That's my birthday.
I always say it's why I'm involved in politics. I was born into it.
I started having ridiculous birthday parties in my late 20s. In December, when I was 28, a few months after I had called off a wedding and had my whole world turned upside down on what was truth and what was lies, I had found a lump in my breast. My doctor with whom I normally joked was quite serious. It took a few tests and weeks to determine it was nothing- well, probably- but it started a nearly 20 year journey of annual and semi-annual tests.
That was the year I decided that I was going to celebrate my birthday for the simple reason that I wasn't dead.
I wasn't going to wait for other people to throw me a party or plan anything.
My birthday, each year, is my celebration of gratitude. That I get another trip around the planet. I get the privilege of celebrating among my dear friends who make me laugh and smile.
It is not indulgent or self-serving.
It's my way of telling the universe thank you for my amazing life- let's have a drink.
I started doing themed parties in my 30s because I also like to be silly.
The themes have been Party Like You're in College, Rat Pack Swinging 60s, White Trash, Motown-- we've run the gamut.
This year, the theme was going to be taco trucks. Because I love tacos and mariachi. And because if Clinton was president, we would (gasp) have a taco truck on every corner. I thought that sounded fantastic.
We're not doing taco trucks this year.
We're doing a 60s hippie theme. And, it is also the day that most of my friends- political party aside- will be marching in protest. I'm glad they moved the time from 6 pm to noon. I'm going to pretend it was solely so they could still come.
Because this year, I'm not happy about my birthday and that next trip around the sun is looking scary.
And no, this is not how some of you felt when Obama was elected. The people who were the most fearful thought he was taking away their guns, forcing us to pray to Allah and was Kenyan. Those people were scared because they believed a bunch of lies. Others thought we would become socialist.
So here's the thing- my church is still open, I'm still married to a man, we still have our guns and my business grew substantially after nearly having to close my doors in 2008.
The people who were terrified of Obama based their fears on lies. Pure and simple. The biggest of those lies being funded and perpetuated by our future president.
In 2004, I was baffled by the re-election of George Bush. I wasn't thrilled he was elected in 2000 and the whole election that year was questionable, but in 2000, I wasn't any more thrilled at having Gore as President than I was having Bush. I know their policies are completely different, but neither cried out "leader" to me. In 2004, after invading a country on false information, I was stunned. I was worried about the financial situation since the repeal of Glass-Steagal, but that was still on the back burner and I lumped it into "things that keep me awake that probably won't happen."
This is different. VERY different.
This isn't about policy.
And to be clear, I am not questioning the validity of the election.
The Russians spreading false information about Hillary Clinton is one thing. People believing the ridiculous rumors- she was running a sex-trafficking ring out of the basement of a pizzeria? Seriously?- that just shows how truly stupid people are.
If you thought she and Bill went to sex clubs on weekends, you're a moron.
I completely and totally believe that people went to the polls and pushed the button, pulled the lever, filled in the box and voted for Trump.
I think it's crap that Hillary clearly won more votes and still lost, but hey, that's the system. My vote counted more than my friends in California and New York. Three times more. Seems messed up but it is what it is.
(If they find the RNC and the Trump campaign were aware of the tampering, assisted in it in any way-- well, that's another story but we know how that goes. That's Watergate. Election tampering.
If we find that were in cahoots with a foreign entity... I'll let the DOJ handle the details on that one.)
Trump still has not disclosed his financial dealings. He is NOT under audit- the IRS has formally stated that- and yet people believe him. His assets are not moving into a blind trust. He is on record of lying consistently about his relationship with Putin- he knows him, he doesn't know him, they've met, they haven't met. He has lied about his investment relationship with Russia- he has none, they make up the bulk of their portfolio.
That is a very big deal. This is not a birth certificate issue. This is not a college transcript issue.
This is ethics.
He does not specifically have to disclose it or divest. He doesn't.
But the Constitution is NOT a contract. It is a governing document that serves as a framework for laws.
It is meant to have loopholes to make it adaptable to changing times.
When it was written, the thought of private equity financing, emails, etc. weren't even fathomable. There was no IRS.
But at the core of the Constitution is its dependence on morality and ethics.
That rather than looking for ways around it, the good men (because that's all it applied to back then) who were interpreting it would respect the intent.
And most importantly, it assumes that the leader of the United States of America would be a stalwart of ethics. The best of the best.
When I think of the housing crisis, I think about the people who knowingly lied about their incomes to get houses and the mortgage brokers that encouraged them. I think about the woman who bought 12 "primary residences" in my neighborhood and walked from all of them.
There isn't a contract that can be written to force ethics.
Mr. Trump is notorious for not honoring contracts. I have friends who were contractors on his Vegas property. He didn't pay them but a third of what was promised or agreed to.
That is NOT a smart businessman.
That is a liar.
He never questioned the work. Never filed a complaint with the contractor board. He just didn't pay and "nonny nonny so sue me"
That's an enormous character issue. Or lack of character.
Trying to get out of things.
We all know those people- the co-worker who milked the Family Medical Leave Act, the couple that doesn't get married because they would lose SNAP or insurance benefits, the fake injuries so they can collect Workers' Compensation benefits, the friend that always forgets his wallet when you go to lunch.
That's who he is. But he has money. Sorta. He actually has a lot of debt.
Which most people in finance knew. And most people in finance knew he received backing from eastern European equity funds. And most people in finance know that a portion of the money is probably a little shady in its origination. It's also not illegal.
But if voters had known that he owned foreign investors billions of dollars, my guess is that people in my hometown in Ohio would have been "hey...." Or if they knew how many small businesses he decimated simply because he could, they might have said "hey..." And in fact, during the primaries, my hometown did that and voted for Kasich.
Because Trump isn't Republican. He isn't conservative. Trade tariffs? Trying to tell businesses how they should be run (talk about government intervention into the private sector)? Building walls? Refusing to support trade agreements? He wants to manipulate the Federal Reserve?
How on earth is that about supporting states rights over federal intervention? What is free market about that? He has no clue how the Federal Reserve works. Trust me on that. His comments are laughable- as in watching financial managers laugh in discussing them. They are non-sensical. You can't renegotiate the federal deficit. That again, is stupid.
He's cheated on every wife. Yet conservative Christians support him?
He's notoriously screwed over small businesses. Yet the Chambers of Commerce supported him?
He's lied. He's cheated. He's done business with organized crime.
And now he sits in the White House.
He's too good to actually want to live there. We, the taxpayers now get to pay for security at three homes.
And people were pissed that Obama went on vacation three times a year?
His cabinet picks he treated like a reality show and he's put the country in a bind by not having them in place by my birthday.
His press conference and the shushing of one of the largest global news organizations was not only childish, but terrifying.
He lied nearly the entire press conference.
Fact check it.
If Marco Rubio or John Kasich had been elected, I would be concerned. I would. But I would respect them. I would respect the office. If my child's high school band was selected to go, I would say yes but please don't bring me back a souvenir t-shirt.
But I'm not worried- I'm terrified.
I'm terrified that people actually support him. Still.
The Republicans that I expected to keep him in check seem to be wimping out.
And it's not about him hiring Russian prostitutes to urinate. Honestly, that's hilarious and I don't doubt it.
I don't doubt it because he watched teenage girls get dressed at beauty pageants and bragged about it. THAT is disgusting.
Peeing hookers... I can't wait for that video to leak. No pun intended.
I'm not wishing for the pilot to crash the plane that we are on.
I'm not hoping for him to fail.
I am assuming it.
And not in the way I would be if it were Rubio or Kasich. Yes, I'd be complaining and whining about policy but they are honest-- for politicians.
If they were in office, I would not be worried about nuclear war because he has a big mouth, a temper and no sense of consequence.
There was a tiny, tiny, tiny part of me that thought MAYBE he might pull it together.
He isn't. Not even close. It's getting worse.
He didn't and doesn't want the job. It's clear.
He wanted the publicity.
But we all could suffer.
So no, I'm not overreacting.
Maybe if I saw his tax returns and he moved his assets into a blind trust like he said he would, I would trust him.
I don't. At all.
And not based on false news sites. Based on his history and what he says.
So this year, I hope I make it around the planet another time. I hope I don't get any disease that could be considered pre-existing. I hope my children don't get anything chronic that they will never be able to afford to be treated because their future insurance won't cover it. I hope my parents can afford the new, proposed voucher system for Medicare.
Hmmm...maybe Trump IS the president of hope and change- because I certainly hope I can survive 4 years and we change presidents as quickly as possible.