---Hillary Clinton Campaign slogan
One year ago I made a promise to myself, that during this election cycle I would follow the rules that I insisted my debate team follow. I would make no decision based on gossip spread by a hungry media. I would listen to no slander spread by one party to denigrate the other. I would listen only to the words that each candidate used to share his or her platform with us. I would carefully parse those words to see the man or woman behind them. Only then could I make a clear decision as to who is best prepared to be leader of the free world.
After sitting through the varied debates, I got a better look into the heart of America. I realized that a great number of people, on both sides of the political spectrum, feel abandoned. The cost of living that has left my daughter (a teacher) struggling a the end of each month, has left some people with a choice of food or shelter. The cost of education that has left my son (a psychologist) strapped with unthinkable debt, has left some people with no more than a high school diploma. The cost of insurance, that left Arthur and I looking forward to Medicare, left some people dying without the ability to seek medical intervention. No wonder Americans are feeling forgotten.
These feelings of hopelessness should not cloud our judgment though, and make us believe that scapegoating a group of people, or becoming focused on building walls around us while deserting our allies, will bring us a greater stability. It seems to me that those have been the thoughts of the worst of our world leaders, who have built their power on the fear and discontentment of the people who followed them. Our country is the antithesis of that, and was built to be inclusive of all people.
I have never been a one party voter, and so I decided to let my ears guide my decision. I heard Trump say we need to build walls and keep all Muslims out. I heard Hillary say we need to be more careful in securing our borders and vetting those we allow to cross them. I am with her on this issue. Trump says as President he would defund Planned Parenthood. Hillary says she is proud to stand with Planned Parenthood (an organization that provides healthcare to those who can not afford to go elsewhere). I am with her on this issue. Trump is wishy-washy on LGBTQ rights. Hillary believes everyone is entitled to equal rights under our constitution. I am with her on this issue. Trump says Global warming is an expensive hoax. Hillary says, “The reality of climate change is unforgiving no matter what the deniers say," and she has clearly stated goals to combat it. I am with her on this issue.
Watching Donald Trump demean women, the disabled and people of varied nationalities and still attract a large following is beyond my understanding. I get disagreeing with the democratic platform, but I don't understand backing someone just because he is running as a republican. I admire those who stand up to him and his hijacking of their party. This is the man who stood in front of a campaign rally in Iowa and said, "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn't lose any voters, ok? It's, like, incredible." He is actually making fun of those he is attracting, and yet they remain loyal. His ability to attract fans amazes me.
This is not an easy election, and I don't agree with everything on the democratic platform, but I am certain of one thing. A country represented by Donald Trump is not one that I want to experience.
I"M WITH HER!
I am also astounded at James Patterson's ability to attract fans. Don't get me wrong, I was a big fan of his books early on. I loved Alex Cross, and the ladies of the murder club always kept me guessing. I sort of tuned out though, when he began producing a book a month. I realize that his co-authors carry a large load of the writing, and I actually enjoy the fact that some of them are now major authors in there own right, but I feel less of a connection with Patterson. He has started a new venture...writing book-shots. These are shorter versions of books, and I reviewed The Witnesses this week. It was an interesting story centering around a family that was being protected by the government until they could be debriefed. Story was good, but the need to keep it short left me needing more information and greater character development. Not bad for a quick read though.
Murder in Nice: Book 6 of the Maggie Newberry Mysteries (The Maggie Newberry Mystery Series) by Susan Kiernan-Lewis is a fun mystery with fairly good character development. The real highlights of the book are the author's amazing descriptions of the countryside and food of France. Worth reading this escapism novel just to feel part of the world of these ex-pats.
As always, full reviews of both books will follow this blog.