Monday, January 23, 2017
I Survived a Bipolar Week
As a columnist, I find the only thing worse than having nothing to write about is having too much to write about. The latter is certainly my situation today. The word that best describes my world last week is bipolar.
Grief. Early in the week, a major player in the life and times of the Langford’s passed away—General David Poythress. In 1979, George and I were a struggling young couple, with a child, living in Savannah. George read in the Atlanta Constitution that a man whose name he wasn’t sure how to pronounce, had been appointed to fill the un-expired term of long-time Secretary of State, Ben Fortson. George said to me, “He’s going to need someone to help him—I’m going to Atlanta and ask him for a job.” For several years, George had talked about wanting to work in State Government and I always balked at moving to Atlanta. This day, I called his bluff, or so I thought. I said, “Okay! You go to Atlanta! You get the job! And I will move there!” He left on a Tuesday, returned on a Wednesday with a job. I might add that he neglected to ask the most basic of questions of Mr. Poythress, like his title, his duties, and his salary! Wives are sticklers for the small details. We learned the answers to all those questions in an article in the Savannah Morning News a couple of days later. Thus, our journey with David began.
David Poythress served Georgia with distinction as Commissioner of Department of Medical Assistance (Medicaid), Deputy Revenue Commissioner, Secretary of State, Commissioner of Labor and The Adjutant General. David Poythress, a three-star General in the U. S. Air Force, speaks volumes of his leadership abilities. Having won two statewide elections, David ran for Governor twice and came up short both times. We know all too well that voters make mistakes sometimes.
I would like to take this opportunity to give sage advice. If you have someone in your life that was a major player in your life and times, do not miss an opportunity to tell that person how much they meant to you.
Joy. On Wednesday, I felt sheer joy! I witnessed the birth of my fourth grandchild, our first baby in the family in eleven years. A beautiful and healthy boy!
Foreboding. On Thursday, the reality of what was going to happen in Washington on Black Friday, at 12:00 noon started to sink in.
Happy. On Friday, no televisions turned on to spoil my mood. I spent the day with like-minded friends, old and new. Laughed a lot. Just like the marches on Saturday, we expected few, but got a full house.
Hopeful. Saturday when I saw the historic turnout for the Women’s March, my hope was restored in America. Unless you watched only Fox News, you know this protest against Trump and for women’s rights will make it to the history books. Protests in all 50 states, in at least 600 cities, on 7 continents (even Antarctica had a march), 500,000 in Washington, DC, 200,000 in Chicago, largest protest in history of New York City, over 60,000 in Atlanta (and many marchers from Georgia went to Washington). It appears that Donald Trump may have chewed off more than he can bite.
Homicidal/Suicidal. Saturday afternoon, when on Day One of his presidency, Trump went to the CIA Headquarters in Langley and desecrated the Wall of Honor, I thought, “I can’t take this insanity for four years!” He stood in front of those sacred stars that represent the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and did not pay homage to them. Few know the names that the stars represent. Their funerals are secret. Their families cannot boast or brag about the career and bravery of their loved one. All they have is that star on the wall. As a former employee of an intelligence agency, I assure you, I am not alone in my pure disgust with Donald Trump and you should be, as well. He doesn’t get it. He just doesn’t get it. He has no clue what “sacrifice” means.
President Trump used his time at the wall to talk about his war on the dishonest media. It’s obvious from the other events of the evening that our leader’s long-range goal is to demonize and minimize the national media until they are no longer believable on any level. He is using the tactics of an authoritarian leader, like Putin. At the CIA and later at the first press briefing, he and his press secretary told us that what we saw with our own eyes was not a “fact.” He said we saw a million or more people at his Inauguration. We actually saw photographic evidence of 250,000. What a stupid thing for a President to argue about! But that’s the way you sow the seed of doubt in a subject’s mind. Who are you going to believe, Trump or your lying eyes? If you chose Trump, then kiss the First Amendment goodbye.
Scared. The rolling thunder and the explosive lightning in the wee hours of Sunday morning jarred me from my bed. I wasn’t sure if it was a tornado or Trump playing around with the nuclear codes.