Irony, Hypocrisy, Flip-Flopping, the Art of Speaking Out of Both Sides of One’s Mouth & Choosing Your Role Models Well

My message to you today, Vera, is simple: choose your role models well. And don’t assume that because someone is an adult or holds a high position they are acceptable.

You’re fortunate: you have two great role models as parents. But not everyone is so fortunate. Indeed, the world is full of people who are hypocritical, flip-flop on a dime if necessary to serve their own selfish interests and routinely speak out of both sides of their mouths.

These are not the kind of people you should embrace as role models. The fact that some people think they’re admirable shouldn’t change that fact. We all have standards. Set yours high.

Here’s a portion of a letter that Steven J. Harper wrote to president-elect Donald Trump (aka Crooked Donald) that demonstrates my point: Continue reading

America Takes A Giant Step Forward

America took a giant step forward last night, Vera. For the first 228 years of our constitutional national government, no woman had been nominated by a major political party for the presidency of the United States. Last night that changed. Last night Hillary Clinton accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party.

Whether or not you support Ms. Clinton, the historical significance of this moment can’t be lost on you. And if you have a daughter or granddaughter, its significance takes on even greater meaning. Continue reading

Wanting to be Wrong

Benedict Evans recently tweeted the following: “Do not discuss things with people who do not accept disagreement, and do not correct people who do not care if they’re wrong.”

I can’t image why anyone would not care if they’re wrong. Personally, there are so many things about which I hope I’m wrong. My advice to you, Vera, is this: long to be wrong. Believe in your own fallibility. Continue reading

Bursting Our Bubbles

We live in bubbles. Perhaps not all of us. But certainly the vast majority of us.

I was reminded of this fact this past week when I read David Brooks’s column in the New York Times. Brooks, a preeminent columnist for one of the world’s preeminent newspapers, was seeking to understand the motivations beyond supporters of Donald Trump. Here is what he concluded:

[M]any in the media, especially me, did not understand how they would express their alienation. We expected Trump to fizzle because we were not socially intermingled with his supporters and did not listen carefully enough. For me, it’s a lesson that I have to change the way I do my job if I’m going to report accurately on this country.

That’s a startling admission. David Brooks, who presumably has to have his finger on the pulse of the country if he is to do his job well, admitted, “I have to change the way I do my job.”

Why? I think it’s because he forgot we all live in a bubble.

It’s easy to forget. And it’s easy to forget that we need to burst our bubble from time to time. Continue reading