President Donald Trump Has Exceeded My Expectations

President Donald Trump has always been a unique figure during my lifetime.  I grew up with him acting as a bombastic promotions man.  Yes, I knew he was in business, but I primarily experienced his face on board games, appearing on World Wrestling Entertainment television, talking with Howard Stern on the radio, feuding with Rosie O’Donnell, hosting The Apprentice, and  showing up in movies like Home Alone 2.

When Trump pondered running for president in 2004, 2008, and 2012, I don’t think many people took him very seriously.  He was notorious for pulling huge publicity stunts, after all.  So, to be fair, when he officially ran and won in 2016, I was amazed.  I was shocked not only because he actually stayed in the race throughout, but also because he managed to win.

However, in my opinion, Donald Trump has always been about making a splash and building his brand.  That’s just my opinion.  I absolutely believe that he wanted to win the presidency.  I didn’t believe, though, that he actually wanted to deal with the day-to-day, nonstop drudgery of being president.

Because of this belief, as well as Donald Trump’s penchant for controversy, I didn’t think he’d complete the first two years of his presidency.  I truthfully thought he would find a reason to resign–to go out on top.  If he didn’t resign, I assumed he would be impeached because, again, Donald Trump has always bent the rules and admitted as much.  That kind of thing eventually catches up to people.

But, President Donald Trump has exceeded my expectations.  Yesterday, January 20th, 2019, marked two full years in office.

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  (Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)

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Hope In the Dark by Rebecca Solnit – A Book Review

It so happened that on the morning of January 13th, I rode in my car and heard Rebecca Solnit on the NPR program entitled On the Media.  She read an excerpt from her 2004 book called Hope In the Dark.  Her reading, as well as her subsequent interview, convinced me that I had to experience the work for myself.

She begins with a quote from Virginia Woolf during WWI that says, “The future is dark, which is on the whole, the best thing the future can be, I think.”  Solnit goes on to clarify that, in this case, darkness does not equate disaster, it merely reminds us that the future is ultimately unknown.

These are troubling times, and it is by no accident that this book, which is well over ten years old, is experiencing a resurgence.  Hope In the Dark illustrates some horrific calamities of the late 20th Century, but it also goes on to discuss how those disasters served as a catalyst to change, real change—positive change.  It also spends a great deal of time illustrating that the most potent of such change came through the efforts of people, regular citizens, standing up, taking action, and making their voices heard.

And even though some of these events may seem dated, if you read carefully enough, you’ll realize that the specific things she’s focusing upon absolutely have an effect on today’s local and global political climate, and, well, meteorological climate for that matter!

It is with great satisfaction that I read this book even as the Women’s March in Washington and throughout the world ensued.  It proved that what she said then is undeniably applicable today.  Our peaceful action speaks volumes; our voices can and will be heard.

Many of us feel hopeless today, but this book will instill faith in your fellow citizen … and yourself.  It will inspire you to do something, no matter how small, and to make your voice resonate.  It will, in the end, help you to realize that the future is dark, but, as Solnit points out, many things grow in the dark, things that later offer both beauty and sustenance.

We have the power to make our own story; we have the means to create our own future.

(If you’d like to listen to Solnit’s appearance during On the Media, visit this link: http://www.wnyc.org/story/rebecca-solnit-hope-lies-and-making-change/)

 

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About County Board Candidate Dave Van Allen

If you live in West Bloomington’s District 8, odds are you’ve probably already met County Board candidate Dave Van Allen.  After all, so far he’s visited 1500 households!

I don’t live in West Bloomington, therefore I can’t vote for Dave.  Furthermore, I won’t pretend to be an expert on politics in general, including those of Dave Van Allen.  However, I can comment on Dave as a long-time friend.

I met Dave Van Allen almost seven years ago after he began dating my friend and coworker, Amanda.  Since then, I’ve been to his wedding, played with his adorable baby boy, attended countless dinners with him and his wife, lost innumerable card games along his side, and even helped move him into his 92-year-old house.  In other words, I’ve gotten to know Dave pretty well over the years, long before he ever considered running for the County Board.

Dave Van Allen has always struck me as a calm personality.  I’ve never seen him upset, even when perhaps he had every right to be during some heated card games.  He takes everything in stride, and when met with a challenge, finding a solution is his first objective.  Dave is the antithesis of “erratic”-his words, actions, and demeanor are purposeful, composed, and peaceful.

Consequently, Dave Van Allen is also one of the most business-minded people I’ve ever met.  Though it doesn’t consume his existence, Dave is very enthusiastic about finances and fiscal responsibility.  Finding the most cost-efficient means of executing an action is not only a preference for Dave, it’s a full-on sport!  Watching him spare no effort in finding the best deal has always been both amusing and impressive, and I have gone to him for financial advice on several occasions.

But, even with that being said, Dave is far more than just a savvy businessman.  Dave is also a kind husband and loving father.  He is a devoted Christian and active member in his church.  He cares about his community and is endlessly eager to find ways to improve it.

I assure you Dave Van Allen is a good husband, a good father, a good community member, and a good friend.  In my mind, it only stands to reason he will make a good representative on the County Board as well.  I ask that you keep him in mind come November 4th.

Learn more about Dave Van Allen at his website:

http://www.votevanallen.com/index.php?link=home

-Scott William Foley

The Importance of Action

Note:  Originally Published 10-14-07

You may have seen on the news lately the wise and all-knowing talking heads are coming down pretty hard on Barack Obama because he dared to put on a suit without an American flag pin on his lapel. 

It must have been a slow news day, for this thing blew up and he was finally forced to defend himself by saying that his actions display his patriotism far more than simply wearing a pin.

I found the whole thing pretty funny because it reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer took part in an Aids walk, but refused to wear the ribbon.  He ultimately got ganged up on by the other walkers and beaten up because he refused to wear the ribbon, even though he was actively taking part in the walk.  He finished the walk, by the way, though he had to drag himself across the finish line.

After 911, I think wearing the American flag pin proved to solidify one’s own resolve in their patriotism; it served to reassure people in distressing times; and it simply made people feel better on the inside.  Somehow, however, as the years went by we started judging each other on if we wore a pin.  And, as is the unfortunate trend, we have now exploited the pin to a degree where if a high level politician is seen without it, it becomes the main topic of the day across the news.  The original purpose of the pin has been objectified and bent to serve ulterior motives, and I find that despicable.  In my mind, that pin serves as a metaphor for far greater issues taking place within our nation.

I’m not a particularly political person.  I don’t vote straight Republican or Democrat.  I try to go with whoever seems most intelligent on the issues that I feel are important.  And one issue that is important to me is the fact so many of us, myself included, talk a big game but rarely take any true form of action.  We dream; we wish; we say what we’re going to do; we brag about accomplishments yet to be executed; yet, when it comes time to actually tally the score, few of us find that we have lived up to our own talk.  And then, when people actually hold us accountable for failing to live up to our boasts, we take offense.

I worry that we’ve become a nation of talkers, not doers.  What’s the point of wearing a flag if your actions don’t display patriotism in the least?  What’s the point of saying how awesome you are if you’ve never actually done anything?  We’re becoming a culture that praises people who have no discernable accomplishments, and then we mock those that do.  This is troubling.

This is beginning to sound judgmental and harsh, and it’s certainly not meant to.  I actually wanted this little essay to be motivating.  I wanted to encourage you to chase your dreams, to go out and make something special happen!  I wanted to get you psyched up not just to wear the pin, but also to actually do something that validates the pin!

So, what are you waiting for?  Get out there and take action!