Hope.

I have been refraining from writing about politics (too much) because honestly I was feeling PTSD-like responses to anything to do with yesterday’s election. My husband, the retired political junkie that he is, was completely enthralled with yesterday’s activities and of course we watched everything as it happened last night.

I commented earlier today that I no longer feel completely hopelessness. I feel some hope that we are starting to head in a sane direction again. I feel like the gears of our democracy will start turning again. I’m hoping someone is going to hold Trump accountable. There is hope.

While the Democrats did not win majority of the Senate, and honestly, I never really thought they had a chance, they did gain majority of the House and that’s huge. Very huge.

The fact that Beto O’Rourke lost by a very slim margin to Ted Cruz in solidly red Texas speaks volumes.

I’m really energized by Jared Polis’ win as Governor of Colorado. Polis will be the first openly gay governor in the United States. I’m also happy J.B. Pritzker won as Governor for our home state of Illinois.

I just watched Trump become unhinged at his latest press conference. The man is really unstable. It’s funny how people don’t convey any worry about him being so close to the nuclear codes. I still think he might do something before the 2020 elections, just to create more chaos and confusion.

For now, I’m happy with where the elections brought us last night. I feel hope. And I haven’t felt that for a long time.

Absolutely.

I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. I can not speak further on the matter, for I will get way too worked up at this late hour, but Dr. Ford is a very courageous woman, a beacon of light in a country consumed by darkness. Thank you to Dr. Ford for speaking out.

Truth.

A friend from high school posted this on Facebook. People need to read this:
Okay, I have resisted fb for weeks, but I just need to state some truth that many of you are not aware of.
1) Our Big (her husband –J.P.) is a federal attorney, not an immigration attorney, but someone who knows his way around federal court. He is trying to reunite children with their parent, and we are in TX. Children have been moved all over the country without any records being kept. There is a federal court order to reunite these children with their parents, but the administration is unable to find these children.
2) Under international and federal law, any human that sets a foot on USA soil is entitled to due process. For you morons who do not understand what that is, look it up. Google is your friend.
3) 90 percent of these parents were seeking asylum. For you morons stating seek it from your home country, one cannot seek it from one’s home country. Political and religious asylum must be pursued from inside the United States. That is the law. A woman and her five year old son were seperated AFTER once she crossed the border, she flagged down border patrol and asked for asylum. Not someone looking to buck the system. But someone looking for a better life. That is what America is. Why would people flag down Customs and Border Patrol if they were not trying to do the right thing?
4) 99 percent of people let out of custody, follow through with their court appointments. If they are not granted asylum, they are deported.
5) yes there were children detained under the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations. They were UNACCOMPANIED MINORS. Also, children that were with adults who may not have been actual cbildren of the adults crossing the border….meaning sex trafficking or kidnapping. They were detained as well.
6) Whatever you think is okay, think if your child was taken from your arms. Think about it. Think long and hard. Think about being in a situation that was so desperate, that you decided to travel 3000 miles with nothing but the clothes on your back and a couple of bucks in your pocket. I am a mother. I would never move my children unless their lives were in danger. These mothers are heros.
7) Before you complain, UNDERSTAND THE FUCKING LAW. AND UNDERSTAND HOW THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION IS BREAKING IT
8. ) If you are a mother, and accept this, shut the fuck up. You have no right to speak. Any mother that accepts this is despicable.
Defriend me, hate me, whatever you want to do but you are dead wrong.
9) It is easy to be white in this country. So many of you are so afraid. White people not understanding white privilege is like a pretty girl saying, “Why is everyone so nice to me??”
10) I can always understand conservative viewpoints. I get it. But this broke me. Kidnapping children for political gain is not only disgusting, but evil, and people will pay.
11) The real haters will never get this far. The people who accept this despicable, hateful treatment of children will never read this. Why didnt they? They are cowards, and do not care about the lives of BABIES. Cowards.

Think, Part 2.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of “Madam Secretary”. The show is in its fourth season, and is on CBS on Sunday evenings. The show hit its stride early in its run and is continuing to offer up compelling storylines. This past Sunday featured the episode “Sound and Fury”. I’m not going to get too far into spoilers of this episode, but they may be sprinkled here and there in the rest of this blog entry, so let’s say you’ve been warned. Yes, you’ve been warned about potential spoilers. This particular episode of Madam Secretary should be required viewing for high school civics classes. It examines how the 25th Amendment works, why it would be considered and what is really involved with invoking the 25th Amendment of the Constitution. A temporary medical issue comes into play here, but the result of the medical concern feels very familiar if you’ve been paying attention to the news at all since the latest administration took office. Phrases like “overwhelming force and ferocity” are bandied about without consideration. Diplomacy is set aside in favor of ‘tough guy’ displays of strength. On the show this is very uncharacteristic for fictional President Dalton. I wish the same could be said about the man in the Oval Office today. The scenes around debating invoking the 25th Amendment are very honest. It all felt very believable. If anything, it made me think of how that debate would carry out in the real world today. Are there meetings taking place in D.C. to discuss this exact thing? I’m inclined to think so. The are two lines in particular that struck me rather hard (and I’m paraphrasing): 1. “We have the greatest system of government the world has ever known, but it’s only as strong as its people” and 2. “We took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not our political party”. If only the folks in Washington would get on the script. The tribalism, and the divisiveness behind the tribalism, is what’s deeply hurting our country, and I fully believe the news media continues to pour gasoline on this raging dumpster fire. Tribes saw one candidate as a movie villain and reacted as if they were watching a WWE tournament. The tribe continues to do this today. Trump purposely stirs up the tribe to keep a “villain” in the news. And the news outlets eat it up. It’s the tribalism that is killing objectivity. A good number of elected officials are putting party over country. I have little faith in most of our elected officials; the charade of “serving the people” died years ago. If you haven’t had the chance to see Madam Secretary or if you don’t even have the interest to follow the show, I still recommend that you watch the episode “Sound and Fury”. It works pretty well as a standalone episode and I think the mechanics are sound to help one understand how the 25th Amendment works. And how officials should always honor their oath to uphold the Constitution.

Comparison.

I just tweeted that one of the most frustrating things about 2017 is knowing Republicans that are much better people than those that are controlling things in Washington, D.C. today. The Republicans I know, friends from all facets of my life, family members, etc., are good people. What we see today from our leaders is not compassion. It’s not about doing what one believes is right for the country, it’s about winning. And not just winning, it’s about annihilation. Win at all costs. Party over country. I’ve struggled with blogging in 2017. There’s so much I want to say, so much I want to share, but the fact of the matter is, the state of our country has consumed way too much of my life in 2017. What I have to say seems so insignificant to the constant struggle, turmoil, and chaos that we are fed via every possible avenue. Social media, the news, conversation with friends, overheard discussions in a restaurant, people screaming at each other on the road, the chaos has consumed us and this frustrates me. And part of that frustration is the anger and sadness I feel when I see how much a reality show television host has influenced my existence. I venture to say that I have cared too much for the welfare of the United States. I want to see people thrive, all people thrive. The wrong people are making sure the wrong people get ahead. It’s frustrating to see so many people blind to that fact. The tribes of the political parties are killing our country. Long ago I gave up trying to change people’s minds about politics. Heck, given another GOP candidate on that ballot back in November 2016, I could have easily voted for a person that showed at least a little bit of compassion. I believe in many of the GOP ideals my father’s GOP believed in. And honestly, I will be the first to admit that I’m a pretty selfish person, but I don’t believe in taking things away from other people. Everyone should give more than they take from their community, their city, their country, but we shouldn’t make it impossible for folks to find their way through life. Everyone deserves a chance. Everyone deserves a _fair_ chance.
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Abysmal.

My brain continues to hurt from the rampant stupidity in our country. I’ve been desperately trying to avoid politics for the past week and the truth of the matter is you just can’t escape it. If you sit down to watch a football game, the vice president is staging a political stunt about players kneeling during the National Anthem. If you turn on any given sitcom, there’s jokes about the idiocy of Trump. If you mute his name on Twitter, he still creeps into your timeline under a wide variety of alternative names. Luckily, my timeline is skewed enough to keep the alternative names from being in any way flattering. This country is in a state of constant chaos that just can’t be escaped. Stupidity is en vogue. Ignorance is celebrated. You can’t trust the news. You can’t trust what you read on the Internet. People are purposely spending false, damaging information to feed this state of chaos. It’s a fire that continues to rage, slowing consuming everything. My original 30 day challenge for the month of October was to blog at least once a day about something other than politics. I wanted to spread a little bit of light out into the world. A light that would somehow consume even the smallest spark from this raging dumpster fire. But then the Las Vegas shooting happened and my attempt at blogging felt futile. How can I talk about a grand life in Chicago when there is so much strife going on? The Trump Administration is trying to destroy the United States of America and rebuild it into a white male dominated domain. If you’re not a straight, white man you’re considered a “less than”. The number of people that continue to support this man astounds me. I can not and will not forgive anyone that cast a vote in his direction. I won’t try to understand and I’m certainly not going to tolerate it. The man is an idiot, a moron, a charlatan. And his supporters are just as stupid. The “greatest country on Earth”. Yeah, right.

Compassion.

Cross-posted from my Facebook account. Yes, I still use Facebook and I have no idea why I do.
I’ve been trying not to make political posts on FB because honestly I’m not going to change anyone’s mind about anything, especially in this “warring factions” mentality we have in our society. But I have to say this: there are a lot of good people that have lived long, productive lives contributing to society. Teachers, counselors, clergy, firefighters, soldiers, people from all walks of life. As they age their bodies start deteriorating in ways that they can not control. In their quest to live as long as they can (just like we all do), they require more and more medical care. That medical care can be expensive. Should these people be denied medical care because they can’t afford insurance? A spokesperson from the Trump administration states that Medicaid recipients should go out and get jobs. Medical insurance should be a reward for working hard at your job. I don’t know too many 80 year old Alzheimer’s patients that could handle that sort of challenge. Is a person battling cancer suppose to work at McDonalds in between radiation treatments? Where would you like a developmentally disabled child to work? Making headlamps at an auto factory? The Affordable Care Act was not perfect. But repealing it and replacing it later (which is the latest dialog coming out of the White House since they can’t agree on the meanness level of TrumpCare now) is not the answer. A sane person does not plan to replace a refrigerator by burning down the house and then sleeping in the elements for months before starting to build a new house with a new refrigerator in it. I know it’s ‘fun’ to scream about how awful Hillary was and to throw rocks at people that are different than you and to hoard all your money so you can watch people that are ‘less than you’ suffer on the street. We all get our kicks in our own way. But, c’mon, can we start searching for a common compassion for one another, set aside our differences for just a moment and admit that we are a stronger society, stronger nation when we were together and find a common ground?

Hillary.

I watched this interview with Hillary Clinton at Codecon live this afternoon. It was refreshing to hear someone with a presidential presence speak articulately and candidly. I’m still with her. Please set aside an hour or so and watch this interview.