Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Politics and Dead Husbands


Spoiler Alert: Republican hardliners may want to skip reading this post because I am so sick of Donald Trump that I'm about to spit nails! His personal attacks on everyone and anyone is making the country look bad overseas. I’m sick of him focusing on scandals and conspiracy theories from twenty-five years ago or standing in front of the NRA and promising to get rid of gun free zones. (I guess he forgot that he tweeted out his support for President Obama's call for reasonable gun control after the Newtown, CT massacre.) I’m sick of the Republicans who were victims of Trump's scorched earth, take no prisoners campaign style who are now falling in line to help get him elected. This is the party of family values? With the exception of Watergate, what Trump is doing goes beyond the lowest low either party has gone in modern campaigning and I don’t know if I can take another five months of his daily, drama queen stupidity!

Why isn’t Trump shoring up his knowledge base on topics that presidents have to deal with daily? From all accounts he’s not taking much interest in the national security briefings he’s now entitled to get as a potential president. Does he think he can govern by twitter feed insults and making outlandish claims? The world is a complicated and nuanced place and Trump is fixated on sex scandals and murder conspiracy theories about Vince Foster’s suicide that have been dispelled years ago. Bill Clinton’s impeachment and acquittal cost the American tax payers 79.3 million dollars plus four and a half years of our lives. Haven’t we payed enough for that dark period in political witch hunting? After independent prosecutor Ken Starr’s Report---which was 2,600 pages prepared for the House Judiciary Committee---of depositions and investigations on all things Clinton related from Whitewater to Paula Jones, all they could impeach him for was perjury for lying about getting a blowjob from Monica Lewinsky. Yet Trump is throwing out conspiracy theories from that period in history as if there are solid facts to back them up. Newsflash Mr. Trump: If Ken Starr couldn’t find an arsenal of smoking guns then they don’t exist and never did! 

The person I feel the most sorry for in this whole thing is Monica Lewinsky. She was young---in her twenties---when she was labeled the “victim of sexual abuse” but in a 2002 HBO documentary she said that her affair with Bill was “a mutual relationship.” She told how it was her second affair with a married man and how she’s since been objectified by the public. And I’m guessing after the way Linda Tripp befriended her and secretly recorded conversations about her affair with Bill that she’s had a hard time trusting anyone. I can’t imagine living her life, the shame that comes from the whole world knowing about her lowest point. Would any of us want to be forever judged by something we did when we were young and foolish? Yet she seems to have found a way to channel her life experiences into something to help others with her anti-bullying TED talk and association with anti-bullying organizations. She claims to be the first person to have experienced online bullying and probably she’s right. If not the first, she’s certainly the best known. 

I've developed a love-hate relationship with politics this year. My husband and I loved to follow and talk about politics and lately he’s been living in my head. We were political junkies with similar views and together we could check our reactions against each other, laugh or project what would happen next. I miss that more and more as the political process marches forward. Ya, it's easy to say, “Just step off the bus to Crazyville” and once in a while, I do just that---take a break, breathe deeply before getting back into the fray. But if there was ever an election that we can't ignore, this is the one because this election is about more than just the presidency. It’s also about the person who will likely pick five Supreme Court Justices and that will leave a very long legacy. Can we trust that responsibility to a man who said he'd appoint to head up the Department of Education a guy who believes that the pyramids were built for grain storage, not tombs for kings? The thought of Trump making those Supreme Court appointments sends shivers up my spine. 

Believe it or not, I rarely talk politics in my off line life. With the exception of two people no one else knows that politics occupies a vast territory in my head. Nor do I blog about politics very often but I can honestly say that THIS time it’s actually widowhood related. I had to write the above in detail so others can better understand how being a widow, how not having a sounding board anymore, can leave gaping holes in our lives. Our gaping holes might be in different places and of different sizes, but most of us have them. One of my gaping holes just happens to be tied to the elections. ©

27 comments:

  1. +1 million times. Agree without reservation with every word.

    Re Monica, think about Charles and TamponGate (can you imagine being in his shoes?!), so think once you're in it, we all survive.

    I just "talk" to my husband now - know his reaction - and yes, it'd be better in real life.

    Our Oz elections have been announced recently for 2 July (and this 8 weeks election period is one of the longest in history!) - and I haven't even looked at the coverage (prefer to read up the USA coverage, maddening as it is). Unlike USA, there is some focus on policy, besides the leader. Not much to choose between either option. Elections are compulsory, but nothing stops you not marking the ballot paper (no, won't do that, as I've had it dinned into me that's just wasting my vote and people in some countries die for that right).

    What really makes me mad is that its not just the politically naive, but well-educated people, who are backing T. When the GOP itself begins to align itself with him just for their self-interest, that really takes the cake. It seems to be a world wide trend of people voting far right (Phillipines, Austria, France) and for idiots/bigots, over reason. Sorry, I'm not saying anything new, but I also have no sounding board at home and there's only so much you can "say" to a dead husband. ~ Libby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eight weeks for elections is short compared to ours. Seems almost too short for people to actually get to know the candidates and their positions. But ours are w-a-y too long. It's shameful that so few people here vote. Two of the most anti-Hillary people I know are filling up Facebook with negative posts about her and neither one has ever voted! In my book, if you don't vote you don't have a right to complain before or after elections. Compulsory voting would never get passed here because the Republicans would rather pass voter suppression laws.

      Regarding your last paragraph, I've seen that trend talked about on CNN and it's really hard to understand why that's happening world wide. Maybe it's a backlash effect because the world is changing faster than some people are able to accept?

      My husband hated Trump l-o-n-g before he started running for president---at least 12 or 15 years---so I'm almost glad he's not here to see this election. He would be more upset than I am.

      Delete
  2. Caught up with Bill Maher's commentary on politics/Trump, as I do every few weeks - he's so very good!! Right on mark with his review - makes me LOL. ~ Libby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't get Bill Maher's show here but he's in my Facebook feed so I see him once in a while. When I could get him, I often agreed with his take on things. If nothing else he makes you think.

      Delete
  3. Agree 100%. Remember the days when it could be said that if you weren't a Democrat when you were young, you didn't have a heart, and if you weren't a Republican when you grew older, you didn't have a head?

    I'd say this 'truism' is reversed with Trump at the helm, but it's been turning this direction for twenty years. Only instead of Trump appealing to a young person's idealism, he's appealing to their baser me-first/you dim-wit! instincts.

    Hilary has put her foot in the doo-doo many a time - that's for sure, but Trump aims for any doo-doo, squishes it, picks up his shoe, and brandishes it on TV. Too smelly around him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great word picture there, Flo, in your last paragraph. LOL What bothers me the most is that so many Trump supporters seem to think that it's okay to give into the me-first and bullying mind set that Trump personifies. I still believe, maybe naively, that we should strive to live the best venison of ourselves.

      Delete
  4. OMG. Preach it, Sister! Agree with every word. The Rs have created this monster with their kowtowing to the Far Right. I grew up in an R family and they would be appalled at what it has become -- they'd be Dems by now. But what shocks me, always, is how people can vote AGAINST their own self interest. He Who Must Not Be Named is not religious, not compassionate about the struggling middle class and poor. Who do they think they are getting? Just a reality show blowhard and that says a lot about how far we've fallen by equating entertainment with the privilege and responsibility of voting for the President of the Free World. I hope Bernie pushes Hillary a bit more toward a Progressive Agenda and then...GO HILLARY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I hope my "preaching" doesn't lose me a few readers but my outrage was about to boil over and belonged in my diary which just happens to be a public blog.

      You are SO right about people voting against their own best interest and I wish I understood why that is happening. On political sites I see fans of Trumps who seem to just like the fact that he's stirring things up but they seem to have no regard for the fall out should he get elected. As one person put it, "Trump is my middle finger to America." It's just too much effort for some of them to study the issues (and candidates) from a wide spectrum of sources. And our educational system seems to be turning out people who can't evaluate credibility, character or media reports. It's very frustrating!

      Delete
  5. I agree with you. I can get very worked up over politics which is very bad for my emotional health. There's only one thing I can do to influence this election, and that's vote. I can listen to vitriol 24/7 but in the end all I can do to influence this election is vote. I can not watch the news, pull back from Facebook and Twitter, filter what I read and still there's only one thing I can do to influence this election and that's vote. My emotional health is better if I don't subject myself to all the nonsense.

    I'm very unhappy with Democrats that they allowed the Clintons to take center stage again in this election. Clearly they are 'has beens' trying to operate in today's political world. Now today we have news the justice department is highly critical of Hillary's email server situation. I haven't read a lot yet about it and haven't seen blistering headlines that she's being charged with a crime. Still it's more good ammunition for Trump and other Republicans. Also saw yesterday Ken Starr has been fired as Chancellor of Baylor University. Never figured out how he got that job anyway. I will vote for Hillary but I won't like it. Then I'm crawling in a hole for the next four years because there's not a single thing I can do except vote each and every time. I know I'm a Democrat. I know I always vote straight Democrat. How does listening to all the vitriol help?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been out of town day so I haven't hear any news. Ken Starr getting fired might just be a thing where someone had to take a fall for the mishandling of the rape charges but they didn't want that person to be the football coach. They aren't talking so no one knows. Funny he'd be back in the news.

      Considering where you're at in life now, protecting you mental health is important. Just don't forget to vote when the time comes.

      Delete
  6. It's pathetic that we have to choose between the two! There ought to be a box on the ballot that says "none of the above" and both parties have 60 days to present a different candidate. Yes, it could be one of the previous runners. We shouldn't be stuck between a bozo and a liar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of people feel the way you do and would like to vote for 'none of the above' or will vote for the lesser of two evils. I will not have a problem voting for Hillary. She might not be perfect but she's not thin-skinned, under-educated and vindictive like Trump. He should never be allowed access to the nuclear codes.

      Delete
    2. To each her own. My vote will counteract yours. Too much lying and corruption and scandal that we HAVE uncovered ...

      Delete
  7. I am a die-hard Republican and I have always loved politics. This campaign is just too weird to even want to watch. It was getting to me and making me angry, so I no longer listen to the political news. In 1964, I voted for neither Presidential candidate, just checked boxes for the rest of the Republicans running. I may very well do that again this year. It should be an interesting election night coverage though. But--that is a long way off and right now, I am concentrating on my gardens. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Voting for the down ballet candidates and skipping the presidential candidates isn't a bad thing if you really, really don't like either one. Maybe this year I need to take up gardening. LOL I actually did by some zinnia seeds and thanks you you, I know I can do that this weekend and I have a flat of moss roses to get in the ground.

      Delete
  8. I have become more and more selective in the news that I listen to and read. I get most of my news from podcasts. I blame the media for a lot of superficial coverage and lack of depth in serious issues. Today I was listening to a report that used Twitter feeds as the main source of their news. Sorry that is wrong. News organizations need to be reporting objective news and analysis and not what people are "trending" as the news.
    I have been going to Ottawa every Thursday to play in a flute choir and I find it difficult to do anything more than shrug when I am asked "what the heck is going on". What I resent most at the moment is that the media has decided that DT is a serious candidate and they are, therefore, reporting as if he were a reasonable human being. Excuse me...he needs to be taken to task by the media for all the crude, disrespectful and outrageous statements that he has made and not be allowed to get away with his comments. They need to hound him the way that some are hounding Hillary on her emails and the way that they hounded her husband for his Lewinsky scandal. Why are they letting DT be taken seriously and not be called to task for his actions.
    Oh..I've only just begun!,
    Regards,
    Leze

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really nailed it, Leze. I blame the press for DT getting so far in this election. If they had called him on his lies and outrageous behavior early on and not given him so much air time compared to the others maybe other Republicans would have had a chance. Just yesterday CNN spent 45 minutes showing an empty stage where Trump was supposed to speak while Hillary was actually giving a speech on an important topic. But I also blame his fans for excusing all his inconsistencies and flipflopping and yet they label Hillary a lair?

      Delete
  9. I know exactly what you mean about gaping holes when no longer a spouse to enjoy engaging. I'm just trying to keep up with what's happening as constant changes. Plenty at stake and much to be upset about. Probably couldn't stop writing if I started.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unless a person has experienced the gaping holes it's hard to understand how they effect survivors and for how long.

      I know what you mean about starting to write and not being able to stop on topics like Trump.

      Delete
  10. I've been reading your blog for a few months. My only complaint? I wish you posted more!

    I love politics, too. Even though the prospect of a potential Pres Trump is terrifying, I'm still glued.

    I'm a "yellow dog Democrat". Meaning it's a very, very rare thing when I vote for a republican. And, I won't this time. But, I'm not a Hillary fan. I can't stand Bill. The thought of him back in some White House role makes me nauseous. And, she leaves me cold.

    I do disagree w/ you on the Monica thing. To me, this was a major case of sexual harassment. I mean, he was POTUS! No one has more power. She was a kid. The responsibility for that mess was all Bill Clinton's. SHE has nothing to be ashamed of. It's all on him.

    Peggy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to blog every day but I'd probably bore people if I went back to that. LOL But thank you for the compliment.

      I totally agree with you that Bill was the adult that should have had better control of himself where Monica was concerned. I didn't mean to imply it wasn't entirely his fault that they got involved. BUT she wasn't pressured or innocent either. Had she not wanted his attention, then, yes it could have been sexual harassment in my book, too. When I was first in the work place, sexual harassment was always unwanted attention and I saw a lot of it. I also saw women who went after the men in power. Monica was one of those from all accounts. that doesn't make what he did right, though. He should have known better and I didn't forgive him for that for years. I have the feeling Bill has been "neutered" by what happened to his presidency and he won't be doing anything scandalous again if he gets to walk back in the White House. Who knows, maybe he wouldn't have gone on to do such great things with his Foundation if he hadn't had to rebuild his reputation. Life is strange!

      Delete
  11. I am glad you blogged about this. I can't believe in this country donald trump kind of guy could be GOP Nominee & based on what he says about women, immigrants, disabled & every one I m surprised he still gets so much media attention. he is after all entertainer knows how to get media to talk about him. I just pray people don't elect him he is saying all things like Hitler used to say before coming to power & people still elected him. I pray Americans don't do similar mistake in effort to not elect Hillary.Hillary is much better choice than this idiot

    Asha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree with you, Asha. It's scary to think a man like him could get elected. As Hillary says, he's a lose canon. If he gets elected I will lose all faith in the American peoples' collective values and intelligence. Following the shameful way Obama has been treated at times I'm very disheartened by how polarized we've become.

      Delete
  12. I have yet to meet anyone who is a Trump supporter, which I suppose is an indicator of how politically polarized our country is -- people who disagree seldom interact with one another. Over the weekend, I was visiting with my sister and brother-in-law. My brother-in-law and I are almost never on the same page politically, but all three of us agreed that we are frightened by the prospect of a Trump presidency. -Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know two people who are Trump supporters and I know that from the garbage they keep posting on FaceBook. Fortunately, I happened to know that two of them never votes. LOL

      Delete
  13. I noticed that in your reply to Libby, you mentioned how "the world is changing faster than some people are able to accept." I actually jotted down that same sentiment in a notebook the other day as a topic to write about. I think it has a lot to do with why people are accepting simplistic arguments for such a complicated world and voting for far-right candidates.

    We watched everything political until about a month ago. Our house is full of political talk these days, and even more so when my son visits, but we've slowed down on watching every single thing on television. It's gotten nasty, but we still watch enough to keep informed. I'm sure we'll get back into it soon. I almost wrote a post about Trump the other day, but there's too much to say. You did a good job of formulating your thoughts.

    His closeness to the WH is the scariest thing I've ever seen in American politics. Nothing else comes close. Not many politicians are willing to admit publicly that there are serious mental health issues there. They won't call it what it is. They skirt around it, talking about temperament and tone, but he's erratic, egotistical, manipulative, narcissistic. He constantly lies and his perceptions are askew. Having said that, I don't discount that he knows exactly what he is doing. He will do or say anything to get what he wants. The world is changing quickly. Too many are being left behind. It has created the perfect climate for someone like Trump to step in. It isn't the first time this has happened in history, but it's the first time I've seen it first-hand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh, your first and third paragraphs say a mouth full of truth! I also think Obama's election was a big part of that change that scares some people and made them ripe for a Donald Trump to come along. God help us if history does repeat ourselves and we actually elect this guy! As unpopular as Hillary is in some circles, it could be just enough to put Trump in the White House.

      Delete