations that promote family values. On the issue of education, Democrats want to expand lower and higher education by pumping more money into it. Republicans want to do the opposite and see what happens. This same dynamic plays out for other issues as well.

Naturally, I side with the less intervention, but also think that individuals and local non-government organizations need to pick up the slack. This is the dilemma with most programs (public or private) that help the downtrodden: does the program enable, or does it empower? Does it make a person freer, or more dependent? I think this plays out all the time in the classroom. Is it fair to give A’s or F’s to everyone? Is it helpful to give a passing grade for perceived effort instead of ability? Do we try to emphasize achievement, or improvement? At what point should we confront bad behavior in a student? Now, if we apply these questions to the nation, we see that we have complex issues that


Pity this poor billionaire who now has to live in Trump’s America.

require complex solutions. Once this is realized, I think the proper response is to be humbled. When people on the left or right become arrogant and propose simplistic solutions, then I become annoyed.

Now that I’ve written all this, I think I’ll probably post it to the blog I write for. I don’t plan to change your mind, but maybe broaden it a bit. The ridiculous reactions to this election, again both positive and negative, will hopefully die down and we can come together to address the challenges faced by modern Americans.