What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

I look up to both Justiin Trudeau and Barack Obama because they will leave their jobs better than they found it.

I’m still a kid. I’ll admit that. I’ve recently signed up for my last semester’s worth of classes. I will be attending graduate school, but I’m not a teenager anymore. I’m not 20 years old. I’ve been legally able to drink for 10 months – I went to London in January.

I still have monumental dreams. I still want to change the world, leave my impact. I’ve created a religion (sounds a bit cultish but chill with that) based off that. I call myself a Buddhist, but I combine it with Dia De Los Muertos – the Mexican Day of Remembrance – as well as parts of Hinduism, specifically reincarnation. It also fuses elements of Christianity and Atheism. Really it boils down to being a good person and leaving an impact.

I empathize with other people. I can’t believe what has transpired in this country in the past week. We are a very hate filled country, and we proved that with the election of someone who has the capability to be a tyrant.

I’ve addressed before that not every Trump supporter is racist, sexist, homophobic, or xenophobic. There are good, intelligent people who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary. I understand that. There were many people who voted for Barack Obama and not Hillary.

But the hate that has spewed from this country in the past week alarms me. So much so that I’ve changed the course of my life. No longer can I be a simple hockey writer and/or standup comedian. I want to be able to inform people. To make sure that the hatred this country has within itself doesn’t spread further into future generations.

And the reality is, America has lost so much of that hatred. As we’ve gained experience, we’ve become much more tolerant. Not on every issue – abortion, gun restrictions, and race will be brought up time and time again the next four years – but on some.

I look up to Walter Cronkite because he made it his job to inform the World.

See, I feel like we as a country miss Jon Stewart. Someone we trust to be somewhat bipartisan, to look out for both sides. Cronkite, R. Murrow, Stewart. They’re all gone. Seth Meyers is doing an adequate job, and Sam Bee and Jon Oliver are great. The problem is, there’s not enough of them. Bee and Oliver are weekly. Seth’s all by himself.

Stewart didn’t always have Colbert. But he was better when he did. We need a partnership like that again. It simply can’t be expected of “I don’t want to offend anyone” Fallon or Corden. If we combined Meyers and Colbert, I think we’d be better off.

But Colbert’s going to be controlled over the next four years. CBS can’t let him say all the things he’s said if Trump does impact libel laws. It’s understandable, it’s regrettable, but it’s wise.

Comedy Central never cared. In the good days of Stewart and Colbert, it never cared what the other side thought. They attacked Bush as much as they attacked Obama. They went after MSNBC when they said stupid things. They did the same with Fox News. They wanted to inform the country, to make sure it stayed good.

We’ve lost that inner goodness. This country is far too divided. In an age where every person can attempt to influence the news (including myself), people can listen to many. Or they can listen to a select few, those who agree with them. We don’t get the bipartisan, the rational, the disagreement that makes sense anymore.

It’s not only liberals creating bubbles.

Over the past 18 months, my bubble has been repeatedly burst. My best friend died and mental illness was brought to the forefront of my mind. I went abroad and realized the importance of acting as a global citizen. That borders across the world are fading. And then this past week happened. I realized that bipartisanship is something we lost over the past 8 years. Republicans and Democrats weren’t willing to compromise. It’s not that they couldn’t, it’s that they didn’t try.

 I look up to Jon Stewart because he made efforts to be bipartisan, to be rational, to be a good person on television.

It’s regretable that the past 8 years brought us here. I understand that this country wants to drain the swamp. That’s a good thing. Corruption can’t be something we allow in this country. But voters for Trump focused on the wrong person. Obama was never corrupt. He always tried to do the right thing.

No – it was Republicans. We can’t afford to pack the House and Senate with the opposition party and expect laws to pass. At least, not with the men and women we packed into those Houses of Congress. America is blaming the wrong person. You want to drain the swamp? Focus on those who are not letting bills through. Remove Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Their leadership has made Republicans go counter to anything the Obama administration put forward.

Which brings me to the purpose of this article, 800 words in, I want to do what Jon Stewart did. I want to make the world a better place. A more informed, more bipartisan, more human place. We all have to live together. Why can’t we enjoy it?

In the best periods of this country’s government, the time periods people want to return to, we had disagreements. But it never reached this level. When a President put forward a nominee for the Supreme Court, he willingly compromised with the opposition. That opposition then implemented the President’s nominee. It happened in the 80’s. It happened with FDR, with JFK, with Obama.

And we can be great again. But you took the wrong party out of control. For that reason, I feel the need to go abroad again.

I look up to Cory Booker and Joe Biden because they have both fought for what they believe in.

I want to learn more about the world. To become better educated. I want to be able to inform the world. I feel that I need to get a doctorate to do that. People listen to doctors.

But I also want to go further than Stewart. Not only do I want to inform, but I want to make better. I want to have direct involvement with the world, especially with the US Government. To leave a lasting legacy of bipartisanship. To help America realize it’s okay to reach across the aisle. When there’s a candidate better suited to the office, you can disagree with your party. It’s how your party gets better. They want your votes, make them earn it.

I don’t regret voting for Hillary Clinton. She’s not a perfect candidate, and she proved it. But I would never vote for Donald Trump. No, Mayor Bloomberg should have run for President. Joe Biden. Elizabeth Warren. Somebody progressive, that was more likeable than Hillary, who easily could have beat Donald Trump. I would have more easily supported a progressive. I don’t regret my vote for Hillary, but I will never not wish my first Presidential vote was for Barack Obama.

I want to be President. After all, all you need to be is on television in this country apparently. I want to be Senator to affect policy. I want to be a late night host to implement change. To inform. I want to be a PhD to feel qualified for these jobs. I want to be a standup to make people feel better. I want to be a sportswriter because sometimes the World needs distractions.

 I look up to Bill Simmons because sometimes the world needs distractions.

More than anything, though, I want to leave this world a better place than I found it. I expect the same from my friends, family, the people I love and respect. We just took a step back. The next two years are going to be hell. Fortunately, I’m a cisgender straight white man. I have the most privlege of anyone. I’m young. I’m somewhat good looking (I’d hope). Yet I understand that the world isn’t mine alone. It doesn’t revolve around me. My mother, my sister, my brother, my friends, people I love and respect, they’re going to be threatened the next two years.

I say two years because we come back strong. We come back strong. When they go low, we go high. They’re going low, they’re going for people’s rights. The Republican party is about to mess with the world. It’s our job to make sure they don’t do irreperable damage. We can start by fighting alongside our brothers and sisters in organizations devoted to the people Trump threatened on the campaign trail. Who he threatened with his cabinet and staff picks, with his VP pick.

It’s time to fight. I, for one, am devoting my life to never stopping. When we go to war, we strive to win. It’s the American Way. Time to win.

The Republican party has control, but that doesn’t mean they have respect.

We were wrong. Let’s never be wrong again. It’s time to talk to your neighbors, your friends, your family, the people in your life that voted for Trump. Inform them, talk, listen. Understand that they could be scared. But progress in this country has never been anything but good.

Trump will not reach 1/4 of his campaign promises. Let’s mitigate the threat.

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