family…

I’m sure we’d all agree how important family is to ensuring harmony within our everyday lives. The same, it would seem, applies to the Trumps.

Having said that, family harmony is never a given. No matter our good intentions, it can be an ongoing struggle to maintain  a simmering boil among conflicting personalities. For some, it’s a welcome challenge; for others, like me, it can be toxic, even corrosive.

For many years now, I’ve enjoyed reading about the lives of others. Biographies allow me to step inside another’s journey in an effort to make sense of my own. Knowing the back story has also enhanced my understanding of the person whose life is under the microscope. Oftentimes, I come away feeling some measure of compassion.

Prior to the presidential election I read books written about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I learned details about them which impacted my vote. As with other biographies, I was particularly interested in their familial relationships. What effect did their parents have on their evolution as adults? What values, if any, were instilled in them at a young age? And how did they impact who they are today?

In some ways, Hillary’s middle-class life was something with which I could identify. Education and hard work were just as important in my life, even though the death of my father when I was one meant our family lived from meager paycheck to meager paycheck. With the help of Catholic nuns at the orphanage where my mom worked, we survived…just.

Hillary’s mom was farmed out to relatives at a young age. Through grit and determination she survived. The kindness of a teacher who, for a year, shared her lunch with the poverty-stricken youngster had a lasting impression. One that Hillary made a point to “pay forward.” During college she began the journey which would become her life long passion…helping others in need.

Hillary’s dad was a task master. Where her mom shrank from his bullying tactics, Hillary thrived. A talent that served her well as she wend her way through hostile territory…a world that catered to white men.

Trump learned that the world was a “dog eat dog” world from his father. But for the fact that Trump admired her for being a happy housewife, there’s little reference to his mother. While his dad taught him the value of a buck, Trump learned his hardcore values from others…the military school to which his father sent him to be disciplined, and Harry Cohn, the tough lawyer who ran legal interference for the mob. Trump likened Cohn to a surrogate father.

Although I was able to understand the trajectory of both their lives, I could more readily accept the unfolding of Hillary’s, including the flaws.

On the other hand Trump’s life remains an enigma, despite my knowing the facts. I can only surmise that his narrow purview of the world beyond Trump Tower is owing to his isolation, both physically and mentally.

Education, whether formal or informal, is the hallmark of smart decision-making.

Hillary is a product of all she gleaned from Wellesley. More than that, however, her college degree was a starting point from which she launched her broader education into the world at large. She never stopped learning and changing, without sacrificing her core principles based upon uplifting the downtrodden.

It’s obvious that Trump thinks little of educating himself, instead preferring to rely upon others for his “alternative facts.” Because of this he wallows in conspiracy theories. Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon gained valuable access to Trump because of this. Together, they are conspiring to reinvigorate the white man’s standard “make America great again.”

By example, we learn the act of living from our families. We needn’t adopt everything without question. Our lives are clean slates upon which we can write our own stories. The decision is ours.

In observing Trump’s family, it’s apparent they defer to him. Melania is Trump’s ideal woman…a happy housewife. According to him, his first wife Ivana’s growing business involvement contributed to his divorcing her.

It’s common knowledge that Trump had no hand in raising his children until they were of an age to learn about the family business. One has to wonder about the values they absorbed over the course of their lives. With the acquisition of wealth being their father’s singular focus, not to mention their having been raised by a single mother whose well being, and theirs, depended upon the beneficence of her husband, money must have been of major concern. Especially given the life style to which they’d become accustomed.

The Trump children have access to all the material pleasures their father’s empire, and now his presidential power, can afford them. Unfortunately, because of their public deference to him in all things, they, and Melania, will suffer the same pushback Trump receives from a less than adoring public. Those who will be affected the most because of their daily interaction with schoolmates are…son Baron and Trump’s grandchildren.

Does Trump care?

Will Melania, Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric confront Trump’s bullying to ensure that their own children do not inherit his destructive propensities and are, instead, instilled with indestructible moral compasses? Or will the Trump legacy continue to be one of self-aggrandizement, immorality and bald-faced lies?

…family toxicity at the presidential level.

………hugmamma.

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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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

…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.

 

 

 

 

 

nurturing thursdays: powerful words…

A few things in historical documentarian Ken Burns’ speech to Stanford University’s 2016 graduating class, continues to resonate with me. He said…to educate all of our parts…to make babies…and that the arts make our country worth defending. 

To educate all of our parts.

I always tell my daughter “Being fully informed makes your decision, whatever it is, an educated guess. Whatever the outcome, you know you did all you could to make the best choice you possibly could in the moment.” Because she was a blessing, my only child after 16 years of hoping I would one day become a mother, I live with the thought that she could be gone in the blink of an eye. With the hateful rhetoric inciting Trump supporters to take America back to a darker time when the world was white and black, I worry as I see other mothers lose their children to gun violence.

An adult and wife at 30, I can no longer stand between my daughter and the world. And yet I know I have armed her with a clear vision of the real world ever since she was a youngster. Unlike a friend who felt her son at age 5 was too young for the truth, I felt my daughter was not too young to learn the facts of life. In doing so, however, I always followed the truth with positive words reinforcing hope, not negative resignation.

To make babies.

Not until you have a child, can you understand what it is to lose a child. Not until you lose a child, can you understand a mother’s desire not to go on living afterwards. I hope, as parents the world over do, that my daughter outlives me by decades.

The arts make our country worth defending.

Supporting my daughter in her desire to dance professionally will always be something of which I am proudest. It was not an easy path; neither was it a lucrative one. My daughter said, when featured in Discount Dance Supply Magazine at age 16…

Dancing is a gift that I would like to share with the world.

The greatest satisfaction is knowing when my performance has touched or moved someone.

She may not have secured millions as a professional athlete, but my daughter garnered millions in spiritual wealth. If she were taken by an act of violence tomorrow, my daughter can return to Our Father having lived a Christ-like life. And if I were to die first, I would do so knowing that I have been…

…a mother in Mary’s footsteps.

………hugmamma.

(Note: Click on the following link for more inspirational posts…
https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/nurt-thurs-my-prayer/

 

…”I pass”…

Something said during card games, like poker and Black Jack. Usually offered when the player feels he is pretty certain of a win.

Anyone who has been following this presidential campaign can attest to the fact that Trump supporters have awarded him the ultimate “pass.” He is allowed to play the game for as long as he chooses no matter what cards he holds close to his vest. They are betting all their money on him winning, and they don’t care how he does it.

Trump’s latest “pass” is that he probably won’t be investigated for calling upon the Russians to find the supposed 30,000 emails deleted from Hillary Clinton’s server.

“Russia, if you are listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said to a room of TV cameras at Trump National Doral. “I think you will probably be mightily rewarded by our press.”

Senior policy aide for the Clinton campaign responded “This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent…That’s not hyperbole, those are just the facts. This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.”

Showing his autocratic bent in suppressing the media, “When a female reporter asked Trump whether he was encouraging Russia to hack into emails, Trump snapped back: ‘Be quiet! I know you want to save her,’ a reference to Clinton.”

Just as Trump went after the judge involved in the Trump University lawsuit because of his Mexican heritage, Trump will do anything to go after his Democratic opponent including espionage. Sacrificing America to the enemy is NOT beyond Trump’s high stakes’ game. He will win at any price! And, it seems, Trump supporters prefer to annihilate a democratic America in favor of a Trump regime. They are willing to sacrifice whatever strides our country has made toward independence, preferring instead to once again be part of a dynastic empire. Only this time it’s the Russian bloc under Putin.

Understandably blinded by their own individual grievances, Trump supporters desperately cling to the cult hope that Trump, as messiah, can deliver them from the purgatory they inhabit. What they don’t realize is that this game of Russian Roulette with one bullet left is aimed point-blank at the heart of America…and at their own hearts.

…America’s death…is our death.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

…as it should be…

As excruciatingly messy as it might be sometimes, democracy is still preferable to autocracy. Each person speaking his and her own voice is still preferable to one voice speaking for all.

The difference between the RNC and the DNC is stark. Last night, apart from the megawatt speeches delivered by Michelle Obama, Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, there were equally moving speeches delivered by ordinary folks like Cheryl Lankford. She was one of many trumped by the man himself when she enrolled in Trump University to the tune of $35,000.

I understood Lankford’s embarrassment at feeling she was the fool for being duped. I understood her inability to tell anyone about how dumb she felt. I understood how as a woman, we are primed to think it’s our fault if we’re stupid enough to get “taken to the cleaners.” Especially up against billionaire Donald Trump. Who would believe Cheryl Lankford if she spoke up against a man of his celebrated, moneyed stature?

Today, I was moved to tears by the story of Na’ilah Amaru.

“I was born on a dirt floor to a woman whose name I will never know. What I do know is that she loved me enough to give me up, so I could live the life she wanted for me. A life without hunger or despair, filled with hope, education, and opportunity.

As a baby, bundled up in the hopes and dreams of my mother, I began a new life in a faraway land called America. I was raised by two women, and learned early on about intolerance and hatred. But I also learned about the power of love, faith and hope.

The first time I saw Hillary, she was on TV addressing a panel of men with such confidence and ownership of self. Her poise and presence fundamentally changed how I would claim my own space in the world. I was 11.

Seven years later, my belief in America inspired me to raise my hand and solemnly swear to defend her ideals with my life. I joined the army as an ammunition specialist and gave the best of myself to a country that had given me so much. I returned from Iraq deeply committed to restoring the faith of America’s Promise—for everyone.

Tonight, in the birthplace of our nation, I renew our commitment to democracy with an historic step toward gender equality. Reflected in broken shards of glass, and Hillary herself, we can see the dreams of our daughters. This is America’s promise.

Along my journey, I have called California, Texas, Georgia, and New York home. And I know that what connects us runs far deeper than what divides us.

So, if you can hear my voice tonight, join me and everyone in this hall, by texting HILLARY to 47246—as we move forward, together.

As an immigrant, a combat veteran, a woman of color, and my mother’s daughter, I am American. My story is our story. The story of America.”

(PRNewswire, 7/26/16)

Ordinary women standing up FOR…

…an exceptionally, extraordinary woman.

…Hillary Clinton.

………hugmamma.

 

…a new direction…from the ground up

Millennials are determined to forge their own way irrespective of the mountain of experience stockpiled for their benefit by previous generations. Good for them! What they might lack in a foundation born of real life events, Millenials make up for in enormous self-confidence.

Technology and the great wealth it has afforded brilliant, young minds at an early age probably accounts for much of the risk-taking embedded in the very fiber of Millenials. There is no shortage of entrepreneurs, especially in the world of computers and cellphones. Where Baby-Boomers saved religiously for a down payment on a house, Millenials can plunk down millions on over-sized mansions.

Why then should Millenials heed any advice offered by generations that came before? Obviously they are doing something right. What isn’t apparent is other than themselves, what is it that they find worthy of their ambition that helps elevate those less fortunate than them?

It may be that Millenials can throw money at charitable causes of their choosing, but will they invest of themselves? Will they get “down and dirty” and grovel in the muck that is the environment of people of color, in order to help change the justice system?…to help level the playing field by funding educational opportunities?…to involve themselves in politics to improve their communities for others?

Millenials seem content to take, without acknowledging the hard-fought battles waged so that they could soar as far as they could dream.

Hillary Clinton, contrary to Republican propaganda, walked the talk from hopeful college student…to First Lady of Arkansas…to America’s First Lady…to New York State Senator…to President Obama’s Secretary of State…to the first female candidate for President of the United States for the Democratic Party.

It is a BIG deal to finally elect a female president. Hillary Clinton is breaking the tallest glass ceiling for women in this country. I can’t imagine that Millenial women don’t continue to face inequality in the workplace and in the community- at-large. They have it better for sure than my generation, but make no mistake…it is still a man’s world. Strides are being made everyday, the biggest being made now…almost 100 years after women won the right to vote.

Hillary has never played the woman card before now, but today she can do so with pride in all she has accomplished by sheer will, hard work and playing hard-ball in a man’s world. And in the run-up to the White House, she remains true to form.  She is not EXPECTING to win. Instead…

…Hillary Clinton will continue to work for every vote!

……..hugmamma.

interchangeable…

…Trump and Sander supporters.

Those continuing to protest Hillary Clinton’s nomination as the Democratic party’s candidate for the presidency look and sound like those of the Republican candidate. From what could be seen by way of the media cameras, they were mostly white.

What comes to mind first and foremost is that the opposition is not only directed toward Clinton, but seems to reflect an underlying disdain for Obama.

As the first, black president Obama continues to be held to a higher standard than any occupying the office before him. He is blamed for the unraveling of the Middle East, even though George W. is the one who declared war on Iraq despite being told that there were no weapons of mass destruction as originally claimed. The result? We are now facing the disenfranchised Iraqi military in the form of…Isis.

Further evidence that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s promise to undermine President Obama’s efforts to succeed is the fact that he is given little, if any, credit for saving the country from another Great Depression. Trump supporters forget that once again, George W. is to blame for that economic fiasco. It looks as though dissatisfied Sanders supporters who promise to vote for Trump, also discard the fact their economic predicament is the fault of a Republican president.

Aside from the decades long, nonstop vendetta directed at Hillary Clinton by the conservative establishment, it is obvious that a majority of her supporters do not fit the typical Republican profile. For the most part, people of color support Hillary’s vision of an inclusive, democratic America.

In a speech before supporters this morning, Sanders’ request that they vote for the Democratic ticket was met with opposition. His call for party unity is falling upon deaf ears. No surprise since Sanders himself doesn’t seem to want to give up his campaign.

Rather than hi-jacking their respective parties, Trump and Sanders should have gone their own way. Even children know, you can’t force…

…a square peg into a round hole

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

…together…let’s do this thing!

Watching Hillary Clinton address supporters in Tampa a couple of days ago, I found myself back on familiar ground…feet firmly planted in the America I know and love. I saw myself among the smiling faces seated in back of her…all “mutts” who call these United States home, regardless of our pedigree.

STRONGER TOGETHER is the pledge Hillary is making, and one that all who believe in our democratic system can get behind. All of us together will move America forward as we have done since our country was founded.

On the competitor’s side, Trump supporter Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, one of the speakers at the RNC, appears representative of those aligned with their nominee. Thiel is against a democratic America; preferring instead an autocracy. In “The Education of a Libertarian,” dated April 13, 2009 Thiel wrote “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”

A match made in Republican heaven…Thiel’s billions funding Trump’s autocratic candidacy.

In his acceptance speech, Trump magnanimously promised to take care of all Americans and “make the country great again.” Somewhat reminiscent perhaps of another seemingly magnanimous figure who promised to return his country to the greatness it had known prior to WWI. And so another world war was waged in which millions of lives were sacrificed for the cause. In its aftermath, Germany was devastated and the Germans were branded the most hated people on the face of the earth.

The first graduate to address Welsley College as valedictorian on May 31, 1969, Hillary said “ ‘One of the most tragic things that happened yesterday, a beautiful day, was that I was talking to a woman who said she wouldn’t want to be me for anything in the world…She wouldn’t want to live today and look ahead to what it is she sees because she’s afraid.” ‘

 Hillary went on to tell her graduating class of 400 that “Fear is always with us but we just don’t have time for it. Not now.” Almost five decades later, the Democratic nominee for president is still fear-less.

There is no time for fear.

Never in America’s history have we stepped away from a challenge. Americans have always united against the common enemy, including Japanese citizens whose families were stripped of both pride and property and relocated to internment camps during WWII. And during the Civil War Blacks donned the Union’s blue uniform, even though EQUALITY for their people was never something they imagined.

Today our enemy masquerades in the form of Trump’s message to “make America great again.” It signals a return to an America where fear of people different from ourselves inspired vigilante activities that led to lynchings and mob retaliation.

As recent as March 21, 1981, 17-year-old Michael Donald, a black teenager was hung from a tree by members of Alabama’s Klu Klux Klan. Donald just happened to be…in the wrong place, at the wrong time. His life was taken because a black defendant was acquitted of killing a white policeman during a robbery. “Bennie-Jack-Hays, the second-highest-ranking official in the United Klans in Alabama, said: “If a black man can get away with killing a white man, we ought to be able to get away with  killing a black man.” Hays’ 26-year-old son, Henry Hayes, one of four white men involved in the lynching was executed for the murder on June 6, 1997.

And let’s not forget the racist rhetoric of George Wallace who in 1963, as governor of Alabama, tried to prohibit blacks from enrolling as students at the University of Alabama. President Kennedy, backed by the power of the federal government, forced Wallace to stand aside. The following day, Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi.

As the fear messenger, Trump is inciting his supporters to take the country back to a more familiar world order. And some may already be answering that call.

Imagine if this was…

…your daughter…in the wrong place, at the wrong time???

…i already do.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

 

…our own “arab spring”

Americans shook their heads as Egypt experienced the turmoil and upheaval of the “Arab Spring.” Many looked askance at a country whose citizens would become embroiled in such a messy civil war. This is the 21st century, after all.

Having settled our differences over a century ago, Americans tend to separate themselves from the fight for democracy happening elsewhere in the world. Been there; done that. Or so we like to think. Truth is nothing was permanently resolved. Just as the movement to free slaves went underground before and during The Civil War, so too have white supremacists been biding their time ever since, awaiting a leader who would one day champion their cause.

Just as Trump hijacked the Republican Party to invoke the cause of angry, white men, Bernie Sanders has done the same with the Democratic Party. A self-professed Liberal, Sanders is also on the war path for angry, white men. Both he and Trump welcome the support of any and all, but make no mistake their target group are white men who have been disenfranchised…losing their jobs and their standing in the community to others. Trump and Sanders hold themselves forth as white men who can return the middle and lower classes to the status quo. They ignore the changing times and the changing face of the world in which we live.

Trump and Sanders have more in common than not. Electing either for president is choosing to return America to the same old, same old…a patriarchal America in which white men provide for us…according to their whim.

The assault on Hillary Clinton is rooted in the fear that someone other than a white man might do as good a job, or better. America is poised to find out. The biggest risk facing our country is not going for the “same old, same old.” The biggest risk is throwing aside the shackles that have bound Madame Liberty to 100+ years of welcoming all who seek freedom and comfort to our shores. It’s time we let her do the job from…

…the oval office…

…hillary for president.

………hugmamma.(photo…haveyoupackedthecamera.com)

 

…don’t go there.

That’s my advice to Mr. Trump if he tries to fuel his campaign by bringing up Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Trump will be playing The Man Card. You know. The one that says what’s good for the goose, ain’t in no way applicable to the gander. Men like Trump can philander and have their cake and eat it too. But women who survive a philandering husband have to keep on keeping on…paying for the mistake foisted upon them.

None of us liked what happened, but the Clintons paid dearly…and publicly…for a sin which for me is the worst committed against women. Taking a woman’s sexuality and throwing it back in her face. I’ve crossed many a celebrity off my “favorites list” because of that…Brad Pitt, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson among them.

Of all the dirt the Republicans have attempted to dig up about the Clintons over their decades long, high-profile, very much public life…Trump’s proposed pilloring of Hillary as an enabler…will call into question all women who have found themselves in the same situation. It would be yet another bar set by a white man who talks out of both sides of his mouth. A man who has no qualms about establishing different sets of rules…for men and women, old immigrants and new immigrants, and the bullying tactics of his supporters and those with opposing views.

It’s a credit to Mrs. Clinton that she didn’t bury herself in self pity after the devastating clobbering she took at the time of the president’s affair. Instead, she went on to do what she has done since graduating from law school. Hillary Clinton continued to serve the public, and not in a small, obscure way. She served two terms as New York’s senator AND she fought hard to be president. When she didn’t win, she still didn’t turn her back on America. She went on to serve as Obama’s Secretary of State.

If, and that’s a BIG IF, Hillary doesn’t win this election, she can hold her head up high knowing she’s served her country well. Exceedingly well! It would be our loss not to give this highly-credentialed, principled woman…the first ever…the opportunity to lead us away from a democracy dominated by men. Hillary can tell her grandchildren, she spent her life in service to her country. She held her own against those who would try to bring her down at every turn.

Maybe someday those of us who are accused of enabling our loved ones to do and be all that they can will get our chance in the sun. Out from under…

…the crushing weight of those holding the keys to power.

………hugmamma.

 

talk about old…

…and I know old.

Returning to Cold War rhetoric is like dragging the tyrannosaurus rex out of mothballs. Isn’t it preferable to leave dinosaurs where they belong…in the Smithsonian?

Arianna Huffington recently explained that Donald Trump is sleep deprived. He admitted as much himself, claiming to get by on just 3 hours sleep a night. Obviously he’s not well read on the consequences of long term sleep deprivation. Among them fatal diseases like heart attack, cancer, even Alzheimer’s. At 70, it’s worrisome that a President Trump would have his finger on the nuclear button. He could blast us all to smithereens in the midst of his own personal crisis.

Putting all of one’s faith and hope into a man who lives in the past, wanting to return America to an “us vs. them” mentality is akin to wearing a blindfold for the next 4 years. The world will move forward in spite of us. The U.S. will be the “it” in a global game of “Blind Man’s Bluff,” stumbling around unable to discern what it is the other players are doing.

For better or worse, the world is on a path forward. There’s no hitting the “reset” button and doing a makeover. America can remain an important player, having significant influence every step of the way. Or America can play Trump’s game and cry “wolf” every time he stubs his toe.

Bernie Sanders is 74, an old man with big dreams. I worry he won’t be around to see them all come true. Who will carry his torch? His loving, loyal wife? Good for them. Maybe not so good for America.

Passing the torch is an Olympian fete. It’s a team effort. It’s essential we have a captain who can lead the way, outlining a path toward greatness. It’s also essential to have someone who has “walked the walk” and not just “talked the talk.”

Yes, like everyone else I’m awed by charisma. However if my life depended upon it, I’d want someone who’s not afraid to show us that she’s also an intellectual geek to captain my team.

Slow and steady won the race for the turtle. And that’s who I’m rooting for in the presidential elections…

…mama turtle, herself!

………hugmamma.