Updated: Sep 29, 2020
I Surmise: White Men? If the Shoe Fits
September 29, 2020
I have joked with friends about my disdain for white men over fifty. Surrounding DT as he sits like a dictator at his desk. A sea of them representing the GOP in the Senate with a trio of women. Every press conference that delivers crushing news. Hannity. And so on.
Then I read @ShaunKing 's brilliant piece The North Star. He gives some stats. Nothing like being vindicated by the numbers. Let's try a few of them on for size.
"55% of white men said they prefer Donald Trump over just 39% who said they prefer Joe Biden. That’s not the kicker! The kicker is that in that same poll, 53% of all white men also said they believe Donald Trump is dishonest. In other words, his dishonesty is simply not disqualifying for them."
I'm happy to listen to another conclusion to counter Shaun's ... but I think he's right; many men today aspire to have his qualities. Lying. Stealing. Racism. They admire that he wears the qualities like badges of honor, without the shame they have felt for decades as their true natures laid hidden behind platitudes of political correctness.
No, I do NOT think it's all men. I know the men around me are not like that, and if they were, they wouldn't be around me. But I have known these men in my past. Key word. Past.
We have a real opportunity in 35 days. A real opportunity to bring women into politics in numbers more representative of our percentages of the population. Or at least vet the men a little better to see if their actions over the past years reflect their political stances.
Vote on November 3rd. Better yet, vote early and in person. I have faith.
I Surmise: It's Not Enough to Just Vote
September 24, 2020
"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger.” --John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, 1961
This is that moment. More than when the Civil War was on the horizon. More than McCarthyism. More than Watergate, which right now looks like a misdemeanor. Yesterday was the worst day I’ve ever had. In the morning, four people - four people in the know - reached out with information that made me believe, for the first time, that all might be lost.
Make no mistake my fellow Americans. Make no mistake! Trump and those surrounding him have put everything in place to make sure this election never happens with integrity, or anything close to the will of the people.
Last week I had resided in the belief that perhaps the will of the American people, the majority of the American people, was not in line with what I want. As awful as that felt, I recognized my country is about majority rule. I thought about ways for me to live without having a heart attack if that was the case. Now I have come to realize that that particular scenario wasn’t my worst nightmare. My worst nightmare is that the will of the people might never be heard… or known.
Trump, and more shockingly, many of those around him, have put everything in place to make sure that this election has nothing to do with the will of the people. And there is only one way out for us. You have to vote early and you have to vote in person. It’s the only way to ensure your vote is going to be counted.
This is the moment in our history that Kennedy foresaw. Please don’t make the mistake of having to look back just over a month from now, knowing you could’ve gone just a little out of your way to save the republic. #VoteEarlyInPerson
I Surmise: Where Is the Leadership?
August 28, 2020
On August 3 when it was announced that Trump was considering accepting the party’s nomination from the White House lawn, I watched Nancy Pelosi look into the camera and say, “it won’t happen.“ I felt better.
I went and found the video last night when I saw pictures of him accepting the nomination from the lawn of the White House, and I was angry. I wasn’t angry at Trump, who over and over again has broken the law with impunity. I was angry at the leaders of the party I support.
I have said all along that “we the people” will stop this carnage of all that we have built as a nation over the past few hundred years. It is the power of our numbers that can change the trajectory of the evil that prevails right now.
Pelosi and other leaders could’ve done so much more about what was allowed to happen this week.
They could’ve had press conferences all week asking people not to watch his acceptance speech because he was breaking the law by having it on the White House lawn. Show him that we don’t want to see him there in that capacity.
They could have held press conferences to demand that the press address the issue in a more strident manner. They could’ve tweeted all night during his speech collectively and put together a campaign addressing it.
They could’ve asked me to do anything, collectively, as Americans, to demand that the White House not be used this way. Before it happened. What are they promised? Hearings into why it happened. Seriously?
Nancy Pelosi on August 3 made the statement I put in front of you here. She is now accountable for addressing why she allowed it to happen.
We the people have to start behaving the way we want to be remembered. We have to stop watching that which lets Trump hang all his shiny objects out to dry on the clothesline of our future. If you don’t click on it, they’ll stop covering it. If you don’t watch it, they’ll change what they’re showing you to bring you back.
I’m not interested in Trump anymore. Stop attacking him. Stop noticing him. And for God’s sake, stop attacking those who aren’t sure how they feel about him.
And to those that think they are leaders, like Pelosi, please start asking us to do that which will actually make a difference. There is such a power in “we the people” that you are not tapping into. And if we look at your results, you’re not able to do it without us.
I Surmise: The Democratic Convention Was Not the Success Everyone is Touting
August 23, 2020
The texts started Monday during the Democratic National Convention’s opening ceremony and continued through Thursday night.
“Wow! I’m energized.”
“Isn’t this amazing? I’m so proud to be a Democrat!”
“For the first time in three years, I feel good again!”
“We’ve got this!!!”
But as the week progressed, I became more and more concerned. The increased adrenaline rush of my friends sent me further and further into anxiety hell. I’ve had these feelings before. When Trump came down the escalator and said things I didn’t know were part of the internal fiber of my fellow Americans, his poll numbers went up instantly. I warned my fellow patriots that I feared he had awakened a “sleeping giant” group of Americans who had lain dormant for the past 25 years after Reagan squashed the middle class like a fly on the kitchen counter.
As Hillary’s arrogant campaign leadership ignored what I thought was the obvious; Trump could actually win! I feared that the outcome of the 2016 election was not only our own fault, but also just the beginning of the demise of our democracy.
Enter the Democratic National Convention, 2020.
Everyone who is singing its praises and jumping for joy at seeing their own point of view so brilliantly and convincingly presented does not, in my opinion, get it. The Dems had us all at hello. We were all already voting for the Biden-Harris ticket. The goal of the convention should not have been to energize us. It should have been to put to bed the concerns of those whose votes we need, encouraging them to switch over to the blue side of the ballot. It should have been to energize them.
Did we do that? I do not think so.
That guy in Wisconsin did not see a reflection of himself and the issues he cares about. He saw Black Lives Matter (Please do NOT tell me that because I think it shouldn’t have been highlighted the way it was, I don’t support it; I DO!), with a Black fist reminiscent of the Black Power days of the 1970s on the screen. It scared the bejesus out of him, and it doesn’t accurately represent what the Black Lives Matter movement stands for. As Trump started his messaging this week (which I think is brilliant) around “law and order” and “Be afraid, be very afraid if you unleash the Dems on the entire country,” we played right into his hands.
We know that fear is the greatest motivating force that exists. It’s marketing 101. Fear of what we don’t know is a stronger influence than acceptance of that which we do know and don’t like. “It could be worse” will, in my view, render them unable to dethrone someone they know is the devil, but it’s a devil they can live with, and they have. They just have to switch off the television and ignore what he is doing, and who the hell cares if he and his cronies make billions as they tear apart the country? The cities won’t burn, they tell themselves. Black people and their liberal friends won’t take away our guns and what little respect we have left for ourselves. I can't afford to take the chance and vote him out. The devil you know...
“It’s the economy, stupid.” It’s always the economy. People vote based on the economy. Now, in all the polls out there, Biden is beating Trump on every single issue other than the economy, where Trump is beating Biden by a large margin: 48% to 37%. The economy should have been front and center. It should have been shown every night over and over again that Trump’s picture of the economy is focused on the stock market, and the stock market isn’t the economy! It should have conveyed via graphics and videos and great oratory that Trump bankrupted six of his own companies and devastated our foreign trade. I am not good with numbers, or even at expanding my own monetary worth, but I am good at recognizing that when you have a single area in which you are being beaten in the polls and it happens to be the same area that has made and broken politicians for the last 100 years, it should have been front and center at this convention.
The last 25 years have shown marketing people, like me, how to move people. And the production of the Democratic National Convention moved my fellow Democrats each and every night. I cried at the intro to Kamala Harris by the amazing women in her life. But, as I said, they already had me at hello. This was their ONE chance to present to those who are on the fence or worried about making a change, and the convention failed to accomplish this. The dangers of keeping Trump in the White House were not presented. There should have been a segment each and every night with visuals and oratory that put forth what the next four years would look like with Trump in charge. I didn’t leave with an understanding of the risks of staying the course.
I promise you, next week’s Republican National Convention will be all about the dangers of changing course. The last word will be spoken to those who are watching — those we need to vote our way on November 3 — and those GOP crooks will be in every nook and cranny, cementing that messaging.
My friends are sick of my doom-and-gloom mentality. It’s OK; I’m sick of the naivety and, frankly, the self-centered, pat-ourselves-on-the-back righteous arrogance of shoving our point of view down the throats of those who find it frightening and not in their own self-interest. We have to meet in the middle. In my opinion, the convention, from start to finish, did not do that.
What to do now?
1. Focus not on the first woman of color to get on the ticket of a major political party; focus on her ability to keep us safe by using her clear understanding of immigration reform and management, law and order for all, and keeping the peace. Ignore the gun issue for now.
2. STOP with the fist-in-the-air Black Lives Matter pressure, and instead speak about there being a future for all.
3. Change the language of “defunding the police.” I have researched and understand its intention, but it comes off as offensive and confusing to those whose votes we need, and it gives Trump’s people a perfect opportunity to misrepresent its meaning.
4. Begin to address what will be our economic future under Trump if Biden isn’t afforded the opportunity to make sure that all Americans can survive this most financially challenging time.
5. Oh, and for God’s sake, stop clicking on and sharing social media’s shiny objects that rip apart all things Republican. Share articles and videos that contain messages for us all, not messages that focus on why those who continue to support Trump are evil.
In short, when I look back on this past week’s Democratic National Convention, I do not share in my fellow patriots’ celebration of success. #SorryNotSorry
I Surmise: They Aren't Disturbed
August 20, 2020
I am spending the summer in New York State's Hudson Valley. I call the place I live Deliverance, for a variety of reasons. I went exploring and found a development with street names like Confederate Road and Lee Lane. When I went to the bank, I found a huge truck with a confederate flag flying proud and high off the back of the truck... and so it goes.
This morning, I went to Dunkin Donuts, which is two miles down Route 22 in Dover Plains, where I go every morning to get a cup of coffee and an old fashioned donut for my dog, Bay. Right out in front was this man with this sign.
There I am in my Prius. Now, keep in mind that Michelle Obama just spent considerable time two short nights ago explaining to me the plan. VOTE. Get others to VOTE. Vote early. I would like to add to this, 'vote often,' but I know that's not funny. She told me to keep on the high road. ANYWAY, I did realize that I could pull over, roll down my window, smile and say, "I'm a democrat and I do not love looters. Have a nice day." Yep, I could have done that. Instead, I gave him the finger and forwarded the picture to a number of friends.
One friend texted back, "The man is disturbed."
But I surmise that he doesn't look disturbed at all. In fact, he is well dressed, calm, his sign is nicely done, and when I gave him the finger, he smiled and waved, with better restraint than I showed. What if they aren't disturbed? What if they are just like me, and the 'we the people' I call my posse? There are so many ... millions. They can't all be the crazy people that I see interviewed on the media I watch to see a mirror of myself rather than learn something about why and how others think?
What if they just want a 'white' America. What if they really believe that Trump has done good?
But the question that haunts me is, what if I don't belong here anymore?
I Surmise: Biden Shouldn't Debate Unless...
August 14, 2020
I went back and watched debate video from the debates in 2016 between Hillary & DT. I watched his inability to think before he spoke; I watched the moderators inability to 'handle' his style of form and no substance like not answering the question, or lying through his teeth. I watched Ms. H., who had to make sure she wasn't too strident, or smart, or 'presidential' as to not put off the base that he held in the palm of his hand. You know the base; the ones who would support him if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue, in the light of day. The ones who couldn't care less about the way he speaks about women, or the KKK, or Putin or Merkle. She was playing tennis and he was a linebacker on a football team. It wasn't a debate.
I also watched the moderators with their long-winded questions, which had zero value for the way he answered them. And, I watched them drive on from the car wreck they just witnessed with his dis-respect for the rules in place for debating.
Then I watched Trump's press conference last night and how when he ignored 'the' question about how he FELT (feelings, seriously?) about lying to the American people so much over the past 3 1/2 years, and went to the next reporter, who should have insisted he answer the question but just ignored the fact that he hadn't. I watched him make mincemeat of the press corp, yet again.
Truth be told, the press (moderators) cannot handle this man. And, we the people continue to tune in as he makes a mockery of our intelligence and those that are covering him. Shame on us.
So here is the deal. They are negotiating the terms of the debates as we speak. Well how about these terms?
I suggest that the Biden team says the following. "Your candidate doesn't tell the truth. Unfortunately, it's all the time. The only way Biden will debate him is if it's a delayed feed. The delay time will be used to fact check statements by both candidates. When DT or Biden says something that isn't true, a feed will run under the statement with the accurate fact or comment.. It works for both of us? Why wouldn't you agree to that if your candidate is honest? If you are not wiling to do this, the debates are off. And if they say no (which they will have to do) the ensuing press conference and tremendous ad campaign becomes, "Trump unwilling to debate Biden on the truth. He's only willing to do it if he can lie and cheat his way through."
It's a win win because if they continue to set up the debate with past protocols, it's a lose lose. I will not watch the debates if the rules resemble past debates. It would be like watching a tennis match where only one player is playing tennis and the other one is playing football.
Christine Merser I Surmise: Because of You
July 19, 2020
During Obama's first inauguration, he made one stop on his way to his seat. He stopped and hugged John Lewis. After he took the oath, on his way out, John Lewis went up to him with a blank piece of paper and a pen. He asked Obama to sign the paper. Obama wrote, "Because of you John. President Barack Obama"
His first signature as president. And, a recognition that he stood on the shoulders of men like John Lewis to get where he got. (Obama has said on numerous occasions that he stood on the shoulders of men like Martin Luther King and John Lewis.)
Because of you.
I have thought a lot about that moment since I read it yesterday. I have thought a lot about the words, 'because of you.' I think it's worth a moment to ask ourselves what has happened in this world, or in our sphere of influence, 'because of me.'
Silence means nothing will happen because of you. Negative comments about our president and those who enable him also mean nothing happens because of you. Actions we take, words we repeat, stories we tell, will build our 'because of you' legacy.
Will your 'because of you' build or destroy?
God I love the adrenaline rush I get inside when I see someone brilliantly taking down those that are my enemy in my country. A meme, a combination of words that cuts and devours. I feed off it. I know that it builds nothing - that moment of righteousness, and then forwarding it to create the same worthless 'high' for my likeminded friends. It's a waste of time that could be better spent forwarding information about a great candidate running, or something that someone did that was building back that which we have allowed to be destroyed as part of the fiber of our country.
Because of Obama, and his oratory skills, and his amazing use of language, I have become a better person. Because of him. He reminds me whenever he speaks now, that there is no benefit in ripping things apart.
I will miss John Lewis and his rich history of taking actions that leave a legacy his future generations can hold in their hands with pride. I am grateful that I took a bit of yesterday and learned some things that I can use to emulate his fine example of how to be a great American.
I will strive moving forward to ask myself each night before I lay to rest what happened because of me today.
I surmise: Trump is not the problem.
July 14, 2020
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." --Edmund Burke
I have said it from the beginning. Trump is not the issue. Those who have a sphere of influence around him who are silent time and time again, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Those are the ones that baffle me.
Two weeks ago, Trump fired Berman from the Southern District of New York, whose team was investigating Trump and his band of crooks. Where was Chuck Schumer? Where were others from Congress and the Senate?
Trump never addressed Russia's payout to those in the Taliban that kill American soldiers. He has known for months and never did one thing. Where is the outrage from the joint chiefs? Those who served? And, please stop telling me they don't stand up publicly. The time for that excuse is over.
And, he attacks Fauci. Where are those on the task force tasked with keeping us safe standing up and saying, "the President is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong?" Yes, that means you scarf lady.
And let's not forget the pardon, or commutation or whatever it is. The payoff for not ratting out Trump. Where are the judges? Lawyers? Law firms?
Trump is not the problem. Those within the sphere of influence for each and every one of these treasonous acts who could, should and don't stand up ... they are the problem. If you know any of these people, ask them to stand up and be heard. It is our civic responsibility.
Oh and Vote. #VoteHer2020
I surmise: Medical insurance will cover Viagra but not contraception. Seriously?
July 9, 2020
Yesterday, SCOTUS ruled that a company can deny “Her” Healthcare coverage if the owner of said company is religiously inclined toward disbelief that a woman should be able to control whether she has a child or not. In other words, they can decline to cover contraception - birth control pills.
So “conceivably,” Viagra could be covered by your healthcare insurance, but not birth control pills.
When are we going to wake up ladies? When are we going to vote with our bodies and our souls and our minds attuned to the fact that we have absolved ourselves, with our votes, of so many things that do not serve our most basic needs and rights?
Of course it brings to mind RBG’s quote.
But here’s the thing that ties it all together. White women over 40 were the tipping point for Trump’s election. When asked, many of them said they vote the way their husband does.
We can only work within our sphere of influence. Think about who you know who might’ve voted that way. Have a cup of coffee with them. Ask women to really think through if the last 600 years of men running this country has served us well?
Vote “Her” 2020.