Wake Me When It’s Over

Tonight is the first presidential debate. Yes….. I’m gonna watch it and then afterwards, I’d like to take a pill.

To be clear, I am not one to take pills of any kind.  Still, the choice of candidates–the devil we know and the devil we don’t know— makes me want to sleep for….um…let’s say…four years.  I’ve already told Rocket-man that I will not watch television on election night. That would be a first for me in more than four decades!  I went so far as to say I’d rather watch a Steerlers game.  What’s that saying?!  I’ve succumbed to that. Horrors!

This year at the voting booth, I feel like I’m being asked to pick my poison.  It won’t matter which one I pick.  Either choice will make me violently ill, for a long time.    But yes, I’ll cast a vote early in the morning come election day with the hope of course that the polling station in a non-denominational church just down the hill from my house is handing out Krispy Kreme donuts as they did four years ago.  I’d rather have a doughnut than an “I Voted” sticker.  The rest of the day I’ll do whatever I can to escape the insanity that is sure to come.

The sting of voting this year may be easier with a Krispy Kreme....

The sting of voting this year may be easier with a Krispy Kreme….

NO!  I will not listen to CNN nor Fox News nor NPR nor BBC radio whilst driving around in my car.   I’ll have Hearts of Space music and Spotify playlists blasting through my ears.  I won’t sit at the computer either.  I’ve got a boatload of stuff to binge-watch on Netflix.  Thank goodness my Boy Scout purchase of Trails End popcorn arrived just the other day!

Hmm….note to self:  Turn off notifications on all my devicesSigh.  Becoming a head-in-the-sand ostrich is a bit more tricky in this tech and social media driven age.  I suppose if I could rid myself of all of my devices and arrange for travel to, say Nepal…or the North Pole….or a spot smack dab in the middle of the Australian outback, I’d find just the right level of insulation from all the insanity going on around the world (though I’d probably meet my end by a venomous snake as I stuffed myself silly with chocolate glaze and sprinkles….).

Rocket-man cannot tune out completely.  He must stay connected.  What goes on in the world drives his work…his purpose.  And yet, when his head hits the pillow at night he’s out in 10 seconds flat.  I’m often flabbergasted that he can tune out the madness of the world so easily.  I still cannot shake the image of the Aleppo boy….nor just recently Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson sticking out his tongue during an interview with an MSNBC reporter.  Seriously? Seriously.  Check out YouTube.   In case you missed it you can watch a clip here…then, go eat a doughnut:

 

Is it any wonder that I want to go face down into a box of Krispy Kremes while sitting in the middle of the outback?

Wake me when it’s over Rocket-man.

Graceless

Graceless. Again.

Disgraceful. That’s all I can say about last night’s Republican presidential debate. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse… they did!  We’ve come to a pretty low point as a society when a presidential contender makes reference to the size of his…um…junk-in-the-trunk…his family jewels…a part of his anatomy…you get my drift….and, on national television!  I literally choked on the wine I was sipping.  So, bravo Mr. Trump; our country has the stain of yet another distasteful sound-bite that will reverberate around the globe, and for years to come I suspect. While this may have been appropriate for a late-night stand-up comedienne, it wasn’t necessary for a presidential debate on prime-time television…where children–our nation’s future leaders–were watching.

Disgraceful.

graceIn the book, The Art of Grace: On Moving Well Through Life,  Pulitzer Prize winning author Sarah L. Kaufman speaks to the belief (and centuries-old practices) that grace is essential to civilized living.  And, she points to the fact that we have indeed lost sight of so many aspects of grace. Manners, civility, how we move, how we interact with others, and how well we comport ourselves in a variety of social situations seems to be a forgotten art. Ease, gentleness, awareness, being comfortable in one’s own skin, peacefulness, respect, thinking beyond oneself are just a few examples of grace. We’re becoming horribly out-of-kilter as a society. We’re rushed, lacking control, impatient, mean-spirited, fragmented, ego-driven and downright disrespectful.  We’re so plugged-in to devices and social media that we’ve actually become completely inept in all the social graces. With the explosion of social media in recent years, we’re a society that delights in creating conflict. We are becoming a nation of bullies, thriving on scandal, and reveling in creating and causing pain and humiliation upon others, no matter the consequences.  So many in our society have  little regard for those around them and it is glaringly painful to witness such bad behavior nearly on a daily basis. From the guy yelling obscenities out the car window to beatings caught on video, aired for all to view on social media…along with a plethora of nauseating comments. A blatant disregard for others –this inhumanity–seems to be a virus that is spreading out of control.  People without an ounce of dignity nor self-control, spewing whatever comes to mind (because, after all, it’s their 1st Amendment right), vitriol and nasty “humor” alike.

Sigh.

So much emotional ugliness…mockery, anger, bullying, mud-slinging…it’s all there, and more.  And now we have watched it unfold, not once, but multiple times on national television with our presidential candidates. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that I’ve got to actually vote for one of these guys…not one who seems to have a civil, gentlemanly bone in their body (well…except for Dr. Ben Carson). And, not that I’d ever vote for another Clinton in the White House…but alas, she also lacks grace. There is nothing genuine, charming, or truthful about her. In my humble opinion.

These last few weeks makes me want to literally pour a cup of tea and climb into a Downtown Abbey episode never to re-surface. Since that cannot happen,  I’ll just keep reading The Art of Grace (I’m only a third of the way through at the moment) learning what I can. Second to that, in the spirit of be the change, I’ll do whatever it takes to practice mindfulness (with full knowledge that perfection is not the goal)— in the art of grace and otherwise—in my everyday journey through this out-of-kilter world.  grace2

As for my world tonight?  Rocket-man is on his way  home.

Bliss.

IMHO

I received the text from my daughter just as I was leaving.

“You have to get out of that crazy state mom!”

I knew exactly what it was about. I smiled as I texted her back.

“I’m at a Trump rally. It’s crazy here! My attendance is for information purposes mind you. Don’t worry.”

The Donald

The Donald

“What is wrong with you!,” came the reply. Followed by “I’m so disappointed…”

Here we go.

She’d been listening to the news when she heard that our state senator had formally endorsed Trump. She hadn’t expected that I’d be at a Trump rally.  Instead of texting my response I called her as Rocket-man and I walked the mile back to where our car was parked.

I found myself having to defend my decision to attend a Trump rally and frankly, I was just a wee bit annoyed. My daughter and I do not share the same political views and that’s quite alright. Years ago as she prepared to vote in her first national election I was immensely proud of her becoming involved in the political process.  She made a real effort to become informed.  She read, she watched the news and she genuinely took interest in gaining knowledge about the issues as well as the candidates. I didn’t agree with some of her views and told her why without an ounce of derision (which is what my mamma would do!) and I absolutely respected her point of view. They are hers after all.

Unfortunately, it seems the sentiment does not go both ways which is a shame…and which seems to be, IMHO, the hallmark of those on the left.

“I went because I saw an opportunity,” I explained. “The Trump rally was practically in my back yard, so it made sense to attend. And, I tried to get tickets to Rubio who was also in town but event registrations had already closed. More importantly, I went to see the man for myself instead of relying solely on what is portrayed in the media.”

She seemed to understand though I’m sure she has reported to all of her friends that her mom is a lunatic because she went to a Trump rally. No matter that if the shoe had been on the other foot I would have applauded her efforts to be involved in the process of making an informed decision about the candidates.

I don’t think my sis was too pleased with me either.  She was aghast that I went to the Trump rally.

“Would it help if you knew that I didn’t purchase any Trump memorabilia,” I joked.

“Did you expect going would actually change your mind about him?” She asked.

To be honest, yes…and no.  I’ve never had such a tough time deciding on a candidate before.  All of the remaining GOP candidates are flawed…again, IMHO. The last debate was an embarrassingly ridiculous spectacle…a circus-circus style fracas where candidates (and moderators) performed disastrously. It was sickening to watch Trump, Rubio and Cruz attack each other like elementary school girls on the playground. One of these men will go on to lead our country and all they can do is snipe at each other over hair styles and other physical attributes.  Seriously?

I will say attending the rally was exciting. I’d never been to a political rally before. Reports are that 15,000 attended though Trump of course doubled that number in his first few words to the crowds chanting before him. There was a lot of electricity and energy in the air. People frantically waving their Trump signs or their small American flags…or both…chanting “Trump, Trump, Trump” or yelling in approval whenever he said anything. I was surprised by the number of young people but not surprised that there were few people of color. Young and old crowded the stadium. There were smartly dressed, well-heeled folks as well as those that clearly were neither. Unbelievably, there were even two women who wore their full-length burkas in attendance.  I even got to shake hands with Fox News Correspondent Carl Cameron who was in deep conversation with one of the rally participants.  Really, meeting him made the event worthwhile for me.

So did attending the rally make a difference in my decision-making process?

Trump Rally Huntsville

Trump Rally Huntsville


Fox News Correspondent, Carl Cameron

Fox News Correspondent, Carl Cameron

Of course.

IMHO….It served to solidify my opinion of the man. I simply cannot take this candidate seriously!   He’s just a businessman-entertainer that delivers a lot of politically charged one-liners that resonate with the American people but that’s all they are…one-liners. He delivered the same sound-bites we’ve heard before.  Yes….he delivers them in plain language—holding nothing back—that is, without an ounce of diplomacy, grace, nor intellectual substance.  And while his one-liners certainly strike a chord with so many of us who are disgusted with the direction our country is going at the hands of our government and its political leaders,  the certain truth is this: He doesn’t have a reasonable, coherent plan for our country.  I cannot find a shred of substance to indicate this man would be the best leader for our country.  That is…In My Humble Opinion.

There is no bliss to be found in these confusing and deeply troubled times.