Categories
History Politics Women

Joe Biden & Anita Hill Hearings: Deal Breaker

download-1“Are you crazy?” I asked. “Do you know what he did during the Anita Hill hearings when he was in charge? Head. Of. The. Judiciary. Committee. Running. The Hearing. He was the guy. He was the one who seven women, in addition to Anita, petitioned to speak, as they’d had the same experience as she did. Corroborating evidence he chose to ignore. He turned them down! Have you seen the hearing tapes of how he spoke to her? Are you fucking nuts?!”

“Simmer down. I hadn’t thought about that. And, anyway, he has grown since then.”

I, of course, am the woman who remembers those hearings like they were yesterday. They were what made me a feminist. They were the first time I realized that men ran the country, and without any grace around the fact that they were representing more than their own interests. Then a few months later, the Anita Hill documentary came out, and Biden was front and center with his pants down, so to speak, and his own bias staring you in the face. Watch It.

So, Biden spoke on the issue recently. Let’s review the paragraph that makes my blood boil:

“She faced a committee that didn’t fully understand what the hell this was all about. To this day, I regret I couldn’t give her the kind of hearing she deserved,” he said at an event in New York City honoring students who helped fight sexual violence on college campuses. “I wish I could have done something.”

You. Were. In. Charge.

She. Faced. Your. Committee.

Let me help you help yourself: here is what you should have said. “The Anita Hill hearings are the worst moment of mine in the senate. I should have allowed those other women to speak. I should have demanded that my colleagues treated her with respect. I should have treated her, and all the women she represented, with more respect. I should have spoken for her in my comments. I was an ass. I hope you will see that I have grown and am not that go-along-with-the-crowd man I clearly was back then. I apologize to all Americans for my behavior. I wish I could go back.”

Then you should have spoken up more during the Kavanaugh hearings. You should have gotten on the pulpit that your years and years of history with us as a leader of this country have given you, and you should have said how it should be done.

You will never have my vote. Unless, of course, it’s you or the orange guy, and then I will have no choice.

Categories
History Politics Theater Women

Gloria: A Life Review

My friend Chris and I went to see Gloria: A Life, the Gloria Steinem one-woman show. The play is closing in New York City at the end of this month, but it will be traveling to other parts of the country that Gloria changed during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have met Gloria at dinner parties in the Hamptons, where I found her to be soft-spoken and not bra-burning at all. And, while I’m 66 and should have had her as the fabric of my life as an influencer, I spent the better part of the ’70s at the University of Nebraska, where Nixon’s resignation was on page two. I’m sort of not exaggerating. So, she wasn’t on my ‘friends’ list.

Gloria: A Life takes us through the trajectory of not only Gloria’s personal journey through her journalism career, harassment, and enlightenment to the plight of women and the opportunity to change the outcome for the next generations, but also the sisterhood of the women of color, who really started it all and embraced her as their token white woman. Who knew? History unfolds before us — not the “war to war” history that men have always injected into our education, but rather cultural history and women’s history … and it’s Glori-ous! I thank her and those less well known for their commitment.

Abortion and women’s rights over their own body take on a predominant role in the unfolding of the journey we are still navigating. The play’s actors pointed out that each of us in the room had our own experience around “Glorias.” This was true for most of us in attendance, as the majority of the audience members were women, and more than half were over, let’s say, 50.

During my days at the University of Nebraska, I dined each night with my sorority sisters in the Pi Phi dining room. Every now and then, a hat was passed, and everyone put in whatever money she could spare. No one knew whom it was for, but abortion was only available in New York City in the early ’70s, and the hat’s bounty would pay for the flight for one of our “sisters” to fly there and have the procedure performed. By herself. Alone. Because that was all that was available to us. I put in whatever I could with pride and commitment to her right to choose. I can honestly say that in the three years I called that sorority house “home,” I don’t recall anyone having left school to have a baby (which women would have had to do back then), but I do remember a number of “pass the hat” moments. Yes, we all have our own experiences of that time in history, and my only regret is that it wouldn’t be for years that I would join the movement to commit to my own gender’s growth and equality.

I never subscribed to Ms. magazine. Never read it. Thought burning a bra was silly (and still do). But I also didn’t realize what the play so gently but powerfully lays out: how male dominance over our lives and our views of ourselves has been nurtured since birth. And I didn’t have a prayer of knowing how to silence that as I charted my own course. A man close to me said to me on the phone yesterday, “You have no trouble speaking truth to power.” That may be true now, but throughout most of my adult life, I was clueless as to what that truth was. Gloria and her gang of girls helped each other out of the darkness of their indoctrination. And being present in the play helped me see how I gained clarity as well.

IMG_4395For me, one of the best parts of the night was a group of six young girls, maybe 8 or 9 years old, who were sitting across from me in the top row. They loved the play. They hung on every word, and when two of them spoke in the ‘chat with the audience’ afterward, they were articulate and cool, but more importantly, excited about the future they could fashion. One of them said of another: “She’s the president of our group; I’m like the vice president.” This was cause for some concern, because one of the moments of clarity in the play was when the light bulb went on that we women need to participate with equal input in roundtable discussions. This stands in stark contrast to the pyramid paradigm established by men, in which a king sits at the top of those who are climbing over one another to get to his position. Like a board room table that always has a seat of power. Not all men. And especially not those in the audience. One man’s daughter told us her father had asked her to see the play with him.

Thank you, Gloria, for all that you’ve done. Thank you to the girls in the top row for all you will do. It was nice, in this moment of our history when I have little hope, to leave feeling like maybe there is hope, after all. Women are the answer. How cool is that?

Categories
Personal Essays Politics

Being Likeable

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 6.26.53 AMI was sitting with a dear friend at our weekly brunch at the fabulous Nick & Toni’s in the Hamptons, where we were talking about things we like to ponder, and I asked her about her desire to be liked.

“Do you care what people think about you?”

“Yes, I do. I always have. I’m the oldest of five from a Midwestern family; it’s in my DNA.”

“I care less and less about being liked now,” I replied. “I have lost friends over the past year, and I can’t afford the luxury of being likeable anymore. I will live with the fact that people used to think I was nicer.”

She looked at me askew, which is not unusual. She is a quiet, thoughtful type, and I’m the “in your face” friend who must shake her core now and again. But our friendship works. She means the world to me. I tried to explain it to her …

There was a time when I could let comments go. I could smile to myself in the knowledge that those who had delivered such comments had problems with those who were different from them, or in the case of some other friends, they were capable of overlooking flaws in others if it made them a bit more money. Slightly racist and/or greedy. Yikes! But those days are over for me. Our silence — in my position, my silence — is the biggest danger we all face now, and the luxury of letting the conversation go for the sake of a pleasant evening, or our decades of history together, is a thing of the past.

“Like” is a word that has always been at the forefront of our lives. “I like ice cream” (such a lie: I love ice cream). “I like that color best, and it’s what I always wear.” (For me, it’s black until I can find something darker.) “I like your new boyfriend.” “I like that movie a lot.” Facebook then sealed the deal by making the word “like” the stalwart companion to the posts of our friends and family. So, likeable is the goal. We want our posts to be likeable. We want to be likeable. And, the more we want to be likable, the more we can find ourselves in trouble in this age of lies and bad people who are in charge of too many things in our lives. Yep, I said it: bad people. And some of them were my friends.

So, the luxury I used to have of overlooking my best friend’s racist beliefs — which showed up like the occasional bad dream you have once a year — is long gone. I will not let a comment slip by anymore. I will not have an entire evening of friends pass without some acknowledgement of the times in which we live. Rome is burning and we are going to talk about some designer or other? I think back to the early Nazi years, and I am sure that people — good people — had dinner parties and gatherings, celebrations, if you will. Did they ignore the Juden signs on the buildings while they were together? Did they ignore the elephant in the room? I hope not. But either way, it will not serve us well as Americans to avoid having conversations to learn why our friends and family members can possibly feel the way they do.

The luxury of tolerance must be replaced over the next twenty months as we head toward another election. The question is, what do we replace it with? How can I seek to understand, rather than to be understood? How can I speak softly while crying to be heard? How can I appeal to the better angels in people who have become driven by their bank-account balances rather than their moral fiber? How can I make the plight of the huddled masses important to those who are struggling themselves through no fault of their own?

Those are the questions that haunt me at night. I haven’t learned the “how” yet, but I assure you, it’s no longer a question of whether or not I need to do it. So it’s up to you to decide if you want to leave me off the invite list to your dinner party. And, it’s my job to find a way to listen with true interest, and try and figure out how to get through these months ahead with grace and intelligence and kindness and authenticity. Life was easier when all I had to be was likeable.

Categories
Fashion Government History Politics Women

Women In Congress Wearing White to SOTUS

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 2.59.27 PMWe sell visually in today’s world. How one presents a product or service is all about how another (your potential client) feels when looking at it. I’m a strategist and like to always consider the view from the other side of the railroad tracks when putting together an image or a video or any message. It’s why I was disappointed in the women of Congress, who all showed up in their white suits and jackets to signify the unity of women by wearing the uniform the suffragettes wore when marching to secure the vote. Yes, I am aware it’s the 100th anniversary. I think it is a mistake to present themselves as a “united front of women” in a chamber that is supposed to represent all Americans. I think it divides, rather than unites. I think it misses the point and diverts from the conversation, which is and should always be, “What does our country need to serve the American people?”

Leave gender at home, ladies. It has no place in the chamber. And, yes, I know that we have never had real representation in government, and that we clearly made progress in this last election. You want to continue to make progress? Then stand together as Americans in politics. Ask people to vote for the right person, and when those people are elected to government, let them show up in the chamber wearing appropriate attire that makes what they wear the adjective, not the noun.

In speaking with a friend this morning, who pointed out that the congresswomen were simply acknowledging the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote, my answer is, “Celebrate it by working your asses off to stop gerrymandering and attacks by those who would prefer that people of color and the economically disadvantaged not vote. Fix that, and then wear a solid color to the chambers celebrating that. We are taking steps backward in people having the access and ability to vote. The women’s right to vote is so yesterday.”

How would I feel if I were a man who voted for those women? Would I feel they were a reflection of me and a window into that which I aspire to be? Giving the president a standing ovation when he mentioned them sitting there in a sea of white was demeaning to themselves. They are people elected to congress, not women elected to congress.

I know. I feel the onslaught coming. We have waited so long. Of course our female gender will enter into our decision-making. And so will our religious beliefs, the economic circumstances in which we grew up, and our college experience. That doesn’t mean we wear our cross front and center, or the McDonald’s uniform that we wore working our way through college, or our university-logo sweatshirt. We show up in chambers ready to do the work of the people. Ready to listen carefully to the president’s words and mark them in our memory to ensure we can follow up when he doesn’t.

If we—as women, as people, as Americans, as humans—want to succeed in bringing the country together to build great tomorrows, then leave things like wearing matching white outfits to other people.

Categories
Parenting Personal Essays Politics Relationships Women World

Sharing on Thanksgiving

FullSizeRender-2This Thanksgiving, my favorite daughter, about whom I’m not allowed to write, is trekking in Nepal. She sent me this picture this morning. She told me about the wonderful people she is meeting and how hard their lives appear to be. The only reason I can post it is that I’m counting on the fact she won’t see it.

It took me back to a memory I’d forgotten. Another Thanksgiving.

When Sarah was seven, it was an especially cold Thanksgiving. My friend, whose daughter was Sarah’s friend, and I decided we would take the children on an adventure on Thanksgiving morning. We put them in my SUV and went to Dunkin’ Donuts, where I bought one hundred cups of coffee, one hundred cups of orange juice, and two hundred doughnuts. We drove down to the Port Authority, where many a homeless person finds shelter when it’s just too damn cold outside.

I asked a police officer to spread the word that we were there to other officers in the Port Authority and ask if anyone would like to have a doughnut and cup of coffee. My friend and I sat in the back seat of the car for two hours while those two seven-year-olds handed out coffee, OJ, and doughnuts.

There was a moment. There always is.

Sarah was helping a man who couldn’t decide between two doughnuts. Here is their conversation as I can best remember it:

“You can take both of them. We have enough — and if we don’t, my mom will go get more.”

“Oh, no — do you see the line behind me? I want to make sure we all get one. Maybe I’ll wait and see if there are any left over at the end. And your mom already did a lot for us.”

I saw her look at him. I watched her take in the message that this man, who had absolutely nothing — including a winter coat (I remember him vividly) — was not going to take more than his fair share.

Seeing Sarah’s picture today reminded me of Thanksgiving and sharing around a table an abundance of all things — especially stuffing, in my case.

And then I thought about our country, and how, as a country, we used to be like that homeless man. We used to know when each of us individually had enough, and when it was time to share with our fellow countrymen. All those working for large corporations had benefits. Health care. Retirement. And the shareholders were fine with returns that had slow growth to help them when they retired rather than wealth through stock at someone else’s expense. We didn’t simply buy the cheapest things; we bought from stores where we knew the purveyors. We waited while they gift wrapped the presents. There was enough for everyone, so on Thanksgiving, most Americans could sit back and be thankful for the opportunity our country provided to all its citizens.

We can go back to that. I believe that the 1 percent that I think has taken over my country for their own personal gain — and dollars in the bank that they couldn’t spend if they tried — will be brought down. And this Thanksgiving, when I say my silent prayer before eating my turkey, I will pledge to do what I can to make sure of it.

God bless my broken country on this Thanksgiving.

Categories
Government Politics

The 2018 Election & Change to the House of Representatives

images“The Dems take the House! The Dems took the House!” said all the pundits last night around 10 p.m. Then the speculation began about the plans for what they would do with the House now that they have it.

“Nancy Pelosi will be Speaker again.”

“We’ve been told that the first thing they will do is subpoena Trump’s tax returns!”

“They can now spend time fighting Trump; that’s their priority!”

Then I started to think about the exit polls and what the voters said they cared about. Here is what they said in no particular order: They care about health care. They care about immigration. They care about jobs and the economy. Nowhere did any of them say they cared about Trump’s tax returns.

I beg you, newly elected people, to change the trajectory of our nation and our politics.

When the GOP took the House during Obama’s first midterm, did they say that the first thing they were going to do was to request an inquiry about Obama’s birth certificate? Nope, they didn’t say or do that. They attacked health care.

How can it already be a certainty that Nancy Pelosi will be Speaker when the new members of Congress haven’t yet said their thank-yous for being elected?

Look, if you want to reelect Trump in 2020, then go ahead, my newly elected Congress, and spend all your time trying to make him look like the crook that he is. The majority of the voters don’t care about this. They KNOW he cheats on his tax returns and is indebted to foreign countries for funding his ridiculous investments. They KNOW he treats women like shit. They KNOW he lies every time he opens his mouth. They don’t care. They care about themselves.

I am a marketing strategist by trade. I tell my clients all the time that no one cares about them; people care about themselves and what you or your product can do for them. The voters have spoken. They do not care about the injustices of Trump’s moralless compass. They care about health care and immigration and jobs. They told you that. They say it loud and clear every time we ask and every time they vote.

So, for the next two years, spend your time, new Congress, on doing the citizens’ business, making their lives better. Spending time making Trump’s life worse is not your job. That said, you can counter things he might do that sacrifice what we stand for as a nation. He can no longer get rid of Mueller, for example.

But it’s time to ignore him as a person, and get to work for me, the people. Spend your time building things for us in the areas in which we have needs. Then, and only then, can you stop this ridiculous downslide of all we hold dear. That goes for the media as well. Ignore him. Write about what is being done, and hold our newly elected officials accountable for all that they promised to do. Talk about the laws that are enacted. Talk about government, not the yellow head who has no right to hold center stage this long.

Then we will have a chance in 2020.

Categories
Government Politics Women

Reason Speaks Softly But Screams to be Heard – Kavanaugh VS Ford

kavanaugh_ford_1538077234646_6129688_ver1.0_640_360A friend asked about my perspective on yesterday’s hearings from a “female” point of view.

The contrast between Dr. Ford’s “I’m so sorry; I don’t remember” and her efforts to make the people questioning her “like” her was magnified 100 percent by Kavanaugh’s belligerent, arrogant, disrespectful behavior. Every male pundit who praised the way she presented herself showed he had no understanding of what it takes to win in this environment. She was believable because she made you like her. She was believable because she apologized. She was believable because she was overcautious in everything she said. Most important, she was believable because she was not threatening in any way.

He was not believable. And it didn’t matter. With his bullying and by instilling a fear of reprisal, he silenced those who would’ve stood up for her. It’s easy to lull a group into silence that way. You can hide in plain sight in silence when there are others doing the same thing. And no one was afraid of her reprisal if he or she didn’t come forward to support her.

Many of my friends contacted me during the testimony to say they were weeping — and in some cases, they said they didn’t even know why. A few said they were crying because they felt so badly for her. Empathy is a great thing — and she certainly won the empathy contest — but unfortunately, that wasn’t what yesterday was about. For those of us who weren’t quite sure why we became so emotional, perhaps it’s because the disease to please appeared alive and well in Ford. And the attack, attack, attack to win exhibited by the candidate for the highest court in the land still stands in our society as a methodology that can’t be countered with any semblance of decency. Our desire to please and to compromise, to bring consensus to any major decision will always be my preferred methodology. But when going up against a GOP type of fighter, it’s like going into a Wimbledon finals match with a badminton racket. And what makes it all worse is that I’m not willing to do what it would take to fight their way.

So the hope that things have changed since Anita Hill testified 27 years ago were dashed yesterday. I believe Kavanaugh will be confirmed. I believe his wife will lose any sense of self-respect she might have had. I believe that most of the men in that room have zero respect for women. I believe we don’t know how to demand or earn that respect. I believe the gender differences are greater today than they were 30 years ago. I believe that we have to take it to the polls. We will never win in a fight like the one we saw yesterday. We will only win when more decent people are in office.

This same friend often tells me that ‘reason speaks softly but screams to be heard.’ Yesterday, Dr. Ford spoke softly, filled with reasoned certainty. Sometimes it’s hard for reason to be heard over the bullying raised voices of men like Kavanaugh and Graham. We’ll see.

Categories
Government Politics Women

Abraham, Martin & John

downloadMartin Luther King Day.

There was a song from the sixties, Abraham Martin & John, that personified the racially-charged times in which we lived back then. I used to listen to it over and over again. It occurred to me this morning, Martin Luther King Day, that it points out what is possible when leaders step forward to help us rise to our best selves.

My generation is really lucky. We have lived and watched the racial equality growth led by three of the four men in the song; Martin Luther King, John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. My daughter’s generation doesn’t have this historical context. She doesn’t realize that it takes just one leader to rouse the sleeping giant that is our nation.

This time in which we are now faced is one step backward. But I have lived through three steps forward. This is nothing.

We have a larger leadership pool than the sixties. Women have entered the fray. Oprah’s speech last week moved a nation. There are leaders who will rise to this occasion who might have remained silenced.

How to begin?

Don’t click on any link that has the word Trump in it. Don’t let the news outlets get paid for your eyes reading that which solves absolutely nothing. Click on links about who is running in the 2018 elections, what laws are being passed each and every day while we are looking at the shiny object rather than real change. Get to work building, not screaming to the wind and elevating DT’s message across the nation.

I say it again. Do not share one article with his name in it.

#MakeTrumpIrrelevantAgain

Abraham, Martin, Bobby and John will applaud from the shadows.

I thank Martin Luther King for memories I have of watching him lead a nation in a way I had no idea would mean so much so many years later.

We can do this. Yes, we can.

Categories
Government Politics Religion Women

Three Wise Men?

jm_NTRCH47d.p-P1.tiffWhen I leave my house to go anywhere this holiday season, I drive by the Nativity scene set up in East Hampton. It’s the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the three wise men, a shepherd (maybe two) with some sheep, and a few other men who don’t seem to be of much use at all. Whenever I glanced over, I experienced this uneasy feeling, like I’m missing something or something is out of place. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Yesterday, I had some time, so I stopped the car to get out and think about it.

Here is what I have for you:

First, of all, if the inn keeper had been a woman, she would have brought Mary into the inn and been her midwife during delivery so all of the stress could have been avoided. There’s no way a woman would send another woman in the middle of labor to a barn. Nope. I don’t think so.

The “wise” men, had they been women, would have asked for directions, and they would have gotten there on time. Instead of bringing the most expensive gifts (which made them look like creeps), they would have brought practical things that could have been used, like a Babybjörn (that you strap to yourself and use as a harness to carry the baby), or diapers, or something of real value for a new family facing hard times.

The shepherd would have brought a blanket she’d made from the wool of the sheep she tended, realizing that since sheep actually eat things, they would cost the family money. Jeez.

So, after sixty-five years of my not questioning the Nativity scene in the least and finally coming to my senses after a year of middle-aged white men patting themselves on the back while surrounding a ridiculous excuse for a president—after they have taken something or other away from our country, including our global dignity—it has finally occurred to me that women need to step up and take charge of running things.

How could I have missed that all these years?

Merry Christmas.

Categories
Politics

The Benefit of Donald Trump

Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 5.54.03 AMI have friends and family members who voted for Trump. Yes, I realize you are shocked, but it’s true. I have pondered this fact a lot over the past year, and I’ve figured out some things. My friends and family members who voted for Trump fall into three distinct categories:

Uneducated
Self-serving
Fed up

Meet the Uneducated.

When my Trump-supporting family members are asked why, they cite all kinds of reasons, not one of which is based on a fact-oriented analysis. One read The Truth About Hillary—a book about many things, all of which fail to uncover truths about Hillary. I explained to her that there’s information out there about how the book is meant to manipulate without containing any fact-based analysis, and she had zero interest in discussing it (or even hearing it). Her eyes glazed over with that “you are such a Liberal and therefore dangerous to my belief system” look that I walked away from the conversation . . . and her. When I asked another family member if he thought Trump would do more for him than Hillary, he replied in the affirmative but was unable to provide me with even one concrete way. And, if you ask him today what Trump has done, he replies, “a lot,” but is still unable to state a single fact-based example.

By this point, you have met my family members who just didn’t take the time to do their homework, and who, by the way, will suffer the most under Trump and his policies.

Now, say hello to the Self-serving.

This possibly hurts me the most. In a close-to-contentious conversation with a close friend at his multimillion-dollar house overlooking (although distantly) the water in the summer of 2016, I asked him why he’d even contemplate supporting Trump. “I worked really hard for my money,” he replied angrily. “I want it to go to my children, not the government.” This is possibly the hardest reason to reconcile. Both his kids are on the dole, and the view that they enjoy so much will surely suffer from the ocean changes that will be nurtured by Trump’s policies, but hey, the money will be safe. When the new tax plan was announced, I noted that his coveted inheritance tax is right where he wants it to be. Good for you, sir. Well done. And how will your kids’ kids fare as a result of your decision? Not so well, I’m afraid.

And, for the Fed-up.

This is the one that haunts me – makes me pause. I have a smart friend—much smarter than I could ever aspire to be, although I recognize that part of what makes her her is that she works far harder and more intelligently than I do. She voted for Trump. We have had many discussions about it, but none of them left me feeling like I did following my conversations with the Uneducated and Self-serving groups.

Me: “D.T. just basically canceled the EPA. I know how much you care about clean air and water. How do you reconcile that?”

Her: “Well, the EPA has been in charge for decades, and the environment is a mess. A MESS. Maybe the EPA needs to go away and be replaced by something else.”

It was a mind-blowing moment. She doesn’t believe in the government that has been running the show, and if electing a crazy person (she doesn’t fight me on Trump’s sanity) means that we all wake up as Americans and take note of that which is happening around us—and the responsibility to fix it—then maybe that’s what’s needed. Blow up the Washington that was destroying us without our noticing so that we can hear that warning buzzer and not remain the self-centered Americans we have become.

She would get rid of government altogether, I suspect, but the premise of her perspective is not lost on me. I’m actually beginning to think she may be right. Since I’m now paying attention in a way I hadn’t all those years, I’m seeing the awful people running the country without the shade they lived in before, and I’m not sitting idly by anymore. I have read more than I ever have in the past. I have donated to candidates I would never have known were running. I am writing about politics in a way I’d never even considered before. More than ever, I’m paying attention to who is leading. I’m engaged.

So, in the end, this category—the one containing this brilliant friend of mine who thinks we need to rebuild from scratch since things can’t be changed from the inside—is the one I hear loud and clear. And it’s the one that gives me hope. I do a podcast on movie reviews, called “Screen Thoughts,” and in a recent podcast discussing Kevin Spacey’s industry exit, I said that we have lived in the shadows of reality. I believe that the stark sunlight of truth around Hollywood was too blinding to bear; we have to stop creating our own shadow reality and face the full truth so it can change.

It’s true for politics as well, and I’m ready. I see my fellow Americans with more clarity. Their silence over the past years rings in my ears, and while I abhor where they have gone as an answer to their having been ignored, I believe they can change. I believe that I, too, can change. As for categories one and two—the Uneducated and the Self-serving—I have left them behind. They are in my rearview mirror, not part of the landscape in front of me.

I welcome the new year, and I thank you, D.T., for waking me up from a sugar-induced slumber. And, it’s not about you, D.T., but rather, we the people. I can work with that. I will change. I will not slumber at this time of turmoil. Bring it on 2018!