Know Your Audience

84BC8F8E-2C46-4AC0-820D-3C015A4461E1“So did you think I was able to effectively connect with the audience with my presentation?” Harold asked.

“I think your subject matter was pretty much on target,” Joyce, his assistant said, “although I’m not sure that your somewhat venturesome style was a sapient choice.”

“Really?” Harold said, surprised by Joyce’s criticism. “Why do the think that?”

“I think in the future you need to make sure you know your audience,” Joyce said.

“What do you mean?” Harold said. “My audience was a group of mostly conservative women. I knew that.”

Joyce sighed. “I think talking about the president paying off women with whom he’s had extramarital affairs to keep them silent, reminding these women about his misogyny and abusive behavior toward women, and bringing up the golden shower allegation with hookers during his stay in Moscow may not have been wise.”

“So you think that was a liability?” Harold asked.

“As I said, know your audience.”

Written for these one-word prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (connect), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (target), Word of the Day Challenge (venturesome),  Your Daily Word Prompt (sapient), and Scotts Daily Prompt (liability).

Sex is a Dirty Word

546881D0-E338-4979-AE1D-C5F776C3B257You may have already heard that there is a proposal being floated at the U.S. State Department that could prohibit American diplomats from using the phrases “sexual and reproductive health” and “comprehensive sexuality education.”

Instead of “sexual and reproductive health” and “comprehensive sexuality education,” the proposal is that U.S. officials would be instructed to use phrases like “reproduction and the related health services” in official communications.

This proposal is being pushed by a handful of conservative political appointees at the State Department and other agencies. Abandoning the use of the word “sex” would be a symbolic move that aligns with other Trump administration efforts to reduce funding for, and focus on, women’s reproductive issues — especially anything related to abortion.

The problem appears to be that saying “sex” makes Trump’s far-right Republican supporters feel all sad and uncomfortable inside.

I guess that for the 2020 election, Trump is going to change his #MAGA hashtag to #MAPA, for Make America Puritan Again.


Democrats and Republicans

AE32E48D-A4FD-46E3-BF88-E95FEAD232EBGroucho Marx once said, “All people are born alike — except Republicans and Democrats.”

Unfortunately, what Groucho said decades ago is even more true today. The partisan divide is at an extreme like I have personally never experienced…and I lived through the Vietnam era, when this country was very politically divided.

We all share stereotypical views of those on the other side of the aisle. For example, if someone you’d never met learned that you were a Republican, they would likely assume that you are not black, lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, nonreligious, or Jewish. If they learned you were a Democrat, they would likely believe that you are not a white evangelical Christian and you don’t live in a rural part of the county.

Most Democrats are left-leaning, liberal, and are usually associated with progressiveness and equality. Most Republicans are right-leaning, conservative, and are associated with big business, economic freedom, and with self-reliance. But to be fair, “most” doesn’t mean “all.” There are plenty of crossovers, like me, a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.

I consider political party affiliation to be like religion. When babies are born, they have no religion. But they are taught about religion from their parents and most children embrace the religious beliefs of their families and maintain those beliefs into and throughout adulthood.

Similarly, babies are not born either Democratic or Republican. But they will typically embrace and follow the political leanings of their families.

My question is what has happened to moderates within either political party? These days moderates are ridiculed as being either RINOs or DINOs (i.e., Republicans/Democrats In Name Only) and of being disloyal to their party (even when being loyal to their party is being disloyal to their country). Political compromise and a willingness to negotiate with the other side are considered signs of weakness.

It’s a sad state of affairs when the primary purpose of a political party is to do everything it can to stymie the other party, thus effectively blocking the government from getting much of anything done. For anybody.

Only in TODAY’S America

4743DF4B-7F2C-4F9E-9FF5-E1B38EDBE3D9I saw the following short blurb in this week’s issue of The Week magazine.

3D425AEF-8DDC-4DDC-B2FC-88BC5510EB1BYou are witnessing the brainwashing of America’s youth by conservatives who want to eliminate any references in schools and text books that conflict with their revisionist ideology.

Day 16 — Hometown Politics


Day 16: Was your hometown a “backwards” place or do you feel that it was progressive?

First, I don’t thing the words “backwards” and “progressive” are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I’ve known some progressive people who seem kinda backwards and some backwards people who are relatively progressive.

That said, the DC suburb in which I grew up was a mixed bag. At least I think it was. After all, I was a kid at the time and politics wasn’t something that was of keen interest to me.

My parents were conservative Democrats. Yes, that is a thing. Just as there are liberal Republicans. I am what might be called a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. But in this age of Trump, I have moved much further to the left. What sane-minded, thinking person wouldn’t?

Okay, I think I’ve wandered far off topic for this prompt. So I’ll end this by saying that my hometown in the DC area is, due to the current administration and the current composition of Congress, quite backwards and not at all progressive.

This post was written for Suzanne McClendon’s September Challenge, which is comprised of 30 questions (one for each day of this month) regarding your background and history.