The New Abnormal

“Have we no sense decency, sir?” Twenty-five thousand troops to protect ourselves from ourselves during our “peaceful” transfer of power ceremony is so very sad. We can do better. We must do better.

I had an invigorating conversation with one of my most favorite people, Rabbi Dan Levin, senior rabbi at Temple Beth-El in Boca Raton. We discussed the polarization this country faces caused in large part by politicians and the media, along with the loss of community and personal interaction that COVID accelerated.

We discussed his idea of creating a Political Action Committee that demands decency. The Decency PAC could be funded by some thoughtful billionaires who want their resources to towards American society’s betterment. This would have to be nonpartisan and nondenominational. Perhaps the Koch Brothers, Elon Musk, and Michael Bloomberg can partner together to support this project to have our politicians agree on some fundamental parameters of behavior.

Even a “life begins at conception” conservative and a “green new deal flag-waving” liberal will agree on 95% of what they believe to be a sense of fairness and decency.

To get the PAC’s support, politicians would have to agree to some wild things, like:

  • Tell the truth (silence is complicity)
  • Be fair
  • Be just

If politicians are found to violate these basic rules, they’ll lose their good standing and financial support from the PAC, which will then support other candidates that do.

I know this is oversimplistic and begs dozens of other questions, like “who’s truth,” “what does it mean to be just,” but I do think these are solvable hurdles for our powerful and thoughtful PAC.

OK. So, anyone know some thoughtful billionaires to start up the Decency PAC?

A COVID Positive

One of the positives to come out of the pandemic for us was that we got a few more weeks at home with Hannah. Our beautiful daughter came home for Thanksgiving break from her freshman year and didn’t go back until today.

Interestingly, it was almost harder for Hannah and Susan to say goodbye this time, then it was sending her off to school for the first time. Perhaps, with so much craziness going on in the world, it was comforting to see her smiling face every day. It used to make us nuts how late she would sleep, but at least we knew where she was and that she was safe.

But, she’s back to where she belongs right now. She’ll quickly be busy with school and rush, and that she is there will feel normal soon enough.

I don’t pretend to understand the special mother-daughter bond completely, but I honor it. They can have their secrets and their complex communication they transmit in a glance, and that’s just fine with me. 

I love them both, and I cherish them both, but tonight I’ll only be able to hold one. 

And for that, I am grateful.

The End of an Error

I’m challenging myself to find a good story to tell about the terribly sad day this country suffered yesterday. In trying to explain what was happening to my daughter, I said, “it’s like after you flush the toilet, the most violent and furious activity occurs just before its contents disappear down the drain.” I’m not sure she found that comforting or truly illuminating, yet yesterday is what I hope to be one of the final acts of this challenging chapter in our country’s history.

I’m using all my empathetic skills to feel the “patriots’,” who stormed our nation’s capitol, pain and frustration. Their story’s main narrator will soon be out of power and I’m hopeful they will find a new station to listen to or at least add to their media mix. Their pain and fear are real. We must listen and stive to understand them. They are Americans and we will be stronger together than divided.

I’m not a democrat and I’m not a republican. I’m a fiscally conservative, socially liberal, rational middle, love my country kind of person. I don’t need everyone to agree with my views. I just want them be respected as I promise to do to with theirs. FYI, I don’t plan on writing too many political posts, but as I was starting my blog today, this is what was on my mind.

2021 has begun with a pandemic raging, political conflict and economic uncertainty. I am an optomist. I have faith in the American spirit and our communal wisdom. We have a vaccine rolling out. We have a new administration rolling in. We have each other to hold on to.

Yesterday was a dark day. There will be brighter days ahead that may be even brighter as a reaction to the tragedy of yesterday’s actions. That is a story I look forward to telling. So, to end my first blog post, thank you for reading and may peace be with you.