Missing the Point

Have you ever seen so many partisans running around with their hair on fire as they were yesterday after a short excerpt from the forthcoming book by Donna Brazile, the former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, was posted on Politico? Oh boy, that was something! So much outrage and fighting!

The reactions have been predictable and totally expected. They are exactly what the publisher wanted in the campaign to promote the book, Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House, which will be released on Tuesday. The most salacious parts of books are always what publishers want distributed ahead of a book’s release. That’s to garner significant media attention and discussion. Hachette, Brazile’s publisher, has been very successful in generating a lot of buzz, that’s for sure.  Continue reading “Missing the Point”

I Told Ya So, Senator Flake

As I watched US Senator Jeff Flake’s speech yesterday, when he announced that he isn’t running for another term in 2018, I couldn’t stop nodding my head in agreement. He spoke eloquently about problems in the Republican Party and politics in general, and he laid out a case for why there isn’t a place for him as an elected Republican. He acknowledged that a principled conservative, like him, just couldn’t win a Republican primary election. He was right.

Then, I began shaking my head. All I could think was, I told ya so!

My book!

A couple of years ago, my book, No Hope: Why I Left the GOP (and You Should Too), was published. It received a lot of attention because of the behind-the-scenes stories I shared about my experiences inside the GOP around issues affecting LGBT Americans. I wrote about those first-hand experiences as examples of broader cultural problems with the modern conservative movement and Republican Party.

The over-arching theme of the parts of the book that related to the problems in the GOP was the party’s fundamental rejection of our modern multicultural reality. I wrote that issues just don’t matter, and in fact, the words “conservative” and “Republican” just don’t mean what they did before. I said that the base of the Republican Party rejects anything and anyone that don’t conform with them culturally – straight, white, christian. I also said that being a team-player and never dissenting is more important to them than ideological principles.  Continue reading “I Told Ya So, Senator Flake”

Time for Peace in Politics

I wrote a personal essay a few months ago about the toxicity of the confrontation-style of politics in America today, and the need for balance in our lives and positivity in our civic engagement. I wrote then about the negative consequences of being consumed by the political fight. I’ve been thinking a lot about that topic again today, in the wake of the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Virginia assailant appears to have been an extreme case of someone who was totally emotionally consumed by the political fighting. He was so wrapped up in it that he slipped the bounds of reality into a clear state of insanity. While his is an extreme case, his story holds a lesson for us all.

It’s time to end the nasty “us versus them” confrontation-style political engagement that has become the norm in our country. It’s not good for our country, and it’s not good for us as individuals. Let’s focus our efforts on positive forms civic engagement to make our communities and country better. Let’s come together and help each other and help our country.

We are all Americans.

I’m not going to go on and on here, but I hope you’ll check out the links below to pieces I’ve written in the last few months on this subject.

Striking a Positive Balance: Political Self-Help in the Age of Trump The Daily Beast   (A similar draft is also posted on Medium with photos…including one of President Trump and me.)

It’s Time for More Positive Civic Engagement HuffPost

Thanks for reading. Be kind to each other.

Live from the Hive — Kathy Griffin Edition

I like to sit by my beehive in the garden and do my thinking. It’s my thinking spot. Every now and then, I’ll fire up Periscope and share some of what I’m thinking about.

Earlier today, I made this video with some thoughts about the recent controversy regarding Kathy Griffin, positivity, the upcoming Comey hearing on Capitol Hill, and of course, my bees! Check out the video. Here’s the YouTube version. ->

 

Striking a Positive Balance

It’s important for all of us to find a positive balance in our civic engagement and our lives. I hope you’ll check out the the essay I posted over at Medium today, Striking a Positive Balance: Political Self-Help in the Age of Trump.

UPDATE 4/1:  My essay has been published at The Daily Beast. (I sent it to them before I posted it on Medium…didn’t think they were going to run it, so I went ahead on Medium. Anyway, it’s both places!)

There is so much division and fighting in politics today, and all of that negativity isn’t good for us as a country or as individuals. I know, first hand. In my book, NO HOPE: Why I Left the GOP (and You Should Too), I wrote about my experience in politics. I described what I was thinking and how my political thought evolved through that experience. What I didn’t write about then is the negative effects that my being totally consumed by the negativity of the political fight had on me personally, emotionally, physically, and materially. My essay today is the first time I’ve talked about those things, and how I set out to change my life and the way I engage in my civic participation.

I’m going to be writing and speaking out more about the need for all of us to strike a positive balance in our activism, humanitarianism, personal enrichment, and diverse ways to help people and change the world. Stay tuned…..

In the meantime, I hope you’ll read what I wrote today. AND at The Daily Beast.

What Wikileaks Confirms for Us Outsiders and What We Can Do About It

While we should doubt the authenticity of some of John Podesta’s emails that were stolen by the Russian government and leaked by Wikileaks, we have learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in Clinton-world from them. This week’s story about Clinton insider Doug Band and “Bill Clinton Inc” confirmed for political outsiders something that we have always known. The political and economic elite work to enrich themselves and their friends.

I’ve never met Doug Band, but I suspect he’s like most insiders who have made it in the establishment system. I’m sure he’s never had an original thought or idea, but he knows the right people. He’s an inside the box thinker who plays by all the rules, and kisses all the right asses. He’s the embodiment of what most Americans hate about the political and economic system.

The Doug Band story will hurt the Clintons politically because all politics is personal, and the story really hits home of a lot of us outsiders. It’s personal for us because we know that well-connected people like Band rake in millions, while the rest of us struggle for survival. The story reminds us of the barriers that slam us every day in our quest for the American Dream. We are reminded of all the unreturned phone calls and emails, and all the job applications that aren’t even acknowledged. It reminds us of our desperate search for a break that seems like it will never come. The story reinforces our belief that only those in “the club” will ever succeed in this country.  Continue reading “What Wikileaks Confirms for Us Outsiders and What We Can Do About It”