Goin’ In

 

    One of my favorite ever lines, summing up the unhinged feeling that I have most days when my life spirals out in ways that I can’t control is from “The Rugrats Movie” (1998) spoken by the brave, kindhearted and adventurous Tommy Pickles, a one-year old Rugrat who despite his age has a knack for leadership:  “Hang onto your diapies, babies, we’re going in.”

 

    I’m on the train.  I’m heading into Philadelphia on Day One of the Democratic National Convention and I’m dreading it.  Some things you can’t avoid, like work on a Monday, or a scandal if your name is Clinton, so it’s not a shock that on the eve of the convention, the chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, stepped down as a result of her committee’s less than unbiased treatment of the then candidates, Hilz and Bernie Sanders, but only after some pressure from POTUS himself. BTDubs, it was an allegation that Sanders has been making all along.

 

Did Hillary know what her supporters were doing?  Who knows, and at this point it’s a side-story because nothing blows the Republican GOP’s dresses up like a Clinton scandal. If not Benghazi, then her private email server (wait, didn’t Colin Powell use a private email server?), then Monica Lewinsky (wait, wasn’t that Bill?), then stealing furniture from the White House (poor record keeping, and no different, really, than Nancy Reagan and her ballgowns), then she’s not a natural blonde (I just made that one up), and on it goes because if you can’t beat someone fairly, deride and derail until you do, and that seems to be the strategy of the Republican party for the last sixteen years.  During that time, our entire nation has sunk deeper and deeper into slander and viciousness, brother-against-brother, an incendiary pit of despair akin to the 9th circle of hell, a mob mentality led by such spurious and suspect haters as Rush Limbaugh (drug abuser), Roger Ailes (sexual harasser), and Sean Hannity (veterans charity scammer), to name a few. These men are fear mongers, bringing people together through hate of everything not like them, men who spin the story so adroitly that few of us can escape its centrifugal force.  

 

Think for a moment what our nation would have been like if the mild-mannered and ever-inclusive Al Gore would rightfully have been handed the mantle of POTUS – had the Supremes not robbed him -- rather than George W. and the back-biting, back-stabbing, war-crazy crowd he hung out with: no Iraq, no Haliburton, no race riots, yes to the environment, yes to a living wage, or even one that kept pace with inflation, and maybe “too big to fail” would have been just that. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and we’ve had 16 years of uber-Republicanism.

 

Perhaps this was a good thing?  Perhaps we needed the pendulum to swing so hard and fast to the right that we all got whiplash watching it.  In a balanced world, eventually everything finds its center, right?  But guess what?  We’re not balanced, and there are no signs of swinging to middle anytime soon. Meanwhile, the nominee of the Grand Old Party is a man who epitomizes greed and a what’s-in-it-for-me mentality that’s not afraid to show itself.  The Donald has been involved in over 3,500 lawsuits.  Who sues that many times?  I’m a lawyer, and haven’t seen that much action.  Does this guy sue in his sleep?  

 

Oh America, things do not look good for us, not if the Donald wins, and maybe not even if Hilz wins, quite frankly, but having been robbed of my first choice, Bernie Sanders, what is left to me?  The Donald, a divisive, subversive, anti-everything man that doesn’t like anyone or anything if it’s not like like him or his family, that violator of civil and human rights, that disparager of all women who aren’t models (how the freak did this man become the GOP candidate?!).  Or do I vote for Hillary, a woman, a WOMAN, so an historic event, electing one of my own, but a woman with flaws:  votes that maybe weren’t on fleek (translation: on point) with where I would have liked her to be and ties to Wall Street that I wish she didn’t have, and enough baggage to sink a steamer, but you try being in the public eye for decades and avoiding all those slings and arrows and see what your travel luggage looks like.  The woman has had to become like teflon just to get up in the morning.  

 

And not to belabor the point (pun intended) but she’s a woman, and a mom, and a grandmother who ostensibly cares about her children and wants to see them thrive in a world where we don’t need to purify the air before we breathe it (yet), and the water is still drinkable (even if it does require a little filtration), but it may not be that way for long. If The Donald has his way, he'll dismantle EPA because in his book, economics trumps (haha!) the environment any day, and if that happens, who will enforce the regulations that protect your air and water, eh? 

 

What am I getting for my vote?  I’m fully aware that I am rolling the dice here, but what I’m hoping, PRAYING for, is some constancy, some discipline, some fiscal conservancy, and a liberal social agenda that includes everyone as in “God bless the whole world, no exceptions.”  It’s a lot to ask, I know, but times are tough, opinions are tougher, and Hilz has stared down her share of crappy ones and lived to fight another day.  She knows the pain of childbirth and how important it is to forget it.  (Honestly, if men had to give birth, they’d still be bitching about the pain when the kid was in college.) And if the Dalai Lama believes that Western women are going to save the world, who am I to say otherwise?  Until we start putting a softer spin on a world that’s destroying itself with its hard, unforgiving edges, we’re going to keep drawing blood.  Time to take a collective breath, people, reach across the aisle to your neighbor, especially if his skin color is different than yours, and remember what it is that makes us all the same rather than stare at the differences.  

 

It’s also high time for collective leadership as in we are each responsible for our own realities.  Until that happens, Jesus or Buddha, or Allah himself could come down and take over as POTUS and there’d still be gridlock on the House and Senate floors.  Would you rather be right, or be at peace, as the Buddhists say?  How about community, and compassion versus strife and racial conflict?  A new warplane, or a robust educational system?  What if you made a conscious effort to choose love instead of fear in every decision you made today, tomorrow, into the future.  What would your decisions look like?  What would your candidates look like?  Remember, candidates are a reflection of the people. If reality is a mirror of your inner thoughts then the candidates are a reflection of the constituents they seek to serve.  Time for us all to look at our thoughts because they are creating our collective reality. 

 

“Hang on to your diapies, babies. We’re goin’ in.”