Questions about How to Grab Life

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Tonight, on Facebook, I saw a post of an image, a person in silhouette before a sunset, the kind of image you see in posters designed to fill you with inspiration to manifest your destiny, to be a butterfly, to be all that you can be.

You know the kind.

And the caption emblazoned on it read, “Grab life by the pussy.”

An attempt at a humorous take on Donald Trump’s recorded boast about his belief that his fame and wealth provided him with a license to sexually assault women.

And the person who posted it, a person who for a time invited thought provoking conversations, was applauded for their application of their first amendment rights.

High fives abounded.

It might have been funny if that person had ever bothered to stand up for the rights of anyone other than themselves, but I never actually saw that person do that.

Instead, I watched as that person slowly retreated, over several months, into the cocoon of their privilege. The thought provoking questions were replaced by an increasing number of images of their apparently fabulous life.

It’s understandable. The temptation is incredibly strong to tune out, to turn down the volume on the sounds of other people’s suffering and listen instead to the strains of our own song, our own laughter, our own good fortune.

The temptation is equally strong to believe that all our fortune is the result of our merit, that we have earned, through sweat and fine character, every good thing we enjoy.

Once you believe this, it is easy to see the suffering of others as something they have heaped upon themselves. And one of the ways we can tell ourselves they have heaped this upon themselves is through their inability to laugh at things like sexual assault, police brutality, systemic racism, poverty, and all that other flotsam and jetsam that spills forth from being less than exceptional.

Why is my life so magnificent? Because I can laugh at horrible things I don’t actually experience myself. Don’t you see? Just look at me. I’m incredibly carefree and unapologetic for being such.

There’s really no such thing as political correctness. No one is actually legally policing anyone’s right to be feckless and indifferent to the plight of others.

But does that mean such an attitude is worthy of praise? Does practicing your ability to be hilariously offensive truly earn you all the kudos you receive?

Or does it merely demonstrate that you are one of the lucky winners in the lottery of existence, that you can afford to laugh at things others have had their lives diminished if not destroyed by?

These are the kinds of questions my acquaintance once asked people to engage in.

These days, however, I think they’ve found it easier to reap the warm fuzzies one can coopt by feeding into the hunger we all feel from time to time for the dreamy sleep of indifference.

I fear an opportunity for growth has been wasted and the potential to make a real difference has been cast aside.

Then again, maybe I should just go grab life by the pussy and forget all about such concerns. The rewards for doing so, I’ve been told, are far, far greater.

Ken Robert is a guy who can’t not write, writing things he can’t not say. If you can’t not read them, click here and sign up for free updates.

How the Illuminati Died and Rose Again

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Once upon a time in the 1770’s, there was a secret society called the Order of the Illuminati.

It was started by a man named Adam Weishaupt, a Bavarian professor of law, who really had a thing for secret societies.

First, Weishaupt gave the Masons a try but decided they weren’t ambitious enough or secretive enough. And what’s the fun in that, really?

So one day he thought to himself, “I’ll just start up my own little secret society.

I’ll offer lower member fees and higher ambitions, and set about changing the world.

And all of this will be super secret, more super secret than all those other not so secret lameazoids.  I will be the most secretive secret secret keeper ever.”

So he whispered in one ear and another and another and then he and his newly sworn undercover brothers set about whispering to others in places where people often whisper to others until one day the Order of the Illuminati was a silent army of 300 or so. The exact number remains a secret, of course.

They had it all, really. Secret words, secret names, secret rituals. They probably even had a secret handshake.

They only had one problem, a problem that has plagued secret societies all throughout their poorly hidden histories. They’re made up of people, and people suck at being secretive.

It wasn’t very long before the whispers fell into all the wrong ears. That’s a really fun thing about secrets. Sharing them.

The other fun thing about secrets is getting to change them up and make them sexier than they ever were before. More intrigue. More danger. More everything.

By 1784, the streets were alive with whispers and the government was feeling nervous, so they banned all that secretive stuff.

Some of the secrets turned into rumors. Rumors turned into accusations. Weishaupt turned into a blabbermouth, and told a government official everything in an attempt to save his society.

He ended up fleeing Bavaria in the end. Other members were arrested and, next thing you know, all of their secrets were made public. Their secret documents. Their secret letters. Their secret goals to promote reason and build a peaceful society devoid of superstition were soon laid out and asunder.

And that’s when things really got fun. The society was no longer a secret. They no longer even existed. Everyone was free to speculate.

They’ve gone underground. They’re plotting something big. They’re everywhere and into everything.

The word spread from Bavaria outward and the word took amazing turns along the way.

Soon everyone knew everything about a society that was no longer anything, but brother, don’t you buy that last bit.

Then came the French Revolution and the Enlightenment and some were none too happy about it. That’s when a Jesuit priest named Augustin de Barruel shared his conviction that the whole enlightened mess had been the master plan of one ingenious evil presence, the Order of the Illuminati.

Just think about it. They no longer existed. What a perfect way to be more secretive than ever.

John Robison, a professor in Scotland reached the same conclusion. It had to be the Illuminati.

These things don’t just happen. Every movement has to have a mover. Every uprising has to have someone who shoves it upwards. Every revolution has to have a central planner. And if they don’t, there will always be people like Barruel and Robison who will work feverishly to provide one.

And so they did, each working separately to craft similar tales of varying details by splicing together all the various rumors that had spun their way through all the various networks.

Their tales were met with wide acclaim, mass distribution, and a bit of mass hysteria.

And that’s how a secret society that was really bad at keeping secrets became the evil mastermind behind a plot to overthrow all that’s holy long after they ceased to exist.

Now you understand a little bit more about why your neighbor’s addicted to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and WND.com. They know all the secrets.

What I Was Reading When I Wrote This…

Ken Robert is a guy who can’t not write, writing things he can’t not say. If you can’t not read them, click here and sign up for free updates.

Excerpts from the Journal of Christopher Columbus and other documents

From Columbus’s Journal

“I knew that they were a people who could be more easily freed and converted to our holy faith by love than by force, gave to some of them red caps, and glass beads to put round their necks, and many other things of little value…” October 11, 1492

“They should be good servants and intelligent, for I observed that they quickly took in what was said to them, and I believe that they would easily be made Christians, as it appeared to me that they had no religion, our Lord being pleased, will take hence, at the time of my departure, six natives for your Highnesses that they may learn to speak.” October 11, 1492

“I was attentive, and took trouble to ascertain if there was gold. I saw that some of them had a small piece fastened in a hole they have in the nose, and by signs I was able to make out that to the south, or going from the island to the south, there was a king who had great cups full, and who possessed a great quantity. I tried to get them to go there, but afterwards I saw that they had no inclination.” October 11, 1492

“These people are very simple as regards the u.se of arms, as your Highnesses will .sec from the seven that I caused to be taken, to bring home and learn our language and return; unless your Highnesses should order them all to be brought to Castile, or to be kept as captives on the same island; for with fifty men they can all be subjugated and made to do what is required of them…” October 14, 1492

“They had dogs, mastiffs and hounds, and here they found a man who had a piece of gold in his nose, the size of half a castellano, on which they saw letters. I quarrelled with these people because they would not exchange or give what was required; as I wished to see what and whose this money was; and they replied they were not accustomed to barter.” October 17, 1492

“All last night and today I was here, waiting to see if the king or other person would bring me gold or anything of value.” October 22, 1492

“The Indians on board said that thence to Cuba was a voyage in their canoes of a day and a half; these being small dug-outs without a sail. Such are their canoes. I departed thence for Cuba, for by the signs the Indians made of its greatness, and of its gold and pearls, I thought that it must be Cipango.” October 26, 1492

“It is abundantly supplied with water, as they gathered from the Indians they had taken with them from the island of Guanahani. These said by signs that there are ten great rivers, and that they cannot go round the island in twenty days. When they came near land with the ships, two canoes came out; and, when they saw the sailors get into a boat and row about to find the depth of the river where they could anchor, the canoes fled. The Indians say that in this island there are gold-mines and pearls, and the Admiral saw a likely place for them and mussel-shells, which are signs of them. He understood that large ships of the Gran Can came here, and that from here to the mainland was a voyage of ten days. The Admiral called this river and harbor San Salvador.” October 28, 1492

“The Admiral showed the Indians some specimens of cinnamon and pepper he had brought from Castillo, and they knew it, and said, by signs, that there was plenty in the vicinity, pointing to the S.E. He also showed them gold and pearls, on which certain old men said that there an infinite quantity in a place called Holito} and that the people wore it on their necks, ears, arms, and legs, as well as pearls. He further understood them to say that there were great ships and much merchandise, all to the S.K. He also understood that, far away, there were men with one eye, and others with dogs’ noses who were cannibals, and that when they captured an enemy they beheaded him and drank his blood…” November 4, 1492

“When they arrived, the chief people conducted them by the arms to the prin- cipal house, gave them two chairs on which to sit, and all the natives sat round them on the ground. The Indian who came with them described the manner of living of the Christians, and said that they were good people. Presently the men went out, and the women came sitting round them in the same way, kissing their hands and feet, and looking to see if they were of flesh and bones like themselves. They begged the Spaniards to remain with them at least five days” November 6, 1492

“‘They are a people’, says the Admiral, ‘guileless and unwarlike. Men and women go as naked as when their mothers bore them. It is true that the women wear a very small rag of cotton-cloth, and they arc of very good appear- ance, not very dark, less so than the Canarians. I hold, most serene Princes, that if devout religious persons were here, knowing the language, they would all turn Christians’

I trust in our Lord that your Highnesses will resolve upon this with much diligence, to bring so many great nations within the Church, and to convert them ; as you have destroyed those who would not confess the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.'” November 6, 1492

“The Admiral says that, on the previous Sunday, the iith of November, it seemed good to take some persons from amongst those at Rio de Marcs, to bring to the Sovereigns, that they might learn our language, so as to be able to tell us what there is in their lands. Returning, they would be the mouthpieces of the Christians, and would adopt our customs and the things of the faith.” November 12, 1492

“YOUR HIGHNESSES, as Catholic Christians and Princes who love the holy Christian faith, and the propagation of it, and who are enemies to the sect of Mahoma [Islam] and to all idolatries and heresies, resolved to send me, Cristóbal Colon, to the said parts of India to see the said princes … with a view that they might be converted to our holy faith …. Thus, after having turned out all the Jews from all your kingdoms and lordships … your Highnesses gave orders to me that with a sufficient fleet I should go to the said parts of India …. I shall forget sleep, and shall work at the business of navigation, so that the service is performed.” Prologue to Journal of Christopher Columbus

Other Documents

“As soon as I arrived in the Indies, in the first island which I found, I took some of the natives by force, in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.” Letter to King Ferdinand 1493

 

Sources:

Journal of Christopher Columbus, 1492

Christopher Columbus, the Untold Story

Letter to King Ferdinand describing the first voyage

An Alarming Alert from an Angry Patriot

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Ok, I have no idea how this rabidly anti-Muslim, red-blooded American, whose insignia incorporates the well known symbols of alt-wisdom, the cat and the lion, wound up on my Facebook friends list.

But in any event, there she was in my newsfeed, ranting in all capitalized letters as all great thinkers throughout the history of great thinking have been known to do.

I believe it was Plato who once said, “LISTEN TO THIS CRAZY SHIT!”

But I digress.

She had a cogent thought to share with others and me:

“DISGUSTING! SURE, BRING IN A BARBARIC CULTURE WHOSE INTENTIONS ARE TO BRING OUR NATIONS VALUES DOWN TO THEIR FILTHY LEVEL!”

She was referring to an article from Angry Patriot Movement, a news organization best known for its impeccable journalism and, of course, its seething love of the U.S.

The headline from this boiling kettle of all American outrage read, “ALERT – Obama’s SICK ‘Islamic Plan’ Just Exposed, But Hillary Loved It.”

First of all, how can I express the level of appreciation I have for the fuming protectors of freedom who devote their lives to alerting me of such things and the apoplectic loyalists who share their alarming work? I simply can’t find the words, because there are no words to express it.

Apparently, President Obama has been “bumrushing” Syrians into the country under dark of night and Hillary Clinton is totally ok with it. You won’t be seeing this on CNN, I assure you.

In other posts on this person’s wall, one can see the development of rather nuanced immigration and foreign intervention policies, best exemplified by these two statements….

1) “OK EVERYONE I KNOW YOU DON’T LIKE TO SEE THE TRUTH BUT IT IS YOUR DUTY AS A DECENT HUMAN BEING TO EDUCATE YOURSELF WHILE THE INTERNET STILL ALLOWS YOU TO SEE WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS WORLD REGARDING CERTAIN YOUNG MALE IMMIGRANTS! PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF BECAUSE THIS HORROR IS COMING TO OUR BELOVED AMERICA! THE POWERS THAT BE ARE BREAKING US DOWN WITH RACIAL DIVIDE AND ECONOMIC STRIFE AND SOON POSSIBLY WWIII. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION. NEVERMIND YOUR FOOTBALL, THE KARDASHIANS, BRAD AND ANGELINA THEY ARE ALL NOTHING! GET OFF OF YOUR STUPID GAMES AND WAKE THE F UP!”

Yes. Will someone please wake the F up? The F has a lot of things he needs to deal with. He should have set his alarm. I mean seriously.

But again I digress. Second quote (in response to a reportedly eminent threat of nuclear war with Russia).

2) “THIS IS CRAZY! I LOVE THE RUSSIANS. IF THE USA WANTS TO NUKE A COUNTRY THEY SHOULD ROUND UP ALL THE MUSLIMS INTO THE MIDDLE EASTERN RAT HOLES WHERE THEY CAME FROM AND BOMBS AWAY! GET THEM OUT OF EUROPE, THE UK, AUSTRALIA THE USA AND ANYWHERE ELSE THE MUZRATS INVADED AND SEND THEM BACK TO THE HELL THAT IS ISLAM.”

And she’s absolutely right. This is crazy.

But here’s the real reason I’m sharing this with all of you. It’s because I’m confused.

Here is a person with a real vision for America and when someone accused her of displaying her “Republican bigotry,” instead of putting them in their place, she chose to stump them with this question/exclamation.

“Who says I’m voting!”

Yes, Who says! But then Who says so many things and what if Who is wrong? I hear he gets a lot of his information from the F, and that fool can’t even set an alarm clock.

What if Who is wrong and people like her, people with the kind of insight that can’t fully be absorbed if presented in weak and pathetic small letters, choose not to participate in our political process? What kind of world will we be left with?

One where those who don’t wave the flag with boiling contempt for two thirds or more of the populace get to try their unclenched hands at building a nation built on compassion, cooperation, tolerance, and (gulp) equality?

Can you imagine it?

I’m simply not built in any appropriate way to stand in the presence of a flaming mad philosopher like this one, let alone be on their friends list.

So I did the right thing and removed myself.

Who says I’m ungracious!

Whatever, Who. I’m out of here. Will someone tell the F it’s time to go?

Ken Robert is a guy who can’t not write, writing things he can’t not say. If you can’t not read them, click here to get free updates.

Twisting Hillary – How to Take Someone’s Words and Tangle Them in Two

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So, you’re going to hear a lot of talk about a newly leaked audio of Hillary Clinton talking about Sanders supporters. Here is how you’re going to witness it being presented and misrepresented. You’re going to hear people talking about how truly horrible she is, how evil and hateful she is, and they’re going to prove that by parroting the newest trending hashtag from the Twittersphere: #basementdwellers.

Basement Dwellers. People are already reacting to this insult by spitting a stream of righteous venom directly into the eyes of anyone who still has the audacity to suggest the seven headed hydra known as Hillary Rodham Clinton is fit to govern anything, let alone the nation.

And hey, you have to admit that calling Sanders supporters (a thing I was and still am) a bunch of basement dwellers does sound like a wickedly dismissive cut down, the kind you might hear from Cruella Deville if she were an actual human being instead of a fictional villain in a children’s book and Disney cartoon. You know, kind of like the version of Hillary Clinton one might encounter when reading the comment threads in a chat group called Stop the Liberal Plot to Destroy America and Turn All Our Children Gay.

Many who repeat that term, basement dwellers, will hold this up as their smoking AK-47, the one that proves Clinton thoroughly detests all of us, and you might agree they have a point if – and this is a big IF: if you don’t bother to listen to or read a transcript of what Clinton actually said in the audio.

So, I’m going to do something pretty biased. I’m going to share her actual words. It’s biased because it reveals my prejudicial preference for a thing called context. Rather than distilling someone’s words into a two-word phrase you can spread across the web to incite outrage, I’ve got this weird little fetish for actual quotes.

Here are some of the things Hillary actually said. Be forewarned, I’m going to present them via a somewhat disorienting new technology known as full paragraphs.

Clinton: “It is important to recognize what’s going on in this election. Everybody who’s ever been in an election that I’m aware of is quite bewildered because there is a strain of, on the one hand, the kind of populist, nationalist, xenophobic, discriminatory kind of approach that we hear too much of from the Republican candidates. And on the other side, there’s just a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare, that what we’ve done hasn’t gone far enough, and that we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don’t know what that means, but it’s something that they deeply feel. So as a friend of mine said the other day, I am occupying from the center-left to the center-right. And I don’t have much company there. Because it is difficult when you’re running to be president, and you understand how hard the job is — I don’t want to overpromise. I don’t want to tell people things that I know we cannot do. ”

This pretty much sounds like things she’s publicly said all along the campaign trail, but get ready for the bombshell blast.

Clinton: “Some are new to politics completely. They’re children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents’ basement. They feel they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves. And they don’t see much of a future. I met with a group of young black millennials today and you know one of the young women said, “You know, none of us feel that we have the job that we should have gotten out of college. And we don’t believe the job market is going to give us much of a chance.” So that is a mindset that is really affecting their politics. And so if you’re feeling like you’re consigned to, you know, being a barista, or you know, some other job that doesn’t pay a lot, and doesn’t have some other ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing. So I think we should all be really understanding of that and should try to do the best we can not to be, you know, a wet blanket on idealism. We want people to be idealistic. We want them to set big goals. But to take what we can achieve now and try to present them as bigger goals.”

Now, maybe I’m failing to be sufficiently outraged by her remarks. Maybe she truly is Hillary, Queen of the Damning, but it sounded to me like she was describing a real situation that many millenials are facing and saying she understands how it can lead to disillusionment and a desire to join something one sees as revolutionary that she personally feels may not be all that pragmatic and effective.

She encourages those listening to be understanding of that and to try to help people who feel this way to attach their goals to achievable outcomes we can work toward right now.

One of my favorite interviews that President Obama gave is the one he did while sitting in Marc Maron of the WTF podcast’s garage. He talked about the mindset that directed the way he governed and that was to ask himself each day what could be done to move things forward just one more inch. He believed in focusing on that rather than trying to go for all and losing everything. An inch at a time, forward, forward, forward.

In these words of hers, I essentially hear Secretary Clinton echoing that approach. Whether or not you agree with her ideas for doing so, that is the goal I hear her sharing with people. It’s the same one I heard her talk about even when I was voting for another candidate in a primary because I wanted things to move more swiftly and in bigger ways than what I felt she was offering.

If I’m going to be honest at all, I have to admit that maybe both she and the president are being more realistic than I was and sometimes still am because they’ve lived their lives in the trenches and know what political battles and forward movement really entail. I kind of like the idea of a president who doesn’t pander to my every irrational whim. At least in this particular instance, call me rational.

But what do I know? Maybe I should condense her words into a thing she didn’t actually say and then call for her head. It seems to be a very popular thing to do these days.

Ken Robert is a guy who can’t not write, writing things he can’t not say. If you can’t not read them, click here to get free updates.

Politico: Clinton gives her take on Sanders supporters in leaked fundraising recording

The Intercept: Hacked Audio Reveals Hillary Clinton Sees Herself Occupying “Center-Left to Center-Right”

The Actual Audio Clip from The Free Beacon: Clinton Privately Opposes Major U.S. Nuclear Upgrade  Yes, you heard that right. The “warmonger” opposes a major nuclear upgrade. However will she carry out her plot to kill everyone?

WTF Podcast: President Obama Interview

 

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How Freedom of Religion Works for Everyone

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Freedom of Religion only works if it works for everyone. Thankfully, here in the United States, it does just that. Feel free to thank whomever or whatever you choose.

Some will claim we live in a Christian nation founded on Biblical principles, but that is not actually true.

We live in a secular nation founded on the U.S. Constitution, which protects your freedom to be a Christian if you so choose, and to live by Biblical principles, whatever you interpret those to be.

It also protects the freedom of those who choose otherwise.

It’s kind of a beautiful thing.

If you’re a Muslim, no one can make you eat pork. If you’re a Christian, you can load up on the bacon and ham with a big greasy grin on your face. If you don’t subscribe to any religion at all, the world is your buffet.

It even works well within Christianity. Southern Baptist? No one can make you say a Hail Mary. Catholic? No one can keep you from wearing your “I love the Pope” hat to the mall.

Do you think gay marriage is a sin? Ok, fine. Check your fiancé’s genitals before the ceremony and everything should be a-ok. Just remember it’s not your place to peek inside the pants of other people’s partners. So you can go your married way and let others do the same.

See how that works? You get to live YOUR life according to your beliefs. You don’t get to force others to live THEIRS that way. And they don’t get to force you to live their way either.

This is how our funny little government works for everyone. This is why it’s a handy dandy thing to remember that, should you seek an office or a job in government, YOU ALSO WILL BE WORKING FOR EVERYONE when you clock in each day.

It’s also good to remember this is why the courthouse lawn and other tax payer funded facilities are not churches or temples or mosques.

The Ten Commandments may look lovely hanging in your church or on your wall at home, but, unless you want to allow symbols of other religions including nine-foot bronze statues of a half-man-half-goat with curly horns from the Temple of Satan to greet you when you go to the DMV to get your plates renewed, it’s really best to leave those things up to the private individual to display.

Any Pentecostals cool with a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe at your state Capitol building? No? Well, then maybe you get my point.

Your church, however wonderful it may be, has not been appointed to govern those who don’t wish to attend it. Your holy book, however full of wisdom you find it to be, has not been passed into legislation.

And if you ever study what happens when any religion is given a pass to govern with that kind of power, you’ll thank God it isn’t that way here.

Photograph: Praying for Prey by Rolf Brecher on Flickr

Ken Robert is a guy who can’t not write, writing things he can’t not say. If you can’t not read them, click here and sign up for free updates.

What About Hillary?

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It’s no big secret I’m not a fan of Donald Trump. I wrote a piece about it last week, and the thing went viral. It seems a lot of people feel the same way. Of course, a lot of others don’t and I got to hear from them too, which is always the case when I express my dismay that people don’t see Donald Trump for what he isn’t. Their rebuttals to my befuddlement always seem to begin the same way:

“What about Hilary?”

The question is typically followed by a list of accusations so long you wonder if they’re going to run out of commas before they reach the end.

According to them, she’s horrible, corrupt, and deceitful. She has said, they tell me without producing a verifiable quote, she intends to destroy the republic and cross out the Second Amendment with a permanent marker.

Accusations have included charges she killed off half her political enemies, destroyed the lives of the remainder, orchestrated the attack in Benghazi, swapped countless favors for donations to her campaigns and charitable foundation, rigged the entire Democratic primary, intentionally endangered national security, then threw a blackberry smashing party to celebrate, all while enduring a deadly illness she’s been hiding that’s apparently some weird mix of epilepsy, cancer, and tetanus.

Hold on a second. I just ran out of commas.

It doesn’t seem to matter that her political opponents, operating on an unlimited budget, launched ten investigations, asked 3,194 questions in public hearings, and produced fifteen reports containing 1,982 pages about Benghazi and still came up with no evidence of wrongdoing.

It doesn’t matter that the FBI found no reason to believe she intentionally sought to risk national security as part of some nefarious plot for personal gain.

It doesn’t matter there’s zero evidence she has anything to do with the deaths of anyone she’s ever so much as said hello to at a state dinner function.

It doesn’t matter that a hard look into the Clinton Foundation pay-for-play charges turned up no evidence of any such thing existing.

No. In fact, as one Hillary hater told me, the lack of evidence for all those things is merely proof of how crafty she really is. She knows how to clean up a crime scene.

That, my friends, is conspiracy theory logic. When the lack of sufficient evidence is the evidence you rest your case on, you just turned the burden of proof on its head and you’ve started down the road to Bizarro World where facts are lies, nothing is everything, and the grassy knoll is filled with at least another dozen shooters.

There are legitimate criticisms of Hillary Clinton. I personally find her too hawkish. I think she dragged her feet on gay marriage. I think she’s been tone deaf when it comes to racial issues.

But you want to know something? She’s apologized for much of that, something Trump doesn’t believe in doing for anything. He thinks it’s a sign of weakness. I think it’s a sign of growth and evolution, which is something I want a president to be capable of.

And, if I care about being honest with you, I have been guilty of all of the above, too. I’m not the same person I used to be, and I’ll be somebody different tomorrow. If I get to evolve, why doesn’t she?

In response to my Trump piece, one woman, in three separate comments, left me orders to “write about Hillary’s bad side.” I sent those orders to the trash.

Go get your own blog.

I’ve already read all about Hillary’s bad side. I’ve heard it from both the right and the left. But after I decided to exit out of a liberal message group because I wasn’t into seeing a woman be described with a word that begins with a c and ends with a t, I had to take a step back and ask what did I know?

What about Hillary? What about her, indeed?

I wanted to find out what there was to know, and what I found were a lot of negative images painted of her in thick strokes of speculation and hearsay.

You find  pages and stacks of random details, strained connections, and reaching insinuations all laid out by people whose favorite words seem to be sheeple, shill, and Benghazi. For 9.99 you can get the secret decoder ring and join the inner circle. You just have to assume the very worst about her and make it your aim to confirm your assumptions.

If you have an ounce of objectivity, however, you wind up having to admit there’s not a lot of there there regardless of the attacks from almost everywhere that have been going on for decades.

No, you won’t discover a flawless saint if you look, but you will discover some powerful and positive things she’s done that her detractors never give her credit for, can never give her credit for, because they’re, you know, #NeverHillary.

I’m supposed to give Trump credit for a fifteen minute photo op handing out play doh to flood victims, but Hillary’s critics can’t spare a comma to mention her work in aiding the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program that provided health coverage to eight million children, her role in increasing exports to China while running the State Department, her push for congress to investigate the illness now known as Gulf War Syndrome, and – oh, let’s face it. I could pull out a bucket of commas and it wouldn’t make any difference to the Never Hillary crowd.

But it makes a difference to me because there IS a difference. Don’t try to tell me there isn’t one. You’re just as capable as I am of listening to a crowd at a Trump rally and recognizing that only one candidate inspires and encourages behavior like that. We have the power to help stop him from inspiring more of it.

This is not the year to send a message with a protest vote. No one will be able to hear it above the screams and shouts of the white supremacists who will feel empowered by seeing their little orange friend rise to power. When I look at the people I love, that’s not the world I hope to help create for them.

“What about Hillary,” you ask me?

My question is, “What about you?”

Ken Robert is a guy who can’t not write, writing things he can’t not say. If you can’t not read them, click here and sign up for free updates.

Photograph: Hillary in Sepia by Alan C. on Flickr