It is a sad day for America and the world. Our country and planet are in danger.
We’re saying goodbye to one of the greatest men, one of the greatest presidents to ever live. So much has been written and said by others, I had no idea what I could write, or how to say goodbye today.
When M was little, and in preschool, if he or other children were having a hard time separating from parents, saying goodbye at drop off, there was a little window, near the front door, and a teacher would hold M up to the window on the inside, and I was outside, and we said goodbye, blowing kisses, and waving at the goodbye window, and then he would be OK, and so would I.
So, back then, I made this:
This was a poster I had made during the 2012 election:
And this was inspired by the First Family’s 2016 holiday / Christmas card photo:
Thank you, President Barack Hussein Obama.
Thank you, First Lady, Michelle Obama.
Thank you, First Daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Thank you, First Dogs, Sunny and Bo.
Looking through the many pictures and waving goodbye, through the screens, or waving goodbye in our hearts inside, while you’ll wave back to us, no doubt, and we already miss you, tearing ourselves away and muttering yes, we can, we have to, but its super scary, and its real, and can we really? It is such a long fall downwards from the high bar you set.
Thank you, Mr. President, Our President.
Thank you, to everyone who’s been marching and fighting for justice for decades, or days, and to those who have not started yet, but will.
Thank you, to all the artists, writers, musicians, singers, comedians, journalists, filmmakers, dancers, scientists, organizers, activists, dreamers and believers in all that is good in the world because we need everyone to pitch in more. We need many voices and art and comedy and film and songs and it will be oxygen, a compass, and a way through and over and out of hopelessness, despair, and defeat. As it always is.
M is 10, and he came with me vote in 2008, 2012, and 2016, and he worries about more then a child should have to, because he feels and sees the truth, like so many children do, and he and many others are deeply sad today. And it shouldn’t be this way; that children everywhere are afraid and sad because a new president is taking office in the United States of America.
And we, the grown ups, somehow have to explain how this happened, how we’ll protect him, how we’ll continue to work to try to change things.
Every single child needs protection and love and clean air and water and shelter and food and education, and we as a country already fall terribly short on that, but it could get worse.
It is impossible to explain to M how a dangerous bully tyrant, a most unfit to serve man is going to be in charge and is already working to dismantle life as we know it here and in the world.
So we tell him the truth: Yes, this is really bad. We look forward to the impeachment process to begin as soon as possible.
We stay who we are. We fight back. We don’t give up.
Oy, it’s been too long! Things have been kinda nuts. Max was sick. I was sick. Work. Life. Ah, there’s never enough time in the day, never a dull moment. I’ve got a lot of ground to cover and my brain is swirling, trying to get through my daily to-do list.
I’m thinking about the campaigning, debates, and the upcoming election; how facts don’t matter but eye contact and sound bytes do; that I’m bombarded with daily emails from the PTA. I can’t keep up! I need to breathe into a paper bag. This is going out long so I hope you’ll bear with me, because I’ve got a backlog of stuff I’ve written, and I gotta hit “publish.”
In the next few weeks leading up to the election, I’ll be posting as much as I can. I’m an athieist, yet I find myself saying daily prayers as I go about my business. I figure, what can it hurt? Maybe it’ll help. I say silent ones inside my head if I’m in public. Out loud if I’m at home alone. I reference God, Allah, Jesus, and Buddha. I read books. I look up sources of reason, logic, science, art. I ask questions, attempting to discern fact from fiction. I think of higher powers. I think of the Universe. Stars. I look at trees with their multi-colored leaves falling and their strong bark trunks, in an effort to find hope there, too. I make sure the bird feeder is filled. The birds just sing, oblivious. I’m out of my mind with worry. The stakes are incredibly high.
I’m a proud bleeding heart liberal democrat. During these days, as with all stressful times, our cat, Ringo is my blood pressure reducer and general comforter. There is a creature who is alive, who gives and receives love. We take care of each other. We’re all creatures who are born here on this planet Earth first and foremost, to receive and give love.
There are, and always have been, evil forces at work. It has been so since the beginning of time. History is filled with examples of horrors inflicted by one nation or group upon others, by dictators, by men without souls. Mr. Romney (and his running mate Paul Ryan) are about as evil and scary as they come. I’m petrified for myself, my family, our country, and the world if, heaven forbid, they win. I’m waking up in cold sweats from nightmares. During the day, I get rolling chills or nausea. I’m raiding the Halloween candy daily and drinking way too much coffee.
Little side note: While helping Max fall asleep on Sunday, he was going on and on with a case for why I needed to stay with him all night and how much he loves me. He ended it with: “Ok, comment on that.” Maybe he’s watching too much MSNBC with me.
This is what I wrote following the final presidential debate on foreign policy on Monday, October 22, 2012. Thank you for reading. Stay sane by any means necessary and VOTE like your life depends on it. It does.
After the last presidential debate and last few days:
Let me see if I got this straight: According to smirk, smile, quiver, shift, stare, fake smile, shift, sweat, squirm-Romney, President Obama is responsible for the turmoil and tumult in the Middle East. Never mind thousands of years of complex history. Iran is the scariest one. Israel is a best friend forever. But there’s daylight between us.
Terror needs to be stopped and should never happen again anywhere but if it does, it’s Obama’s fault. Egypt, Syria, Libya, Lebanon–we need to make sure their Arab Spring finally blooms. Why is it taking so long over there to become “civilized?”
We don’t want to drive down a road or path to Greece (which is good because you need to fly or travel by boat to get there from here). China is a currency manipulator. Hello, Sensata, Freehold, IL, Bain-outsourcing much? Devastating more lives and yet another American town as we watch helplessly. But he’ll be tough on China.
On DAY ONE, just as soon as Romney finishes his morning coffee, er, herbal tea party blend, he’s gonna overturn The Affordable Health Care Act aka Obamacare, Roe v. Wade, “get rid of that” Planned Parenthood, and send Big Bird packing up his nest. Then he’ll call China and tell them, no more stealing patents and technology! It’s not nice to steal. Russia and Iran need a proper talking to so they know who’s boss around these here world parts. But, nevermind everything he’s ever said or voted for to date, now he’s for everything President Obama said. Really! It’s all about the moment of now. Wait a minute…now! See how that works? Ya gotta move fast to keep up with his forward /backwards / I didn’t say that /Yes, I did/ No, I didn’t – shell game.
Someone memorized names of cities, terror groups, and even pronounced Ahmadinejad’s name, but Romney sweated profusely throughout, a sure sign of a calm, collected, thoughtful public servant or commander-in-chief to be who speaks the truth. All that lying, flip-flopping, and fake condescending smiling is exhausting. This foreign policy business is hard. You try it.
Gender Equality — ooh, isn’t it exciting when Romney learns a new phrase? It’s a good idea overseas, especially for the Middle East, but here in America, we’ll implement The Whole Binders Full of Women Act which makes much more sense in that most American women would prefer to return to the 1950s, or perhaps even go back farther in time (pick your own favorite oppressive /repressive century). Life was infinitely better for everyone back then, especially for women, who loved baking apple pies all day long, dying in childbirth, tending to their God-given rape and incest children, barely surviving or not surviving their back alley abortions, or dying from cervical or breast cancer due to lack of healthcare and technology like mammograms or pap smears.
Also, women earning less or no money is great for the economy, self-esteem, and equality! That’s why so many American women are trying desperately to move to places like the Congo or Taliban ruled areas where they can be free of such things like rape, murder or Sharia law and finally can become self actualized independent human beings while washing their ragged clothing down by the banks of the blood filled, Malaria contaminated, yet also drought ridden, used to be a river shores.
At the soonest possible opportunity, we’ll get the entire Community of Nations to sit in a drum circle and sing Kumbaya for Peace. Because Peace is a good thing and Mitt really likes peace! He would really like to be President—like, a lot! Iraq was a good war. No it wasn’t. Yes, it was. We need to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely but we’ll be outta there on December 31, 2014, mark his words.
Also, climate change and energy was once again mysteriously not mentioned along with Europe, which apparently also doesn’t exist. Remember, we don’t want to become Greece, but maybe it’s OK to vacation there. Other options include buying an island (using money stolen from the Middle Class, poor and working poor, seniors, people with disabilities, and brave veterans who will not ever be mentioned out loud, but please know they’re in our hearts and prayers). Or you can keep your untaxed money (because you built it) someplace warm and sunny, like the Cayman Islands, which has beautiful marine life, too. That can be destroyed some day. Maybe start blasting or fracking there on DAY TWO. But first, the Tar Sands XL Pipeline will be fully implemented because we need to decimate that side of the continent ASAP.
Luckily, the arctic is well on it’s way to a spectacular demise so we’ve got that going for us. Polar Bears, while white and super cute on holiday greeting cards, just aren’t necessary for the growth of the economy. Also, if it takes killing a bunch of birds or irreversibly damaging our planet to get more Chinese workers earning a dollar a day, then that’s what needs to be done. It’s all about priorities. Please, people: birds, air, water, food, mountains, trees. Really? That is all extraneous fluff and there’s no line in the budget for that. Everyone knows that President Obama and all the Democrats single-handedly destroyed the economy which was in perfectly fine shape from 2000-2008. And that is why both Presidents Bush 1 and 2 are out stumping for Romney every day. They know what really happened.
Again, the economy is the number one focus and the economy stands alone and isn’t connected to any other realm, such as social or environmental justice, the needs of the people, or the health of the planet and all it’s inhabitants. Humanity and nature are entirely overrated and have no connection or interdependence! Science and math are also silly. Fact checking is a waste of time and energy. Truth is subjective and perception is reality. Souls are fully refundable and exchangeable if you’ve got a receipt. People know that the Earth is flat and God created Heaven and Earth and everything in it in a mere seven days! God built it! It says so in the Bible and that’s the truth.
Jobs, jobs, jobs! Better to ship the jobs to China like Sensata which is happening right now and is a perfect example of how Romney will lead this glorious country into the next era, which isn’t to be named yet, because it’s so bright, brimming with hope, possibility, and prosperity for him and his BFFs, that there’s no word in the vocabulary for his vision of America. It’s literally that great! Seriously, you know he was born in America, right? And he loves cars! Do you love cars? He also loves car elevators; they’re super awesome.
Bayonets, horses, and AK-47 Assault rifles are going on sale any minute now. Better stock up for the holidays! What better way to say, “I love you!” You don’t need a permit or mental health background check, just walk on up, choose your weapon, and stand your ground! You can target your fellow citizens anywhere; Schools, office buildings, movie theaters, day spas—you choose your favorite weapon and place. Now, that’s undeniable, red-blooded, American freedom, people! That’s what I call CHOICE!
Presidential lessons, voting machines, and access to the red button are now available for purchase by SuperPacs for only 1 Billion dollars! Such a bargain, considering how many people we could feed and house for that amount. Heck, you could even give Big Bird a break and let him stay around. But, never mind all that nonsense about people! Just remember, it’s all about the economy. The Romney-Ryan economy. And their plan (which we’re not privy to knowing, or hearing about in any reasonable detail), doesn’t include 99% of America. 47% of America. Just the 1% gosh darn lucky, extra hard-working, ever-sacrificing “job creators” who built this: 1%.
All words and images are copyright Elana Halberstadt 2012, except for the political memes, charts, and graphs gathered from the internet— All copyrights belong to the associated owners. The Polar Bear greeting card is copyright Kennan Ward Photography.