I have realized that as husband Paul experiences and I shepherd the hospice process, I do not feel the same energy for matters outside our home, particularly the political. The things I value and my passion for the well-being of democracy have not changed. I am still an annoying centrist.
I am using most of my emotional and physical strength in an all-out effort to maintain the comfort, safety and peace of our remaining days together. Those of you experiencing a consuming life event which could be happy or stressful or both circumstances know what I mean.
I continue to be interested, even fascinated, by the volatility of our political and governing environment but have a strangely passive attitude about the outcome “what will be will be.” I wish I could say it was the result of my Zen-like being. Alas, there is simply not enough room my life.
I am writing this column on the days after the election. Paul and I watched the returns and excited energy building as the unknown turned slowly to the unexpected the night of the election. Hearing commentary was much like listening to a closely contested sports event bound to go into overtime.
Over the next days we tracked the progress of ballot counting that would determine the political control of the U.S. Senate and House. Looks like we are heading toward a tie among power brokers.
At this writing, house control is undecided but appears to favor Republicans. The actors are taking their place or, at least trying to give the impression it is their place. Kevin McCarthy is said to long to be Speaker of the House, which is the probable outcome. He announced his candidacy to his caucus and commenced a strategy to wrangle the votes. Punditry believes it will not be easily accomplished given the personalities and competing desires in his caucus.
McCarthy will try to form a plan forward that will please everyone. Popular plans in his caucus include impeaching President Biden while investigating his son Hunter Biden, and “no blank check for Ukraine,” which received rave reviews from the more Russian-leaning members … a considerable number if we count the ones that cheered Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister and keynote speaker at a large conservative Republican event.
Others in his caucus are calling for funding more police on the streets and strip away the IRS staff that was added by a Biden bill to enforce IRS regulations and improve tax compliance by high income earners who pay little or no taxes.
Let us not forget disbanding and censuring the work of the Jan. 6 committee.
Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader of the Senate, wisely did not step into his place until the votes were counted. Guess he doesn’t like making an idiot of himself. Controversy is swirling whether he will remain minority leader.
Republicans will have to wait to implement proposals to regularly review and approve programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Republicans have never liked programs that are dependent on the government to collect taxes and disburse money.
Frankly, I cannot imagine the free marketers who have benefited mightily from Medicare dollars approving such a plan.
American voters cannot stop any of that if Republicans hold the Senate and House; however, they spoke loudly in record numbers to keep most manipulative election deniers — after all, they do know what they are doing — out of office, to support laws that allow women to govern their own bodies and to stop the threat to democracy.
Their leader, Donald Trump, who is set on diminishing democracy and making a country in his image, looms now as a loser.
Former President Trump lost his place in the 2020 election and has been trying to get it back ever since. The 2022 election outcome analysts are saying he lost this one too, at least for the Republicans. Being labeled a loser is as bad for him as not getting attention 24/7.
Trump requires attention like we require oxygen. He can take credit for spawning and addicting others such as election deniers, civil war promisers and conspiracy theorists who live in the fact-free universe of delusions and illusions who inhabit the Republican Party.
American youth taking their place
Our optimism is especially strengthened by the numbers of American youth that came out in a big way to pave their future with freedom. Voters in this election spoke loudly against political manipulation that deny freedoms as basic as the right to vote by voting in large numbers.
American youth know their future, will continue to pick up the charge and push the Republicans to stop using the democratic system to destroy it.
I hope Republicans hear them and will do what needs to be done to restore their party, become a viable respectable political opponent, save their patriotic souls, and save their country.
I remember youth and know well mine is gone and my life now is managing the end of it with as much grace as I can.
Part of it will be as a cheerleader for them and, as I have always been, for America.
Bertha Cooper, an award-winning featured columnist with the Sequim Gazette, spent her career years in health care administration, program development and consultation and it the author of the award-winning “Women, We’re Only Old Once.” Cooper and her husband have lived in Sequim more than 20 years. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.