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The Week

I’m sticking to the plan and making my second entry one week after the first. Writers are always told that they need to select a time to write and stick with it. Let’s see how long I can make this last.

I am a political animal and admit that I have spent more than a reasonable amount of time this week glued to my news programs. What’s with Donald Trump Junior? Are we going to have a new Affordable Care Act? Though I’m your classic educated liberal, I’m trying to figure out why the country is so split on whether or not this is a big deal.

As an ordinary person who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, my life lessons come mostly from the successes and failures in circles that are less rarified than those in either the ivory tower of Donald Trump or the Eastern elites.

One of those life experiences occurred more than six decades ago when I was a student at my high school of more than four thousand students. In my social club were many girls who were far prettier and wealthier than I was, but because members thought I knew more people, they decided that I should be their candidate for homecoming queen. Surprisingly I made it into the final five. On the day when the queen and the court was announced, we gathered in the gym. For some reason I felt that I would win, but alas there I stood with the other losing candidate as the queen and her attendants were declared. A friend of mine who happened to be the president of the student council was incensed. He was sure the election “was fixed.” Through the years I’ve gone back to muse about why I lost. I remember being mad at one of the members of my club for not coming to school the day the vote was taken. I’m told I lost by only a few votes. In reality I came to believe it was my own fault that I lost. I didn’t “schmooze.” I was too opinionated. I wasn’t always positive and upbeat. I didn’t cultivate a strong “base” of friends who could spread the word about why I should be the queen. I must admit this pattern still exists sixty years later. I am who I am.

Since then I’ve come to believe that there are many ways to “get to the top” and though it’s not how I would do things, Donald Trump seems to have convinced enough people that regardless of his ethics, his tactics and his values, he is “the man.” Look. I’m from Denver and we’ve had our share of medicine men in our history.

At a time when one can long for a president with admiring characteristics like integrity and intellect, we can only blame ourselves for own naivete and inability to convince others that we are better than that.

I am one of millions and probably can’t make that much of a difference but to say that I can’t do more would be to give up. Just because I lost my bid for homecoming queen doesn’t mean I stopped wanting to be better. Even in my old age I still keep trying. As my blog goes on, maybe I’ll be able to point to some of my better moments as examples of how all of us must keep trying to make things better.

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