To re-cap, in light of the recent election, and the choices we were given, I started thinking that I’d be as good an option as anyone to run for President in the next election. So last week, I threw my hat in the ring and announced my candidacy for the office in 2016. In part one of this piece, I started detailing the platform upon which I’d be running, and listing the various laws and bills I’d be introducing. I only made it through two examples before I ran out of space. I’ll now pick up where I left off. I hope you’ve enjoyed and agreed with my ideas so far. This may or may not be wrapped up this week. I have a lot of these, so forgive me in advance if we go on to part three or beyond.


Simply put, this one is intended to once again make people take responsibility for themselves, their actions, and their situations. It’s also intended to bring back proper parenting and make parents take accountability for their children. If you’ve found yourself in a bad situation and it is directly or indirectly the result of karma, then don’t expect sympathy or a handout. If you find yourself unemployed for no reasons other than the fact that you are too lazy to actually seek employment, or arrogant enough to think that the available jobs are beneath you, then deal with it and take care of yourself. Stop sponging off of society. If you are managing to find money for alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, tattoos, and manicures – than chances are you don’t require government assistance.

To further that thought – stop blaming society, the government, the school systems, your heritage, your childhood, video games, and fictitious ailments for your problems. It’s time for all to step up and take some accountability. Don’t use some faux medical or psychological condition conjured up by a pharmaceutical company who was trying to cure an actual ailment but failed miserably and still had to sell their pills as an excuse to avoid your responsibilities. I don’t think that even a NASCAR driver has ever lost his job due to his “restless leg syndrome”. Everyone seems to be seeking a handout or assistance of some sort and yet most are willing to do nothing to deserve it. We’ve sadly become a nation where everyone seems to think they have this sense of entitlement.

You want to know what I think I’m entitled to? I’m entitled to my paycheck that I get on Friday that I busted my butt for every nickel, just like I’ve been doing for thirty years. Actually, since you all know I’m a bartender, you also know that it’s not a paycheck I rely on, but I live on my tips—all of which I earn. I exist primarily on the gratuitous generosities of vacationers who are pumped full of alcohol. I’m supporting a family of six solely as a service industry-tipped employee in a seasonal resort town during a tanking economy. Try hitching your wagon to that. And yet I never complain and I’m always in a good mood.

The aforementioned dependants consist of myself, my wife, four kids, and an overweight cat with a personality disorder. Two are in college, two are in diapers, and one is involved in every extracurricular activity short of Navy SEAL training. And yet we get by. We live within our means, well below the poverty level. Our situation lands us within the parameters of government assistance, and yet I’ve never ONCE, requested, expected, accepted, nor felt I deserved a single penny from anyone. Call it pride, call it stubbornness, call it integrity, call it stupidity, call it class, call it pure decency…call it whatever you will, but that is how my family rolls. We live a very happy, comfortable life and don’t want anything. I wake up every morning believing honestly that I am the luckiest man alive, and perpetually cognizant of the fact that no matter what, there are many people who have it much, much worse and are genuinely in need. All this and yet I still find time to be a full time Dad and raise my own children properly. (Sorry, I went off on a bit of a tangent there.) The “sense of entitlement” epidemic gets me a little fired up.

Onto the subject of parenting and accountability now: stop blaming video games, movies, music, teachers, curriculum, and the fact that you can’t afford Aderol for your child’s behavior and shortcomings. Have you taken into account the possibility that you’re just a crappy parent? The tests aren’t getting harder, the teachers aren’t getting meaner, and no one has a personal vendetta against your kid. Do you check your kid’s homework every night, help them with their projects, and take a genuine interest in their schoolwork? If not, you’ve just pinpointed the root of the problem with Junior’s grades. Who is allowing him to watch the movies, play the games, and listen to the music? Is it society, or have you just completely lost touch with what happens in your own home? Did you read books to them when they were young, or hand them a handheld gaming device and send them on their way? If you made the wrong choice there, don’t act surprised when they grow up to be pasty white, morbidly obese, and socially inept. If you give your child an iPhone for your child’s 10th birthday, don’t act surprised when problems arise.

Norman Rockwell - Freedom from Want - Thanksgiving

When you take a family vacation or road trip do you view this close-quartered togetherness time as an opportunity to bond with your kids, or just a necessary nuisance between destinations? Do you point out, discuss, and explain all of the cool sights along the way? Do you take advantage of this time to talk to your kids, show an interest, and find out what’s going on in their lives? Or, do you look in the rear view mirror and see four kids each watching their own individual DVD players all with different movies, with head phones covering their ears and looking down at their phones, texting their friends back home about how much it sucks being stuck with their family. (Yes, I’m fully aware of the fact that I may have just raised the bar for run on sentences, but you know how I get when I’m passionate about something.) Think about it folks; it really takes minimal effort to bring back proper parenting, and responsibility for ourselves and our own actions. Let’s try to make a better future.

And Now, Let Us Give Thanks…

Well, that one ran a little longer than I had expected, so we’ll have to pick up the campaign platform next week. I still have plenty of proposals left. Given the time of year it is, I’m going to use the rest of my allotted space this week to give you my thoughts on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is without a doubt, my favorite of all the holidays for multiple reasons. There are no expensive gifts being exchanged, there are no cards to buy, there are no religious undertones, no over commercialization, minimal decorations, no fictitious cartoonish iconic figures representing it, and no one is offended by its existence. It may be the only day of celebration we have left that nobody, regardless of race, creed, religion, sexual preference, heritage, or socio-economic background get insulted if you wish them a happy Thanksgiving. It’s a day set aside for the solitary purpose of reminding us of all we have to be thankful for. In some ways it’s almost sad that we need such a day to remind us of this.

I, personally, wake up each and every day of my life fully aware of all that I have and thankful for every bit of it. But it’s still great to have a day designated for it. It’s a day centered on two letters of the alphabet. First, the letter “T”, for togetherness, thankfulness, and turkey. More importantly, it’s a day laced with “F” words which happen to cover most of my favorite things. I don’t mean my family sits around the table and curses at each other. I’m speaking of family, fun, food, football, and flatulence. These are all of my favorite things. Oprah has her list, I have mine.

I’ll be seated at a table later this week glancing around me into the faces of all that I am MOST thankful for – my loved ones. I couldn’t be luckier, happier, or more appreciative of all that I have. This time of year, I’m reminded of my favorite piece of American art. It’s a Norman Rockwell painting titled, Freedom From Want. It shows a very happy and very thankful all-American family seated around the Thanksgiving dinner table as the patriarchal figure prepares to carve the turkey. It’s so simple, but delivers such a strong message. Be thankful, and always be cognizant that nothing is more important than family. My daughter used a copy of this print in a school project just last week and she had a true understanding of its symbolism. I couldn’t be more proud. I wish all of you a very safe and happy Thanksgiving. Please be appreciative of all you have and mindful of those who have not.

Until next week,

I’m Syd Nichols and I approve this message.

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