hope and grit…

I’ve been very fortunate to serve as a guest columnist to a local, community newspaper from time to time. It’s allowed me to share my opinions on issues near and dear, here at home and abroad. The following was my latest submission for consideration by the editor.

HOPE and GRIT

Regardless of which side we were on during the presidential election, we all have Hope in common. Clinton’s campaign hoped love would trump hate; and Trump supporters are hoping the president-elect returns them to a time when America was great for them.

It’s more difficult for some than others to get past the divisiveness of the campaign, but do so we must for the good of the country. How best to do that is the question. Perhaps it would help if we began by focusing upon what remains familiar for all of us.

Transitioning from one presidency to the next is done peacefully, assuring that we can go on about our business the day after election. Freedom of speech is still protected by the Constitution. Individually and collectively, we can continue to voice our differing opinions. Regardless of our politics, we all believe in the sanctity of life. War abroad and at home is never a given. Above all, we continue to hold strong to our abiding belief in an America where dreams can still come true for all those who come after.

Personally, in our own lives, we can look to what remains familiar and comforting…our loved ones and our communities.

During the holidays we focus attention upon the happiness of others, whether they are from within our tight-knit circle of family and friends or strangers in need of our help. Our hearts and minds are opened to putting their needs before our own. We are all part of a unified spirit of goodness as we rush around like Santa’s elves.

In doing for others, however, we often overlook our own spiritual and physical well-being. The holidays always compound our oversight, and for some folks this season is especially exasperating because they remain traumatized by the recent election. In speaking with a couple of mental health professionals last week, it may be that those still reeling in the aftermath of the political upheaval are suffering signs of PTSD. War, real or imagined, can have the same effect upon a person’s psyche. Moving beyond a traumatic event takes effort, sometimes superhuman effort. “Grit” was a word referenced in my discussion with one of the experts.

In her book, “Grit” The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth signals grit as the ingredient necessary in a person’s character which drives him or her to succeed. Duckworth determined it as the single, common denominator as to why individuals succeeded whether she encountered them as a math teacher or psychologist. In fact, she credits grit, not talent, as the reason she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the “genius grant.”

I like to think of Americans as having grit. In our struggles to persevere as a democratic people in the face of national and global adversity, we have survived and will continue to do so no matter what.

Armed with hope and grit, we remain “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

…wishing you and yours…a holiday season filled with peace and joy.

………hugmamma.1127

 

hope…

Fellow blogger, Lisa, reminded me that we have HOPE on our side. Fortunately we’ve had two presidents who embodied it…Presidents Obama and Clinton. We who voted for them can carry their legacies of HOPE forward.

We will hope that the next president can live up to the public service demonstrated by that of his predecessors.

As is evident from the thousands protesting Trump’s election, he will never regain what he has already lost as a result of his vitriolic campaign. What he did reinforces what my beloved mother-in-law always warned…words have a permanent effect, especially hateful ones. I firmly believe that what she said is true. Personal experience attests to that fact.

No matter the nice words or gestures the perpetrator tries to offer afterwards, words blasted in anger are forever emblazoned across our memories…and our hearts. Trust in that person is lost forever, like it or not. Those victimized try to get through the avalanche of hateful words the best they can, but their hearts are forever secured against the hurt caused.

Trump is trying to “make nice,” with those he bullied while acting out his school ground antics. Too bad he never learned to “play nice” throughout his 70 years on earth. He may have some measure of success as a businessman, although his methods remain questionable, but his failure as a human being with those outside his tight-knit circle is massive. Whoever shares in the responsibility of his evolution as a self-serving despot should be ashamed for all Trump has become.

Ugly words are just that…ugly. There’s no rationalizing otherwise. Perpetrators have tried…and failed. External expressions may show otherwise; internal hurts are rarely, if ever, healed.

The Obamas will never be able to set aside Trump’s denying the president’s legitimacy as an American. Why should they? The Clintons will never be able to forgive Trump’s words calling for Hillary to be “locked up,” or placing 4 female accusers in the audience front and center during the final presidential debate. Who does these things? Donald Trump, that’s who.

No other candidate in the history of presidential elections has ever demonstrated such ugliness towards his fellow human beings as Trump. And his response to Leslie Stahl of “60 Minutes” (to be aired this Sunday), when asked if he regrets his words? He quickly replied “I won!”

Trump won…but he lost the hearts of millions and millions of Americans. What an empty, sad life. To quantify success in the accumulation of accolades and material wealth.

Trump lost. Connection with other human beings is the most valuable asset any of us can have when we take our last breath. No earthly treasure can measure up.

Trump may have gained the world; but in the process, he has lost…

…trump has lost.

………hugmamma.Image result for images of donald trump

 

 

a workhorse…

…that’s my personal description of Hillary Clinton. And now that her final attempt to help fellow citizens realize the American dream for themselves has been thwarted, she has earned a much-deserved rest from a self-imposed life of public service.

As with other Independents who took their time in casting their vote for president, I was skeptical about Hillary Clinton. Media spin had much to do with my indecision. However, Bernie Sanders said it best when he exclaimed that he was fed up with her damn emails. So was I.

I accepted Hillary Clinton’s apology for using a private email server, especially when FBI Director Comey found her innocent of breaking any laws. The fact that Republicans would not let go of the issue drove me further away from their candidate, towards the Democratic candidate.

The Republican Party will never curry my favor if they continue to wallow in conspiracy theories. It’s as though they prefer to practice voodoo politics instead of politics based upon facts. I have always been a “Doubting Thomas,” he who needed to put his finger in the crucified Christ in order to believe that He, in fact, was the risen Christ.

Granted, the Clintons are not saints. They have committed their fair share of trespasses. Time and again, however, they have been tried by their peers and found not guilty of breaking any laws.

The difference, for me, between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is that the foundation of her entire life has been…to serve others. His has been in service…for himself.

On stage at the Democratic National Convention, many testified to Hillary’s having personally touched their lives with her compassion and help. The handicapped young man whose cause Hillary had taken on when he was but a child. The 911 rescuers whose health issues Hillary had taken on by requesting, and obtaining, $20 billion from President George W. Bush. And yet Trump ignorantly proclaimed she had done nothing in her decades long career as a public servant. I don’t remember any individual coming forward at the Republican National Convention to proclaim how Trump had done something specific to improve his or her life. In fact, numerous voices have echoed the same sentiment about him….that they have been stiffed by Trump, or taken advantage of because of his wealth and power.

My religion, Catholicism, and my culture, Asian, has ingrained in me the need to be humble. It is therefore natural that I cannot stomach bragging in others, or in myself. Just as Donald Trump thrives on his own braggadocio, Hillary Clinton prefers to let others take the spotlight. He loves to talk endlessly about his supposed accomplishments; while she chomps at the bit to get on with the business at hand. He’s a talker; she’s a doer.

I’ve always preferred doers to talkers. Of course if someone can be both, like President Obama, so much the better. Given the choice we had in this election, I voted for the doer.

What many may not know is that Hillary Clinton would have preferred remaining in her elected position as the New York State senator. President Obama refused to take “no” for an answer when she declined his request to be his Secretary of State three times. Instead she wanted to continue in her crusade to help Americans here at home. It’s almost certain that she thought she would be able to take up our cause once she’d served her President abroad. However as we have just witnessed, she was unable to fulfill a lifelong dream…to use the power of the highest office in the land to bring justice to all who had yet to share in the America she envisioned.

As for the millions Hillary Clinton received for speeches she made on Wall Street, my feeling is that everyone is entitled to earn their living to the best of their ability. It is common knowledge that public servants make nowhere near what their corporate counterparts make. Case in point…the most powerful leader in the free world earns $400,000. CEO’s earn millions, sometimes billions, in wages and bonuses. If they’re fair to their employees and aren’t guilty of cheating taxpayers, who can fault them for their earnings.

And as for emails detailing behind-the-scene conversations, I don’t think anyone is innocent of saying one thing and doing another. I would like to be a fly on the wall in Trump Tower. All of us are guilty of telling lies, the small kind, not the outright, big ones like those thrown around by Trump during his campaign. Fact-checkers couldn’t keep up with his outrageous lies.

Hillary Clinton was faulted for her part in her husband’s mea culpa passes. Like others who have “walked in her shoes,” wives do not easily throw off loved ones like yesterday’s fashions. Our commitment to them is based upon a spiritual connection that isn’t easily severed by the physical disconnect. Will men, and some women, ever “get” that about us? Hillary chose to move to Arkansas at her future husband’s invitation, rather than remain in Washington where she had a promising career. In spite of their marital ups and downs, they’ve remained together for 30+ years. May they enjoy many more.

After all is said and done, I’m glad Hillary Clinton is no longer taking the brunt of media and Republican savagery. They can now take each other on in mortal combat, and continue…

…the feeding frenzy.

………hugmamma.

 

 

…like a needle…

It seems as though we have a need to go looking for that proverbial “needle in the haystack.” Or perhaps we have this organic desire to thread a needle through that smallest of holes. The recent election attests to our heightened fixation on doing just that.

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton showed us exactly who they are. Many,  Republicans and Democrats alike, preferred to pursue a scavenger hunt mindset in search of the “real truth.” The media, with CNN at the forefront, happily led the charge.

At some point in the year-long campaign leading up to November 8th, I decided to read several books about the candidates. Rather than be spoon-fed constantly regurgitated “pablum” by the media, I wanted to learn the facts for myself in order to make up my own mind about both Trump and Clinton.

I’m no more of an expert on either person than the media or the political parties to which they belong. Neither am I judging others on their decision-making process; I’m merely offering my views on the matter.

Trump himself has shown us that he embodies the dual personalities of Jekyll and Hyde. The construction of Trump Tower is a sad example of Hyde overtaking Jekyll.

“Instead of hiring an experienced demolition contractor, Trump chose Kaszycki & Sons Contractors, a window washing business owned by a Polish émigré. Upward of two hundred men began demolishing the building in midwinter 1980. The men worked without hard hats. They lacked facemasks, even though asbestos–known to cause incurable cancers–swirled all around them. They didn’t have goggles to protect their eyes from the bits of concrete and steel that sometimes flew through the air like bullets. The men didn’t have power tools either; they brought down the twelve-story building with sledgehammers.

Trump kept an eye on the project, not just when visiting the site (where photographs show him smiling under a hard hat), but from an office he rented directly across Fifth Avenue, which offered him an unobstructed view.

The demolition workers were not American citizens, but ‘had recently arrived from Poland,’ a federal court later determined. The court also found that ‘they were undocumented and worked ‘off the books.’ No payroll records were kept, no Social Security or other taxes were withheld and they were not paid in accordance with wage laws. They were told they would be paid $4.00 or in some cases $5.00 an hour for working 12 hour shifts seven days a week. In fact, they were paid irregularly and incompletely.’

Many members of the demolition crew, which became known as the Polish Brigade, lived at the work site, sleeping through the bitter cold on bare concrete floors. The crew numbered about thirty or forty in the daytime, but swelled to as many as two hundred at night, when few people would be around the tony business district to observe the demolition work.

Fed up that their paychecks kept bouncing, some of the workers corralled Thomas Macari, Trump’s personal representative. They showed him to the edge of one of the higher floors and asked if he would like them to hang him over the side. The workers, likely hungry, demanded their pay. Otherwise, no work.

When Macari told his boss what had happened, Trump placed a panicked telephone call to Daniel Sullivan–a labor fixer, FBI informant, suspect in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, and Trump’s personal negotiator for the Grand Hyatt contract with the hotel workers’ union.

‘Donald told me he was having some difficulties,’ Sullivan later testified, ‘ and he admitted to me that–seeking my advice–he had some illegal Polish employees on the job. I reacted by saying to Donald that ‘I think you are nuts.’ I told him to fire them promptly if he had any brains.’

As Sullivan later told me, along with reporter Wayne Barrett and others, hiring Polish workers who were in the country illegally and then having them work without standard safety equipment was not just foolish, it was reckless. For all his dealings with Trump, Sullivan was repeatedly astonished by the businessman’s lack of prudence. He said that whenever Trump saw an opportunity to collect more money or to cut his costs by not paying people what they had earned, he did. ‘Common sense just never took hold’ when Trump had money on his mind, Sullivan told me several times.

To Sullivan, only greed and an utter lack of regard for human life could allow Trump to let the Polish Brigade work without hard hats or the facemasks they needed to keep asbestos from entering their lungs. ‘Men were stripping electric wires with their bare hands,’ Sullivan later testified.

There is no record of any federal, state, or city safety inspector filing a report during the demolition. In a 1990 Trenton restaurant interview, I asked Sullivan how a project of this size could have been erected in the heart of Manhattan without attracting government job safety inspectors. Sullivan just looked at me. When I widened my eyes to make clear that I wanted an explicit answer, he said, ‘You know why.’ When I persisted, anticipating that Sullivan might specify bribes to inspectors, he said that unions and concrete suppliers were not the only areas where Trump’s lawyer, Roy Cohn, had influence.

Shortly after Trump called Sullivan, a new demolition crew arrived on the site. They were officially members of Housewreckers Local 95, but there were only fifteen or so unionists among them. Normally, employing non-union workers (in this case, Kaszycki & Sons) at a union work site would prompt an immediate shutdown. But, as federal court documents would later show, the Housewreckers Union was firmly under the control of the mobsters whose consigliere was Roy Cohn. Trump’s mentor and lawyer. So the union went along with a scheme to employ non-union workers, cheat them out of their pay, and shortchange the union health and pension funds.

Several simple but clever techniques in filling out records ensured that the union received no written notice of the non-union workers. Not incidentally, those workers were nonetheless required to pay union initiation fees and had union dues deducted from their meager pay, even though (as a federal judge later concluded) they were never actually in the union. Macari, Trump’s overseer, testified that he reviewed and approved these documents before paying Kaszycki.

Six Polish workers went to a lawyer named John Szabo for help getting paid. In early April, Macari saw to it that the window washing company Trump hired for the demolition job gave the six men a total of almost $5,000 in back pay. More workers then sought out Szabo. By July, as summer temperatures soared, the unpaid wages came to almost $104,000, even though the rate of pay was under five dollars an hour with no overtime, despite a grueling eighty-four-hour workweek of heavy manual labor.

One day, to keep the workers swinging their sledgehammers, Macari showed up with a wad of cash. Instead of paying the men directly, court papers show, Macari gave the money to the foreman. Anyone who wanted their money had to kick back fifty bucks to the foreman, testimony showed. After that, Macari testified later, he handed cash directly to the Polish Brigade members at least twice.

After the building was taken down, a dissident member of the Housewreckers Union, Harry Diduck, took the brave step of suing the corrupt union. Trump, and an arm of Metropolitan Life Insurance (Trump’s financial partner in Trump Tower) for the wages and benefits the Polish Brigade members should have received. Trump insisted he owed nothing and filed motion after motion that delayed the proceedings, which his lawyers characterized as baseless and unfair.

When the trial finally made it to federal court, Trump testified that he had no knowledge that any workers were underpaid, or that the Polish workers lacked hard hats and other safety equipment. Judge Stewart, in a lengthy opinion found that Trump’s testimony lacked credibility. The judge said it would have been easy to identify the Polish workers–they were the only ones on the demolition site without hard hats.

Judge Stewart ruled that Trump had engaged in a conspiracy to cheat the workers of their pay. At the heart of this conspiracy was Trump’s violation of his duty of loyalty–also known as fiduciary duty–to the workers and to the union. This ‘breach involved fraud and the Trump defendants knowingly participated in this breach,’ Judge Stewart held.

The judge awarded damages of $325,000 plus interest. Trump, who has consistently maintained he acted lawfully, appealed. He later settled. The agreement was sealed, so the amount Trump paid remains unknown. Diduck’s dedication to his fellow workers showed amazing persistence–the sealed settlement took effect more than eighteen years after the demolition began.”

The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

…the real trump.

………hugmamma.Image result for images of trump as jekyll and hyde

…drive by information…

Contributing to America’s recent political Armageddon is the Internet, specifically Facebook and Twitter.

Americans, particularly Millennials, get much, if not all, of their information from these sources. Most have probably not picked up a book, magazine, or newspaper to read the hard facts behind the headlines.

Internet users accept whatever their friends, or strangers, promote as the truth. And this “truth” gets passed around. One example is the fabricated story that circulated about the Pope’s endorsement of Trump. Need I even say that this was, of course,  false?

Google and Wikipedia are where Americans go to fact check. What we forget is that their information is gathered by human beings like us…folks who are fallible and imperfect. What is offered might be accurate, but something just as accurate might be selectively or accidentally omitted.

Technology has made us lazy; just as fast food has made us obese. Neither condition is good for our well-being. Veggies and fruit guarantee good health. Reading a variety of books, periodicals and newspapers guarantee informed decisions.

Improving one’s situation involves work on our part. It doesn’t take a lot of money. We can grow our own healthy food; we can borrow books from the library. Neither requires much money, if any.

Convenience has become synonymous with the American way of life. Think Costco, Amazon and FedEx. It’s a sad truth. Americans expend as little energy as possible to reap what we have not sown with our own two hands. Progress is a double-edged sword.

It’s up to us as individuals to pick and choose what’s best for us as human beings from the array of goodies laid out before us. We shouldn’t grab for every single thing that glitters like gold. Some will inadvertently turn out to be…

…fool’s gold.

………hugmamma.Image result for fool's gold images

 

 

 

gone…

…but not forgotten.

Trump is the president-elect, selected by Americans who felt disenfranchised from the mainstream populace. They have a right to glory in their achievement; let’s hope their trust is not misplaced.

For those of us who took Trump at his word, the ugly vitriol he bandied about to win at all costs, four years may not be enough to forget. Forgiving may not come easily either.

Why this man felt he had to trample all over the good name of millions of others, including Hillary Clinton and President Obama’s, in order to promote the TRUMP brand is a mystery. Obviously, we will never know. After all, he refuses to reveal the most basic of all presidential precedents…his tax forms.

I am glad millennials are protesting Trump’s victory. He must be held to a very high standard now that he has achieved what no right-thinking American thought was possible, including many of his supporters who agreed that he did not have the right temperament for the job. This generation of Americans must fight for their liberties, just as past generations have had to do. Only then will they realize the urgent need to safeguard what heretofore they might have taken for granted. They could not appreciate what might have been handed to them on a “silver platter.”

Trump is now facing his own “American Spring.” Just as Arab youth rallied to throw off the suppression of decades of dictatorships, the millennials in our country, and their elders, will have to fight to ensure that our democracy is upheld.

So much of Trump’s background remains outside of the general populace’s purview. Most don’t care to know what he brings to the presidency except for what he promised to bring them in the way of economic relief. Hopefully, the tradeoff will have been worth it to them…and to the nation as a whole.

I too wish Trump well as he tries to govern the nation. Although I will never like the man. He has shown himself to be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One cannot exist without the other. A 70-year-old man is unlikely to change the essence of who he is.

It’s been said that Trump is a man who craves approval. Few among us have been able to escape that very human of traits. It might even be seen as a flaw. We will have to see how Trump manages his need for approval. It is a double-edged sword. It can work for us, or against us. It will depend upon whose approval our president-elect requires, ours or that of special interests…like the NRA or Russia.

The millennials have taken up the role as protectors of our democracy and our constitutional rights as Americans. More power to them!

Republicans own the Federal government now. Let’s see how they get on with the business of fulfilling Trump’s promises to working class-whites. He may need the help of Democrats who are more inclined to help the downtrodden. It’ll be interesting.

I do hope, however, that the Democrats pursue Trump’s private life as it affects the office of the presidency…his personal lawsuits…his foreign business connections…his connections to the mafia, and felons accused of drug-trafficking…his proven personal use of charitable donations.  Republicans have spent millions of taxpayer dollars pursuing the Clintons for decades. Trump is not exempt from the same treatment.

Liking is as important as loving. Barack Hossein Obama is someone I both loved and liked as a human being and a president. His successor will never have my devotion as a woman, a wife, a mother, a human being, an American.

Trump is totally alien to who I am as a person of morals and compassion. Nonetheless…

…I wish him well.

………hugmamma.

 

dorian gray…

Whatever the outcome of the election, whoever becomes our next president, Donald Trump is…lost.

Trump is like Dorian Gray, the man whose portrait is transfigured over the course of his life…from that of an ordinary man to that of a hideous monster. How appropriate it would be to view The Portrait of Dorian Gray, a horror film sure to tickle our Halloween fancy, if it weren’t for the scary fact that we have seen it unfold before our very eyes over the last year of the presidential campaign.

Like Dorian, Trump views his likeness as projected back to him…by himself. He needs no other confirmation of his greatness. The fact that others believe in him only fuels his grandiose self adulation.

We all tell “little, white lies.” I don’t know if it’s possible for any man, woman or child, to go a day in his or her life  without ever having said at least one untruth. I’m sure even the religious will tell a lie if it were to further a greater good…like saving someone else’s life. At the same time I’m just as certain there has never been another American, at least in my lifetime, who has lied with such vigor and constancy as Trump.

Trump is a pathological liar.

We all have prejudices, born of our circumstances…ethnicity and culture, spiritual beliefs, gender, education, jobs, social standing. Until now, we have all strived to keep our individual wants and needs in check. America, and the world at large, belongs to all fortunate enough to have been born. If anyone thinks differently…look around. Savor the beauty of autumn’s changing colors; ponder the undeniable affection a loved one has for you. Don’t take these for granted. They could be lost in the blind fervor Trump supporters have for a self-serving autocrat.

Trump is narcissistically selfish.

Women continue to struggle for respect…in our private and public lives. Physical and verbal abuse continues to plague us…in the home and in the workplace. I’m not sure it can ever be balanced out given our physical differences and the fact that men have long governed every aspect of our lives since the beginning of time. Perhaps if the roles had been reversed as in the time of the ancient Amazon women who ruled their people. Trump is disrespecting of women; even as he promotes them in his empire. He uses them to amass his wealth; while he uses their bodies to satisfy his sexual appetite.

Trump is a misogynist and a sexual predator.

Manipulative people assert themselves upon others. Perhaps we all do this from time to time…with our spouses, our children, other family members, friends and acquaintances. Whether we do it knowingly or unknowingly, it happens to the best of us. Taking it to a whole other level, however, Trump has shown himself to be a master manipulator. Not only is it obvious with those who have abandoned their morals to his presidential coronation, but it is also apparent in those gathered in a tight circle around him, his family. His children and his wife serve as his mouthpieces. Makes sense…they are Trump’s legacy and the benefactors of his wealth.

Trump hustles everyone with abandon.

Education, whether formal or informal, fosters the growth of civilization. Mankind pulls itself ahead of the other species with whom we inhabit the earth by our intelligence. Were we to abandon our thirst for knowledge, we would find ourselves back with our ancestors, the cavemen. Trump has shown by his ignorance of the facts, that he prefers syphoning information off of the Internet, in particular, Twitter and Brietbart. In so doing the Republican presidential candidate is allowing the more learned among his staff, such as Harvard-educated Steve Bannon, to drive Trump’s conversation. It’s not a stretch to imagine that he could easily succumb to the wiles of Vladimir Putin, former KGB operative steeped in the ways of undercover intelligence.

Trump is intellectually lazy.

Living in his ivory Trump Tower, The Donald is isolated from reality. Reality TV will always be his domain. As depicted on The Apprentice, Trump thrives on judging others. Lo and behold those who attempt to judge Trump, however. They run the risk of inciting his ire. At the second presidential debate he promised to appoint a special prosecutor to see that his arch enemy, Hillary Clinton, is brought to justice.

Trump justice.

Mingling only with the rich and famous, Trump cannot organically understand the plight of the lower classes. He only knows them as the doers in his empire. Folks who serve his needs and those of the wealthy classes with whom he prefers to associate. While he professes to empathize with the plight of Blacks and Hispanics, he can only spew stereotypical anecdotes about their lives. All of them bad… including those which condemn these groups for criminal activity. For someone totally alienated from lower class, nonwhites on a daily basis, it’s easy to revert to what’s familiar, what’s natural.

Trump is an ignorant racist.

Indulging his own desires at the expense of all else, has altered Trump’s humanity beyond all recognition.

…trump is dorian gray.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

on the edge…

Getting older has its pitfalls; some being more evident than others. I don’t think we notice them in ourselves until we see them reflected in others. With his erratic behavior growing ever more so each day, Donald Trump should be a warning to those of us on the brink of going there ourselves.

If we disconnect with the changing world around us and become more and more insulated inside our own “bubbles,” we run the risk of becoming like Trump. We begin to see the world as hostile; people unfamiliar to us as “the enemy.”

As he has demonstrated time and time again, Trump sees another conspiracy lurking just around the bend. Beginning with the “birther” movement for which he enthusiastically assumed the leadership role, he has progressed to his current vendetta against the media, global bankers, his sexual accusers and the Clintons  as being in cahoots to take him and the country down.

We all know folks like Trump. Folks in their 60’s, 70’s and older, who can’t see beyond yesterday when the world was familiar and they felt safe. Arguing for the past in bellicose tones empowers them, even as reality slips through their fingers.

Years ago while sitting at the table with good friends of ours, dining on a wonderful array of delicious, homemade, Italian dishes, I was keenly aware of the elderly dad sitting quietly unable to participate in the banter of lively conversation. Now and then someone would try to draw him in, with no success. That image remains  etched in my mind, and serves as a reminder against the debilitating effects of isolation in older age.

That’s how I see Donald Trump…a dynastic patriarch lost in a world of his own, unable to set aside his glorious past for a present in which he doesn’t figure as prominently. I’ve known men and women like Trump. Folks who continue to view themselves as THE authoritative voice on all things, unwilling to allow that others might know better. Many a time I’ve been on the other end of such dogmatic arguments.

I don’t want to be like Trump…seeing conspiracies where there are none. Getting older doesn’t mean we automatically slide into a world of paranoia. It happens when we allow negative thoughts to overwhelm our minds, wreaking havoc where there is none, and wallowing in our own isolation to the exclusion of all else.

A couple of nights ago, hubby and I enjoyed a date night. I was looking forward to seeing Adam Levine and Maroon Five perform ever since we received the tickets as a Christmas gift from our daughter. While I thoroughly enjoyed his music, I must admit to feeling older than I expected. As thousands stood for the duration, my arthritic back found comfort in remaining seated. And while everyone else sang along with Adam, I was at a total loss for the lyrics. I felt “left out.”

Early on, I asked a woman standing in front of us to please sit so we could see the performance. She eventually acquiesced, but at the end of the evening I realized rock concerts might no longer be for me. Rather than be a curmudgeon, I’d prefer to remember when nothing could keep me down; when I’d be up and moving before anyone else.

Letting go…happily and with dignity…is a nice feeling when getting older. Although I promised myself that if I could see Bruno Mars perform live, I vow to stand with the best of them…and learn all the words to his songs! My daughter promises to join me at a Mars concert, and I’ll bet one or two of my sisters-in-law would fly in from Hawaii to join us as well.

Being “young at heart” would serve us seniors well. Old age doesn’t have to deprive us of youthful ideas and feelings, or guarantee we’ll suffer the effects of dementia…or worse, Alzheimer’s. It’s never easy to teach an old dog new tricks, but it’s…

…not impossible.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

Women against…

…Trump.

My 30-year-old daughter, a millennial, joins me in my disdain for the candidate offered up to the American electorate by the Republican Party. Her outrage at Trump’s divisive racist and gender-based rhetoric matches mine… a 67 year-old woman of color.

I can only wonder at the loyal support Trump continues to receive from his daughter, Ivanka and his wife, Melania. I’ve no doubt they, like many of us, would stand with their man until the bitter end. It’s instinctive; it’s survival. Their fates are intimately entwined with that of their clan’s patriarch. Moreover, what Trump’s detractors are suffering at his hands would pale in comparison to what his own kin would have to endure were they to turn on him. Regardless of the stature they currently enjoy, it’s clearly apparent that Trump would put his heel to their necks were they, or any woman dependent upon his largesse, to step out of line.

Had Trump not run for President of the United States, he could have continued on his merry way doing as he pleased with whomever he pleased. We would not have been the wiser, nor would we have cared. When he took on his party’s mantle for the highest office in the country, and in the world, his business became our business.

In spite of his determination to keep us at arm’s length, even threatening to imprison his opponent and deny free speech to the media, Trump cannot shut us down. Or can he?

Could Trump, as president, limit our freedoms?

Could Trump imprison any of us on a whim? Could Trump terminate factual reporting? Could Trump be manipulated by others more intelligent than him? Could Trump wreak divisive havoc upon our country by tweeting his innermost thoughts of revenge? Could Trump decide who among us gets favorable treatment and who would not? Could Trump use our country’s financial coffers for his own self-enrichment? Could Trump take any woman for his own personal satisfaction? Could Trump get his henchmen to annihilate his enemies?

Donald Trump, the businessman, has already done all of this and probably more.

Trump has threatened to imprison Hillary Clinton were he elected president. Trump has already banned certain news media from accessing his rallies and has opted not to allow the media to travel on his plane with him, as Clinton is doing. Trump’s campaign is being fashioned at the top by Steve Bannon, a Harvard graduate, who until recently edited the internet right-wing extremist site, Breitbart. Trump, at 3 a.m., invited others to view a pornographic film involving a former Miss Universe with whom he was doing battle. Trump has touted his friendship and business dealings with billionaire Carl Icahn whose wealth came at the expense of middle class workers who lost their jobs in the process. Trump, in his own words, claims he has benefitted mightily from scamming the system…what’s to stop him from continuing to do so as the ultimate insider? By his own admission, Trump has already kissed and groped women because, as a “star,” he felt he was irresistible.

Win or lose, Trump has already incited his supporters to go after those who have opposed him. Jailing Hillary Clinton has been their battle cry for the duration of Trump’s campaign. He has done nothing to stop them; instead he condones their passionate outcry. He has also encouraged his believers to bash the media for bringing to light his transgressions against others. And let’s not forget when early on Trump himself spewed venom at a protester, saying “I’d like to punch him in the face.” Imagine that from the mouth of a future president of the United States of America.

If elected, Trump would be OUR Vladimir Putin…OUR Bashir al Asad…OUR Saddam Hossein…OUR Mohamar Ghadaffi…OUR Fidel Castro…and yes, even OUR own Paul Kagame who committed genocide upon Rawandans. Or worse, as others have suggested, perhaps America is beholding…LUCIFER himself, OUR own Adolph Hitler.

It’s unimaginable that we in America are witnessing the rebirth of Adolph Hitler. From within our midst, Trump has arisen cloaked in dark words meant to stoke the country’s fears. Just as Germans rallied to once again becoming a great Aryan nation under the leadership of “Mein Fuher,” Trump supporters are dogmatic in following him blindly into “making America great again.” According to him, President Obama took our country in the wrong direction, away from what it once was.

What America once was.

Women supporting Trump for president have offered to give up their votes so that his election as president would be guaranteed. This sacrificial offering came on the heels of a poll showing that if the vote were held today, Hillary Clinton would win because of the women’s vote; if they weren’t allowed to vote, Trump would win because of the men’s vote.

Imagine where we were prior to the woman’s right to vote. Imagine going back there. Imagine all that we would lose. Imagine all that we are still struggling to attain. Imagine living like our female counterparts in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia…subservient to men in all things, even as it pertains to our own bodies…limited access to education, if any…workplace inequalities…as well as other inequalities under the law.

Just imagine, moms and dads, your daughters and granddaughters living in an autocracy presided over by Trump. His minions, in and out of politics, ready and willing to implement his will from wherever they are in the country. From what we’ve heard in recent days, saying “no” won’t be an option. If the leader can grope women against their will, so too can his lackeys take liberties.  

“Making America great again” translates to an America where once again white men rule unchallenged, and the rest of us paw and scratch for our place at the back of the pack. If Trump is president, get ready to be…

…groped against your will…

…and worse.

………hugmamma.

 

the gender gap…

Aside from the obvious underlying theme of racism which pervades Trump’s race for the White House, there’s another that runs concurrent. It may only be apparent to women, for other demographics are obviously focused upon their own concerns. If you listen to presidential politics like I do, and have been doing throughout this campaign, you’d understand the undertones of the push back coming from the Republican candidate, his surrogates and supporters who have aligned themselves with Trump. In fact, he put it succinctly when he espoused that Hillary Clinton did not “look presidential.” In other words, she, a woman, does not look like any of the legitimate, white, male presidents who preceded Barack Obama. The latter remains illegitimate to Trump whose cryptic, one sentence proclamation is not sufficient to convince the public otherwise. Compare that to the volume of words over several years where he excoriated President Obama’s citizenship and religion.

Except for his usual female surrogates, including Ivanka, who not surprisingly are young and attractive, most of the others who espouse Trump’s supposed virtues are men.

After last night’s presidential debate, the pundits were quick to weigh in with their opinions. Across the board, the majority declared Hillary Clinton the winner. Yet this morning, Micah on “Morning Joe” made a significant point…that women are not treated to the same standards as men during job interviews. While the male commentators lauded Clinton’s deft parrying, Micah persisted with her doubts saying that while Hillary’s performance was “pitch perfect, women don’t get the jobs.” Having worked in the corporate world for a couple of decades before retiring to be a stay-at-home-mom, I saw first hand the inequalities between the sexes.

Because I was a female with “smarts,” and a person of ethnicity, a Pacific Islander, I was afforded opportunities at a time when Equal Employment Opportunity was the law of the land. That, however, did not translate to equal treatment. While handling employee benefits for a major NYC corporation with world-wide interests, my compensation was less than that of a department secretary. The same was true in my next job as a Labor Relations paralegal with TWA. Female admin assistants to male department heads were considered more valuable than women with considerable responsibilities of their own.

America is entrenched in the tradition that white men are better-equipped at “taking care of business.” They continue to occupy the majority of corporate and government positions assigned to the movers and shakers across our country. Women have made great strides, but occupying the presidency continues to be just beyond our reach.

Hillary Clinton, the best prepared to be president by all estimations, is held to a higher standard by the American people than her Republican counterpart. Trump showed himself to be totally unprepared to be president during last night’s debate, and yet a portion of the populace continue to give him a pass on everything. For them, he can do no wrong regardless of the facts, and regardless of his refusal to share his business liabilities with the public.

“Trust me” and “believe me,” satisfies Trump supporters that he can do the job. Facts are inconsequential to him and, therefore, they matter not to his supporters. “Change for the sake of change” is their steadfast mantra. Truth, morals and common sense are obliterated by Trump’s bombastic dynamism. He’s the “nuclear bomb” awaiting his place on the world stage.

It’s uncanny how free citizens, enjoying a modicum of the good life desired by people the world over are willing to relinquish democracy in favor of autocracy. Trump’s promises have a familiar ring. Much like Hitler was to post WWI Germany, the Republican candidate posits himself as America’s savior. He alone will solve the myriad of problems our country faces, from destroying Isis…to forcing NATO allies to pay up what they owe…to getting Mexico to pay for a border wall to rival the Great Wall in China…to bringing law and order to the streets of Chicago…to uplifting African-Americans with whom he has only recently interacted…to strong-arming companies who want to take jobs elsewhere…to improving health care, education, and so on for everyday Americans.

How does Trump propose to do all this? By lowering the taxes of the wealthy and removing government regulatory restrictions which prevent them from keeping their money in this country. Trump is counting upon this offshore stash to solve America’s problems. Welcome to Trump’s “reality.”

Women are traditionally, the nurturers; while men continue to occupy the position of patriarch, the protector and provider. Many Americans still subscribe to that world order. Even when the choice is a man as morally flawed as Trump, his supporters are steadfast in their allegiance to tradition. Real change, fundamental change, is scarier to them than is entrusting our democracy to an autocrat.

President Obama commenced real change in America. Hillary Clinton, the first woman qualified to be our next president, promises to move us forward on the path of real change.

…a vote for trump is a vote for…

…more of the same.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

 

 

…”a very, very, nice, long vacation.”…

Image result for donald trump golfing images

(photo…latimes.com)

…that’s what Donald Trump wants. That’s what he says he’ll do if he doesn’t win. In this case I, for one, would love to give the man what he wants.

Trump rightfully deserves to be put out to graze. No one has worked harder at distorting the truth than The Donald himself. God bless him. He didn’t even break a sweat in his Goliath undertaking, unlike Marco Rubio who was drenched in his own sweat according to Trump.

Trump is to be admired for driving his own brand of rhetoric that had him circling roundabouts of his own making that had the experts tied up in knots, stumbling over their own tongues.

The presidential candidate will go down in history as having done it “his way” all the way. Move over Sinatra, Trump can sing those lyrics better than you any day of the week…and some.

If I had to choose a despot-in-the-making for the 21st century, Trump wins hands down every time. The man can twist himself into a pretzel better than any yoga practitioner on both sides of the ocean. Doesn’t matter that he always ends up lopsided, unable to stand tall in his Italian made shoes. The ones he has copied in China for U.S. consumption. Or is that his daughter Ivanka’s entrepeneurial expertise?

Trump supporters are smart to entrust him with their lives and all that they posess, for there is no one more adept at the “art of the deal” than The Donald. As he said “Nobody knows the system better than me. I alone can fix it.” He should know. He’s been gaming the system for decades.

While he adamantly refuses to release any of his taxes, those under audit and those already done, he and his surrogates proudly admit that he pays the least amount possible. You can bet he’ll find a way to write off all expenses to do with his presidential campaign. After all, if he loses why should he be stuck “holding the bag.” That’s what the taxpayers are for…including his ardent supporters. The ones he likes to refer to as “uneducated.”

The Donald and his cronies, like Carl Icahn…Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary…are delighted to lead the “uneducated” towards “making America great again.” Icahn helped companies like TWA, where I worked in the early 80’s, reorganize so as to survive. Have any of you flown TWA lately? I didn’t think so.

I got pregnant so I missed all the “fun” when I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. My coworkers weren’t so lucky when Icahn sold off lucrative pieces of TWA, and let the rest of the company sink into oblivion. Icahn is now worth $17 billion. Following are some of what he believes…

Image result for icahn imagesAnyone that makes me a quarter of a billion dollars, I like.
When you have no one to answer to, vendetta as investment strategy is as legitimate as anything.
You learn in this business: It you want a friend, get a dog.
My wife watches me like a hawk.
I’m a cynic about corporate democracy and boards.
(photo…channelnewsasia.com)
 
It could be that Trump considers Icahn a mentor, not just a friend. As for Icahn’s take on The Donald? “If you want a friend, get a dog.” Icahn’s words; not mine.
And in Trump’s own words… 

Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that’s more productive.

I vote we retire Trump, at 70 years of age, to his palatial, D.C. Mar-A-Lago on Pennsylvania Ave. The man needs to catch up on some serious sleep, and be allowed to capitalize on his run for the presidency. I can already see his brain going…

…cha-ching!…cha-cha-cha-ching!!!

………hugmamma.

Donald Trump and Carl Icahn attended a Tyson-Spinks boxing match in 1988 at Trump Plaza in New York City

Donald Trump and Carl Icahn attended a Tyson-Spinks boxing match in 1988 at Trump Plaza in New York City

(photo…uk dailymail.com)

…the beautiful…

…America.

Image result for cascades mt range images

Wanting to share the best of the Pacific Northwest with a dear friend, I decided we’d tour Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helen’s. This was Laurie’s first visit, and airfares from the east coast being what they are, I was pretty sure she’d not be returning anytime soon.

I’ve no idea why I’d never thought to travel out that way before, except to say that neither my husband nor I are overly keen about venturing forth into the great outdoors. Simply put, we like to leave it to the critters that call it home.

One day, while out walking in Banff, Canada, I almost came face to face with a giant black bear. From then on, I decided to enjoy the outdoors…from the safety of the indoors.

Since I was born in Hawaii where volcanoes loom large around every bend in the road, it could also be that I had no inclination to see two more.

Was I ever wrong.

The drive towards Mount Rainier felt desolate. The two-way road was pretty isolated, except for the occasional car driving in the opposite direction. Acres and acres of evergreens lent an eeriness to the quiet hanging heavy all around us. If it weren’t for the intermittent chatter between Laurie and me, we might have been three souls traveling alone toward a destination as yet unrevealed to us.

A little spooky, I thought.

Thankfully the sun shone bright as we made our way along, what was for us, uncharted territory. More than once I proclaimed “How majestic!” as the Cascades Mountain Range unfolded before our eyes. If there ever was a place God designated as his, this was it.

While we didn’t see the summit of Mount Rainier because it was hidden by a heavy blanket of clouds, we hiked a winding trail up a nearby mountain in the hopes we’d catch even a glimpse. Breathing heavily because of the elevation, we climbed uphill gingerly so as not to lose our footing and tumble backwards over bumpy terrain.

Image result for Mount Rainier

Stretching out all around us were fields and fields of wildflowers. Seeing them made our questionable decision to continue the ascent worthwhile.

The following day we drove in the direction of Mount St. Helen’s.

In May 1980, it famously exploded in an eruption that sent a landslide of uprooted trees, bridges, houses and other debris 50 miles downstream. Sadly, lives were also lost. According to Wikipedia…

Fifty-seven people were killed during the eruption.[52] Had the eruption occurred one day later, when loggers would have been at work, rather than on a Sunday, the death toll would almost certainly have been much higher.[8]

83-year-old Harry R. Truman, who had lived near the mountain for 54 years, became famous when he decided not to evacuate before the impending eruption, despite repeated pleas by local authorities. His body was never found after the eruption.

Another victim of the eruption was 30-year-old volcanologist David A. Johnston, who was stationed on the nearby Coldwater Ridge. Moments before his position was hit by the pyroclastic flow, Johnston radioed his famous last words: “Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!”[53] Johnston’s body was never found.

A young geologist lectured small groups of visitors on the science behind volcanic eruptions, and more specifically the one that occurred at that site. Of particular interest to me was her explanation that Hawaiian volcanoes aren’t destructive to human life unless, of course, a person is in the path of its lava flow. The difference, she said, was that the nearby ocean salt causes Hawaiian volcanoes to be fluid, not explosive.

My relatives living on the islands should be able to rest easy. You think?

Another volcanic dome is growing within the crater of Mount St. Helen’s. Earthquakes continue to occur regularly. When I asked the geologist about the next eruption occurring while folks were in the area, she seemed to take the question in stride. She said the experts would call in time to alert everyone to leave.

Hmmm…

I think I’ll start reading the earthquake reports myself. I’m no Olympic runner.

…not by a long shot.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

remembering…

She was like a second mother, my sister Ruby. While it’s difficult to remember all the details of that time, I can distinctly recollect her being warm and understanding where my own mother was sometimes gruff and exacting.

Misc July 2010 00069The event that remains permanently etched in my memory was when Ruby allowed me to help run the wet clothes through the wringing rollers in her old-fashioned washing machine. I was probably 7 or 8 years old, and very conscientious it seems. Wanting to do it correctly, I hung onto the piece of clothing a tad longer than I should have as it made its way through the wringer. In seconds my hand was being dragged along, all the way up my forearm. Screaming bloody murder, I was rescued by my sister who came running to unplug the machine. I’m sure I steered clear of that fandangled contraption after that.

As a youngster I spent a good deal of time with Ruby and her cowboy husband, Steve Autry. I’ve no idea what brought him to Maui back in the ’50s. Perhaps he was lured by the image of roping horses and riding Brahma bulls in the annual rodeo held at the base of Haleakala, the island’s dormant volcano. Or maybe he thought he’d work at what he knew best…being a cowboy and whatever that entailed.

My sister and her husband made an unusual couple in those days…a lanky, 6 footer whose mischievous, blue eyes peered out from beneath strands of blonde hair streaked by the island sun. His tanned face, deeply lined and freckled. Standing alongside him, Ruby was inches shorter. Hair cut short in the natural ebony color of the island women. A jaunty smile compared to her husband’s. A crooked one that partially hid his tobacco-stained teeth.

Watching my brother-in-law roll cigarettes was always captivating. First came the crisp, creamy-hued slip of rectangular paper, followed by the tobacco pouch. With deft agility he’d tug at the strings of the pouch so that a slim rivulet of tobacco dribbled onto the paper. Taking the strings between his front teeth, Steve would draw the pouch’s opening to a close. Returning it to the shirt pocket over his heart, he’d take the nearly finished cigarette between his thumbs and index fingers. Using his pointy, long tongue he’d spread just enough saliva along the length of one side of the paper allowing him to fasten it to the other side. Slipping the newly-minted cigarette between his lips, my brother-in-law would light it with the strike of a match along the underside of his boot.

To a clueless kid like me, it was pretty cool stuff.

A few years younger than me, my niece and I would often accompany her dad, as he scoured landfills and roadsides for stuff to resell, especially scrap metal. Growing up poor meant not having many toys like friends who did. So climbing over piles of junk in search of hidden treasures was fun. It was kind of exciting to see what I’d find under the rubble. One discovery turned out to be more than I bargained for. Watch for that story in a future post.

They might have made it as a country singing duet. With Steve on the guitar and Ruby singing harmony, they sounded like the real thing. Not that I’d had much opportunity to hear country music, but I knew what I liked and I liked what I heard. My favorite was a haunting lullaby which included some yodeling. My sister yodeled beautifully. Imagine that! An island gal yodeling as naturally as though she’d been born on the range. I’m certain my love of singing blossomed during these impromptu song fests right there on the front steps of their house. 

 Sadly for Ruby and her daughter, the cowboy didn’t remain a permanent fixture. He and my sister divorced when I was a preteen. Since they’d moved to Honolulu, the islands’ designated “big city,” I would spend part of my summers with them. And much later when I returned to attend the University of Hawaii, my sister Ruby’s apartment was where I went the first couple of summers after I vacated the college dorms.

My sister didn’t have an easy life, raising a child on her own. In fact, my young niece lived with my mom and me for a couple of years on Maui while Ruby sought to earn a living. I’m not certain, but it may be that she continued to struggle until the end which came on July 27. She died of lung cancer, a result of decades of cigarette smoking.

I will remember Ruby as a soft-spoken mediator, a comforting presence, humble, self-sacrificing and perhaps easily overcome by stronger personalities, like my mom. I truly believe she would give the shirt off her back if someone needed it more than she. I’m sorry we’d not been in touch later in life, but she seemed content with where she’d finally landed…living with her daughter and her family. Secreted away from the turmoil she’d known, it felt right to let her be, to let her live in peace and quiet, no longer saddled by the burdens of others. At least I’m hoping that’s how it was.

…blessed are the peacemakers…

…for they shall be called children of God.

………hugmamma.Miscellaneous Pictures July 2010 124

 

 

 

 

 

 

forever…

…friends.

Laurie and I have known each other since our daughters were toddlers. She initiated the first ever playgroup in our small town of Redding, Connecticut. For that I will be forever grateful. It was my lifeline to the outside world since I’d decided to forgo a career in NYC to be a stay-at-home mom.

I’d worked since I was 16, so being in a twosome with a child for the next umpteen years was a thousand scary thoughts all rolled into one. I’d no idea how I’d make it from one day to the next without adult companionship.

Thank God for that ad in the local paper inviting new moms to gather with babes in arms. Laurie and I have been lifelong friends ever since.

There were a number of women with whom I’d been close, but Laurie was the only one with whom I’d been so totally in sync. There were never, ever any issues over which we’d have a falling out. Never. Our daughters, only children, were our common cause. It was always about their well being. Our worlds revolved around doing our best for them. We always commiserated over that common goal. Our egos never got ahead of us that way. Amazing! Truly amazing.

It’s been 18 years since our family moved to the Pacific Northwest. During that time, Laurie and I have managed to meet up…in Redding,  NYC, Chautauqua (New York), Atlanta, Martha’s Vineyard and just last week, here in Washington State. (We’re already looking forward to where we’ll next meet.) As with long time friends the world over, we spent every waking moment catching up on…our lives…our daughters’ lives…the lives of friends and acquaintances we’d both known…and Redding, past and present.

As an unexpected bonus, Laurie and I discovered we both dreaded the thought of a Trump presidency. And so from the outset, politics wove their way in and out of all of our conversations. Empowered by our discussions, she vowed that she would help register voters upon returning to her home town in Pennsylvania. And, of course, I plan to continue trouncing Trump with the written word.

One of the first compliments I paid Laurie on this visit was that she was everybody’s enabler…her daughter’s…her ex-husband’s…her two sisters…her niece and nephew…her friends…her coworkers. It’s in Laurie’s very DNA to quietly support those with whom she’s in contact. She never pushes her opinions; instead she listens carefully, building upon what the speaker has said. To her great credit, many have remained loyal to her. And to her very great credit, her daughter is thriving in a gay marriage and enjoying an awesome career as a veterinarian.

I count myself very lucky to still be among Laurie’s closest friends. No matter the distance, no matter the passing of time, we will always be kindred spirits…

…friends…forever.

………hugmamma.787

 

…forever friends…forever love…

Of all the testimonies given by countless Americans, prominent figures and everyday citizens, something that comes to mind as I sit watching all of them speak about their memorable relationships with Hillary Clinton, is what no one dares mention…Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

The only one chomping at the bit is The Donald . And I’m certain he’s saving it as his Trump card.

The image that remains with me of that tawdry period in President Clinton’s Administration is Chelsea strolling  between her parents, an arm around each of their shoulders, as they cross the White House lawn on their way to the helicopter. It’s a compelling glimpse of their beloved daughter holding her family together. With heads bowed toward hers, they look like broken people, especially Hillary.

Today there’s no evidence of that Hillary.

Whether it was their unbreakable family connection, their devotion to an only child, their enduring friendship, or their unwavering faith in God’s power to heal, or all of these combined…the Clintons have remain together for 38 years.

The “fighter” Hillary, the “change-maker” Hillary, the “stronger together” Hillary, and Hillary the wife, the mother and grandmother, “made lemonade out of lemons.” She stuck by her husband and faced down their critics; she didn’t turn her back on life. Instead, she returned to public service and became New York’s senator.

Observing Bill Clinton as speaker after speaker heaps accolades upon his wife, there’s no mistaking his pride at being the man who is lucky enough to be by her side as she makes history. However I’m sure Hillary would be the first to say, that she too is privileged to still be married to her soul mate. The man who encouraged her to be the best he knew she could be.

I know a thing or two about being married. My husband and I celebrated our 46th anniversary in June, the day after our daughter’s wedding. Married at 20, three years after we began dating, we went through the usual ups and downs of newlyweds. It takes time and work for a husband and wife to finally fit like “hand in glove.” It doesn’t just happen with vows. Personal issues don’t disappear with a wedding ring. Choosing a mate doesn’t mean he or she is perfection itself. For marriages that last, perfection comes with time and a willingness to compromise.

Weathering the worst together makes for enduring marriages, and…

…truly best friends and soul mates.

……….hugmamma.