Bigmouth Strikes Again: It Is Time To Completely Ignore Morrissey

Bigmouth Strikes Again: It Is Time To Completely Ignore Morrissey

11/20/2017 05:51 pm ET

So Morrissey stuck his foot in his mouth again.

Color me surprised.

For some reason, the legendary singer decided to weigh in on the recent scandals involving Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.

Why he felt the need to do this is beyond me, but after reading his comments, it is safe to say these are thoughts that would have been better suited being left in his head.

About Spacey’s victim, who was a 14 year-old boy at the time, the former Smiths frontman remarked, “You have to ask, where were the boy’s parents. You ask yourself, if the boy didn’t know what could happen. I don’t know what it was like for him but in my youth, I was never in a situation like that. Never. It was always clear to me what could happen. If you’re in someone’s bedroom, you have to know where it could lead. That’s why I don’t find the whole thing very believable. It seems to me Spacey has been unnecessarily attacked.”

If you have not read the details of the allegations against Spacey, I recommend going ahead and doing so. Not only did Spacey seem to all but admit what he did, but Morrissey’s comments read as a disgusting exercise in victim blaming.

Where were the kid’s parents? He should have never allowed himself to be in a situation like that?

So the “He was asking for it,” defense. Wow.

Likewise, the singer seemed to blame the victims Harvey Weinstein.

“Those people knew exactly what would happen [when they went up to Weinstein’s hotel room], and they played along. Afterwards they were embarrassed or they didn’t enjoy it,” he said. “And then they turn it around and say: ‘I was attacked, I was surprised, I was pulled into the room.’ But if everything went well, and it helped them to a big career, they wouldn’t be talking about it.”

So they were just embarrassed or regretful because they didn’t enjoy their encounters with Weinstein.

Apparently, to Steven Patrick Morrissey, being sexually assaulted or even raped is nothing to complain about.

Ok, then.

This isn’t the first time Morrissey has said something both cruel and ignorant. Surely, it won’t be the last.

But I wish it would, at the very least, be the last time anybody even talks about what he has to say. He has shown repeatedly that he has nothing of significance to add to the conversation on anything.

I can’t speak for anybody else, but for me, the man with the “Irish Blood” and “English Heart” is now permanently persona non grata. And maybe going forward, Morrissey should take a little bit of his own advice.

“Bigmouth, Bigmouth Bigmouth strikes again And I’ve got no right to take my place With the human race”

Argentina Is In Good Hands

Argentina Is In Good Hands

11/17/2017 05:47 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

I was heartened to see recently that Argentina and the United States are talking about increasing trade with each other. I think open trade is a hallmark of a productive economy and the United States couldn’t have a better partner to deal with on the Argentinian end of the spectrum than President Mauricio Macri. I met President Macri last year at the house of American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen and then again earlier this month at a private dinner at the same location.

Jack is working hard around the world to build relationships that could be beneficial not only to AJC, but to many countries worldwide. This includes President Macri, whom Jack is very close with.

On a personal level, President Macri is a charming guy. When you combine his charisma and his penchant for reform, you can easily tell why many consider him to be the Argentinian Ronald Reagan. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of world leaders but to this point, President Macri has been the most impressive one I have met.

I have been to Argentina many times since my daughter studied abroad in Buenos Aires for her law degree. Without a doubt, the country has changed in a positive way under President Macri’s leadership.

Most recently Macri’s party won re-election, which is good news for the Argentinian people and for us, since it makes the road to trade between our two countries easier. There are many investment opportunities for American businesses in Argentina and I hope the friendship between our two nations grows so that the U.S. and Argentina can benefit from each other over the long haul.

In addition, for as long as President Macri is in office, it means that we have a key ally in the region, which is excellent. I am very pleased that President Macri is a friend to Israel as well.

I look forward to progress continuing to be made in Argentina under President Macri and am excited for the positive global outcomes that should occur as a result.

Moore Must Go. Franken Must Go. And The Partisan Excuses Need To Stop.

Moore Must Go. Franken Must Go. And The Partisan Excuses Need To Stop.

11/16/2017 05:55 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

The other day I ripped apart Roy Moore and said he didn’t belong anywhere near the U.S. Senate. But after reading Leeann Tweeden’s story, I’m starting to wonder if maybe Moore would feel right at home.

In case you missed it, Tweeden told a story about Franken kissing her against her will and groping her breasts while she was passed out sleeping. Some have labeled it as an accusation, except it isn’t an accusation, because Tweeden posted an actual photograph of Franken committing the groping.

Franken has now come out and said he welcomes an ethics investigation. Ok, but what exactly is the investigation supposed to turn up? The evidence is literally a photograph of Franken groping Tweeden. The whole thing seems to be the epitome of an open and shut case.

Democrats are hemming and hawing about this but CNN’s Amanda Carpenter said it best when she told Jake Tapper that this cannot be a partisan issue. Whether it is Roy Moore on the left or Al Franken on the right, they need to go, period. Because if we protect one due to ideology, then there is no moral standing to go after the other whose ideology you don’t agree with.

At the core of this, though, is the fact that these were powerful men who thought they could get away with these things. Moore continues to deny what he did while Franken has no such luxury due to the existence of photographic evidence. But either way, how sickening is it that these men did this and it seemed to not even be a thought in their heads. CNN even uncovered tape from a few years ago of Franken mentioning doing a skit with Tweeden. Somehow the part about violating her never came up.

I suppose in some circles I would be considered a powerful man. I am CEO of two companies and sit on several boards. I will also admit that I love beautiful women. But not once has it ever crossed my mind to do the kinds of things these men have done.

Maybe it is because I have three daughters and if anybody did this to them, I would want to run them down with my car. Maybe it is because that’s just the way I am wired. I don’t pretend to be perfect morally, but I can say with absolute certainty that I am definitely better than this.

Moore needs to go. He won’t drop out, but he should. Hopefully the voters don’t reward him and the women he tormented haunt his dreams for years to come.

Franken needs to go. He won’t be tossed out of the senate, but he should be.

Hopefully Leeann Tweeden and all of Moore’s victims find some semblance of peace someday. And I wish I had something more to offer them than my sincerest condolences for how they were treated.

But if we don’t get our act together as a society and punish this type of behavior with more than a slap on the wrist – which is what the “ethics investigation” will amount to – then we are going to see more and more of this and it is never going to get better.

And as a father of three daughters, I pray that’s not how this all plays out.

Can My Daughter Be Friends With Muslims?

Can My Daughter Be Friends With Muslims?

11/15/2017 03:36 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

As I watched the news of the latest terror attack in New York City earlier this month, my oldest daughter asked me a simple question. “Dad, why do people do these things?” The terror attack in New York City prompted a further array of questions. “Some people hate others because they are different,” I say in a sad tone. “But I’m not different,” she says.

It is impossible to convey the mixture of heartbreak and fear I feel for her. This constant stream of jihadist attacks have made it clear that I will teach my daughter the lesson generations old, one that I, as an immigrant from a majority Muslim country, for the most part nearly escaped. I will teach her to be cautious, I will teach her suspicion, and I will teach her distrust. Much sooner than I thought I would, I will have to discuss with my daughter whether she can truly be friends with Muslim people.

Meaningful friendship is not just a feeling. It is not simply being able to share a beer. Real friendship is impossible without the ability to trust others, without knowing that your well-being is important to them.

History has provided little reason to trust Muslim people in this way, and these recent years have put in perspective the pure contempt that people of that faith have for those who hold western values.

Likewise, despite decades of robust evidence of continuing Islamic terror, attacks that occur are met with cries that we must understand why this was done to us.

As against our gauzy national hopes, I will teach my daughter to have profound doubts that friendship with Muslim people is possible. Spare me platitudes of how we are all the same on the inside. I first have to keep my daughters safe, and so I will teach her before the world shows her this particular brand of rending, violent, often fatal betrayal.

Let me assure you that my heartbreak dwarfs my anger. I grew up in a majority Muslim country. With all its faults, it was a happy-childhood. But what’s surprising is that I am heartbroken at all. It is only for Jewish people who grew up in such a place that watching these Islamic extremist groups is so disorienting. I suppose the ridiculous thing was thinking friendship was possible in the first place. It hurts only if you believed friendship could bridge the cultural gorge.

Imagining we can now be friends across this cultural line is asking us to ignore our safety and that of our children, to abandon personal regard and self-worth. Only Muslim people can cordon off the actions of these terror groups and ignore the “unpleasantness” from a position of safety. The past decade or so has fixed the awful thought in my mind too familiar to westerners: “You can’t trust these people.”

It is not ISIS or Al Qaeda itself who has done this; we have seen their type before. Rather, what has truly broken my heart are the ranks of Islam’s many allies and apologists.

But the deepest rift is with the apologists, the “good” Muslims, the Muslims who understand that these terror groups do “unfortunate” things but don’t speak out against them. They bristle at the accusation that their silence supports terror, insisting they have to ignore these Jihadi attacks. Relying on everyday decency as a shield, they are befuddled at the chill that now separates them from western culture in their offices and social circles. They protest: Have they ever said anything supportive of violence? Don’t they shovel the sidewalk of the new neighbors? Surely, they say, their religion does not mean we can’t be friends.

I do not write this with condescension or glee. My heart is unbearably heavy when I assure you we cannot be friends.

The same is true, unfortunately, of those who hold no quarter for Islamic terror groups but insist that westerners need to do the reaching out, the moderating, the accommodating. Imagine the Muslim who dislikes innocent people in western countries being blown up but wished the whole thing would just settle down. However likable, you could not properly describe her as a friend. Sometimes culture makes demands on the soul.

Don’t misunderstand: Muslims and western citizens can like one another. But real friendship? ISIS and Al Qaeda’s horrific mission props up outrageous claims of western devils, threatening the very body of the little girl I love. No amount of shoveled snow makes it all right, and too many imagine they can have it both ways. It is this desperation to reap the rewards of Islamic supremacy without being so much as indicted that Frank Gaffney recognized as America’s criminal innocence.

We have been encouraged to reach across cultural lines. But there is a difference between simple disagreement and fighting for your very survival in the world, the bodies of your children, your humanity.

We can still all pretend we are friends. If meaningful civic friendship is impossible, we can make do with mere civility — sharing drinks and watching the game. Indeed, even in a world where these jihadist attacks occur, I have not given up on being friends with all Muslim people. In fact, having grown up in a majority Muslim country, some of my dearest friends are Muslim. But these are the friends who have rushed in to condemn the latest terror attack or inhumane action by an Islamist state, people who have shared the risks required by strength and decency.

There is hope, though. It falls to us to do better. We cannot agree on our politics, but we can declare that we stand beside one another against this terror; that we live together and not simply beside one another. In the coming years, when my daughter asks her questions again, I pray for more hopeful answers.

****PLEASE NOTE: The above was written as satire. It is not meant to be taken seriously and in no way represents how I actually feel. The article is a response to this op-ed in the New York Times. In fact, some of the sentences are virtually word for word with “Muslim” put in place of “White.” The point of this was to show how ignorant and bigoted the NY Times op-ed was. Hopefully, by seeing what this NY Times op-ed would mean if it had been written about Muslims, you can now see how awful the sentiment behind it truly was.****

Is Hezbollah on the Rise?

Is Hezbollah on the Rise?

11/14/2017 05:14 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

The American Jewish Congress noted with concern the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri last weekend, citing fears over the growing influence of Iranian proxy, the terrorist Hezbollah group.

Tensions in the region have already begun to spiral, following the launch of a rocket at Riyadh from Yemen, which Saudi Arabia attributed to a “declaration of war” by Iran and Hezbollah. That the recall of its citizens from Lebanon by Saudi Arabia coincided with Hariri seeking refuge in Riyadh from where he announced his resignation, only further provoked fears of Saudi military action in Lebanon.

The resignation of the moderate Hariri seemed choreographed to isolate Hezbollah and its dangerous intentions of derailing Lebanese authorities, but it has instead fueled a culture of fear, instability and mistrust among Lebanon’s regional neighbors which only serves to strengthen Hezbollah’s hand.

Even more reason to worry if international powers cannot cooperate with local moderate forces to counter the combined force of Iran and Hezbollah, which would virtually guarantee the situation will spiral, increasing the likelihood of a clash with Israel and the additional spread of terror throughout the Middle East.

Israeli officials initially concluded that Hariri’s resignation was a clear sign of the combined power of Hezbollah and the Lebanese government operating in cahoots with Iran. Despite Israeli distrust of Iran and Hezbollah, however, the administration remains unconvinced that Saudi Arabia alone is capable of curtailing Iranian influence and coordinating an allied response to deescalate tensions across the region.

While publicly neither Israel nor Hezbollah has expressed an appetite for renewed military action, cabinet minister Naftali Bennett says Israel will be taking a “cautious” approach to recent developments, “to prevent an unnecessary escalation in the region.”

Meanwhile, much of the focus will be on Saudi Arabia to make the next move in the ongoing power play, with an economic boycott against Qatar being the most likely option. With Hezbollah able to draw on Iran for financial backing though, such sanctions are unlikely to bring the terrorist group to its knees.

We have seen the results of aggressive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and we need to make sure that does not happen again. We must strive for peace in the region, and to get that, we need cooperation on an international level to stomp out terrorist groups and avoid complete destabilization of the Middle East.

American Jewish Congress Statement on the Deadly Earthquake in Iran and Iraq

American Jewish Congress Statement on the Deadly Earthquake in Iran and Iraq

11/13/2017 03:06 pm ET

The American Jewish Congress offers its sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the earthquake that has left parts of Iraq and Iran in ruins. Over 400 people have lost their lives in this deadly natural disaster, and thousands of others are either injured or missing. We send our thoughts and prayers to the victims of this tragedy.

As thousands have been left without shelter and medical treatment, the American Jewish Congress supports and encourages immediate relief efforts, and urges the local and international community to provide help and assistance to all those in need. We stand in solidarity with all those affected.

Jack Rosen, President – American Jewish Congress

Dr. Munr Kazmir, Vice President – American Jewish Congress

Dr. Ben Chouake, Secretary – American Jewish Congress

Regardless of Sexual Assault Allegations, Roy Moore Does Not Belong In The U.S. Senate

Regardless of Sexual Assault Allegations, Roy Moore Does Not Belong In The U.S. Senate

11/11/2017 12:41 pm ET Updated Nov 13, 2017

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

The allegations that have surfaced against Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore are horrendous to say the least.

Moore has been accused of acting in a sexually inappropriate manner with underage girls many years ago.

Thus far, Moore has denied the charges made against him. I can’t say for certain if these allegations are true, but he has changed his story and issued bizarre non-denials, which are not generally the actions of somebody who has done nothing wrong.

Mitch McConnell has suggested Moore drop out of the race. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) has said that if Moore does get elected, he should be removed from the Senate.

I agree with both men.

But truthfully, even before these allegations, Roy Moore had no business being within 1,000 feet of the senate.

Let’s be honest about who Roy Moore is: He is the absolute epitome of every negative stereotype people have about southern Republicans.

For starters, he was removed from the bench as a Judge twice for refusing to follow the law. In other words, he was being an activist Judge, something the right normally hates.

You’d think that would be disqualifying to hold any other type of elective office – let alone U.S. senate – but somehow he remained a viable figure.

And virtually every word or action he involved himself with ends up being worse than the last. Roy Moore has compared homosexuality to bestiality, advocated for making homosexual acts illegal, and suggested gay people should be barred from raising children or serving in government.

Additionally, Moore said that Muslims should not be allowed to serve in government, a stance that puts him strongly at odds with the U.S. Constitution.

Moore seems to believe Sharia Law is on the rise in certain Midwest states, a thought that has exactly zero basis in reality.

Moore believes 9/11 was God’s punishment for straying from “God’s law.”

And the capper, he thinks football players kneeling for the anthem are in violation of federal law, which I suppose means he believes they should all go to jail.

I’m not wild about players kneeling for the anthem, but I certainly recognize their right to do it, and I absolutely do not want anybody punished by the law for doing it. I could go on, but hopefully you get the point.

I’m all for anti-establishment. Believe me, nobody hates the way the ruling class behaves more than I do. They act all-knowing, condescend to anybody who disagrees, and then end up being wrong on most major issues, anyway. And when you point out how wrong they were, they just ridicule you for being a racist, or a sexist, or a homophobe, and a rube.

Except here’s the deal: Roy Moore actually IS all of those things.

Democrats are usually just making these accusations to smear their political opponents, but in this case, it is true. In all reality, Roy Moore won’t step aside, because he never does.

Even if the allegation gain more traction, he’s likely not going anywhere. Remember, this is a man who was removed from the judiciary twice and still didn’t have the shame or decency to just go away. And I’m sure he won’t now, either.

But he should.

He would be doing his party AND his country a huge favor.

Whether or not Roy Moore deserves to be in jail is a matter for the police to figure out, but one place Roy Moore absolutely doesn’t deserve to be is the U.S. senate.

If Republicans want to save their brand and while simultaneously saving the country from a huge disaster, they should find a way to pull the plug on his candidacy before everything finds a way to somehow get even worse.

And if you’re thinking that’s impossible, just remember, this is Roy Moore we are talking about here. It ALWAYS gets worse.

Morocco May Hold the Key to Regional Stability

Morocco May Hold the Key to Regional Stability

11/10/2017 05:21 pm ET

The balance of power has long been shifting in the Middle East, and many would say not in America’s favor: Iran has been emboldened, Russia triumphant, and America and its allies on the defensive. This all can be explained by the fact that the coalition to counter Iranian influence and intransigence has been weak and fractured. The peace process between Arabs and Israelis has been sidelined, moderate Sunni Arab states have seen their economies stagnate and political tumult has gripped many of them.

And so the United States has been looking for allies to counter Iranian hegemony on the one hand and Sunni extremism on the other.

A key divide among the moderate Arab states comes from the schism that has formed between Qatar and the other GCC countries, mainly Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The divide has made it difficult for these traditional US allies to form a unified front against threats to regional stability and US interests. The region therefore needs an actor who has the credibility and the self-interests to play a constructive role in bringing the GCC countries back together into a solid meaningful, pro-US alliance. This same actor could also bring the Israelis and Arabs together to talk meaningful peace and transform that relationship to become a force for good in the region.

As you scan the region and look deeper into the history, values, and interests of each country and leader, one of them stands out. Morocco, and its King, is just a natural fit.

The Kingdom enjoys the oldest uninterrupted treaty of friendship with the United States. During the Cold War, it was a stalwart against communism, and more recently has played a crucial role in executing the global war against terrorism.

The country has also been a pioneer of the peace process between Israel and the Arabs, and the late King Hassan II held some of the first secret meetings between Egypt and Israel, which later led to the signing of the Camp David peace that still keeps the peace between those two countries. Moreover, Israel has about one million citizens of Moroccan origin, the great majority of whom still keeps ties to their country of origin and fondly retell memories of their parents or grandparents who existed in harmony with Muslim neighbors under the sovereignty of a Muslim monarch. Morocco’s relations with the Palestinians have also been strong. The Quds Council, the institution that is meant to protect the Muslim’s claims to areas of Jerusalem where there is Muslim heritage, is headquartered in Rabat, Morocco, and the Moroccan government has been a historic supporter of the Palestinian cause.

At the same time, Morocco enjoys credibility with the countries of the GCC. When Saudi Arabia and UAE called for a boycott of Qatar, Morocco remained neutral and sent emergency aid to that country. This week, the King of Morocco is visiting the UAE to inaugurate the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi, in a sign of warm relations between the King and the Emir. Also, in what could be termed as “Vacation Diplomacy”, the King of Saudi Arabia spends his summer vacation in Tangier, the most northern city of Morocco, where he meets other foreign leaders and conducts the business of his Kingdom. More concretely, Morocco has declared its alliance with the GCC countries against any foreign threats to their common security. And the GCC countries have responded with billions worth of investments in the Moroccan economy.

Morocco is endowed with a unique place in the region and should be seen by the United States as a go-to country for regional mediation and to serve as the country around which an alliance can form. An alliance that can hold together in the face of the onslaught of rogue regimes and extremist movements across the region.

When It Comes To The Saudis, It’s Wait And See……

When It Comes To The Saudis, It’s Wait And See……

11/09/2017 01:53 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

The Saudi government has long been a source of corruption and fascistic rule but to their credit, it seems as though they are finally trying to fix that.

Some of the most connected business and political leaders in the country are being swept up as part of an anti-corruption probe, including Royal Family Members and executives.

Charges range from bribery to money laundering to extortion. Between this and the recent liberalizing of some Saudi laws – including women above a certain age being allowed to drive at certain times of day – Saudi Arabia seems to be headed in the right direction for the first time in a long time.

But there is a long history of failed reformers in the Middle East, covering countries like Iran and Iraq. Intentions always start out positive but whether or not the results end up that way is ultimately another matter.

And let’s remember Saudi Arabia’s long history of disgraceful behavior towards other countries. It wasn’t long ago that the Saudi national soccer team refused to observe a moment of silence for London terror victims during a game in Australia. I could use flowery language here, but I won’t. Instead, I will simply say it was as classless and disgusting as anything I’ve seen in a long time and it sickened me to my very core.

Over the years they have funded numerous bad acts and it is worth keeping in mind that a whopping 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals. Plus, they still refuse to help one bit with the refugee crisis that is tearing their region apart.

As noted Middle Eastern scholar Daniel Pipes explains, “Saudi Arabia has many unique attractions for Sunni Muslims. To begin with, it has 100,000 high-quality, empty fiberglass tents that can house about 3 million people in Mina, just east of Mecca. Fireproof and air-conditioned, complete with toilets and kitchens, this unique resource is occupied a mere five days a year by pilgrims on the hajj.”

In demonstrating how little the Saudis have contributed here, Pipes notes that the amount of Syrians in that country is shockingly low: “One study, by Lori Plotkin Boghardt of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy, estimates the number in the ‘low hundreds of thousands,’ say 150,000. That’s a small fraction of the over 4 million in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan — and just 5 percent of the migrants who could be housed just in Mina’s splendid tents.”

So the ongoing reforms seem like a step in the right direction, but we must see how it all plays out. Over the years, I know our government has had strong ties to the Saudi Royal Family and that has made it difficult for any president to lean on them strongly.

President Trump got elected as a man of the people who would shatter norms and smash the established order in favor of doing what is right and just for the people of America and my hope was that one of the things he would do differently was lean on the Saudis for their bad behavior and put pressure on them to take in refugees.

I’m a supporter of the president, but to be honest, his actions thus far regarding the Saudis have been far too deferential and incredibly disappointing.

I know the saying “money talks” applies here, but are human rights really for sale? Does human decency really carry a price tag?

The answer should be no, but unfortunately, up until now, it has been yes. Simply put, Saudi Arabia has gotten away with things no poor country would have gotten away with and it is unconscionable.

These corruption arrests and reforms appear to indicate these unconscionable abuses may be on the way out in Saudi Arabia.

But I hope and pray somebody that if the Saudis don’t ultimately deliver the changes necessary in the long run that somebody with real political power has the courage to stand up and call them out for it instead of doing what is always done, which is bending a knee.

I truly want the Saudis to change and our government to refuse to kiss their ring if they do not.

But I’ll believe it when I see it.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.

Do Not Let Anybody Shame You Into Voting If You Don’t Want To

11/07/2017 05:05 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

You hear it every November when there’s an election. “Get out and vote.” “Do your civic duty.”

Of course, most people only say that because they want you to vote for their preferred candidate, but I digress…..

When it comes to the responsibility of voting in a free republic, I tend to lean on the opinions of two of America’s greatest creative geniuses, South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said, “There is no shame in not voting if you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

In fact, I will take it a step further: Even if you DO know a lot about policy, there is no shame in not voting if you find the choices objectionable. Some of the smartest people I know refrain from voting for this very reason.

Every election, many people feel pressured into voting when they really do not know anything about the candidates or issues, beyond maybe a quick article they read just before voting.

Much like Parker and Stone, I am not saying these people shouldn’t vote or don’t have the right to vote. I am simply saying that if they are apathetic or simply don’t want to vote, then they have every right to abstain without being made to feel like a monster.

The constant refrain is that people died for your right to vote. But people seem to be confusing rights with duties. Because much like all other rights, just because you have it, does not mean you need to exercise it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.

You have the right to own a gun, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase one.

You have the right to freely exercise your religion, but you are equally free to not exercise any religion at all.

The point is, having a right doesn’t mean that right needs to be used. Being free to do something also means being free not to do that same exact thing if that is the action you choose to take.

So on this day, Election Day 2017, here is the advice I will give you, no matter how unpopular it may be: Vote if you want. If you do vote, then cast your ballot for the candidate you prefer regardless of why.

But if you don’t like any of the candidates, you believe the system itself is illegitimate, you don’t feel you know anything, or you simply don’t care, then feel free to note vote, if that is what you think is best.

After all, as a wise man once wrote, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And if you are going to make a choice, it should be the one you want to make, not the one others wish you would make.