Written by: Kurt Helke
Hi! I'm Kurt. I write this to try to take down some of the barriers and labels that society has set. I don't associate myself firmly to one political party, but I tend to have a conservative lean based upon my beliefs. I tend to vote primarily conservative, but definitely adapt in local government positions. Let's move away from the infantile thought that one must completely support a person's character and everything they stand for by voting for them. Both of our presidential candidates were not exactly high character people. I wouldn't let either one of the goofs babysit my kids. I am a veteran. I lived in a foreign country for three years. I have been a cop for 20 years. I am also a single dad that has been raising two girls by myself for the past six years. I don't drink or smoke and live my life with a code of honor to be a good example to my children. I believe in treating everyone equally based upon their character. My frame of reference may be a little different than yours. I have had days where it has been 30 minutes between hosting a slumber party to walking through a horrific murder scene with an automatic weapon in my hands. I shop for feminine hygiene products without fear and help people negotiate the worst moments of their lives. I tackle bad guys and math homework. I hand a stuffed animal to a little girl experiencing trauma before I tuck my own girls in with their stuffed animals. This is my world.
Please allow me a few minutes to stimulate your brain as I give some thoughts about the state of our country and the recent election process. I have some opinions and my opinions are based upon life experiences and facts as guiding principles. If you have different beliefs and opinions, I can respect that, as long as your guiding principles aren't based upon emotion and lies. Name calling, rhetoric, Facebook opinions, and less than honorable behavior has replaced values and ethics for far too many. The whole Pence supporting conversion therapy nonsense is suddenly taken as fact because it is pasted across social media. However, there is no actual evidence to actually support that. People pick and choose his words and interpret them as they want. Most importantly, conversion therapy is something that will not ever be supported by the American government. This country will continue to be guided by anti-discrimination laws. We shall not discriminate against any person because of that person's age, race, gender, national origin, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, marital status or sexual orientation. Yes, everyone can continue living the same way as before and it is up to you to drum up hate or encourage love and respect.
This melting pot of a country with a foundation of diversity has allowed itself to be separated into way too many groups. This has become very apparent in the recent political process. There is almost an internal civil war being fought with disdain and often hatred for the other side. It is quite frankly, foolish. Before you offer a hand to help someone, hold a door for someone, or smile at someone, there is no screening process to determine that person's political party, race, or sexual orientation. That is what we need to get back to. Treating each other with love and respect and eliminating the white noise. Having the ability to have intelligent conversations with each other, even if we don't agree. I have had the opportunity to do a few Tough Mudder obstacle races. A few of these I have done with groups of diverse people with a common goal. In this group, politics, religion and external distractions fade away and we can just be good people treating each other with respect, helping each other and having fun. This is why I am friends with George. I respect the guy. I see George as an intelligent person that is full of life. He may have some views that are different than my own, but he is genuinely a good person that is fun to be around. My life has taught me that is what's important. That's why we are friends. I support George's marriage and think he and Tom would be great parents. Let me tell you; I see plenty of bad parents daily. I don't see either political party being a barrier for his happiness. The issue was merely a political tool to draw battle lines.
You see on every political issue that divides us, we must be able to reason and offer logic and supporting facts to support our thoughts. In every political issue, extremism is counterproductive either to the right or the left. We must as human beings be flexible in understanding different viewpoints. Abortion is one example. Either you are a heartless baby killer or you don't care about women's rights. I am a parent. I have gotten the books and followed the development of my children from conception to age 13. I talked to my kids in the womb and felt them move around. I love my kids with all of my heart and soul and invest in them greatly. So, yeah, the thought of terminating a child's life after it has started to develop and has its own heartbeat doesn't really appeal to me much. I am open minded to consider that there are circumstances where this must be done, however do not support someone having their third abortion because of irresponsibility. I believe an ethical line should be drawn somewhere. I think that most people can find that thought process to be reasonable.
On the issues of foreign relations, military, and criminal justice I lean most heavily to the right. Let's look at a couple of different things. Did you know that the judge that sentenced Brock Turner in the rape case was in fact a Democrat? It is my belief that a conservative government and conservative controlled supreme court will only help law enforcement do their jobs effectively and prosecute those involved in crimes against women, as well as hate crimes. I have looked into the face of pure evil. I know that an evil heart cannot be rehabilitated. I genuinely hope that you never experience evil. But it is the realist that knows evil exists and it is only a matter of time before it strikes again. Gun control and pointing fingers will not prevent the next shooter indiscriminately killing people. The rhetoric that has tarnished the badge for the past several years can finally fade away and be replaced by facts and reality. These riots under the guise of protest will hopefully stop. Kaepernick didn't vote. 80% of those protesting didn't vote. So remind me...what are they protesting for? Racial tensions are as bad as they have been in 50 years and that happened with a Democrat in charge of things. I think the government and the media are responsible for this. The hearts of Americans remains the same. We want to treat people with respect and do not want to be pawns in a media fueled frenzy. Black Lives Matter protesting a shooting by inciting riots, blocking traffic and destroying property is criminal and not solving any problems. It is purely illogical. This behavior occurring before finding a single fact in a case is ridiculous. Yes, police make mistakes sometimes absolutely and there is accountability and needs to be accountability. A cop getting screamed at in New York because of an excessive force case in California makes about as much sense as mistreating a waiter in New York because a friend had bad food in California. The point is, this country is founded upon laws. Whether it is a criminal or the law enforcer under investigation, there must be due process. We must allow that to happen. If, after analyzing facts and applying the letter of the law, you feel as though there is injustice; then protest. But protest in the way of the great Dr. Martin Luther King. Imagine if you will if the protests actually used the energy used to disrupt and destroy to actually solve problems; perhaps helping low income communities or fundraising for a legal defense fund. Let me tell you the biggest critics of cops are other cops. No one wants a bad cop out of the system more than another cop.
There are people out there masquerading as the liberal left protesting an idea of hate while demonstrating hate. They hate Trump because they think that he is a racist homophobe. I am tired of seeing those preaching love and tolerance going out and demonstrating hate and intolerance. The idea of hating Trump and/or all of his supporters because you are led to believe he is hateful is just so backwards. There are people criticizing the presumption that Trump is racist judging people by the color of their skin and in the same sentence judging the color of his skin making fun of its orange color because his goofy ass had a bad spray tan. Seriously, stop it. Look in the mirror and see how you can be a better human before judging someone else.
Why did Trump win? I think George understands why. The population of this country wants change. We had two less than ideal people to choose from. One represented a higher likelihood to be a catalyst of change. Trump no doubt has character flaws; but we need to stop focusing on that. He is not being investigated for sexual assault. He is not Hitler. He's kinda a douche, but we are stuck with him. These recent Trump protests only support the reasons why change is necessary. American people are tired of it.
I have learned to focus on things only within my control. Stressing over things beyond your control is pointless. Wearing a safety pin or changing your profile picture does not matter. What matters is the action you take and how you actually treat people every day. Make a difference. Do random acts of kindness. Hold doors for people, help people in need. Do not discriminate. No one is privileged in this country simply because of skin color. You don't need to feel privileged or have a victim mentality simply because where you were born. You have a choice every day to smile or not, exercise or not, whether you fix something or let it stay broken.
I am hopeful moving forward. One party is in charge of the presidency, the house and the senate. Progress can be made. Obama care can be fixed. I have a $4,000 deductible on my health plan and am perpetually in medical debt. It needs fixing. Relations with Russia and Israel can actually improve. If you actually think we are more likely to enter WWIII with Trump, you should research foreign relations a tad more. People think things are bad because they drank the media Kool Aid. In the age of social media, Democrats are being fed only the things they want and Republicans are being fed only the other side. In this election it was all about how terrible the other side was. Then after the election, half of the population was conditioned to believe the sky is falling.
It is interesting listening to grade school children relate their political thoughts. Some of the superficial things and rhetoric trickles down to the kids. It's unfortunate that many adults act like these children in holding onto beliefs without logic or supporting information. I will continue to teach my children good values, to be open minded and to treat all people with respect. Both of my kids have diverse friends because they simply look at a person's character, and if someone is fun to be around. My kids won't know the lines that separate us until they are adults.
A wise man once said, "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die". Remaining bitter about this election will do nothing more than negatively affect you.
Let me leave you with a few more wise words from MLK: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
So there you have it. I have a thousand more thoughts, but don't have the time to write a book. All hope is not lost. Half of this country are not racists or homophobic. Your friends will still be your friends. The sun will still rise and your reasons to smile will still be there. It is time to focus on the positive and not the negative and move forward. We are still a great country. Let's stick together, fly our flag the right way, stand up when the anthem is sung and leave this world a better place for our kids.