Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sex Lies and Audio Tape

Well, it's that time of year....deep in the hoopla of Jewish holidays. The big two, Rosh ha'Shana and Yom Kippur are over, leaving the week of Sukkot to survive. I kinda like Sukkot; it's fall, the air is crisp, the apples are crisp, the leaves underfoot are crisp. It's the whole fall-colors-changing thing. Unlike secular New Year that starts in the dead of winter when nothing is new, this one is like school....the seasons are going around and the scent of adventure is in the air. Even though everything is dying, the brilliance of the season promises something exciting and maybe even a little unexpected. 

This year, being full of new beginnings for me, added one more I'd not considered: building a little, tiny sukkah on my deck. Ziggy and I had always talked about having one, but never got it together to do it. But standing in the kitchen right before Shabbat, looking at my deck through the screen door at the remains of my herb pots, I realized this just might be do-able. Hmmmm. Some serious consideration will take place over the winter. 

Of course, having a sukkah is dependent on my being around to have one. This week was not exactly a stellar turn at politics. The muck, the lies, the level of debate all serve to make me wonder if I did not go to sleep in 2015 and awakened in some alternative universe. 

I get that there are political, philosophical, and ideological differences. I get that there are some serious religious schisms out there. I get that people wrap their collective heads around half-truths and spin because that's all they are seeing. But what I don't get is how anyone can say treating 51% of the population like so much meat is a qualification for being the leader of the free world.  

Some 40% of We, the People, believing that the kinds of behavior exhibited by Donald Trump are a) okay, b) explainable, c) justifiable, or d) a plot to discredit him is a really scary number. You can listen to a series of clips from the interview aired on the Howard Stern show in 2008 on CNN. If you don't throw up in your mouth, you have either a really strong stomach or some latent misogynistic issues. Trump says these things are not true, and in some cases, that he never said them. Why on earth would he say that when it is so well documented? His whole mien is sexual and not exactly innuendo. It's right out there, naked beauty queens and all. Come on, Donald; it's hard to argue with interviews in the public record. 

But that's not what scares me the most. 

Donald Trump is not going to win this election. That's pretty clear, and becomes clearer with each debate and series of late-night tweets. Hillary Clinton will be POTUS and Bill will be the first First Gentleman. With luck, Congress will wake up and figure out most of the nation is pretty  disgusted with their behavior, and if they've managed to survive this election cycle, perhaps they will trade in obstructionism for something less seeking common ground. 

Okay, that last one was a long shot.

What may not be a long shot, however, is the attempt to provoke a coup d'état for after the election. There is no small amount of this kind of talk happening in places we usually prefer to forget about. As Trump keeps railing on about how if he loses, it means this election has been fixed, We, the People had better come to grips with the idea that his supporters are not going away. They will be out there, and they may be looking for a fight.

There has never been a successful national coup d'état although there have been localized attempts, the most notable being the one on November 10th, 1898. That does not mean that there cannot be one here. Remember names like Posse Comitatus or the Bundy family standoff? Groups like these are out there, and they are supporters of the Trump movement. 

This is not meant to instigate a counter movement. This is a warning shot: we are neither as safe nor as invincible as we like to think we are. And yeah, this sounds a lot like the dire warnings before Hitler took over. We all know how many people paid attention to that...and how that turned out. Wasn't good for the Jews, and this time, it won't beegood for the African Americans, Muslim Americans, or the Jewish Americans. 

I do not believe for one New York minute that 40% of We, the People want a coup d'état. I believe that most of We, the People who are supporting Trump will accept defeat of their candidate and begin working toward whatever is next. 

America got to be America because We ARE the People. 

So what's the point? Easy. Be aware. Be very aware. Do not be complacent, and do wait for others to stand up for you. Make sure your representatives in Congress now know your expectations, and when the new crop comes in, make sure you are just as specific with them. Make your voices heard. 

Bryant Park Sukkah
There is a custom during Sukkot called Ushpizin, when we invite exalted guests into your sukkah. Traditionally, they are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David... biblical figures. Even if you aren't Jewish or don't observe the full measure of Sukkot, take a moment to put together your own table of exalted guests and ask them about this election cycle. In playing out those roles, you might learn something about yourself. It can't hurt. It might help. 

The Wifely Person Tip o'the Week

October is a good month to do stuff...get married, have babies...
throw really good parties. 
The air is pretty.


  1. I so agree with your thinking on the election, but I was also in agreement with you about having a sukkah. I am not Jewish, but what I have learned about the celebration, just feels good to me. When I taught elementary school, I wanted to build a sukkah in the schoolyard. That idea wasn't well-received, so I built an African ancestors hut in my classroom instead. My young multi-ethnic, multi-racial students loved the idea of thinking about an ancestor and what they might talk with that ancestor about. It validated the idea of reflection and growth from reflection. I hope I am not out of line when I compare this event with what happens in the sukkah. As always, thank you for your post. My blog has languished, but I'm just about ready to return! I hope you will join me.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Winningham. I think it's perfectly analogous to compare the two. I am always amazed at how similar most peoples really are!