All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday, rejoice.

We’ve got Outkick news to discuss as you can read on the site — Jason Martin is leaving our morning radio show to host his own radio show. Details on that will be forthcoming soon, but you can read his goodbye here.

I’m proud of him, but the beat will go on.

Details on the Las Vegas Outkick the Weekend will be coming soon, but here is the sign up in the meantime. It’s two months from now at the Hard Rock. Go check it out and sign up today.

So let’s get rolling with the mailbag:

Lots of you asked this question: what are your thoughts on the proposed three game suspension of Jameis Winston?

First, it’s incredibly dumb that Jameis Winston is in this situation at all. Let’s presume that he was 100% innocent of rape and falsely accused in college — I don’t believe this is true, but let’s just presume it’s true — would you ever, for the rest of your life, put yourself in a situation where someone could accuse you of sexual assault again?

If I were falsely accused of sexual assault I wouldn’t ever be alone with a woman again, I wouldn’t try and sleep with anyone. If I were single I might become a virgin again and never sleep with someone other than my eventual wife for the rest of my life. Because imagine how terrifying it would to be falsely accused of rape and have many people believe you were a rapist?

That would be devastating beyond belief.

What’s more, if I were a rich public figure like Jameis I’d probably hire a security guard to follow me everywhere I went in public just to ensure I always had a trustworthy, sober witness to testify I comported myself well and was doing nothing wrong. And if I did ever sleep with someone I’d have them sign a letter of consent and I’d record their consent to all sexual intercourse on my phone before we had sex.

If I had $100 million at stake in future football contracts there’s a 0% chance I’d ever be in a situation like he’s in now. That’s even more the case in this modern #metoo era when every man is presumed guilty.

But he didn’t do any of that.

He’s accused of groping a woman in an Uber.

As a result there are now two women who don’t know each other who have accused Jameis Winston of sexual assault. That’s two more women than will ever accuse the vast majority of men of sexual assault. I don’t know what happened on either occasion, but I know Jameis is behaving like an idiot.

What’s more, he’s behaving like an idiot and so far has just been an okay quarterback through three years in the league.

I said I wouldn’t draft him when he left Florida State — much less number one overall — because I didn’t trust his decision making off the field and my opinion hasn’t changed, he’s not someone I’d want to be the face of my franchise.

When this suspension officially comes down, I think it’s going to be ugly for the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jameis Winston. How many other men — other than our current president, which is an irony itself — would still have a high-profile job if multiple women had accused them of sexual assault? I’m not sure there are any.

And at least with Trump — as well as Bill Clinton back in the day — you can argue the public had a chance to render a verdict on their behavior at the voting booth.

Would any CEO of a public company still have a job with two sexual assault allegations levied against them in this modern era? I doubt it. So I expect the pressure to get raised a great deal on Jameis when this suspension comes down because it will reinforce everything that happened at Florida State.

It also will put the NFL in an awkward spot, which is why I don’t think the NFL personal conduct policy should exist. Because many people will say, so you can sexually assault a woman and it will only cost you three games in the NFL? I’m not sure how the league responds to that. Which is why I think it’s going to be a total mess for everyone.

“A bunch of you asked, again synthesizing your questions: “what do you think about the immigration situation at the Southern border?”

First, let’s leave the Southern border and pretend America had the same economy right now as Mexico and much of central America. But north of us, in Canada, people made 10-20x the salary as we did here. And there was a great unguarded border, as is the case now, between us and Canada.

How many of you would be tempted to cross the border with your families and get jobs in Canada?

Millions and millions of us is the answer.

So I totally understand the motivation that someone in an inferior economic situation would feel when they look at America, where we are the land of milk and honey to them, and see the opportunity here. As if the pure economics werne’t enough, imagine that if you came to the country your children, so long as they were born here, would become citizens of this great country too.

We all do everything in our power to give our children the best possible advantages. If I were from Mexico or central America and my family was in dire economic straits I’d do what I could to get here and I’d do what I could to have my children here too.

Having said that, we have laws that are being broken.

And I also understand why allowing people to continue to pour into our country without any checks and balances is unsustainable. I also understand why making people attempting to come into our country believe that there are consequences to illegal immigration — that is, you and your family might be separated — could act as a disincentive to encourage that immigration.

But I’ll be damned if I know how to stop this or if I agree with splitting up kids from their parents for months because those parents are trying to get their entire families better lives.

The reason people want to come here is because once they get here there are jobs to be had. Jobs that many low-skilled Americans aren’t willing to take. Especially not in a country with a 3.8% unemployment rate. Illegal immigrants are constructing many of the new buildings in our country. Go talk to employers about how difficult it is to find new employees right now to run businesses.

Ultimately the reason why people leave one country and come to another country is for the job situation.

Most of us don’t do this, but every morning we should get on our hands and knees and thank God that we ended up being born in this country. Our average citizen is no smarter or more skilled at birth than the average citizen in India or Kenya or Pakistan or Iraq, yet our standard of living is insanely higher than their average person. That’s because we benefit from the economic securities of capitalism and because we benefit from being born in this country.

Do you blame people who don’t have that in their countries for wanting to have that here?

I don’t.

The long term solution, of course, is for the standard of living in many less economically developed countries to improve, thereby stemming the tide of migration, but that will take hundreds of years to happen. What do we do now and in the meantime for the next several generations to come?

I just don’t know.

But I think it’s clear that our immigration system is broken right now. And that our politicians don’t have the will to figure out a system that works either.

Which is why I think this is one of the great challenges of modern American life that my generation will have to undertake.

Alex writes:

“Do you feel like the far left is making you like Trump more? I do, and I didn’t really like him in the first place. I think there’s a lot of quiet conservatives that feel the same and either just don’t use social media as much as liberals (my parents) or don’t feel like getting in an argue they can’t win (me).”

If the far left wing’s goal is to make me like Trump less, they’re failing. When you call a democratically elected president a Nazi and compare him to Adolf Hitler, I’m sorry, that comparison is so fundamentally broken that I can’t take any of your other criticisms seriously.

Trump is far from perfect, but if you strip away the daily reality show drama from the equation and just look at the basic facts our economy has never been stronger in my life than it is right now. Our unemployment rate has never been lower, our economic growth rate has never been higher: I think Trump’s done a pretty good job so far with everything economic. And I think he’s actually going to end up winning on foreign trade in a big way as well because the countries that sell us many more goods than we sell them have much more to lose in a trade war than we do.

Couple that with the potential for a much safer world thanks to his North Korea decisions and his virtual elimination of ISIS along with his solid decision on the Supreme Court and as we approach two years in office, I think things have gone fairly well so far.  I don’t agree with Trump on plenty of issues or on his daily messaging — for instance, I wish he didn’t Tweet at all — but in terms of basic substantive decisions that impact my life on a day to day basis, I think he’s been pretty good and he certainly hasn’t wrecked everything as his critics would allege.

The attacks on him are so over the top that I end up liking Trump more with each passing month.

And I think there are a ton of moderate people like me who feel the same way.

The thing that would scare me if I were a Democrat hoping to beat Trump in 2020 is that I think the Democrats are likely to nominate a far left wing, identity politics driven candidate that moderates can’t vote for either.

There are plenty of people that I disagree with on the right wing in this country too, but none of them are arguing I don’t have the right to have the opinion I do. That happens every day with left wingers in this country. Ultimately I’m going to end up casting my vote for president on who I think supports the first amendment more.

Right now for all his flaws that might well be Donald Trump, which is, given his criticisms and threats against the media, an incredible indictment of where the Democrats are on issues of “acceptable opinions.” (Even the idea of “acceptable opinions” sounds positively Orwellian. It terrifies me. There are no acceptable or unacceptable opinions in my mind, there are just opinions. Some are good, some are bad.)

Gregg writes:

“Twitter was easily persuaded to yank your Periscope broadcasts discussing World Cup soccer, simply because FIFA asked them to do so. You are heavily reliant on Facebook and Twitter to deliver your product. You are also an anti-PC rebel at war with Social Justice Warriors. Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter are controlled by hyper-PC SJWs who are aggressively purging users who engage in wrongthink – people much like Clay Travis. Do you think today’s Periscope shutdown might be a reminder that you need to find another delivery system for your product that isn’t reliant on Facebook / Twitter? Also, there is much ongoing media consolidation – it is highly conceivable that companies that have already banned you (Disney/ESPN, Time Warner/CNN) could buy Twitter and extend your ban to that platform.”

It’s definitely sobering.

Because I’ve relied on Twitter and Facebook to help get my message out through their live video distribution networks. But I’m trying to diversify. We’ve also recently added YouTube to our roster of places where you can find my content. Plus, I own Outkick 100% so there’s no way this site could ever be taken away from me.

Not to mention that I have a three hour daily radio show which also reaches a ton of people.

But I do think as large media companies continue to be acquired and end up under the same ownership umbrella, what happens if those media companies start to restrict content like mine?

Yesterday’s Periscope show, I think, was one of the best I’ve done. And Periscope took it down because FIFA made a completely illegitimate copyright violation claim against me. There is a 0% chance they have any copyright claim against me because all I do is sit and talk in front of my screen backdrop every day. There’s no one else there, but it happened anyway.

That decision by Periscope to take down my video kept me from distributing my opinions to tens of thousands of people yesterday.

Fortunately, YouTube has the entire show up, which you can watch here.

What happens if a major media company one day decides they want to do the same for all my ideas? It’s troubling, to say the least.

And I’m thinking of distribution solutions as I write this.

One thing that would help me immensely is if all of you subscribed to the Outkick email list. It’s on the right side of the screen and it’s free.

J. writes:

“As a long term Disney shareholder the stock had been very disappointing over the last few years. Some of this has to do with cord cutting, but I also think a large part of it has to do with ESPN alienating its base, based on a decision to appeal to the far left. I would say this is counterproductive to Disney’s share price, but positive for Bob Iger when he decides to run for president. 

Onto my question. Would I and other Disney shareholders have merit to bring a lawsuit against Iger because as the CEO he had a duty to deliver for shareholders not prop up his individual cause to run for president?”

First, you can always sue a company for breaching fiduciary duty. It happens all the time.

But I think what Disney and Bob Iger would point to is his success in purchasing Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel. Think about where Disney would be if someone else had purchased these assets and gotten all the movie benefits that have accrued to Disney from these properties. With ESPN’s collapse Disney would probably be half the price it is now, maybe lower, without these successful purchases to help paper over the ESPN collapse.

I do think there’s an argument, however, that Iger has gone overboard at those companies too with a left wing agenda. Look at “Star Wars,” there seems to be brewing rebellion against Disney’s management of the franchise as evidenced by the box office for Solo. I went to see Solo with my boys and I thought it was fine. But it totally tanked at the box office. Word on the Internet streets is that’s because the Star Wars diehards didn’t like “The Last Jedi,” and the left wing politics embedded in it and were voicing their displeasure by refusing to support Solo.

I think you can clearly see that ESPN is in real trouble when it comes to the relationship between sports fans and the company and I think you can attribute that to the company’s desire to go far left wing and mix politics and sports.

Iger himself, amazingly, confirmed everything I’ve written in a Vogue interview when he said his goal was to use his stewardship of Disney as evidence of why he deserved to be president. But assuming he’s able to win some or all of the Fox assets then he’s not going to run for president so I think this hook would be difficult to establish as a basis for the suit.

Having said that, I’d love to see Iger held accountable for overly politicizing things at Disney.

Ben writes:

“When Donald Trump won the election, everyone was like, “how could all the polls be wrong? How could Trump win the election?” The Kevin McHale outrage is the EXACT reason why the polls were wrong.  I voted Trump because I wanted a better job. Yet when I told anyone who wasn’t going to vote for Trump that I was making this decision they fucking drilled me.  They did this to others I knew who voted Trump too.  It was a lot easier to say, I’m not decided, and then vote Trump in the booth.  That’s exactly what happened.  

Doing this hurt Hillary Clinton.  Instead of having a debate and showing why I’m wrong, and address my concerns, they called me a horrible person, racist, and freaked.  Okay, don’t win swing votes by having reasonable conversations.  When we are in the booth, I will rock my vote of Trump in private.”

We took phone calls from men who voted for Trump and told their wives they were voting for Hillary on Outkick in the week after the election.

Many of the callers were black men, who I suspect voted for Trump over Hillary in much higher numbers than the polls reflect.

The truth of the matter is this, 2016 was an incredibly close election and I expect the same to be true in 2020. My ideal match-up, honestly, would be Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden because it would eliminate all identity politics from the headlining battle and we wouldn’t necessarily have to spend the entire year moving from one racial or sexual crisis after another in order to motivate turnout.

If it were Biden against Trump you’d have two white guys who are almost the same age with different visions for the future of the country. Honestly, what the Democrats desperately need is a white guy like Bill Clinton who could talk to poor white men in the South and the Midwest and make them believe in his economic vision. Because that’s where Hillary lost the election. I think Biden might be able to do it too, but who else in the Democratic slate is capable of pulling that off?

I don’t see anyone.

The worst match-up I can imagine is Trump going up against a black woman like Kamala Harris because then the entire campaign would be a long slog towards an identity politics finale where someone would win a narrow victory and everyone would go on hating each other for another four years regardless of who won.

At least if Trump won again in 2020 Democrats could focus on who will be the next president instead of obsessing over every single thing Trump Tweets.

I also think it would be great if Trump announced he’d made America great again, wasn’t a professional politician, and so he wasn’t going to run again in 2020, but I don’t think there’s much chance of that happening. I think Trump wants to win in 2020 again to drive his critics crazy.

Honestly, if Democrats wanted Trump to step down, they shouldn’t be attacking him, they should be praising him.

Tim writes:

“As a single 33-year-old professional guy living in Los Angeles, I wanted to get your thoughts on something:

A few weeks ago, I was at a charity event, and this successful 50-something happily-married guy tells me, “You’re in an enviable spot.  Being 33 and a single guy with a good job in this town is a fantastic place to be.”  A few days later, I meet up for happy hour with a buddy of mine (same age), who is meeting a 24-year-old girl he met on Tinder, who brings her similarly-youthful friend along.  Long story short, the night ended very well for everyone involved.  About a week after that, I’m at one of my regular hangout spots when I get hit on, rather aggressively, by this good-looking woman who was clearly mid-40-something, but trying (and largely succeeding) to appear younger.  For some inexplicable reason, I decided not to go home with her, but it was rather obvious from the jump that I could have.

This all got me thinking about what that guy said, and I have to ask… is there a better age to be a single guy than your early 30’s?  The biggest pros here are 1) a guy at that age can date women in a huge age range, from about 22 to 45, and no one would blink an eye, 2) he’s got enough life experience to be as judicious as he wants to be, and 3) his metabolism hasn’t quite slowed down yet.  One could argue early 20’s is best because of the bevy of single college girls and young professionals that are out there, but 1) there are a lot of other single guys too (thus lots of competition) and 2) youthful stupidity happens.  Another argument is 40’s/early 50’s, because one has more money, but the selection tends to be more limited given 1) the lower percentage of single women in that age group and 2) that the 20-somethings are less accessible.

Of course, location factors in here too.  In much of, say, middle America and the South, you’re almost persona non-grata if you’re single and over 30, whereas here in Los Angeles, staying single into one’s 30’s is rather normal (and don’t even get me started on New York…best city in America to be a single guy, regardless of age).

So is there some kind of (location-adjustable) power ranking of what age it’s best to be to a single guy? (With women, we all know it’s their early-mid 20’s).  What say you, King Solomon of the internet?”

As a guy I think being single in your thirties is better than being single in your twenties. There is, however, one big caveat here — you need to be in a decent-sized city. If you’re 35, single, and live in a mid-sized or small town in the South, for instance, everyone just assumes you’re gay.

But if you live in a city, the thirties are better than the twenties.

My rationale for this is pretty simple — by your thirties you should be established and successful from a financial perspective and, as you mentioned, your range of dating partners is still pretty massive.

If you’re 35 you can easily date a 27 or 28 year old girl and probably dip down to 24 or 25. If you want to date older women you can do that too. The range of hotness from 25 to 45 is incredible.

Having said all of that, the one thing you run into is the loss of your friends. I’m 39 now. If I were still single, I wouldn’t be able to hang out with any of my friends from my twenties because they’ve all gotten married. So far none of them are divorced either.

That’s why I’ve always equated being the last of your friends getting married to being the last kid who gets called in from playing outside during the summer. Remember when you were a kid and you were outside playing with your friends — we still did this when I was a kid, I’m not sure kids do it now — you never wanted to be the first kid whose mom came out to get you, but you also didn’t want to be the last kid whose mom came to get you? Because either way you get left out.

There’s no real joy in being the last of your friends to get married and there’s no real joy in being the first of your friends to get married either.

The other thing to keep in mind is this — if you pick a good partner, you really don’t sit around and worry that much about when you leave the game as you get closer to your forties. You might do it some in your twenties and early thirties, but when I look around at my three boys and my wife now when we go out to dinner or something, I’m definitely not thinking, “I could have done so much better than this.”

I’ve got three healthy boys, a hot wife, a mansion and a beach house.

What more do I want out of life?

Maybe a senate seat one day?

I’m not even sure. For the time being, I’m pretty damn happy.

Hope y’all are too.

Thanks for supporting Outkick.

Send your mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com and have great weekends. I’m off to take the boys to see “The Incredibles 2.”

 

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