It’s Not Too Late, America

I am fortunate never to have been plagued by persistent, severe, or long-term anxiety about anything.  Until November 8, 2016.  Even as much as a year before that, I had begun to experience periodic mild unease after realizing the high likelihood that my fellow Americans were, or at least our predominantly older, white, male Electoral College was, going to make the mistake of electing a lying, cheating, philandering, fearmongering, hate-spewing bully as our leader and the public face of our country.

Y’all may not realize it since I am naturally a positive and upbeat person and rarely engage in overt political speech on social media, but since that sad day, I have been frequently distressed, dismayed, and disturbed by the actions of the administration of our Liar In Chief.  I believe it’s safe to say that, if I were to seek treatment, I would be diagnosed as suffering from some form of anxiety disorder and would probably be given a prescription for medication to relieve it.

Since that sad day, I have drunk more whiskey more often than I should.  Not to the point that it’s interfering with my ability to function as a responsible, productive citizen and effective husband to The Boss and good father to The Girl and The Boy, but more than I had been in the habit of drinking beforehand and more than I am comfortable with consuming in the long term.

Since that sad day, I have experienced anxiety in ways that I never had before.  My chest hurts too often.  I struggle to get out of bed without hitting the snooze button on my alarm.  I have occasionally had trouble motivating myself to attack a pile of files at work.  I have found myself becoming too easily angered by things that some of my friends post to Facebook.  To my great shame, I have had to work hard not to be angry at my mother, who raised me and imparted her values and sensibilities to me but who voted for the man who puts the bully in “bully pulpit.”

I am not a partisan.  I am not a card-carrying member of either party.  I am as likely to vote for a Republican as I am for a Democrat, but not this year.  I do not put political signs in my yard or on my vehicle.  I am not a radical anything.  I am a left-leaning moderate who favors fiscal responsibility and the freedom of all citizens to make their own personal choices about how to live as long as they seek not to harm others.  But I have come to despair that we are in danger of losing those freedoms.  I have come to despair that we are teetering on the brink of permanently handing those freedoms and our power to a tiny portion of the wealthiest, most corrupt segment of our population, not all of whom are Republicans.

I do not hate our President.  I love him and pity him and am sad that he was unable to overcome his vilest behavioral impulses after he was inaugurated.  But I beg you, Bloggers, to get out and vote today if you haven’t already.  Vote responsibly and with care and with your mind on the future of the country you love.  Vote with the sincere desire to repudiate the racist, isolationist, unreliable, irresponsible, bigoted, feckless image of America as it has been mischaracterized by our Twit In Chief since 11/8/16.  Hell, I’m not proud, vote with me in mind.  Help me recover from my two-year bout of crushing anxiety.

My sister-in-law shared a YouTube video with me today that inspired me, made me cry, and allowed me to permit myself to have a bit of hope for the future.  It’s a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Democracy” by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer.  If, like me, y’all’re feeling hopeless and anxious about the results of today’s midterm elections, I hope you’ll give it a listen here.  I’m going to watch it again this evening, avoid the news, and go to bed early and hope that I am able to sleep, though that, too, is something I’ve been having a hard time with lately.  I will fervently hope that, when I awaken tomorrow, I have reason to begin once more to have hope for the future of my country.

I love y’all.  Take care, be kind, and live well.




32 thoughts on “It’s Not Too Late, America

  1. I asked Alexa to play “Democracy” for me – she couldn’t find the version you mentioned, but did find a version by Leonard Cohen. I could not agree more with what you’ve said here – I have managed to reduce my anxiety somewhat by reading less, but I find it’s being replaced by a sense of hopelessness. I too have always voted for the person, not the party, until 2008 when the Republicans announced they would do all they could to block anything Obama put forth. We can only hope some common sense prevails in this election and some of the members of Congress who care more for their party (whichever one it might be) than the country and its people are replaced by some who do care about the country and its people. If that doesn’t happen, I am beginning to believe that this country and its people will destroy itself and themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Because of all this anxiety, I wrote an article that I promoted a few times. Join me in the middle, Listen in Stereo. I too have voted Dem, Libertarian, and Repub. I follow the issues in front of us, and vote for my best hope for effective change. We are in the crux of Social change, with many advocates and screaming ones. Take a breath, let the issues sift through your mind, vote your best. The greatest change is one for Socialism aided by the Social Platforms and Universities. One can look at Venezuela for an effective government. Or Cuba, for an older model. Greece for an effective one. Rise above the screaming to decide where you want to be in 10 years. There is no party that completely represents me, only the issues that I have to think about and decide upon, regardless of the panic around me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Denny,
    Be of hope and good cheer. It’s 4 years not a lifetime. It’s a term. Trump wasnt most peoples 1st choice, it was a lessor of 2 evils situataion. The focus must be future and preparing for that, now only 2 years away. This is a season for learning and studying why things are going any certain way, changing trends etc. We as a people must reject the medias narritive which tells us we are divided male/ female, Gat /straight, White/black. It isn’t true…not in my world. What can we do? Practice kindness and respect for one another. Communicate as friends instead of combatants. Our only power is in our vote therefore to win the war we must change votes and that’ll never happen with name calling, fists, threats. That only solidifies their position.
    It only happens by changing hearts and minds. We individually must learn to disagree without hate and be willing to listen, consider other views and to comprise. We do it everyday in personal relationships don’t we?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Denny, I am about to give you strong advise.

    I will preface my reply with the remark that I do not consider you an alcoholic, but the advice stands for whatever is consumed besides one or two drinks per day. And, I am a teetotaler as you probably know.

    Do not use alcohol as a stress relieving device. First, it is not all that effective, Second, except in small doses, it can lead to all sorts of problems. And finally, in the long term organ damage can occur, including the liver, depending on your genetics and how much and how long you have been drinking.

    I believe that the best way to combat anxiety is to find something meaningful to replace the alcohol. Of course, what is meaningful to you is up to you. Instead of taking a drink, write on your blog or a personal diary, exercise (take a walk), work on a hobby (like cooking).

    I will end by saying that we should not discount the millenials. They are now fairly inactive, but based on the turnout for this election, and the fact that some are even running for office, things might start to turn. So, if they can be convince that is worthwhile to vote and be politically active in other ways, this country maybe able to release the shackles of conservatism.

    Voting democratic is now a principle for me. The major reason is to gain control of legislatures (both state and federal). Even a majority in one chamber in the Congress, can prevent a lot of conservative boneheaded policies.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I missed your reply in the morass of my emails.

        I am glad you found it.helpful. I am here (or goodreads) if you ever want to talk about it. As you know I overcame drug and alcohol in my early twenties. And I am successfully dealing with my bipolar illness and my anxiety is gone, except for normal reactions to uncomfortable situations I find myself in. So, whatever you are dealing with I can empathize with you.

        Take care, and I hope your day goes well.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I am quite shocked to hear that your mother voted for Trump, it’s such a strange thing to hear that a mother could instil important and respectable principles into her son, yet vote for Trump. This is like reading Go Set a Watchman and reading about Scout’s dilemma when she discovered that Atticus didn’t believe in equality. If you don’t mind me asking, has this affected your relationship with your mother in any way?
    And yes! A person who cares about themselves and respects themselves and the people of their country should vote. There are no excuses.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It has affected our relationship somewhat, mainly just in what I feel free to talk about around her. She comes from a very conservative family that has reliably voted Republican since the end of the Viet Nam War. We never talked about politics when I was growing up, and my interest in politics didn’t develop until I was in my mid-twenties. I used to freely talk about political issues and my dislike of Republican stances until Dad told me that Mom had voted for Trump. In disbelief, I asked her why, and she snapped that she doesn’t want to talk about it. For weeks I was so stunned and angry that I couldn’t be in the same room with her. I got over that long ago, but now I have to bite my tongue when I’m around her and am tempted to start talking about politics.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m surprised you guys didn’t talk about politics before your 20’s, my mother encouraged me to get involved and learn more about politics. Personally, I don’t believe that you can create change by biting your tongue. Especially on a matter as important as this because open discussion would be more productive. If I have to be completely honest… it sounds like she is racist and against her own sex. It is completely up to you whether or not you should wish to speak to her about it, and who knows, perhaps, as her beloved son, you might be able to change her mind and help her see things more clearly and humanely?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have been away for awhile (good stuff like a family wedding – in Nashville no less! and visits from family here) but I did vote. Here in MI when you are over 60 they send an absentee ballot application directly to you. I loved that. And we voted YES on a proposition that anyone of any age for any reason can now vote absentee. We voted in an anti-gerrymandering proposition, too. Yeah! And recreational mj. On top of all that both my state and federal reps elected are liberal, both our senators are liberal (only one up for re-election) and now our gov. is. Yeah! For me it was a great outcome but it could have been better of course nationwide. I love all the women and people of color who were elected. And now Mueller is moving in.

    I certainly feel your angst from two years ago. I went into a deep depression, too. My sister and her family (who live in Nashville) are staunch Republicans and evangelical Christians. I just don’t see how those two mesh, personally, and how they could support trump (I refuse to capitalize his name!) baffles me. It does give me opportunity to practice lovingkindness. And respect even when paths are so different from my own.

    Take care. I don’t think TN elections came out as well as our MI ones but like one of your other commenters said, it’s only four years and almost two are over. Hopefully, he will be so distracted by the investigation that he cannot do anything (or at least too much more) stupid.

    Peace to you, Denny. And your mother. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, LuAnne, sounds like MI is headed in the right direction! No, our election did not work out nearly as well as I’d hoped, nor did MS, FL, or TX elections, all of which I had high hopes for.

      I hope your visit to Nashville was pleasant and that you were able to avoid the traffic around downtown.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It was a great visit. We stayed in Green Hills at an Airbnb called the French House. The hostess was delightful. We did not run into too much traffic. The wedding itself was in Charlotte but I visited family in Donelson and a friend in Pegram. I guess I was out of the city most of the time. Thanks for asking.

        Liked by 2 people

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