For the Love of All That is Good & Right…Vote!

vote

Warning: This is a serious blog.  Normally, I only take a serious turn in my blogs when there is something critical to talk about. I can’t think of anything more critical than the outcome to the mid-term elections. I want to make one last ditch effort to get everyone to vote. The stakes could not be higher.

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Scholars far more intelligent than I am have made a comparison between Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump. Here is what I believe and remember about history:

  • The beginnings of Fascism in Nazi Germany began in 1933, several years before the war officially started and before the US got involved.
  • When we talk about treating the other side with compassion and understanding, would we have done the same to Adolf Hitler? Yes, Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler are/were both human beings and I don’t believe in violence. I also don’t think it is especially effective to go to the gutter and throw insults at the man. I do, however, believe the mass of voices who want to shut down the dangerous direction must act in the form of voting, peaceful resistance and impacting the pocketbooks of those behind the harmful policies. Boycotting does work!
  • In 1933 when the Nazi Party seized power, they decommissioned their constitution and all that remained was a piece of paper. Civil rights were abandoned and power was turned over to the Nazi party and Adolf Hitler. Sound familiar? How about the latest controversy where Trump believes he can simply write an executive order to deal with that pesky Fourteenth Amendment. You know, the constitution is so irritating sometimes. At least that is what Trump believes. Why do you think he loves those leaders in countries that give all their power to their dictator? Unbelievable that he wants to take away the rights of those born in the United States if they are the offspring of the undocumented. His base loves this rhetoric. Again, eerily similar to Nazi Germany.
  • How has Trump risen to power? Fear. He, like Hitler, is a master at riling up the masses. I read an interesting fiction book (Diary of a Nazi Lady by Gillian Freeman) a long time ago told from the perspective of a wife of a Nazi leader. His rise to power and her delight at meeting Hitler was gruesomely fascinating. The narrator talked of her hero worship of Hitler and the utter joy when she met him. The book described a kind of blind devotion to Hitler that is eerily reminiscent of what is happening today in relation to Trump’s base. Fear is a powerful thing. I am not blind to how the left (which I proudly belong to) is also using this tactic as well. I’d like to think this blog does not fall into that category.
  • Don’t believe for one second Trump is a friend to the LGBTQ community. I’m not going to list all the times he has actively taken a stance to stomp all over our rights. Give him free rein and he will continue. That’s not fear mongering. That is fact.

 

I’ve talked before about what has happened to me since Trump took office. Do I have hard and fast facts to support my belief that his rise to power played a role in me losing my job? No. But, sometimes the stories we tell turn out to be true. In this case, the disgust on my boss’s husband’s face when I introduced my wife and how she treated me was all the evidence I needed to come to that conclusion. Trump has given the masses reasons to bring their bigotry out in the open and act. Cue up the events of late: pipe bombs, attacks on a synagogue, etc. The list is endless since he took office.

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If the events of the past two years have not rattled you enough, I don’t know what else to say to convince you of how important this vote is. The right is counting on us to sit at home and not vote. I implore you not to let that happen. Get out and vote and do everything in your power to help others get there as well.

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In a book that will come out next year called A Window to Love, I wrote a scene right after I was fired that is as close to what happened as I remembered in my distraught state at the time. I’ll let you be the judge of whether this would fall into the category of one of those side effects of the Trump Presidency…be afraid, be very afraid… because little by little our rights may go away and license will be given to those who hate us to do anything they want in the name of religious freedom. This sneak peek is unedited…..

“Last evening, I had a meeting and ran into Jillian Cochran,” Arlene began.

Mandie rolled the name around in her mouth, but it didn’t taste familiar. “Jillian Cochran?”

Arlene ignored the question. “Jillian expressed concern about my ability to work with her. She informed me the HR Director told her the reason she was not chosen for the position was that the CEO believed she might undermine her if she was hired. Jillian was worried that if I believed she would undermine me, then we wouldn’t work well on the committee. Jillian joined the state committee I currently chair sponsored by the hospital association.” She looked at me and placed her clasped hands on the table. Mandie suspected she was waiting for her to respond.

Mandie was still trying to place Jillian Cochran and her taste buds hadn’t kicked in yet. Her blank stare must have generated a response from the CNO. She assumed when Jillian had noted, the HR Director, she meant Mandie. HR Director wasn’t her title, she was actually the Chief Human Resources Officer. Titles were never that important to her.

“Jillian was our Business Development Director candidate,” Liana added.

Mandie blinked, but things weren’t quite in focus yet.

“I can’t have people in the community thinking that.” Arlene pushed a piece of paper in front of Mandie with an envelope clipped to the top. “We’ve prepared a generous severance package. After all, Washington is an at-will state.”

All the pieces of the puzzle clicked into place and the bitter taste filled Mandie’s mouth. For the past few months, her relationship with the CEO had deteriorated. She was stunned and at the same time, she was not. Arlene didn’t want to believe Mandie. If she supported Mandie, she couldn’t use this as a ruse to move her out of her position on the senior leadership team.

She wondered if the fact she was an out and proud lesbian also added to the strain in their working relationship. In a moment of pure insanity, she had unwisely asked if that was the issue. Arlene had turned red and flatly denied that Mandie being a lesbian had anything to do with their difficult conversations. Mandie remembered when she’d brought her girlfriend, Caroline, to the hospital annual fundraiser. Arlene’s husband failed to hide his disgust. His reaction to Caroline and Mandie was written all over his face as Arlene smiled tightly at Caroline during the introduction. Mandie dreaded her meetings with Arlene.

“I won’t fight this. In some ways, I suppose it’s a relief, but I want you to know, I would never say what she claims I said. I would never throw you under the bus. As I recall this is the same person who was described as having a vitriol communication style. That is why we did not offer her the position. Liana, you were there when we met with her and had a candid conversation about our concerns. You know I would never provide feedback that would compromise Arlene’s reputation in the community.”

 “I confirmed with her that it was the HR Director and not the CNO. I’ve already asked Liana about this and she assures me, she did not tell Jillian that was the reason she didn’t get the job.”

“So, you believe Liana. Oh, and a person who in their personnel file the former CEO described as having a vitriol communication style. Yet, you don’t trust that I would never act so unprofessionally. I suppose that says it all and the reason why I won’t fight this,” Mandie answered in defeat.

Mandie was tired. Tired of her job. Tired of her relationship with Arlene. Tired of the undercurrent of discrimination that hovered below the surface. Why would she wish to work for an organization that would treat their leaders in this manner? She’d lost her fight. The better option was to take the severance package and figure out a plan for her future after she didn’t feel so bruised and battered.

“The package is generous,” Arlene defended. “We don’t need to offer this as Washington is an at-will state,” she repeated.

“I’m well aware of that. I’ll sign the paper right now.” Mandie took the pen Liana offered her and scribbled her name.

“I’ll help you remove at least some of your personal belongings and then we can arrange a time….” Liana said softly. Arlene pivoted and scurried from the office. The unpleasant task was done and she could leave Liana to finish.

“Thanks,” Mandie mumbled as she stood and walked into her office. “The databases, projects…” She looked at her desk filled with folders and shook her head. “Never mind, I’ll just grab the pictures of my girlfriend and my bag. I’ll get the rest later.”

Liana grabbed a bag and started to help pull off the pictures from the metal filing cabinet.

“Liana, you know I would never say that.”

“I know. I said it didn’t sound like you. I believe you.”

Mandie wouldn’t let them have the satisfaction of seeing her cry. She grabbed the picture frame of her and her girlfriend that prominently sat on the credenza and tossed it in the bag. “Can we do the rest on Monday? After my staff leave, please.”

“Sure. I’ll meet you here,” Liana answered.

There is a lot going on right now with books and I hope besides voting you leave yourselves some time to read. The Book Addict is still going strong. Captivated made the top 100 Vacation Reads on The Lesbian Review…woo hoo. And, my debut novel, Love Forever, Live Forever is FREE now on Kindle Unlimited. My style comes shining through with a big twist in the middle and snarky dialogue with the main character.

 

 

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covers 10-18

 

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