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My daughter’s friend posted this picture of her daughter watching Kamala Harris on Saturday night. Stella is almost two.

It brought me back to my own life. I tell clients and customers that every person you are selling to needs to see a mirror of themself and a window into that which they aspire to be. Stella will not have the barriers my generation did in terms of what is possible for us.

When I arrived back in New York City in 1975, fresh from the University of Nebraska hinterlands, my dad summoned me to his New York apartment, where he would hold court once every month or so when he had business in the city. He flew in like the Shah on his lear jet, and I still remember pushing the button to the floor of his apartment on the upper east side with a feeling of anxious hope that we would feel good after the visit was over. Both of us. I was still on the Parent Payroll, which in fairness to him I didn’t treat with much respect or regard. It just was. On this particular day, he informed me that he had enrolled me in Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School. …


I Surmise: Lessons Learned.

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I have a country house in what I call “Deliverance.” There is a development not far from me in Dover Plains, New York, that is called Sherman Hill Estates, and there is a Lee’s Lane, Grant’s Road and Confederate Road as well. People in the stores don’t wear masks, nor do my fellow shoppers, and when I ask them to pull them up, they show hostility in return. Lately, more and more signs have gone up for Trump. I mean, a lot of them in every yard. Every morning, Bay, my dog, and I get in the car, and we drive to Dunkin’ Donuts, where I get a large black coffee and an old-fashioned donut for Bay. Sometimes I sneak part of it for myself. It’s the way I start my day. Last week, on Monday before the election, there was a particularly long line in the drive-thru, and I had a moment to contemplate the past four years. …


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Today my friend Cathy Montez died of COVID-19, which she believed she’d contracted at a spin class in Miami. She was a close friend. She was a good friend, an authentic friend, in that she wasn’t one to hide what she thought about what I did that pleased or displeased her. I know that what I saw in her was representative of who she truly was, which is so unique in today’s world. This meant I could turn to her when I wanted true input without the far-too-common barrier of women not always offering an unfiltered point of view. …


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I wrote this on election day in 2016. I read it yesterday to see where my head was back then and I was stunned by the part about the girls in the nail salon. I had forgotten…

Our country is not only illiterate (which I hadn’t understood four years ago), but is also now filled with false facts, not to be confused with fake news.

I hope this election will be different.

Here is what I wrote. See if it resonates now for you. CM

November 8, 2016

It’s Election Day, and here is a picture of me voting in 2008 for the first black candidate for President of the United States. (Note to self: your daughter is right, you have had the same glasses for years and you need to get new ones. Maybe that’s why things look blurry around this election.) I wrote about my excitement after he was elected. …


Aaron Sorkin’s Revival of Hartsfield Landing from The West Wing

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Less than five minutes into the remake of the Hartsfield Landing episode from Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing, now streaming on HBO Max, as a guitar played a soulful rendition of the theme song, I started weeping. Weeping is different from crying. It’s softer, sadder, without rage, which has been a part of my everyday feelings for the last four years. I wasn’t crying at seeing the old gang, who haven’t aged at all. It wasn’t because I’m so very frightened for what happens just 500 hours from now, which I am. It was because I knew, with certainty that I wish I didn’t have, that the process of government and leadership that the West Wing puts forth as the American norm, no longer exists. …


I Surmise: Letter to My Daughter on the Eve of the Election

My dearest daughter, Sarah,

I write this to you with the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings going on in the background. A woman has been nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States of America to take the place of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a justice who worked so fucking hard to give everyone equal rights in our country and who will now be replaced by a woman who will do what she can to take those rights away. How could this have happened?

I found this picture of you when you were 7 years old during the Anita Hill hearings, which I guess I should call the Clarence Thomas hearings, although they really weren’t about him. They were about slandering her and diminishing her and the story she told with such dignity. Now, twenty-seven years later, you’ve graduated from Harvard Law School, worked on the Innocence Project, been awarded by the ACLU for your work, served as one of the authors of the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, worked as a volunteer legal advisor to Joe Biden’s campaign, and served as one of the founders of The Early Vote. I watched you on MSNBC last week: sure-footed, clear, and selfless in your appeal to get people to vote early and in person. I watched you transition from a little girl selling T-shirts on 84th and Broadway which was my pinacle to a force in the world of American progress, trying, always trying, to do right for those less fortunate than we are. I could not be prouder of you. …


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There is always a tipping point — that moment in time when everything changes and you “know” deep down inside that the trajectory of something has changed, and the train wreck that you thought couldn’t be stopped, can, in fact, be stopped.

Remember Howard Dean? Remember when he unexpectedly lost in Iowa, and he went on the television the night of the primary and screamed into the cameras and sent dogs and cats scurrying under couches, and Americans thought, “No way, Jose, is that guy going to get my vote. He’s not stable”? That was the end of Howard Dean. It was a split second in time, but it cost him dearly. …


You must vote early and in person this year. It’s not enough to ‘just’ vote.

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“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger.” — John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, 1961

This is that moment. More than when the Civil War was on the horizon. More than McCarthyism. More than Watergate, which right now looks like a misdemeanor.

Yesterday was the worst day I’ve ever had. In the morning, four people — four people in the know — reached out with information that made me believe, for the first time, that all might be lost.

Make no mistake my fellow Americans. Make no mistake! Trump and those surrounding him have put everything in place to make sure this election never happens with integrity, or anything close to the will of the people. …


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By Kathy Aspden & Christine Merser

By Kathy Aspden & Christine Merser

In a speech in August 2016 in Kentucky, McConnell would say: “One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.”

Thirty-two Republicans put out positive statements in 2016 to support Merrick Garland’s nomination.

When McConnell stamped the it’s not happening on it all, Democrats came out full force — with words. Schumer called it a travesty, and others said the sitting president should fill the empty seat. But as in most things, Democrats had no tool in the tool box to change what Mitch chose to do. …


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I was 15 when I watched Ted Kennedy eulogize his brother Bobby, and I was struck to the core when he said, “My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.” …

About

Christine Merser

I write. I hope it resonates. I move on.

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