Democrats, Republicans, Children of the Universe – we’re all united in the unsettled muck of Election 2016. What began months ago like an exhilarating horse race with thoroughbreds busting out of the starting gates has devolved into a haze of vitriolic trumpery, and now here we are staring in disbelief at two lame mares slogging their way to the finish line in the worn-out muddy track.

I could scarcely watch the Republican debates without storming out of the room, lashing out at my perplexed husband halfway through each debacle. What is wrong with these people who can’t stick to the issues? Why do the flounders who take the bait rise to the top, hook line and sinker? But that anger has gradually morphed into a sickening resignation that this is truly what it has all come down to. The only way I could get through the third presidential debate was by frantically coloring away in the Color Me Calm book a friend gave me. My blue pencil literally colored a rip right through the paper during one gnarly exchange, and my hand cramped up before the debate was finished. Apparently zen coloring doesn’t apply to political issues.

The majority of  citizens seem dispassionate about the voting dilemma – claiming that we don’t want to vote for either presidential candidate – because really, how else can we feel without blowing a gasket and losing our minds along with our integrity? We all may be dispirited, disillusioned, disenfranchised, disturbed, disappointed and thoroughly disgusted by the whole damn mess, but the one glimmer off in the distance is the realization that everybody actually DOES care. It seems we care so much that Washington, D.C. therapist Steven Stosny coined the term “election stress disorder” to describe what many of his patients are currently experiencing. Hopefully this syndrome of epidemic proportions can be cured with an election outcome, win or lose.

Peggy Noonan’s WSJ editorial entitled A World in Crisis, and No Genius in Sight aptly pointed out that “An old order is being swept away, and political leaders everywhere seem lost.” What the world needs now isn’t love – it’s a genius along the lines of Gandhi, Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, or better yet a “genius cluster” a la Washington-Jefferson-Franklin-Adams-Madison-Monroe-Hamilton. Heroism and brilliance show up in the midst of trial and tribulation… so how much more turbulence must our world suffer before we are again gifted with a glorious hero to save us all?

Chuck Todd of Meet the Press has tried to bring some perspective and sensibility to this divisive arena through journalism like his interview with conservative pundit Glenn Beck who said, “We have to change our course as individuals now. We’re losing ourselves, we’re losing our civility, we’re losing our decency. We have to stop winning and we have to start reconciling with each other. There’s no leader to do that nationally, so it’s going to require each of us in our own communities to actually stand and do it.”

My fellow children of the 60’s and 70’s might remember the DESIDERATA that gained popularity during that decade of war, protests and social unrest. Somehow we survived that upheaval, and I trust that somehow our world will survive this turmoil as well. Let’s bring back the Desiderata. Perhaps YOU – Child of the Universe – are the true genius the galaxy is waiting for.


08 Gimme Some Truth  (Dhani Harrison and Jakob Dylan, sons of George Harrison and Bob Dylan singing for Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur)

George Clooney has gotten a lot of play in our house over the past couple of weeks. At The Descendents movie, we watched a guy who has never been a father play a man who doesn’t know how to be a dad evolve into a pretty cool pop. In the doctor’s office the next day, I picked up the latest edition of Esquire magazine because the cover touted “The Meaning of Life 2012” and contained “Wisdom & Damn Good Advice” from none other than cover boy George himself. How could I resist? This, after listening to a couple of manly Haertl men joke about hanging out with the Cloonster and hearing my zesty mother-in-law and college coed daughters gush on about the universal dreamboat.

Who on earth doesn’t like George Clooney? He’s the ultimate guys’ guy – the guy who guys want to shoot hoop with and shoot the sh*t with over scotch and cigars. He’s the ultimate ladies’ man – the leading man who charms with honest humor, never leading the ladies on to think he’ll commit more than he’s willing to. He’s a talented actor and director, an intelligent student of life, a thoughtful humanitarian, a hands-on philanthropist… and the Perfect Presidential Candidate. Problem is, he’s so far from interested. In his words, “Take a look at politics. You tell me what seems appealing about that.”

You got that right, George, especially with all the feuding, bickering and backstabbing that goes on in politics. Republican or Democrat –  forget about party lines. It’s all about compromise, finding a way to cross those lines and create working solutions for all. Politics revolve around salesmanship – if you can sell an idea, it’s in play. Look at Ronald Reagan – he was not an economist, yet Reaganomics became bona fide albeit controversial economic policy. Whether or not we agreed with his views, things just seemed to be a little happier in the world with the good old Gipper’s easy manner and disarming smile.

What a shame that Clooney’s recent movie The Ides of March is probably as close to the presidency as George will get. The movie says, “American politics is a beachfront property with sharks surfing the waves.” Clooney would be the dolphin frolicking among the sharks, riding the waves and spinning in the air while playfully delighting the sunbathers. Unlike his character Governor Mike Morris in The Ides, Clooney seems to be a straight-shooting, compassionate, fun-loving man with no political aspirations. Perhaps if we all write him in as our presidential nominee, he might consider this real-life role. His political
qualifications are questionable, but he sure can spin a good pitch. Mr. Clooney likes to surround himself with colorful characters and bright minds, so he would undoubtedly assemble a cabinet full of the sharpest political figures. They could formulate strategies and President Clooney could sell like crazy.

Imagine how much happier our entire country would be with George smiling at us every night, telling us things are going to work out just fine. And when the going gets tough, his smooth grit would look us square in the eye and give us the straight-up truth. Cloonster for Prez! That’s my political fairy tale. Hey a girl can dream, can’t she?

Pearls of Wisdom Gleaned From the January Esquire

“…the greatest sin a man or woman can commit is the abuse of power.” ~ Joe Biden

“If you don’t have human dignity, you’re going to walk in a hunched way. But if you feel yourself pulled at the top of your head toward the heavens, you’re a human being with dignity.” ~ Art Garfunkle

“Want what you need.  As opposed to wanting what you want.  You may not need what you want, but you want it anyway.  If you can turn your wants into your needs, you can do anything.” ~ Randy Jackson