Make America Great Again

Image courtesy of vectorolie at

Image courtesy of vectorolie at

Since the whole election circus of 2016 began I have been looking forward to it all just being over. Although, I suppose there’s never going to be an end to any of the madness that surrounds what happens in this day and age and I highly expect it’s because we have created this generation of entitled cry babies. Young college students in their hoity-toity expensive colleges that are likely being paid for by federal dollars in many cases who are too “distraught” to do much of anything I guess except burn a flag. Young mothers railing on Twitter and Facebook about #notmypresident as if that somehow makes the president elect any less the president of the United States. Guess what people, in all my years of voting not a single person I wanted to be president became president and I never ONCE was brought to tears or unable to function in life after an election because our country elected a president I didn’t want. And yes, two times over I said Obama was like a slick used car salesman and I could not vote for him because of that. He did not disappoint there in the slick used car salesman, by the way.

Now look, I get in this country we have the right to express ourselves. We can even burn our flag in protest if we want to and not get in trouble for it. You don’t have to respect the flag of our country at all. However, you better think long and hard about what you’re doing and what you’re saying when you do disrespect that flag like that. This isn’t about a president elect, that flag has a long history of people fighting for our freedoms and people who deserve to be respected for their service. People who deserve to be honored. People who put their lives on the line for everything that that flag stands for. One presidential election and a man who hasn’t even made any policies is honestly no reason to burn a flag. Admittedly I can’t think of any reason to burn a flag, but I sure as hell don’t think this is it.

So when President Elect Trump voiced his concerns of the flag burning, I got it. He’s angry. Half of this country is angry at the complete and utter disrespect an entire generation of people have been and continue to show to our country and everything it was founded on. Make America great again rang true to many people because when you look around today what we see is just not great. It’s not the America we grew up in. I’m not saying I’m a Trump supporter or that I even voted for Trump, but what I am saying is this is not the vision our forefathers had. And no, this has nothing to do with immigrants, black lives, gay and lesbians, that is not the problem. The problem is an entire generation of self entitled brats who don’t know how to lose and when they finally have something that doesn’t go their way they have to throw a temper tantrum about it.

Mike Rowe Speaks Eloquent Truths

Make no mistake about it, that’s exactly what’s happening here. Quite frankly Mike Rowe of the show Dirty Jobs really said it best on his Facebook post here. I am going to quote him, but I urge you to go read it all for yourself and watch the attached video as it is important to what else I have to say. Mike Rowe has this to say about the flag burning:

Last night on the tee-vee, as I flicked back and forth between my most trusted sources of cable news, I saw a number a college students setting fire to the American flag. Some of the students said they were “angry.” Others said they were “disgusted.” But many others were anxious to explain why they had become “fearful” of the American Flag. Interesting.

At Hampshire College, The President, Jonathan Lash, has actually removed the flag from his campus, in response to students who expressed “fear and discomfort” when confronted by the sight of Old Glory. He offered this explanation: “Removing the flag permanently from our campus will better enable us to focus our efforts on addressing racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors.”

As I dropped one of those giant round ice cubes into a tumbler of Whistle Pig, I couldn’t help but wonder if President Lash was unaware that billions of people around the world are routinely subjected to horrific levels of racism, misogyny, and bigotry that far exceed any injustice in modern-day America. Furthermore, I was curious to know if President Lash really believed that removing our flag is a better way to assuage the fears of his frightened students, than simply educating them about the undeniable fact that no country on the planet affords its citizens more liberty than this one? Finally, I found myself wondering as to why the President of Hampshire College would allow his students to pay for their tuition with federal dollars – federal dollars provided by the same government whose flag was no longer suitable to fly at his school.

Here’s the problem. Tuition at Hampshire College is about $60,000 a year. That’s not a problem because it’s expensive – it’s a problem because 85% of Hampshire students qualify for some form of federal financial aid.

That means that We the People are enabling schools like Hampshire to sell a liberal arts degree for approximately $250,000. With $1.3 trillion dollars of student debt currently on the books, I found myself thinking how nice it would be to hear a more persuasive argument from those who will happily take money from a country whose flag they despise.

I turned the channel, and watched another group of students dance around another pile of burning flags at another expensive university. I couldn’t tell where they were, but occurred to me that wherever they were – it probably wasn’t a trade school. To my knowledge, no one has ever burned a flag at a trade school.

I wonder why that is?

I have no idea, but the thought reminded me that I had yet to post Episode 11 of Hot Under the Blue Collar. It features a graduate from one of those schools – a guy named Scott. Scott studied to be an electrician, and his comments, though not nearly as expensive as Daniel’s, are far more… illuminating?

Carry on,
and don’t play with matches.

Technical Schools

This I feel is a nice Segway into my thoughts on technical schools. If you know anything about Mike Rowe it’s that he is a great champion for those so called menial jobs that those people sitting in this hoity-toity colleges couldn’t be bothered to waste their time with. Now don’t get me (or Mike Rowe for that matter) wrong. Colleges have their place. I have a Senior in high school who is college bound. She just might be at a hoity-toity college this time next year and it’s totally what’s right for her.

We tell our children they can be and do anything they want and then we force them to go to college. From an early age my middle daughter had said she wanted to be a “hair cutting girl”. And I never did discourage that. After all when I was around 5 I was going to drive a tow truck, it was going to be blue. My parents encouraged me. Ultimately I did grow out of that, my middle daughter however did not. Even once she began school she still wanted to be a “hair cutting girl”. And school did not come as easy to her as it did her older sister. So from an early age I figured college might not be her path, she really might be on the path to being a “hair cutting girl”. By 5th grade when asked what she wanted to do when she grew up she usually replied with, “I want to be a hairdresser to the stars.” Yes, she had big dreams and aspirations.

As a matter of fact as the years have gone on my now 14 year old daughter has planned out her entire life. She knew she wanted to get into a local technical high school and study Cosmetology, she’d get out of high school and start cutting hair for a few years and save up money for college, go to school while still cutting hair and get her business degree, and then open her own salon. She’s 14 people, she has been talking about this for years now. How many college bound students have their life figured out like that?

She did get into the technical high school. They make them try out all the trades as freshman before making their choice. Her life may not be going exactly as planned, there’s a good possibility that she will not go into Cosmetology, it could be HVAC or Electrical even at this point. Yet her plan still is to come out of high school, begin working in her trade and then down the road go to college for business and open her own business. She might find she doesn’t need college, but whatever, she’s coming out of high school with a skill and employable and it’s costing me and her practically nothing. Okay, yes she has class dues I have to pay every year and I did have to buy her school uniforms and I’ll probably have to buy her some tool kit or something along the way, but at most this is going to be $1000 over four years of high school. Not $30,000 a year or more for college. At 18 she will be employable in a trade.

This Is What America Needs

We want jobs? Well, they’re out there. We need to stop telling our children that they aren’t going to be happy doing manual labor for the rest of their lives. Yeah, we want better for our kids than what we had, but don’t we also want them to be happy? Since my daughter entered this technical high school she has never been happier than she is right now. Honestly, if she could continue doing all of her favorite trades she probably would. The biggest struggle for her has been picking her favorite trade.

I never thought she’d be interested in HVAC or Electrical. Honestly, she didn’t think she would either. She’s the only girl in her grade interested in HVAC. She’s kind of a hot commodity in HVAC. Day one, her teacher told her because she’s female she has a good chance of being employed. And she also has a good chance of making more money than her college bound sister.

And you know what, those kids at that high school work very hard. They are doing a full four years of high school in half the time because the other half of the time they’re learning their trade. And they are doing this because they want to. When my daughter was applying at this high school they made it very clear what things would be like. Mind you this school has been in existence for a very long time doing things exactly this way. There are many very successful graduates who have been working in their trade. This is not a school for the “bad” kids who couldn’t hack it in a regular high school. This is a school for highly motivated individuals who want to be successful. They don’t have the time to burn flags or cry because the person they voted for didn’t become the president. They are too busy making a living or at least learning something so they can make a living someday.

My hope for America is that people wake up. That they remember what this country was founded on. That those jobs that are beneath so many people and believed to not be the path to happy get filled with people who are willing to stop crying and whining about all of the perceived injustices in their very protected and sheltered little lives. There are real problems in this world and our President Elect, as faulted as he may be, is the least of those problems.

No one is going to do for you, you have got to do for yourself. We live in the greatest and freest country in this world where we have many choices and rights. Burning flags and crying #notmypresident is a sad and pathetic way to spend that time which is not making any difference in your life or the lives of those around you. If you want to make this world a better place to be, then we all collectively need to become the hard working Americans that this country was founded on. Regardless of who the president is or isn’t. You want better pay? Learn a trade! Stop protesting in front of McDonald’s for a living wage. You know what the answer is to raising minimum wage? Finding ways to do it with less people. You know what happens if you learn a trade? You will work hard, yes, but you also might find yourself having pride in the work that you did and guess what? You’ll also be making a living wage while doing it.

I Want More Technical High Schools

It’s shocking to me that not every high school students has the same opportunities that my daughter has. We need more of this. We need less people seeking degrees they’re never going to use racking up mountains of student debt. Technical high schools are not for everyone, working in the trades is not for everyone, but it is and always will be a necessity to have people who are trained to fix your plumbing, keep the lights on, keep your car running, keep the house and business temperatures regulated correctly, and to cut and style people’s hair. These things are just never going to go away. And the more people who want to be trained to do these things the better. The more opportunities to train people to do these things the better. And the more people who do not look down on manual labor as being something that any buffoon can do the better. I know for sure the projects my daughter has come home from school with have not been something that just anybody can do. I love how her mind works and I admire her for putting in the effort and doing her very best. She has found her passion and her calling all because of a technical high school and I think that’s amazing. I couldn’t ask for anything more as a mother.

So, not that our president or president elect read my little ol’ blog here, but if they did happen to stumble across this and read this far what I would hope they get out of this more than anything is the way to creating jobs is to train people to do the jobs that are already out there. Technical high schools and post high school trade schools are a wonderful start to making America great again. And the rest of you people, wake up. You want America to be great, then stop your crying and whining about every little thing and get up and work hard. That’s what we’re lacking in this country today. That work ethic that we were founded on.

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