On Vacation

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures and declares "You're fired!" at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 17, 2015. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX1GZCO

My wife and I are on a short vacation San Diego. We’ve rented a home for a week along with our close friends from San Francisco.

It’s been a couple of years since we’ve seen them, so naturally there were a lot of catching up to do.

Some of their questions for us were the following:

– Who are you going to vote for in the upcoming election?

– What do you think of Donald Trump?

– Do you agree with transgenders using any bathroom they choose?

– Why can’t we fix the problems with African Americans in the inner city?

– What’s your status in the Mormon Church?

– When are you going to retire?

Here were my answers:

– Hillary. I supported her in 2008 when she lost to President Obama. And I’m supporting her this time. Why? She’ll be the first female president. Plus, she’s sensible enough to know that America is in need of fortifying and strengthening our middle class.

– Trump reminds me of European super nationalists. Vlad Putin is a super nationalist. Jean-Marie La Penn of France is. Benito Mussolini of Italy was. Silvio Berlusconi also of Italy was and still is. When people feel insecure they will accept politically far right strongmen whom the electorate hope will kick butt and bring back order. By any other name, they nevertheless are fascists at the end of the day.

– This is among those most petty arguments I have ever been part of. Transgenders are free to use whatever public facility that suits their self identification. In the end, if I have to pee, I don’t care what facility I use. It’s a straw man argument: anti gays are using this to keep the flame of discrimination alive.

– I believe It takes twice as long to solve a problem as it does to create one. Slavery was a two hundred year old problem, it will take at least four hundred years to solve the its effects. We’re only one hundred and fifty years into solving it. We’ve started making progress. Examples are plentiful: the Civil War; the thirteenth amendment; Brown vs Board of education – separate is not equal; the civil rights legislation of the 1960’s; Affirmative Action policies of the 1970’s; the criminalization of red lining of the 1990’s; the taking down of the confederate flag in South Carolina in 2015. In 250 years from now, all this action, plus much, much more, will begin to bring about racial parity. Oh, yes, I believe African Americans have not yet been compensated fairly for their two hundred years of slavery. They were brought to this country against their will and in chains.

– I’m a secular Mormon.

– I have work commitments for at least ten more years. I retire the day I die. I won’t linger in idleness.

Our friends commented on how liberal I have become over the years. I agree with their assessment.