Bett Norris

Perspectives

Grumpy Old Men

I feel surrounded by them. Trump, Sanders, Biden.

Grumpy

 

I’m holding onto my ballot here in Florida, waiting to see what Warren will do. I’ve never been a supporter of Bernie (long list of reasons) and I think Warren comes much closer to getting those ideas of writing off student debt, universal healthcare and childcare, and lots of other things, done. After all, she has a plan. I will get behind whoever gets the nomination. But Bernie better watch out and play fair. Frankly I can’t trust a man who claims to be a democratic socialist but who sounds too much like a stubborn, opinionated, grumpy old man to ever actually get anything done. That said, Trump has got to go. Period. I will support any coalition to get that done. Joe actually can do a lot to restore our standing with allies, with our voting system, and make a lot of headway on the cleanup after Trump. 4 years of being able to breather easy and restore some faith in the justice Dept sounds good, a pause, a reset button, and in 2024, people who like Bernie’s ideas but not his irascibility and defensiveness may get a shot at transforming this country. Still, my heart breaks for Warren, Harris, even Hilary Clinton. Warren has the best mind and the best heart in the field. I would have loved to see her dismantle Trump. If Bernie gets the nomination we don’t know yet who he may choose as his VP, and we don’t yet know who Biden will pick either.

There’s been lots talk (rumors, wishful thinking) about Biden choosing Stacey Abrams. Or about Sanders choosing Warren as his running mate. I don’t really support either fantasy. If Sanders doesn’t get the nomination, he has a history of pouting, crying wolf, being less than supportive of the nominee. I don’t think two progressives in the white will make it any easier to get moderates on board the wholesale change train.

I think Abrams would accept the offer from Biden, but even though she is smart and a great speaker, I don’t know if she brings any help to the ticket. Biden already has the strong support from the base. And as smart as she is, Abrams does not have the relationships with Congress to help with legislation and Biden has all the experience he needs there. Like wise, choosing another moderate like Klobuchar doesn’t pull anything into the coalition. My fantasy dream team might be a Biden/Warren ticket. That may or may not make Bernie supporters come over.

Sanders choosing Warren as a running mate just won’t help him at all. Except that she could go a long way toward bridging the gap between Sanders’ unlikeability and maybe help him get some things passed. Neither would Sanders’ choosing a moderate for the ticket help him win over those moderates who are already too skeptical of his blatant ambition to fall for this kind of blatant appeal. I still believe that Trump will cut Sanders into little bitty pieces.

If I have to vote for Sanders in November, it may just be the last time I cast a ballot in this country I love so dearly.  Because if Bernie loses, as I suspect he will, then I’m not going to live here another 4 years through the increasing load of bullshit, the dangerous rhetoric, the demolishing of our standing with allies, the lying and cheating and the deliberate destruction of the Justice Dept, the State Department, and other cabinet agencies, as well as see more and more unqualified lifetime appointments to the federal bench.

Sure Plays a Mean Pinball

tommy

Sometimes, that’s exactly how I feel, like I’m playing pinball blind, with a rigged machine. I love Edie Falco. I’d probably watch her read the classified section of the newspaper. So, I’ve watched every episode of her (major network) show “Tommy.” Let me be clear: this is no “Nurse Jackie.”

I wish I could recommend the show, I really do. There are few things that distinguish it from dozens of other bland network police shows, other than the sharp presence of Edie Falco. It has the twisty twists and quirky quirks of most network dramas, such as: Tommy’s the new police commissioner of LAPD, and she’s a lesbian, a fact mentioned only once in the pilot episode, then dropped like a hot potato. She’s from the NYPD, where she would never have been made commissioner because of an assault charge, she has a grown, bi-racial daughter who resents her. Most of the force she now commands resent her too, because she’s New York, lesbian, and a woman. She has those quirky assistants that are supposed to support her against their better judgment. You know this drill. We have all seen these shows.

But, also, even though, and in spite of all that. I wish the show had better writing, so that I don’t have to depend so much on my love of anything with Edie Falco, so that I wouldn’t have to read the depth of character in her face, in every weary sigh, every nuanced silence. Because, Lord knows, Falco’s got all that down. The character of the mayor has a few layers to it, like is he a good guy, or just another shifty politician. Her director of communications also shows some murkiness. The scenes with Tommy’s grown daughter sometimes pull the heartstrings, and I’m sure every working mother has sometimes had to wade through the anger and tears caused by “your job’s more important than me” arguments. It is a pleasure to watch Falco’s face as she patiently waits through yet another confrontation with a neglected daughter, until the tears come, before her daughter accedes that she does love and still needs her mother, acknowledges that having an important job is, well, important. See the trailer below.

Tommy

The plots are too predictable. This show will plod its weary way through the season, and sigh its weary last sigh. And I will watch every episode, glean every morsel of subtlety and layered response, read to me through Edie Falco’s eyes. Thus my yearning for something more from her weighs on her shoulders just like the safety of the city, the neglected daughter’s inevitable outbursts, the resentment of the entire force she commands. But those shoulders, those eyes, that face that says, I’ve been to the dance and found it lacking, I’ve heard all the complaints and did my job anyway, because, so what? It’s always hard for women who expect to have careers, and raise children, and do better than the men to get further along. Somebody will always be looking at you with needs you have yet to meet. Somebody will always be damning with faint praise, implying that you are adequate, but a man would do better. Because they are all grown children with resentment. So you listen, until they stop crying, admit their demands are impossible, and begrudge the success you’ve fought for.

Sort of like Tommy, you sure play a mean pinball, Edie Falco. You do more with the inadequate resources you’ve been given. “What makes him so good? He ain’t got no distractions.” Deaf, dumb, and blind, no writing, no directing, no supporting cast, you sure can handle that.
All lyrics quoted from “Tommy” written by Peter Townshend, the Who, 1969.

EdieEdie 2

 

So Here’s the Thing

The other day, I responded to a comment on one of my relatives’ pages. They posted that the Bernie Sanders Medicare for all plan would raise a middle class family’y taxes by 52%. So, I had to speak up. I don’t like getting into political arguments with relatives. It makes me feel bad. But,I promised myself that I will stay engaged no matter what, because I really believe our government is at risk.

Here’s the thing. I don’t like Bernie Sanders. I’m not voting for him in the primary. I think he is a grumpy old man who shouts out the same things over and over. I don’t doubt his sincerity, I don’t believe he is a socialist or a communist, and he does make some good points. But he is a windbag full of ideals with no concrete plans to achieve them. But there is too much disinformation and out right lies and too many good and civic-minded people repeating them.

So I directed this person to Bernie’s web site and the white paper about Medicare for all. While I do not think there is a chance in a million, even if Democrats win back the Senate, that something like that will get passed.

I watched Amy Klobuchar get a big boost from her debate in New Hampshire. Then I watched Elizabeth Warren come out spitting red-hot nails at Bloomberg, pinning him to the floor. I think Warren will get a boost from that. She has spent her entire career bulldogging facts and throwing them out at her opponents like spears. Then I saw that she was left out of a poll, for no reason, and that some articles didn’t even mention her in covering the campaign.

I’ve seen Kamala Harris do the same things in Senate hearings. I’ve watched Nancy Pelosi corral her caucus, hold them in check, then turn them loose on impeachment a pack of rabid hounds on a mission she knew would fail. I watched how she worked so hard to win back a majority in the House, only to have some of her own, whom she helped elect, turn on her as maybe too old, or too traditional, too something to serve as Speaker. One by one, she approached, gave them a little lesson about what it really means to be Speaker, and she got her gavel back.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Kristen Gillibrand. Stacey Abrams. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Katie Porter. Maxine Waters. Ayanna Pressley, Jackie Speier, Val Demings. A long list of women, old and young, long-serving and rookies.

The list goes on, all the way back to Eleanor Roosevelt, Alice Paul, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. Rosa Parks. Fannie Lou Hamer. Amanda Boynton. Ida B. Wells.

So, I come from a long line of determined, pissed-off women. We all do. Women, who birthed babies, nursed and raised them, and who picked cotton, walked picket lines, marched, protested, got themselves elected, or educated, or commissioned, and kept going after what they needed, wanted, from this country. Lucy McBath and Carolyn McCarthy.

Women hold the majority on the rolls of registered voters. Lots and lots of women, including those content to stay out of politics, are plenty fed up and pissed off with what has happened since 2015, when Trump descended those stairs to proclaim himself.

There are so many of us, sick of the privilege of mostly old white men to grab what they want, when they want, who stick together far beyond the hail-fellow-well-met boy’s clubs, fraternities, teammates; patriarchic, entitled, too afraid of losing status and power to actually expand it to include anyone who is other than they are.

Men have run this country of ours for two and a half centuries, and despite the best efforts of the best of them, their default position at the head of the table has led us to this: protecting and defending the indefensible to the point that we may not have a democratic republic left.

I think it is our turn now. I want to duplicate ten-fold the results of the 2018 mid terms. I don’t just want them to vote. I want to elect all the smart, well-prepared, fed-up, pissed-off women out there.

you all saw what Warren can do. Do you really think she can’t take down Donald Trump? Please. I have seen her make grown men want to cry. And Kamala Harris too. And Katie Porter. And AOC. And the Speaker. I say, vote. All of you, us, go out there and vote. Vote in McGrath, and vote out McConnell. Please. Vote them all out, those who colluded, those who stood silent. Let women run the government, just for a while.

Are women more decent, good, impassioned and empathetic than men? Yes, sometimes. Do you really think that a House and Senate made up of a majority of females would allow for one day what has been happening at our Southern border? Do you think a female president would be comfortable with breaking treaties with allies, with deserting them in the field of battle? Has anyone checked on Flint, Michigan lately? Would a simple majority of women allow water contaminated with lead to continue to poison babies and children?

Do you think a Congress and an Administration full of women would allow children to be afraid of getting shot in school? I’m pretty sure a government of women, by women, for women would have demolished the political power of the NRA as casually as my mother used to stand between us and a snake while she calmly chopped its head off with her hoe. (She kept it sharpened herself.)

It was mostly women who started the Montgomery bus boycott. Mostly women who walked, all the long days and months, up and down those hills in Montgomery. Millions of women, all over the country and the world, took to the streets on January 21, 2017. Millions of kids marched for their lives after seventeen were shot and killed in Parkland Florida.

If men have held the reins of power for two and a half centuries, and messed things up so bad that neighbors, friends, and relatives can’t even talk bout this state of affairs without rancor, I think it is about time we let some women take over the driver’s seat. We can’t possibly do worse, and we have a lot of experience doing the hard things, and so much experience t cleaning up other people’s messes that most of us do that while we make out our shopping list, fold the laundry, do the dishes, run the vacuum cleaner, oh, and rejoin the Paris agreement, and slam Russia with a few more targeted sanctions directed at the oligarchs who mostly support and depend on Putin. Yeah, we can do that, and make lists of ways to re-united children separated from their parents at the border, appoint somebody really good to the State Department, reverse the tax break for kabillionaires and corporations. (We’re looking at you, Amazon!) While we’re in a mood, let’s find who thought up those stupid rules for the College Football Playoffs, and politely suggest they take up another hobby. I’m thinking Kamala Harris either for the Supreme Court, or Attorney General. IDK.

IDK, Too Much?

So, I got into a discussion with somebody that I know and love, and this person said they will be voting for Trump again. They said Trump may not speak well in public, but he does get results. Okay, so here is my response: “I’m not exactly sure what results you are referring to that Trump has produced. The result of making our allies not trust the word of the US; the result of separating thousands of children from their parents; the result of the largest deficit in he nation’s history, the result of the largest tax break for corporations and billionaires? Maybe the result of the lowest GDP in the last century? Or do you en making”trade deals” that cost farmers billions? How about rolling back the clean water and clean air regs? That was a good one. Or how about the result of letting oil companies drill on public lands? I wonder what results I need to thank Trump for? Regardless of Trump’s results, I still prefer to vote for someone, anyone, who has at least read the Constitution, someone who understands and respects the law, someone who believes this already is the greatest country in the world instead of someone who has never seen the inside of a church, someone who bases foreign policy on that’s best for the country, instead of what’s best for his re-election. I’m just simple-, or single-minded. I’ll vote for someone who knows how to act right in public, I’ll vote for someone who is willing to work for the people who put him in office, not for himself. I will vote for someone who understands Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8.” IDK, too much?

Nottingham: The True Story of Robyn Hood – Anna Burke

Wonderful re-imagining of Robin Hood, fast-paced and captivating.

Not Me Anymore

Okay. This book broke me. It tore my heart out then proceeded very slowly to put it back. Very very slowly.

Nottingham is the second lesbian Robin Hood retelling I’ve read in less than six months. While Niamh Murphy’s Outlaw had a definite YA feel, Anna Burke’s Nottingham is all grownup.

An endless feud between the Sheriff of Nottingham and Robyn’s family sends her hiding in the Sherwood Forest, when all she was trying to do was care for her family. The woods are not safe for anyone, let alone a young woman, so she pretends to be a boy. When she stumbles onto John, an outlaw with his own secrets, he decides to stay with her instead of bringing her to the vicious Siward, who fancies himself the King of Sherwood. A hunting accident then leads the Sheriff’s daughter Marian to them.

And that’s all I’m going to write…

View original post 288 more words

For Starters

My nephew asked me this question: “Who is better than Trump?” I told him, he is. I am. Any decent person is. Below is my answer in full.

For starters, I am. You are too. Any number of people are. Trump has never seen the inside of a church, has never read the Bible or the Constitution, has cheated and failed at every business he started, filed bankruptcy 6 times, stole money from his own charitable foundation, ad infinitum. Any number of people are better than Trump. You would be better than Trump. I’m serious. Any sane, decent human being would be better. You know you are a better man than Trump will ever be.You are smarter than he is. You have more love in you than he does. You have more common sense than Trump. You are a father, and I believe that you would never lock children and babies in cages. If you believe in strict immigration enforcement, you might send lots of people back where they came from, but would you separate mothers and fathers from their children, or send them all back united as a family? You have better sense that that. Anybody does. Anybody with a high school diploma could do a better job at being president than the person who currently sits in the Oval Office. Trump’s lack of education, understanding, and empathy make him unqualified for the job he holds.

If you were president for a day, who would you give a tax break to? Dear nephew, you have a cousin who served in the Marines, did two tours in Afghanistan. President-for-a-Day, would you have left our Kurdish allies to be killed and pushed out by Turkey? As president, would you pick on a sixteen-year-old girl? If you were president, would you cheat to try to win re-election? Would you steal money from the defense budget to build a wall that could be easily bypassed by anyone with a ladder, or a shovel?

This is the game. If you, or I, or anybody else were president, would you appoint a Secretary of Education who does not believe in public education? Would you appoint a Secretary of Energy who takes money from oil companies? How about a Secretary of HUD who doesn’t believe in affordable public housing?

As president, would you refuse to release your tax returns? Would you cut a deal to sell arms to Saudi Arabia after they murdered and dismembered a journalist working for a US paper?

As president, would you refuse to read briefing books to prepare for meetings? Or would you be so driven to do the best you can for the country that you would gather all the information you could, and get advisors who are experts in their fields to help you?

This is not a game. And it is not fun. The current president is a bully, a cheat, and a liar. He is dangerous. He is not a good person with good intentions. This is not a game.

We Don’t Need Another Hero

 

Thoughts and Impressions on Robert Mueller’s testimony. He seemed hesitant, sometimes confused, and repeatedly referred to the report, as in “I stand by what’s contained in the report.” Mueller did himself no favors regarding his reputation, nor did he help the Democrats in their quest for the truth.

Even Jim Jordan found a relevant question to ask, which of course Mr. Mueller did not answer.

Could it be that Speaker Pelosi’s approach is the right one? Huh. We got ourselves into this mess. It seems we have no one else to blame, and no one else to turn to for help. We must extricate ourselves from the quagmire. We must drain the swamp. We, meaning all of us must rescue ourselves from an ineffective Congress, from a corrupt president, from the thunder dome of endless partisan bickering that has done more to send the government into dysfunction than Steve Bannon’s “deconstruction” theory ever could.

Nancy I think we need to start some deconstructing of our own. We can begin with the 2020 elections. Make it our job to turn this country around. You can still vote. The problem is, not enough registered voters do that. More people did not vote in 2016 than voted for either candidate. That means the “I don’t care” faction actually won, and the rest of us lost.

Next, make an informed decision about who you vote for. Forget about political parties. Strike Democrat, Republican, independent, progressive, conservative out of your thinking. If they have a track record, study it. Actions speak louder, right? If they don’t have a history, then study their exact words and proposals. If they promise they’re going to do something, do they say how?  Do all of this with the mindset that we are hiring them to do a job for us. Make a list of the jobs you want done. Find the candidate that explains best how they will do those jobs you want done.

Mueller and his report, and his feeble testimony, are not going to save us. That’s something we must do ourselves.

Maybe I am being too restrained. How on earth did people vote for a man like Trump? He lies, all the time, even when it doesn’t matter, even when the truth is demonstrable, knowable, provable.  A rich kid who, with his daddy’s money, managed to file bankruptcies several times, and rise from the ashes of each fiasco with planes, penthouses, gold plates and gold-plated chairs and fixtures,  with a younger, more beautiful wife, still able to attract financing for projects where he invariably cheats contractors, gets sued, pays pennies on the dollar. This is a man who has never read the Constitution or the Bible, never saw the  inside of a church, never attended a single 9/11 funeral, never saw a crooked deal he didn’t like, a man whose friends and acquaintances seem to all have trouble with ethics, morals, and the law. This is a petty, vindictive man who couldn’t let go of his hatred of President Obama, couldn’t let go of his demeaning of Senator John McCain even after death. He has locked children in cages, denied refuge to those legitimately seeking it, turned asylum seekers away from ports of entry, Tried to ban all Muslims from entering the country, backed Judge Roy Moore after he was accused of child molestation, denied knowing Jeffrey Epstein despite video, audio, and numerous news reports to the contrary. This is a person who promised to drain the swamps in Washington, and instead appointed Cabinet secretaries who were/are lobbyists who worked against the very agencies they now command. (See Steve Mnuchin at Treasury, Wilbur Ross at Commerce, Betsy Ross at Education, Mark Esper at Defense, and I could go on.)

And maybe, Robert Mueller was too restrained, by his own inability to disobey direct orders from the Attorney General, who is in ct no longer his boss, by his strict code of adhering to the letter of the law, even when it isn’t the law (See the OLC opinion that sitting presidents can’t be indicted, as well as the rules for the Special Council.)

In my opinion, the House Judiciary Committee’s time would have been better spent playing Simon Says with Mr. Mueller.

Turns out, we don’t really need Robert Mueller, or Congress, to save us. We can do that.

Real Heroes

 

 

Kickin’ Rocks

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Bywater Books (July 30, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612941532
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612941530
I’ll be writing a proper review, but I want to let you know my personal, visceral reaction. It “woke” me. I have been up and down like a yo yo since 2016. Hopes crushed at the outcome of the election, uplifted by the Women’s March, crushed by the firing of Comey, uplifted by the appointment of Mueller. Crushed, uplifted. The Muslim ban, the military transgender ban. The 2018 election results. Crushed by no real change. Release of the Mueller report, disappointment at inaction. Up, down.
Kickin’ Rocks reminds me that it’s always  a ragged journey, a two-step, a win, a setback. The line on the map toward progress is zigzag, not straight.  Thank you for reminding me.

It really hasn’t been that long. I came out and lived through the seventies and eighties. This novel reflects on those times, as well as shining a light on these current times that try our souls. How do we live through this? How do we contribute to making this better, not worse? As the character Dusty asked, “What can I do?” This book, yes, it’s a romance, does a lot to answer that question.

A young millennial couple meet, share mutual interests, fall in love. They also meet Dusty, an older lesbian who has been through the wars: the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the fight for Roe v Wade, for the Equal Rights Amendment (it still hasn’t passed 38 state legislatures), AIDS funding. Dusty has been there, done that. She’s retired to the country, spends her time rescuing strays and fostering animals until they get adopted. The young couple, Jada and Amie, don’t think there is a fight to be fought in this new, shiny millennium. Until they are confronted with the same, tired old bigotry that they thought was consigned to history. So they turn to Dusty, the expert in resistance.
Well-written, as are all Marianne K. Martin’s books, the story changes deftly from Dusty’s story to Jada’s. So you get two romances for the price of one.

Down in the dumps. Bummed out. Burned out. Tired of it all. These phrases describe me, and a lot of other people, in the long stretch of time since the 2016 election. At first, I couldn’t stop watching the news, stayed angry and worried, and angry some more. The results of the 2018 midterm elections gave me hope again, and I eased up on the obsessive news consumption, relaxed a bit. Nancy was back in charge. Mueller’s report was coming. Things would work out, and I didn’t have to feel so personally burdened with single-handedly firing up all voters in America to oust the man who has taken over the White House.

Then, nothing happened. Nothing really changed. Democrats side-stepped, back-stepped, back slid, hemmed, hawed, hacked up hair balls every time that man said or did something to further embarrass and demean the entire country. My relaxed period turned into anxiety-ridden hopelessness. What should I do, personally, politically? Is it really up to just me?

I got an advance copy of Martin’s latest book, Kickin’ Rocks, and discovered that just about everybody feels like I feel. Everybody is sick and tired of the dysfunction. All of us need a booster shot to our fire and enthusiasm. That’s what this book can do for you. That’s why you really need to read this book, and press it into as many hands as possible.

Marianne, trailblazer

Now let me tell you a little about the author, Marianne K. Martin. She has written eleven novels, five of which were Lambda Literary Award finalists. She has been honored with the GCLS Traiblazer Award, and inducted into the Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame. She belongs to those places. A writer of extraordinary ability she writes more than romance novels. (Read Under the Witness Tree and Tangled Roots).  Or you could read Love in the Balance and The Indelible Heart. 

A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Ms Martin taught in the Michigan public school system for twenty-five years, has worked as a photo-journalist, a photographer, and coached both high school and collegiate teams as well as amateur ASA teams. Her coaching career produced many Tri-County and MHSAA championship basketball and softball teams and championship ASA softball teams. She was founder of the Michigan Woman’s Major Fastpitch Assoc. and its president for ten years. In 1973 she won the precedent-setting case in a Michigan court establishing equal pay for women coaches.

Super Majority

Supermajority

 

I’m not ashamed of the deplorable vote in my home state of Alabama. I’m angry. Why do we elect men who know nothing, and who do things so opposed by the majority of voters, who are women? Get motivated, get educated, and vote for legislators who know who we are and what we want. Vote for women who will get things done. Men have run this country for almost 250 years. Surely it is our turn now. Women are in the majority in this country. It’s only fair that we take over and set things right. We can’t do worse. You really believe women would separate babies from parents at the border? If they did, don’t you think women in charge would keep track of those kids? Feed them, get medical care to them, and get them back to their parents? Don’t you think women in the majority could find a way to find day care, pay for good health insurance, get a massive infrastructure project going, kick the Russian interference to the curb, ensure every vote counts, pass a strict law prohibiting money from corporations, PACS, and lobbyists in campaigns, pass a law requiring disclosure of tax returns for all candidates, legislate stronger and clearer regulations regarding specially appointed prosecutors, and making certain that Congress must act on any evidence of wrongdoing by the executive branch,? And while we’re at it, let’s require 60 votes to confirm with Supreme Court justices and cabinet posts. There is a way to fund Green New Deal projects, and expand Medicare and Medicaid to cover more people, absorb college student debt, publicly fund elections, and bring down prescription costs. Oh, and pay down the deficit. Yes, it can be done. The federal government is not a business. It’s not supposed to turn a profit, or break even. It can impose budget restrictions, simplify the tax code, reinstate taxes on corporations and the wealthy, regulate drug prices, raise the minimum wage to a living wage.women legislators could do this. Why don’t we vote for people who will do the things we want done? Actually, there are some good men with good ideas who are welcome to help. The water in Flint MI should have been cleaned up years ago. There should be no leaking oil pipelines through indigenous land. Every person should get registered to vote, attend seminars on voting, running for office, campaigning, and how to participate. Every person who wants a gun for hunting or self defense should pass a background check, take a course on gun safety, gun laws, and pass a proficiency test demonstrating proper handling, cleaning, loading, shooting, and unloading the weapon they purchase. Their background check should be repeated every time their license to own a weapon is renewed. This is not hard stuff. So haven’t old white guys screwed it up long enough? It’s our turn.

Supermajority

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I’m tired and so weary 

Stupid    Republican

Can't have nice things

I will vote

I’m tired. I have begged. I have tried to stress the importance of participating in democracy. I have railed against the outrages of the current administration and the complete failure of the legislative branch. I’ve posted funny videos and heart-rending ones.

Democracy depends on an educated, informed, and active electorate. It’s my theory that elected officials work for us. They stay in office as long as they do what we want them to do. They get voted out if they ignore us.

This election, this time, it’s not about them versus us, not red against blue, Democrat  against Republican, Pelosi versus Trump, liberal against conservative. This is not a game, not a contest, it’s not Survivor or American Idol.  It’s not Alabama against Auburn.

This time, this election is about all of us, this entire country. It’s about the people, not the politicians. Not to be disingenuous, I state here that I am broken-hearted, angry, and determined to do everything I can to put a hold on the current president. But this is not about my standing as an infuriated progressive. It’s not about your fervent support of the president.

If we all vote, we win, not them.  We get to say who stays and who goes. If everyone votes, then we control them. I don’t care if you are a Republican, conservative evangelical, white male. I know that if we all vote, then there are more of us than them, the craven politicians, the do-nothings in Congress. We rule, we say what our country is going to be, to stand for, we say what our country won’t tolerate.

In the 2016 election more people did not vote than the number who voted for either Clinton or Trump. More people didn’t vote. If everyone, every single registered voter, participates and votes, then nothing and no one can stop the working of our democracy, not Russian interference, not voter suppression, not gerrymandering, not lies, not PAC money or corporations as people, nothing.

There are more of us than there are of them. More voters than politicians. More votes than lobbyists, more voters than the NRA, more of us. If we all vote, we win. More voters with level heads and good hearts than the ones who follow a personality cult.

There are more minority voters, if you add all minorities together, than there are white voters. More African American, plus Latino, plus LGBTQ, plus Jewish, plus newly registered eighteen to twenty-five year-old voters, more of us than them.

RBG

Know which group has never been in power, but is not a minority group? Women. There are more women in this country than men. More women registered to vote than men.  So why is Congress made up of mostly old white men? Why do we women keep voting for men who do nothing for us, in fact who do nothing at all?

How many old white men entered Congress young and not wealthy, but are now millionaires? How did they grow so rich working on a Congressional salary?  Why does Paul Ryan get to “retire” at age 48 with a lifetime pension? He grew up poor, depended on Social Security, and is leaving Congress with a net worth of several million dollars. How does that happen? How did Mitch McConnell who grew up poor, become a millionaire, net worth around 27 millionaire?

McConnell is 76 years old. Maxine Waters is 80. Orrin Hatch is 84 years old, worth around 4.3 million, Chuck Grassley is 85, net worth 3 million. Nancy Pelosi is 78, with a net worth of around 26 million. Bob Corker, age 66, retiring Senator, 69 million. To be fair, some of these legislators acquired wealth the old fashioned way, before entering politics. it s an annoying and alarming, consistent fact that most of them have not a penny to their names when they enter Congress, and leave with guaranteed pensions and health care that most of us will never see. (See https://opensource.org/)

To recap, if we all vote, we win.

Can't have nice things     Vote

 

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