Alrighty. I’ve learned two important things in the last two days, as follows:
1. I’ll never be able to pay a significant cash ransom should any of my people be kidnapped, so cross fingers that doesn’t happen.
2. I just turned I Have to Be Home in Time for the Democratic Debates years old.
Regarding Thing #1 — free tip from me to you — do NOT try to do bookkeeping in your head. Or, if you DO try to do bookkeeping in your head, be better at remembering expenses than I am. 🙄 Here’s the sitch… I paid a big farm bill via check. And I was pretty sure I had enough dollars in the farm checking account to cover it. So I didn’t double check. And then, in a shock to me and to zero other people because everyone else seems to understand my brain better than I do, there were NOT enough dollars in the account to cover it. That’s because I left the dollars in a different account. And did you know if you write a check without enough dollars in your account that the bank WILL NOT COVER IT just out of the goodness and generosity of their hearts? IT’S TRUE, friends. THEY WILL NOT. And then, because you don’t want to be more of an asshole to the People You Were Supposed to Pay than you’ve already been by writing a bad check, you will try to pull out All the Monies in cash so you can hand them a wad of bills like a drug deal instead of another check they may or may not want to trust.
And THIS is how you will learn, like I did, that coming up with a cash ransom quickly IS NOT EASY because banks have things called Wait Times to transfer funds from one bank to another. And they have Holding Periods for funds to actually clear. And suddenly you will realize your ability to source cash dollars is woefully small.
For many years, we’ve had a rule in our family. It’s concise and clear. We call it the No Dying Rule, and it’s pretty self-explanatory. We shout it every time one of the kids leaves the house to run around with friends. NO DYING, CHILD! Kind of like our version of Make Good Choices, you know? Which is just another way of saying I Love You, really. And even though not all our family members have followed the No Dying Rule (which I’m UNPLEASED by), we stand by it as principally sound.
Now we have to have a new rule. No Getting Kidnapped for Cash Ransom. I sat them all down and let everyone know yesterday. NO GETTING KIDNAPPED FOR CASH RANSOM, CHILDREN. TURNS OUT, MOMMY’S NOT GOOD FOR THE MONEY. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE. I mean, we’re still allowed to be kidnapped, but we’re going to have to make it clear to the kidnappers that we’re only going to be able to pay in, like, farm fresh eggs or All the Crap We Have Stored in Our Garage (IDK what all’s in there, but you’re welcome to take a look, kidnappers, and take what you like) or broken plastic patio chairs. I feel like maybe we should apologize to the kidnappers in advance ‘cause we’re seriously cramping their style. No killing us because of the No Dying Rule and also no $$$ because I’m bad at maths.
So that’s Thing #1.
And Thing #2 is that I HAD to watch the Democratic Debates. I was COMPELLED. Both nights. Like I’m an irrevocable Grown Up now. I have these memories of my dad sitting in his brown leather chair when I was a kid, our golden retriever draped over him, boring us into comas because he insisted on watching shows like 60 Minutes and, in later years, CSPAN. CSPAN, folks. And he would tell my brother and me to shush while we sat on the brown shag carpet lest he miss Important Things while we squabbled. It was the actual WORST. We were DYING of BOREDOM, and he cared 0%. ZERO. But last night and the night before, I sat on my couch with a golden retriever draped over me, and every time a child came into the room to ask me why “there’s never anything to eat in our house” (OMG) or how come “I have to do every chore around here and no one else does anything ever” (kill me now), I told them to shush lest I miss Important Things.
And now I want to discuss those Important Things with you. Because I have Thoughts. And Questions. And I want to know what your Thoughts and Questions are, too.
Here’s where I’m at right now with the Democratic Candidates. Although I will say first, I’m not a Democrat. I’m registered unaffiliated. I don’t think either party has a corner on the intellectual or policy or problem-solving market. I think some of the Democrats are bat shit crazy. Like, all the way on the Crazy Train. But I’m also so deeply distressed and disturbed by the direction of the Republican Party as a whole and the full and complete abdication of morality, compassion, justice, and ethics on a national scale (happy to site actual reasons if anyone needs more info on why I believe this way) that I’m finding myself moving well past my more moderate leanings of a couple years ago and well into progressive, if not liberal, territory as an antidote to the agony the vulnerable peoples in our community are experiencing.
OK. That said, here’s where I’m at:
Candidates Who Appear to Have the Intellect, Policies, Judgement, and Demeanor we desperately need to navigate the murky, difficult waters ahead for America:
- Pete Buttigieg — I liked him before last night, and he continues to impress me. I dig his policies. I LOVE that he’s more centrist/moderate than some of the other Democratic candidates. I think his experience in the military is important. I love that he’s a millennial. (Although I don’t love the other millennial candidates so 🤷🏻♀️.)
- Kamala Harris — She’s strategically brilliant, especially taking on Biden last night like he’s her only real competition. I mean — SUCH a good strategy. She’s articulate. I agree with most of her policies. She has some pretty awesome ideas for folks to rally behind. But my question about her is her record. What’s troubling in her record? I keep hearing this criticism, but I need to know more.
- Amy Klobuchar — Again with the policies. She’s also steady and calm. I don’t know that she has the “star power” to capture America’s imagination, but I also think that’s a GOOD thing if only America could get on board with not having the Personality Cults of recent years.
- Julian Castro — I mean, I knew before the debates that he was the only Latino candidate, but I hadn’t done my research on him. His ability to articulate thoughtful policy swayed me. I’m a fan. But I also don’t know enough about him yet. He’s on my radar, but what do I need to know that I don’t already?
Candidates who are 2nd Tier for me — generally, I think these folks would be… fine? But there are some bigger questions/issues I have with them.
- Kirsten Gillibrand — I love that she’s campaigning on strong support for women. I think that’s critical. And I think she’s articulate and has the demeanor of calm confidence (and fire) we need in a president. I also worry (and you’ll see this more with other candidates below) that she has too narrow of a focus. I care about women’s issues. But I want a candidate to be more well rounded and concerned about ALL the critical issues. Am I wrong with her? What have I missed?
- Elizabeth Warren — I actually love Elizabeth Warren. I agree with 90% of her policies. I love that she’s fierce, clear, confident, and articulate. But I worry that she’s too extremely on the liberal end of the spectrum. I worry that she’ll inspire more fear in moderate voters than excitement. I worry that the conservatives will be able to rally too much support against her. But maybe those things shouldn’t be my focus? Maybe I’m way off?
Candidates I’d really rather weren’t because I think their time is past and it’s time to clear the board for others. I have Other Thoughts on them, but that’s the basic gist.
Candidates I feel “meh” about at this point in time:
- Booker. I know. I’m sorry. People love him. I could get all the way on board if he runs against Trump. But at this point, I’m just meh. He didn’t stand out for me.
- Bennet, Bullock, Delaney, Gabbard, Hickenlooper, O’Rourke
Candidates too focused on Just One Issue:
- Inslee — I TOTALLY AGREE climate change is a critical issue and a crisis. But we also need a president who can juggle myriad crises and treat them all with the urgency they need.
- Yang — I need more from a candidate than $1000/month. It’s just… not enough to sway me at all. Not the $. The idea that that’s his main push.
- Swalwell — Dude. I get it that it’s your generation’s turn. I even agree. But you have to run on more than that.
Candidates who rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps unfairly to them. Their demeanor and ways of expressing themselves just didn’t work for me. Am I wrong here?
- Williamson, although bless her heart
OK. That’s all I’ve got right now.
1. No Getting Kidnapped for Cash Ransom.
2. THOUGHTS on Democratic Candidate.
Pretty please share your thoughts, too. I’m learning here, and I’m all ears.