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In January 2016 Donald Trump declared that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose a vote. In a string of disqualifying choices, I thought this one would end his run. We all know how that turned out.

I wondered, am I crazy?

I went to the doctor for my annual physical shortly after the 2016 election. She said, “Hello” and immediately followed with, “You have 3 minutes to dump about Trump. Go.” Clearly my appointment wasn’t her first Trump-election-fallout rodeo and my habit of processing shock with verbal vomit was well, normal.

My insomnia was also normal and considering the scope of reported Trump related health issues – heart palpitations, anxiety and high blood pressure to name a few, I got off easy with insomnia.

This was early days.

In the past two plus years of tailspin and topsy-turvy-twisty-turney mess, Trump has reportedly lied an average of 15 times a day. Surly that easy deceit suggests insanity but which of us is nuts? He’s the President and I’m home alone slinging curses at my TV.

My friends also lose sleep and get red-faced in the face of our faltering democracy and moral decay.

When I tell them I curse at the news, they assure me they do too. When I share my constant, unrelenting anger they’re right there with me. Lack of sleep? Check! Feeling of helplessness? Check, check! Protesting, volunteering, staying informed, screaming into the social media void and donating – thus doing the same thing over and over with the same result? YUP!

Is everybody just plain bonkers?

Healthcare is a mess so we can’t rely on the professionals. It’s time to self-diagnose and alert others. We need a universal and simple way to flag insanity. I propose something like a hand signal or an exaggerated wink. One movement to signal when you’re sure you’re on the edge and a different signal for when you see someone even edgier. Something subtle but with enough flair to alert folks in the area.

There’s just one problem. If feeling crazy is at epidemic levels, there’d be so much signaling that whole communities would fall into a never-ending, winking and waving flash mob.

Maybe best to focus on people who are absolutely, positively NOT crazy and take our cues from them? Right now, my beacons of hope are Cardi B (@iamcardib) and Snoop Dogg (@Snoopdogg).

From her condemnation of the shady politics that shut our government down, to her many other astute observations on politics and culture and her ability to own her haters, Cardi B knows what’s up and she’s not afraid to say it.

Snoop also had choice words about the government shutdown. But best of all, he’s confident in who he is and in his choices. When Snoop Dogg got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he said, “I want to thank me for trying to do more right than wrong. I want to thank me for just being me at all times. Snoop Dogg, you a bad motherfucker.”

So I’m taking their lead. Less questioning my sanity in these times and more doing more right than wrong.

And maybe more cursing.  It would feel good to let a heartfelt “Motherf**er” go right in front of Trump Tower on 5th Avenue.

I’m sure that’s not crazy at all.  Wink, wink:)

 

 

 

 

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There’s a quote by Mr. Rogers that gets trotted out after a tragedy.  We’ve all heard it a lot over the past week and recent months and years.  Mr. Rogers  suggests that when something bad happens, look for the helpers.  The helpers are beacons of hope, pulling some good out of the terrible and offering some stability in a moment when our collective head is spinning.

It seems we need helpers more than ever.

I wonder what’s happening with the people, the elite and loud, who self-selected and asked us to trust in their willingness and ability to be helpers.  They raised their hands.  They volunteered.  They promised to be better suited for the job than anyone else.  They asked for our vote.

They weren’t drafted like the spectators in Boston who in a flash went from cheering at the finish line to making tourniquets out of t-shirts and carrying victims to safety.  Or the responders in Newtown who had to document and clean up after the slaughter of their community’s children.  Average citizens, stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time, are brave, heroic and poised.  They personify grace.  Our eyes well and chests swell with pride when their stories are on the news.

Dear United States Senators:  Take notice.

Last week, the gun bill expanding criminal background checks for gun purchase, died in the Senate.  The bill wasn’t overly ambitious.  It didn’t break new ground.  It didn’t restrict anyone’s right to buy a gun.  It didn’t move forward because our leaders are not acting as helpers.

Our elected helpers lack grace.

When I fly, I take my shoes off to get through security.  I submit to a scanner that dissolves my clothes, allowing unknown persons to check my body for lumps.  I submit to pat downs.  I don’t carry shampoo or lotion.  I do this because one crazy guy tried to blow up his shoes.  Another guy tried to light his underwear on fire.

I don’t mean to make light of these acts.  The public needs to know that the government is doing everything possible to make the sky safe.  I get it.  I agree.  The idea of a terrorist act that takes a plane full of people down is shocking and hideous.  But have we become so desensitized to violence that we don’t view mass shootings in our schools, on our streets and in our theaters with equal horror?

Are you a terrorist if you bring down a plane but you’re something less grotesque, less worthy of attention from elected helpers if you kill elementary school kids or college students or movie watchers or elected officials?

I’ve written and rewritten this post.  I feel woefully ill-equipped to discuss the issues surrounding guns and violence.  And I’m afraid our legislators are counting on that – They’re hoping to never feel heat from their constituents since they already feel pressure from lobbyists.  My thoughts in this little margarita blog might not mean anything but maybe by raising my voice, I can (in a small way) be a helper too.

So though I worry I don’t have a firm grasp on all the forces that rule the day, my representatives should know this:

I hold you responsible for my safety and the safety of those I love and safety of those I’ll never meet.  I think mass killings are acts of terror and the person who carries out the carnage is a terrorist.  And you, our elected helpers, must act with the same urgency and solution based thought to prevent the next school shooting as you do to prevent other acts of terror.  You asked us to make you leaders.  You can’t be less heroic than innocent bystanders who never asked for the role.  It can’t be too much to ask for you to be honest, to engage in fair dialog and to put your personal interest after the interest of the country.

The margagogo.com  Seattle Bureau Chief raised her voice when she wrote to Senator Mark Pryor, one of the four democrats who voted against the gun control measure and a representative from her home state in Arkansas.  She said in part:  “… although … I understand the election-year pressures you face, the lost lives in Newtown — and the hundreds of others lost in Arkansas and around the nation every year — are more precious than politics.”

At this point in my blog, I usually write about a drink I enjoyed (or didn’t) or a restaurant I visited and I tie the mixology and gastronomy to the blog topic.  Around the issue of violence and safety, terrorists and terrorism, we need to be sober so today, I have no drinks to share.  Hopefully, someday, we can toast to progress and celebrate an era when we don’t have a second thought for our safety.

And for those who don’t remember, the Mr. Roger’s quote is:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

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