Don’t Write Me In

Please don’t write me in!  I am totally unfit for the office of president of anything, even though I demonstrated grace and leadership as president of my college living organization before I was twenty-one, an unsought privilege deferred to me because I said “yes” when others said “no way!” 
My carpet of disqualifying baggage would have never survived oppositional scrutiny.  My private self must generally remain PRIVATE, my public self, public as in friendly, socially conscious, caring, restrained, one motto being “do no harm,” another being “if you must, do it mercifully.”
My early history might generate initial empathy:  poverty stricken father builds successful company in San Francisco; my mother dies in United Airlines crash when I’m thirteen; mentors guide me through respected private university.  A middle class upbringing where I’m required to do chores and earn money.  
From there it’s all downhill, nothing remarkable and much of it suspicious.
I opposed the Vietnam war even though, because my husband was an Air Force officer, we bought groceries with his government paycheck and lived in free housing on a SAC base, B52’s flying overhead day and night, the very same B-52s outfitted for dropping napalm on villages…, the very same villages appearing on CBS news at 6 with screaming children and women running from flames.
And that was the extent of my political activism — grumbling at the news and voting for candidates who usually lost elections.  
My understanding of the economy is limited to how far I can stretch a monthly budget.   My trade policies revolve around what’s on the supermarket shelves and how much cash is in our bank account.  I’ve paid off a mortgage three times, borrowing to send children to college and maintain an ordinary house in middle America.
My foreign and domestic policies might be considered naive and intentionally “global.”  I hosted Cambodian refugees and exchange students.  I supported clean water projects in Guatemala, framed Habitat for Humanity houses, and helped shelter homeless people.  
I am an educator, a member of NEA, not the NRA.  I once marched in the state capitol for improved teacher salaries and rejoiced when the recommendations of the Pritchard committee were approved by the legislature, expensive measures that required equity in district funding, lower class sizes, facilities improvements, and, yes, increased teacher pay.  
As parent and grandparent, I cannot use my children to promote my causes, or ME.
As a Presbyterian, I am part of a statistical minority, representing less than 1% of the population self-identifying as a member of Presbyterian USA, a progressive Christian denomination.  My life experience is seated in faith in God and the practice of Christian service and worship, quietly without apology or question.  Loving others yields civilized cooperation.  Forgiveness and forbearance brings peace and honor.  
Flawed to the core, I am vulnerable to criticism by my dearest people. When upset, I hurl magazines and other things I won’t confess.  I once backed into a tree when I lost my temper after  stomping off and forgetting to disengage the car from reverse.    Except for occasional fits, I am notably boring, more like Carol Burnett material than SNL.  
When physically stressed,  my body shuts down. Sometimes I pass out.  One moment, wobble legged, ten minutes later, joking and upright.
Oops, almost forgot, I am a woman.  It’s not my fault, but there it is.  I am touchy about this fact.  Can’t stand to be patronized.  I expect respect.  I have boundaries.  
My hypocrisies stem from a concerted effort to praise my Lord, usually tell the truth, live in peace, honor my financial obligations, and sleep well at night.  
And so I am speaking out.  Do NOT write me in on the ballot.  I am completely unqualified for public office.

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