Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"The Tracy & Craig Show" (2/21/17)

In case you missed it, yesterday's episode of The Tracy & Craig Show can be heard here:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"The Tracy & Craig Show" (today from 5 to 6:30 pm EST)

In case you're curious, Tracy Fort and I will be airing a new episode of The Tracy & Craig Show today from 5 to 6:30 pm EST, which can be heard here:

Info on my Facebook business, Twitter, and Tumblr pages

Here's the URL to my Facebook business page. I update it fairly regularly, but still haven't put forth a great deal of effort yet in researching matters and attempting to make the most out of it. In any case, it can be perused here:

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCraigRozniecki?ref=hl


Up next is my Twitter page. I'm still not 100% certain what I'm doing on there yet, but feel I'm gradually getting the hang of it and am up to 61,098 followers. I update it daily with many of my own tweets, but also by retweeting some others'. It can be found here:

https://twitter.com/CraigRozniecki


Lastly, here's my Tumblr page, which I've neglected quite a bit recently, but if you're at all curious, you can find it at the following link:

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/rozzy81

Weekly update of my book information

For new readers (and regular ones, I suppose), here's some information pertaining to my books.

All thirteen of my books can be purchased in paperback form at the following site (and others):

http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?type=&keyWords=craig+rozniecki&x=7&y=5&sitesearch=lulu.com&q=

The eleven books I've written and released in the past 5 years (yes, I've been on a roll) can be purchased for much cheaper in Kindle form at the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_22?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=craig%20rozniecki%20kindle&sprefix=craig+rozniecki+kindle%2Caps%2C228&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acraig%20rozniecki%20kindle

Monday, February 20, 2017

The worst survey ever conducted is...

For as much as I criticize Donald Trump, I will give him credit for one thing - the man is a master of projection. When he calls another dishonest, it's he who's lying. When he refers to another as crooked, he appears to be talking about himself. When he claims the election to be rigged, it winds up being in his favor. When he adamantly declares the mainstream media to be biased, he conducts the most biased survey in recorded history.

Just recently, I read a survey conducted by the Donald Trump team on "Mainstream Media Accountability" at this site:

https://action.trump2016.com/trump-mms-survey/

The first three questions are fine, but, well, allow me to share the survey with you...

"1. Do you trust MSNBC to fairly report on our campaign? Yes, No, or No opinion?"

"2. Do you trust CNN to fairly report on our campaign? Yes, No, or No opinion?"

"3. Do you trust Fox News to fairly report on our campaign? Yes, No, or No opinion?"

As I said, these three questions are perfectly fine. They ask participants the same question with regard to the three major cable news channels, not showing any bias in doing so. Like Fox News, however, that's where the fairness and balance ends, however.

"4. On which issues does the mainstream media do the worst job of representing Republicans? (Select as many that apply.) Immigration, Economics, Pro-life values, Religion, Individual liberty, Conservatism, Foreign policy, or Second Amendment rights"

"5. Which television source do you primarily get your news from? Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Local news, or Other"

"6. Which online sources do you use? (Select as many that apply.) Drudge Report, Breitbart, National Review, Weekly Standard, Free Beacon, Daily Caller, American Spectator, Red Alert Politics, or Other"

"7. Do you trust the mainstream media to tell the truth about the Republican Party positions and actions? Yes, No, or No opinion"

Okay, so the first three questions were fair and balanced. The next four started leaning more the biased direction. Let's see if that trend continues. Spoiler alert, it does...

"8. Hillary Clinton still gets a free pass from the media as she continues to lie about sending classified information on her secret server. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Oh, here we go! Now it's going to get good! I'll take "Biased Questions" for $200, Alex...

"9. The mainstream media takes Donald Trump's statements out of context, but bends over backwards to defend Hillary's statements. Yes, No, or No opinion"

It's difficult to simultaneously quote someone verbatim and take them out-of-context. Oh, and is the bending-over-backwards to be taken figuratively or literally? Moving on...

"10. The mainstream media failed to cover the fact that Bernie Sanders LEFT the Democrat Party. Yes, No, or No opinion"

The word in all caps was simply a typo, correct? Oh, and did the surveyor mean to type "fact" or "alternative fact"? I'm guessing the latter.

"11. The mainstream media needs to do more to expose the shady donations to the Clinton Foundation. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Let's now substitute "Clinton" with "Trump" to balance the equation...

"12. Political correctness has created biased news coverage of both illegal immigration and radical Islamic terrorism. Yes, No, or No opinion"

The most recent such attacks were committed or attempted to be committed by self-described Christians, so why does this so-called politically correct mainstream media mention radical Islamic terrorists, but not radical Christian terrorists? That's a mystery...

"13. The RNC was right to drop CNBC as a partner after they failed to fairly moderate the October debate. Yes, No, or No opinion"

...and conservatives have the gall to call liberals "snowflakes"...

"14. The mainstream media hardly reported on the fact that our small-dollar fundraising nearly MATCHED Hillary's Wall Street fundraising machine. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Again with the all caps? This can't be a serious survey, right? Are we being punk'd?

"15. The mainstream media played a critical role in electing President Obama and is now attempting to do it again for Hillary Clinton. Yes, No, or No opinion"

But of course! What came to be known as the Great Recession, which started under Republican George W. Bush, had absolutely no impact on the election results whatsoever!

"16. Contrary to what the media says, raising taxes does not create jobs. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Let's see here... What creates more jobs, decreasing taxes for the wealthiest among us and watching them hang on to said money, or increasing their taxes and putting that money into education, infrastructure, etc.? Common sense would dictate the latter. As a valley girl (or guy) might say, "Like, duh!"

"17. People of faith have been unfairly characterized by the media. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Oh, I believe the surveyor miswrote this question. Allow me to correct him. What he meant to write was, "Muslims have been unfairly characterized by conservative media outlets." There we go. Much better...

"18. American history is being rewritten by 'social justice' activists."

Oh, you mean conservative "social justice" activists trying to make slavery seem like a good thing or nonexistent? Or these individuals trying to condense the gay rights struggle? Or these persons attempting to quash the notion of police brutality? Or these conservative "activists" drowning out mention of Native Americans, claiming the country to be a Christian nation, yet ignoring the fact the country became what it is by "Christians" going against a Biblical Commandment?

"19. The media has not done its due diligence to expose ObamaCare's many failures. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Considering the fact approximately 33% of the public believe Obamacare to be different than the Affordable Care Act, if anything, the media has failed to properly educate the public about what the Affordable Care Act is, let alone its strengths and weaknesses. Nice try, though...

"20. The media wrongly attributes gun violence to Second Amendment rights. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Say what? Let's go back to question 9, which said, "9. The mainstream media takes Donald Trump's statements out of context, but bends over backwards to defend Hillary's statements. Yes, No, or No opinion" Yeah, I think that could apply to this question, for it should read, "Donald Trump takes the mainstream media's statements about gun violence out-of-context. Yes, No, or No opinion" I'll take that one. The answer is yes, "bigly."

"21. Coverage of the Tea Party movement has been deliberately negative. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Wait, there's still a Tea Party?

"22. The media has turned a blind eye to Planned Parenthood's worst actions. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Oh, you mean the highly edited videos which were released by conservative activists? Hold on a moment. I'm going to question conservatives on whether or not the media has turned a blind eye to Shrek's worst actions. I'll let you know what the results are.

"23. Americans are not fully aware just how much waste there is in the federal government. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Okay, that's one I actually agree with. Hey, they were due...

"24. The fact that the man who set up Hillary's server was granted immunity should be a bigger story in the press. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Really? Trump and his administration's Russian ties? His bromance with Vladimir Putin? Russia's influence on the election? Trump's extramarital affairs? His 20+ sexual assault allegations? Rape lawsuit? Hundreds of other lawsuits? Conflicts-of-interest? Bankruptcies? Tax returns? 70% lie rate? Need I continue?

"25. More time is spent covering fake 'scandals' involving Trump than real scandals involving Hillary and our national security. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Ditto to my answer for #24. Oh, and how about that failed raid in Yemen?

"26. "In order to preserve whatever journalistic integrity they have left, the mainstream media must come forward and admit Hillary LIED about her secret server. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Let's see here. According to Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking site, Politifact.com, Hillary Clinton, who's been involved in politics for decades, has 76 "Mostly False," "False," and "Pants on Fire" grades attached to her name. Donald Trump, on the other hand, who's been involved in politics for roughly a month, has 258 "Mostly False," "False," and "Pants on Fire" grades attached to his name. Who's the "LIAR" again?

"27. The media uses slurs rather than facts to attack conservative stances on issues like border control, religious liberties, and ObamaCare. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Fact. The Affordable Care Act is the same thing as Obamacare and 33% of U.S. citizens believe the two to be different (mostly conservatives). Fact. Religious "freedom" laws permit discrimination against the LGBT community. Fact. By the time then President Obama left office, more immigrants left for Mexico than came here from the country.

"28. If Donald Trump said or did half of the things Hillary Clinton has, the media would effectively end his candidacy. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Actually, studies have consistently shown that the media was harder on Clinton than Trump, largely due to the elevated expectations they had for her over him. But, anyway, you were saying...?

"29. The media purposely tries to divide Republicans against each other in order to help elect Democrats. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Yeah, that was OBVIOUSLY (took a page out of their book) their strategy this past election cycle, wasn't it?

"30. We should spend more time and resources holding the mainstream media accountable. Yes, No, or No opinion"

Okay, I can agree with that. At the same time, however, we should also spend more time and resources holding politicians accountable, especially President Donald J. Trump.

http://www.politifact.com/personalities/hillary-clinton/

http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Modern-day republicans aren't liberal nor conservative; they're just bat-sh*t crazy!

As long-time readers know, I'm a lover of both etymology and ambiguity. I enjoy researching the origin and meaning of words, as well as have fun with potential multiple meanings of words and phrases. Having said that, while Democrats can be labeled as both liberal and conservative, the Republican Party has gone from conservative to bat-sh*t crazy, and they show no sign of slowing that trend!

Let's first look at the technical definitions of the terms liberal and conservative. According to Dictionary.com, here are how the two terms are defined:

Liberal: "Favorable to progress or reform; open-minded or tolerant; characterized by generosity."

Conservative: "Disposed to preserve existing conditions or institutions; having the tendency to conserve."

Taking these definitions for what they are, the Democrat Party has often times been favorable to reform, has attempted to revise laws in order to make them fair across all demographics, yet at the same time, have wanted to conserve lives, energy/resources, and the environment. The modern-day Republican Party, on the other hand, believes in reform like Santa Claus believes in kama sutra. Not only that, but their philosophy has gone from conservation first, self-satisfaction second to self-satisfaction first, conservation last.

The Republican Party used to be about conservation, but that's no longer the case. They've gone from conserving the middle class with higher tax rates for the upper class to decreasing taxes for the upper class and depleting the middle class. They've gone from conserving lives through gun violence-prevention legislation to minimizing gun laws, as 30,000+ Americans die every year from these devices. Not only that, but they've showcased about as much interest in conserving the environment as sloths have shown in running a marathon.

So no, the modern-day Republican Party is neither liberal nor conservative. What they have become is bat-sh*t crazy. Let us count the ways...

The modern-day Republican Party believes war can bring about peace.

The modern-day Republican Party believes more guns and fewer gun laws equals less gun violence.

The modern-day Republican Party believes less knowledge about sex can decrease unwanted pregnancy and abortion rates.

The modern-day Republican Party believes debunked conspiracy theories are more credible than fact-checkers' research.

The modern-day Republican Party believes, in order to reduce the national debt, you must reduce taxes.

The modern-day Republican Party believes privilege to be synonymous with equality.

The modern-day Republican Party believes nearly 100% of scientists are wrong regarding climate change.

The modern-day Republican Party believes one should be called "pro-life" if he or she supports an individual's life until birth.

The modern-day Republican Party believes opinions in which they agree are facts and facts with which they don't want to believe are opinions.

The modern-day Republican Party believes America to be the freest country in the world, all the while they attempt to transform it from a republic to an oligarchy.

Oh, and yeah, the modern-day Republican Party nominated Donald Trump as its representative in the 2016 presidential election.

Like I said at the outset, no matter what a self-described GOPer wants to believe, the modern-day Republican Party isn't liberal nor conservative; it's simply bat-sh*t crazy!

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/liberal?s=t

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/conservative?s=t

Friday, February 17, 2017

#OneWordOffBooks

I had some fun with the trending hashtag #OneWordOffBooks on Twitter the other day. Here are my posts, ordered from the most popular to the least popular (all my tweets can be viewed here - https://twitter.com/CraigRozniecki):

1) Fifty Shades of Cray
#OneWordOffBooks
669 Likes, 132 Retweets

2) Clear and Present Dumbass
#OneWordOffBooks
343 Likes, 78 Retweets

3) Gone With the Flynn
#OneWordOffBooks
52 Likes, 9 Retweets

4) The Gropes of Wrath
#OneWordOffBooks
34 Likes, 5 Retweets

5) The Art of the Bad Deal
#OneWordOffBooks
19 Likes, 8 Retweets

6) Lord of the Open Flies
#OneWordOffBooks
19 Likes, 4 Retweets

7) The Bigly Cat in the Hat
#OneWordOffBooks
9 Likes, 3 Retweets

8) The Pet Goat, Drumpf
#OneWordOffBooks
3 Likes, 1 Retweet

9) Romeo and Juliet Fornicate
#OneWordOffBooks
1 Like, 0 Retweets

9) The Hellish Bible
#OneWordOffBooks
1 Like, 0 Retweets

Totals: 1,150 Likes, 240 Retweets (Averages of 115.0 Likes, 24.0 Retweets)

What I'm watching...

I thought I'd tone things down a bit today and provide brief reviews on what shows I've been watching. Here we go...

Mondays
Kevin Can Wait (8 pm on CBS): Here's the latest vehicle for comedian Kevin James, who previously starred on the show King of Queens. Well, if you liked King of Queens, chances are you're going to like Kevin Can Wait. The formats are nearly identical. The only difference, from my vantage point, is the removal of the anger element which often followed King of Queens around like a shadow, limiting its replay value. So overall, I'd say I like this show better than James' old series, but it's not Emmy-worthy material either. The characters are fairly likable and seem to have a natural chemistry with one another, but the writing is rather formulaic and leaves much to be desired.

Grade: C+


Man With a Plan (8:30 on CBS): Mondays on CBS should be called, "Middle-Aged Stars Trying to Rekindle Their Pasts," as like with Kevin James in Kevin Can Wait, Matt LeBlanc tries to accomplish this in his new show, Man With a Plan. Also, similarly to Kevin Can Wait, Man With a Plan leaves a lot to be desired. To their credit, LeBlanc, along with co-star Liza Snyder, do all they can to maximize the potential of their characters. Unfortunately for them, they're not given much to work with. That's not to say this is necessarily a bad show, but it's so often riddled with clichés, the characters' chemistry and the overall storyline limit its overall appeal. Hopefully the writers make some necessary adjustments to help their talented lead stars, but until then, this will remain a very average show.

Grade: C


Superior Donuts (9 pm on CBS): CBS on Mondays features: Kevin James, Matt LeBlanc, and Judd Hirsch, as the 81-year-old former Taxi star leads the way in his new show Superior Donuts. The show hasn't been airing for very long, but I'm already seeing great potential. It has a Cheers-like feel to it, as 80-90% of the show is filmed at the donut shop and regularly showcases many of the establishment's "regulars." Hirsch and Jermaine Fowler have great chemistry with one another. Fowler's quips are more hit than miss. The dialogue feels fresh and not riddled with clichés. Not only that, but the show isn't afraid to tackle social issues while making viewers laugh. There are very few new shows I'm hoping to see last several seasons into the future. Superior Donuts, however, is one of those shows.

Grade: B+


The Odd Couple (9:30 pm on CBS): It appears as if this show might be on the way out, but if that's the case, I'll be curious to see if/when Matthew Perry gets another chance to lead a sitcom. For as much as I loved the guy in Friends, in my opinion, he's what broke this show. The rest of the show's cast was solid, especially co-lead Thomas Lennon. Perry's comedic timing just seemed off throughout the series' duration, and it's a wonder if he'll ever get another such opportunity. I appreciated the idea of this show and thought it had potential, but unfortunately a certain cast choice limited its potential and ultimately led to the show's demise.

Grade: C


Tuesdays
Fresh Off the Boat (9 pm on ABC): I wasn't sure what to think about this show at first. The character off which the show is based wasn't very personable, and in conjunction with that, the laughs were too few and far between to have generated a great deal of interest. However, toward the tail-end of the first season, I noticed some welcome changes in character development, and the show went from a complete dud to one with potential. Unfortunately, I'm not noticing those progressions so far this season, and I'm left wondering whether I should continue to watch in order to see if it improves like it did at the end of season 1, or if I'd be better off watching something else. So, for the time being, I'd just classify Fresh Off the Boat as a "cute" family show, yet one which needs to improve in the areas of laughs and character likability in order for me to continue tuning in every week.

Grade: C+


The Real O'Neals (9:30 pm on ABC): Oddly enough, this show is reminiscent of Fresh Off the Boat in terms of its start, progression, and potential staying power. The Real O'Neals was difficult for me to watch at first, as the lead character, who happens to be gay, wasn't accepted by his mother. However, like with Fresh Off the Boat, the show improved throughout its first season, but has kind of leveled off in its progressions, and I'm wondering how long it will be able to maintain my interest. Shows like Fresh Off the Boat and The Real O'Neals are important to our ever diversifying culture. It's important to showcase "minorities" in a positive light, in a relatable manner, and as being greater than the stereotypes which are too often cast in their direction. In saying that, though, I do wish the two before-mentioned shows were a bit better than they are. Hopefully they're able to improve, if for no other reason, to continue opening people's eyes and minds, as they grow more accepting of people different from themselves.

Grade: C+


Teachers (10 pm on TV Land): If you like jokes that are so wrong, they're right, then you may want to give Teachers a gander. The jokes fly at 100 mph, from random directions, filled with with and vulgarity, leaving many viewers in rewind-mode, as they wonder if they missed any. The teachers aren't great role models and aren't great teachers, but this isn't a documentary; it's a sitcom, so instead of being angered by these actors' intentionally over-the-top portrayal of teachers, just laugh.

Grade: B+


Wednesdays
Modern Family (9 pm on ABC): Modern Family has long been one of my favorite shows on television. It's reached a point like most such shows do, however, in that its writers are attempting to find ways to simultaneously keep themselves inspired and viewers interested. The kids have grown up, are getting set to move out of their parents' homes, and it's leaving many wondering if the show will be moving on before too long as well. Last year felt like an experimental season to try and find in which direction the writers wanted to travel, and it's partially worked. While Modern Family might not be where it was at the show's peak, it feels livelier and more consistent than last season.

Grade: A-


Black-ish (9:30 pm on ABC): Black-ish disappointed me earlier this season, as it felt like Daveed Diggs' Johan Johnson character added an unnecessary element and detracted from the cast's overall chemistry. When he left the show, however, Black-ish returned to being one of the best sitcoms on television. Its post-election show might go down as the best, most moving episode of the year. Black-ish today feels like Modern Family did at its peak, and I'm excited to see what's to come.

Grade: A


Thursdays
The Big Bang Theory (8 pm on CBS): Perhaps it was due to the contract strike the actors took, but last season's shows felt a bit lazy to me. Things have definitely picked up again for Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, Raj, and company, though. The Bang Theory may not be as good as it once was, but it's still a hell of a lot of fun. Once it becomes time, I'll be sad to see it go, yet hope the show ends before it becomes sub-par.

Grade: A-


Superstore (8 pm on NBC): Here's a show that features a solid cast, fresh dialogue, and some humor, yet it feels as though something is missing. Superstore has a winning formula and a winning cast, yet after most every show, I mumble to myself, "That was decent, but could have been better." Whatever that something is, I hope the writers figure it out before I do and fulfill this show's potential.

Grade: B-


Life In Pieces (9:30 pm on CBS): With the likes of: Colin Hanks, Zoe Lister-Jones, James Brolin, Thomas Sadoski, Dianne Wiest, and Dan Bakkedahl, among others, Life in Pieces showcases one of the best casts in television. The acting is great, as is the chemistry, and dialogue is fresh. The show's only downside, if you want to call it that, is it sometimes appears to have trouble deciding if it's a comedy, drama, or dramedy, which can result in some inconsistent tones in an episode. Regardless, it's a solid show, which I recommend checking out at some point if you haven't already.

Grade: B

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Dipsticks at the Department of Education

Donald Trump and his administration are disproving the theory that there can be no such thing as a funny trainwreck, for trainwreck is the quintessential term to describe Trump and his Cabinet, and for as sad as it may sound, they've unintentionally kept me laughing uproariously along the way. The latest such step centers around Betsy DeVos and the Education Department. DeVos, an individual with less experience in education than Danny DeVito has in professional basketball, is the new Secretary of Education, and let's just say she and the rest of the department are off to a rocky start.

In attempting to celebrate Black History Month, the Department of Education tweeted this about NAACP co-founder W.E.B. Du Bois:

"Education must not simply teach work - it must teach life. - W.E.B. DeBois"

That's right; the Department of Education misspelled W.E.B. Du Bois' name. After being on the receiving end of the inevitable backlash, the Department of Education tweeted this:

"Post updated - our deepest apologizes for the earlier typo."

Seriously? The Department of Education apologizes for a typo with another typo? Given the department's lack of spelling skills, expect another attempt at an apology, this time in letter form. It will probably say something like this:

"Let's try this again. We here at the Dip Partment of Education would like to sincerely apology to members of the block community. W.E.B. 2 Boys was a great liter, one we'll always respect. We need to continue to look to such litres for guy-dunce and inspiration. Not only Mr. 2 Boys, but also to people like Mal Comb X, Henryetta Tubman, Martin Luthern Key, and Rosa Perks, There's a reason why we celebrate Block History Month in Febuary. Its the shortest month. I mean, its the month of love. The blocks were once sleighves, but fought long and hard to ern equal rights and deserve are utmost respect. So, once again, we hear at the Dip Partment of Education would like to sincerely apology to members of the block community. We hope you can furgive us."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/02/12/devoss-education-department-misspells-name-of-naacp-co-founder-in-tweet-and-gets-hit-on-twitter/?utm_term=.3fa3fb513758

Info on my Facebook business, Twitter, and Tumblr pages

Here's the URL to my Facebook business page. I update it fairly regularly, but still haven't put forth a great deal of effort yet in researching matters and attempting to make the most out of it. In any case, it can be perused here:

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCraigRozniecki?ref=hl


Up next is my Twitter page. I'm still not 100% certain what I'm doing on there yet, but feel I'm gradually getting the hang of it and am up to 60,401 followers. I update it daily with many of my own tweets, but also by retweeting some others'. It can be found here:

https://twitter.com/CraigRozniecki


Lastly, here's my Tumblr page, which I've neglected quite a bit recently, but if you're at all curious, you can find it at the following link:

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/rozzy81

Weekly update of my book information

For new readers (and regular ones, I suppose), here's some information pertaining to my books.

All thirteen of my books can be purchased in paperback form at the following site (and others):

http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?type=&keyWords=craig+rozniecki&x=7&y=5&sitesearch=lulu.com&q=

The eleven books I've written and released in the past 5 years (yes, I've been on a roll) can be purchased for much cheaper in Kindle form at the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_22?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=craig%20rozniecki%20kindle&sprefix=craig+rozniecki+kindle%2Caps%2C228&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acraig%20rozniecki%20kindle

Monday, February 13, 2017

Protesting Privilege in the Name of Equality

While protests may be fairly common, there's been a significant uptick in them since Donald Trump's inauguration on January 20th. From the Women's March on Washington to chants of "No ban! No wall!" and beyond, Donald Trump's presidency has attracted protesters like Tom Brady attracts deflated balls. Since the inception of these protests, I've heard conservatives ask countless times, "What's the point? What are they protesting against? Where were these protests when Obama was elected? What do they have to complain about?" Well, allow me to answer those questions...

What all these protests have in common is a fight for equality, which many conservatives have falsely branded as a fight for socialism. The majority of conservatives I've spoken to who have derided the protests as pointless and counterproductive are white, male, straight, and Christian. I, myself, happen to be white, male, straight, and was born and raised in a Christian household. What do these Trump supporters and myself have in common? We've been provided a certain privilege which other groups of people haven't been afforded. Some of us have falsely equated this privilege with normal life and have incorrectly claimed that the attainment of additional rights by other demographics strips us of our own. What we fail to accomplish with this mentality is any sense of empathy, or worse yet, any cognizance or willingness to empathize. We then play off this ignorance as those different from us being whiny and lazy, when it's a certain fear and insecurity which prompts many straight white Christian men to feel such things. However, while denial can prove temporarily effective in an individual's mental blockage of certain events or ideas, it can't ultimately deny the truth. Not only have these widespread protests been a fight for equality, they've been a fight for empathy and truth.

Many United States citizens, especially those on the right side of the aisle, often like to brand America as the greatest, freest, most democratic country in the world, as being accurately depicted in our national anthem as the, "Land of the free, home of the brave." Ironically, many of these same individuals, who will also refer to themselves as Constitutionalists, seem to believe this absolute freedom should only be applied to those like them. According to them, while a man may force himself upon a woman and impregnate her, that woman shouldn't have the right to end her pregnancy. While Christians should be allowed to build churches wherever they'd like and worship however they so please, Muslims shouldn't be permitted to build mosques in many of these areas and should be surveilled rather closely in their places of worship. Men and women should be able to marry and divorce one another as often as they'd like, but same-sex couples shouldn't be allowed to marry even once. While none of us would be here without immigration, we should still build a wall along our southern border and ban refugees from seven countries. Yes, according to them, the freedoms of speech and religion should only apply to their circles.

The reason so many have protested the rise of Donald Trump is because the man's campaign and his presence in the White House is an affront to equality, empathy, and truth. Why did millions of women feel the need to march on Washington during inauguration weekend? Donald Trump has a long history of sexist behavior and rhetoric. The man has been married three times, cheated on all three of his wives, was alleged to have sexually assaulted at least 20 women, was caught describing sexual assault in a leaked Access Hollywood video, faced a lawsuit for raping a 13-year-old girl, made rather disturbing comments to Miss Teen USA contestants, used his power and authority to walk in on beauty pageant contestants in the dressing room, and throughout his years, has showcased that he sees women as good for one thing and one thing only - looking good. From a legislative standpoint, the man has said he thinks women should be punished for having abortions, called pregnant employees an "inconvenience," and has yet to speak out about pay inequalities, maternity leave, contraception coverage in employer-based healthcare plans, etc. When Donald Trump won the election, millions of women around the country felt violated. For months, they saw a man bully a woman on the national stage and get away with it because he was "just being a guy," while his female opponent got scrutinized for every minute detail, from a slight exaggeration in numbers to her choice of clothing. A dishonest, disloyal, abusive man got away with pushing around a woman, and any time she tried to push back, she was met with criticism. For all the progressions women have made through the years, election day made millions feel as though they were sent back to the 1950s, like they were without a voice, without rights, without supporters, without a country. So after the post-election grieve, these women decided they'd come too far to let these progressions go by the wayside, stood proudly together, and let it be known loud and clear if Donald Trump wanted to continue getting away with grabbing women's pussies, he'd have fight through them first.

Millions from around the world have also stood up in opposition to Donald Trump's immigration executive order which temporarily barred travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. Why? Because we already have a stringent vetting process in place. Because many of us have friends or family who are Muslim or reside in a foreign nation. Because none of us would be here without the concept of immigration. Because we believe in the Constitution and the American dream for all, not just a select few.

What is "the land of the free" if it isn't applied across all demographics? Gay and lesbian couples being granted the right to marry isn't privilege, it's equality. Straight couples weren't stripped of their right to marry due to this Supreme Court decision; they simply saw their privilege downgraded to equality, which it should have been in the first place. Muslims being able to freely practice Islam isn't privilege, it's equality. Women being paid the same as men isn't privilege, it's equality. Viewing blacks the same as whites in the eyes of the law isn't privilege, it's equality. If just one person isn't granted equal rights under the law, what does that say about our country, the supposed "land of the free"? What does it say when we willingly skate through life with certain undeniable privileges, all the while not speaking up or fighting for equal rights of those around us? What will it take for more to empathize, or at least try to empathize with those different from us? Millions have marched for women, immigrants, LGBTs, Muslims, etc. because we believe in the idealistic vision of America. We believe one's gender, race, orientation, or creed shouldn't be relevant in the eyes of the law. We believe, like our ancestors did before us, law-abiding individuals should have the right to provide a better life for their families. As a man, I will forever fight for women's rights. Though I'm white, I will always fight for the rights of other races. I may be straight, but I will continue to fight for the rights of the LGBT community. While I may be nonreligious, I will forever fight for the rights of the religious, regardless of their affiliation, for if anyone is without freedom in this country, who's to say any of us are free? For anyone who wants to question or criticize the post-inauguration protests, that's your right, but just remember, that right you've often taken for granted millions of others are still fighting to achieve.