I’m With Her (Duh)

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I’m The Chair and I approve this message.

Let’s get this out of the way first.

1. There is NO LACK OF ENTHUSIASM for the election of Hillary Clinton to be the 45th president of the U.S.

I don’t know everything but I do know bullshit. I know it EXTREMELY well as a trained journalist who segued into entertainment public relations and then became a screenwriter and college professor. Every job I’ve ever HAD has required me to professionally expose or shovel bullshit. Mountains of it. And I’m here to tell you, tens of millions of people are dying for, praying for, jonesing for Hillary to be back in the White House in January.

... and this time in a better office #niceview

… and this time in a better office #niceview

We live in a world of manufactured memes propagated on social media. When I was young the term was propaganda. When my parents were young they called it gossip. Refer to it how you will but don’t swallow it.

The no one really likes Hillary line of attack is just that – a line. It’s an easy way to categorize a worker bee pol who was been around for four decades doing grunt work – sometimes successfully, other times controversially, and most times with an extreme intellect and take no prisoners or many prisoners style, depending on your choice of metaphors.

The LINE is an easy way for competing media and political outlets to categorize her, drum up clicks and controversy and, thus, create viewers and readers, which in turn morphs into manufactured news, which then presumably morphs into ratings and sales. I mean, you have to poll and report on SOMETHING the public can easily UNDERSTAND these days, right? What’s more understandable than – NO ONE IS REALLY EXCITED ABOUT YOU because, let’s face it, NO ONE REALLY LIKES YOU?? Uh…HER! 

Know it when you see it

Know it when you see it

It’s lazy thinking, lazy reporting and even lazy meme-ing. (Note: And so 1972 high school). Though lazy is not necessarily bad if it works. But in this case, it won’t. Which brings us to –

2. We HAVE TO STOP a racist, fascistic, sexual predator, know-nothing, non-studying, mentally ill misogynist, loose cannon, like Donald Trump from bringing down civilization.

This is neither gossip, meme, nor bullshit. Take the next hour and consider #KremlinDon with the key to the nuclear codes and the might of the entire American military at his tweety bird-like fingertips. No, not a minute, not five minutes – a FULL HOUR. (Note: We’ll wait).…. Okay, well many tens of millions have ALREADY thought long and hard about this for more than the full 60 Minutes (Note: Oh, if only Mike, and not Chris Wallace were still alive to do THAT interview) and have done the work for you. Hence the massive nervous breakdowns many of your friends and neighbors have been having for the last several weeks and why they all and more WILL be turning out in droves on Election Day.

Watchin' the polls like Tippi (credit to brilliant former student Chris Ryan for this gem)

Watchin’ the polls like Tippi (credit to brilliant former student Chris Ryan for this gem)

Indeed, the no one likes you meme can cut both ways and, in this case, will in turn translate into: everyone is terrified of you because you’re nuts so we have to stop YOUR election. And thus we WILL vote for Hillary. Happily. Enthusiastically. And Massively. Even if it has to be HYSTERICALLY.

I'm GIDDY for Hill

I’m GIDDY for Hill  #butchaareBlanche

To put it another way, I come from a betting family and am willing to lay all kinds of odds right now that there are more American voters fearful of a world drenched in orange rage that there are those repelled at the thought of four years of jewel toned power pants suits. Not that there’s anything wrong with the latter. Which moves us finally to

3. HILLARY IS THE BEST PERSON FOR THE JOB AND WILL MAKE A DAMNED GOOD PRESIDENT.

HILL YES

HILL YES

For God (or whatever you believe Him or Her to be) sakes – what the hell does this woman have to do to prove herself? Crusading lawyer for children’s rights and civil rights in the sixties; First Lady of Arkansas in the seventies; Mom in the eighties; First Lady of the U.S. in the nineties; Senator from N.Y in the early aughts.; Secretary of State in the late aughts: Best-selling author in the 2010s. Or how about early fighter for single payer health care? Early fighter for women’s rights in… China of all places? Not to mention, wife of a serial philanderer who has somehow managed to keep her marriage together for more than 40 years?!! (Note: Okay, for me the latter doesn’t really carry much weight but why not throw it in in hopes of getting at least a few more votes from the precious “white suburban women” they keep drumming into our heads about).

The emails? Really? No, no — REALLY? When Russia, Wiki Leaks and others have pretty much hacked into and cyber-stolen data from this many American political groups, corporations and yes, even government agencies all over the world? As we have done to them and pretty much everyone else? Do you think much of ANYTHING is secure? And really, wouldn’t you have had your own private server 10 years or so ago if you could have managed it, instead of two, three or four cell phones and/or Blackberrys? (Note: This was before the IPhone 6, 7, 8 OR 9).

The meme that I would be OK with never seeing again #GROAN

The meme that I would be OK with never seeing again #GROAN

There is no lifelong politician or non-politician with whom you will agree with on everything. Not Bernie Sanders. Not Gary Johnson. Not Jill Stein. In fact, there is no person in your life you will concur with on every question in the world. But that is reality. That is what makes the world, and life, interesting. And challenging. It’s not always about who would be the most fun to have over for dinner, or even a beer (Note: Though I just bet Hils would be quite entertaining with just one, or maybe even two glasses of wine. But I digress…)

Dreaming is good but this is a sad, dirty election in the here and now of 2016. Only one of two people will be president – Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. And it is closer than any of us imagined. I believe Hillary Clinton is the most qualified and WILL WIN despite the kitchen sink mentality of a significant group of Americans, many of who have legitimate gripes with their current reality. But it’s closer than it should be – scary close because even relatively close is scary when our other choice is not only generally uniformed but specifically mentally ill.   (Note: That’s not hyperbole. He’s a textbook sociopath).

The New Yorker nails it again #nevertrump #never #ever #ever

The New Yorker nails it again #nevertrump #never #ever #ever

Hillary is brilliant and knows where the bodies are buried. She’s proactive, nothing stops her. And she’s more liberal than Dems and liberals think, and more reasonable than conservatives FEAR and/or are saying. I am HONORED to vote for Hillary. It’s not a compromise for me or millions of others. In any year. But especially this one — when she is running against an unbalanced racist –a person who knows NOTHING about laws and government and the principals of freedom of speech and due process. Would you want a brain surgeon opening your head if you had a tumor or someone who plays one on TV and has NEVER even watched an operation, has NO SCHOOLING with a scalpel and no interest in learning? In fact, little interest in anything that in some way doesn’t have to do with his own id?

This is why #ImWithHer. If not for myself, then for every millennial I’ve ever taught and every woman I’ve ever met. Make that every American I’ve ever met.

Talking the Talk

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In the early 1970s the #1 talk radio station in New York was WMCA and at night it broadcast a program called The Joanne Ginsberg Show. She wasn’t a relative but she had the same last name as I did, and since even then I longed to be in show biz I figured it was worth a listen.

Aside from the requisite celebrities of the era – like John and Yoko (Lennon, that is) – there were political discussions… lots of them. It was also the not yet end of the Vietnam War and the majority of American teenagers like myself were repulsed at the idea of living in a country that continuously bombed women and little children thousands of miles away to oblivion – and at that time we actually saw their bloody carcasses on the network news each night – in the name of what seemed to be…well…absolutely nothing.

Aunt Joanie

Aunt Joanie

Being even more mouthy than I am now – yes it’s possible and, after all, I was a teenager – I decided to call up “Aunt Joanne” one night when an Army general or veteran or sergeant (who can remember) was on singing the patriotic praises of America and how proud he and all of us should be at our armed forces and every time the flag was raised.

Really, I thought? Proud? I’ll show him.

Channeling my inner Wonder Woman #LassoOfTruth

Channeling my inner Wonder Woman #LassoOfTruth

So I got on the phone, dialed the number and waited half an hour to tell the guy off.

Yeah, I’d like to say something to your guest, I bellowed at Auntie Joanie when she asked what was on my mind and told me we were on the air.

I’d like him to know that as a young person I’m sickened every time I see the military and hear the national anthem playing. As for the American flag, we’re murdering hundreds of innocent people halfway across the world for nothing. It’s draped on the coffins of soldiers who died for no reason.   I don’t know how anyone can be proud of that. And our government is just trying to get out of it by saying it’s “peace with honor….”

I’m paraphrasing a bit but trust me – words like military, horrifying, death, disgusting, sickening and I’m pretty sure nauseating were used more than once. Sensing that there was even more to come the elder Ginsberg wisely jumped in and asked her guest what he thought about that.   To this day I have no idea what he said. All I can recall is that he never addressed my sentiments – at all.   I was looking to do battle and, strangely enough, he was choosing not at all to engage.

A pretty fair representation of my interaction

A pretty fair representation of my interaction

I recount this all in light of our current national pastime of electoral politics – or as we like to call it – the best damn reality show the world has ever seen. How was it that some 40 plus years later I was cheering for retired Gen. John Allen at the Democratic National Convention when he screamed about love of country, common values, defeating evil and protecting the homeland?

Uh, no – it’s not because I’m older or my politics have much changed. It’s because his short but very pointed argument was put in a context.

We writers, directors, producers and actors should take note.

The General at the DNC, flanked by veterans of ALL colors

The General at the DNC, flanked by veterans of ALL colors

Gen. Allen’s speech directly followed that of Khzir Khan, father of a dead Muslim soldier, who challenged Donald Trump’s patriotism for his proposal of “temporarily” banning all Muslims to the country as well as his nasty, jingoistic hate speech towards Mexican-Americans, women, and pretty much any other peer (of any color, faith or sex) who dared to strenuously disagree with him. Mr. Khan, an immigrant and a lawyer – and clearly a very good one – topped it off by pulling out his own printed pamphlet of the Constitution, offering to lend it to him to read, because clearly he hasn’t and has no idea what’s in it. He concluded by telling him that he knew nothing about sacrifice because he has sacrificed “nothing and no one.”

Oh yes he did

Oh yes he did

But back to Gen. Allen. In a post 9-11 world – that means a time when Americans understand what it means to be attacked on the mainland in one of its major cities and financial centers – blood and carnage does not seem as shocking. This is especially true given the almost weekly bursts of violence and death by guns by our own hands, not to mention the bi-weekly, monthly or bi-monthly mass terrorist attacks of late all over the world.

Still, the reason I, and many like myself, instinctively cheered on a military man is that his words were a rebuke to Trumpism – or as I define it – a jingoistic knee-jerk reaction in support of all things American.

What's that cliche... lipstick on a pig?

What’s that cliche… lipstick on a pig?

To be clear, the precise words the former Marine commander was yelling were phrases like:

Every American in uniform, in the White House or at home…must be a force for unity in America, for a vision that includes all of us… Every man and woman, every race, every ethnicity, every faith and creed, including the Americans who are our precious Muslims. And every gender and every gender orientation.

I also know (under Hillary Clinton) our armed forces will not become an instrument of torture, and they will not be ordered to engage in murder or carry out other illegal activities.

So we stand before you tonight to endorse Hillary Clinton for president of the United States of America…We trust her judgment. We trust in her judgment….We know that she – as no other – knows how to use all instruments of American power, not just the military, to keep us all safe and free.

With her as our commander-in-chief, America will continue to lead in this volatile world.

We will oppose and resist tyranny as we will defeat evil….America will defeat ISIS and protect the homeland….America will honor our treaty obligations….We will lead and strengthen NATO and the Atlantic Alliance, and our allies in East Asia and around the world whom we have sworn a solemn oath to defend. 

….We will stop the spread of nuclear weapons and keep them from the hands of dangerous states and groups.

…I also know that with her as our commander-in-chief, our international relations will not be reduced to a business transaction.

I also know our armed forces will not become an instrument of torture, and they will not be ordered to engage in murder or carry out other illegal activities.

You see most Americans are not as different from 1970s American teenagers, or even millennial teenagers and up, than one might think. Most of us don’t want war or anything to do with it. But we are also realistic and no longer live in a fool’s paradise. We’ll fight, or might be inclined to listen to a justification for fighting even if we don’t want to if we understand what the hell we’re fighting for.   Or against.

What we, the overwhelmingly reasonable majority don’t want to do is to fight for no logical reason.   Or with each other.